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aggressive resource guarding in 4 month old puppy

(4 Posts)
rhetorician Wed 07-Oct-15 09:54:45

Puppy is a terrier cross, lovely dog in many ways, good at obedience training etc, but she is nippy and jumpy. The thing I am concerned about is that I've given her a bone a couple of times and she has taken it off and then gone bananas (growling, snapping) when anyone goes near her. Luckily she was in her crate at the time, but this behaviour concerns me as we have two small children and they aren't always perfect in their behaviour towards the dog. The dog is good in many ways, but quite reactive and I worry that unless we can deal with this she will end up being rehomed - or worse

BirdyArms Wed 07-Oct-15 12:09:31

This sounds like very normal behaviour to me, very natural for a dog to be snappy when it has a bone, but I think there's lots of things you can do to address it. My pup was like this at a similar age and it has been a relatively easy problem to solve, loads of advice online. What has worked for us has been to get the kids to put extra bits of food in his bowl when he's eating. With tastier treats I walked close to him several times when he was eating until he didn't react. Progressed from that to touching him whilst he was eating, to touching the treat, to taking the treat and immediately giving it back. You should be able to judge how quickly you can progress this but our puppy went very quickly from growling and snapping to me being able to take a bone away from him, within a couple of weeks I think. I still wouldn't feel 100% happy that DC could take a bone from him but they can definitely stroke him when he has one though it is against the rules. And actually I rarely give our dog a bone which is another approach!

But it is important to be able to take things from your dog, eg mine occasionally found cooked chicken bones in the local park, if I'm quick enough I can get them from him, still some work to do on dropping a tasty treat on command.

rhetorician Wed 07-Oct-15 14:56:19

yes, I think it's normal too - she does it to a far lesser extent with less yummy things, and am reading up online. Will also ask our dog trainer, who is excellent - she's a good dog, just needs to be put in her place. Frequently!

tabulahrasa Wed 07-Oct-15 18:14:55

Don't put her in her place or take things off her - you run the risk of making her guarding behaviour escalate by confirming that you are in fact taking her nice thing from her and then she'll have to do more to prevent it.

There's a book called mine which will give you step by step ways to work on it.

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