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How to handle ? Guarding issue.(20 Posts)
Our almost 2 year old cocker spaniel is the most lovely natured dog. He never shows aggression to anyone or other dogs normally. However an issue has arisen which is concerning me and I need advice on how to handle it. He sleeps on our bed at night and if he gets settled first then dh comes to bed and tries to move him a bit he will growl. Tonight this has escalated and he snapped at dh . What is the best way to handle this. My instinct is to banish him completely but seems a bit mean when he has always slept there.
I wouldn't let my dog sleep on my bed if he growled and snapped at me. But if it's a new behaviour I would be taking him to the vets incase there was a medical reason or cause behind it.
Some dogs don't mind being shifted about a bit, but others do get very territorial about certain spaces.
If I was your husband I'd be very uncomfortable sharing my bed with an animal that could snap at anytime. What if your husband accidentally moves or kicks him while he's asleep and the dog goes for him?
Yes, banish your husband completely 😂
Have some tasty treats in the bedroom and train him (dog not husband) jumping on and off the bed to commands and treats. When dog is on the bed and husband comes in, tell dog 'off' treat him on floor, then husband can command him 'up' and treat him when he's back on the bed.
Dogs like clear guidelines and this will work if you both stick to it
Thanks for the suggestions - we will give the treats a try. Last night was the first time he has snapped, he was particularly tired and I think dh could have given him a bit more warning, he generally gives him a bit of a stroke then manoeuvres him gently so he can get in the bed, but probably did move him without as much warning as normal.
I'd probably snap at someone who tried to move me when I'm comfy lol. Hope it helps
Get the dog off the bed!
No way on earth should a dog that thinks it appropriate to growl and snap at you be allowed on the bed, sofa etc.
It doesn’t matter whether it happened because you didn’t stroke him first or whatever, it’s dangerous behaviour.
Like a pp said, what happens if you or your husband accidentally push him in the night and get bitten in the process.
I wouldn’t be physically moving him. He needs to get down to a command. Use treats.
I think using treats to train an ‘off’ command is a good idea, as would moving with a slip lead so your not within snapping distance is but I think the best solution would be to buy a crate, crate train and keep the bedroom door locked.
I definitely wouldn’t ever let him on the bed again.
Your dog will actually thank you for giving him his own comfy bed away from your bed.
Think of it from the dogs point of view he gets all comfy and is fast asleep and is then disturbed during his deep sleep. He is gaining nothing by sleeping on your bed just stress.
So get him his own comfy bed treat him for getting in it and let him sleep undisturbed - he will be happier for it.
I would still be grumpy if your trained an off command with me even champagne and chocolates would not compensate for being disturbed from my sleep
He has never growled or snapped at us in any other situation ever.
Also he does have his own comfy bed which he can go to if he wishes. He chooses to sleep with us.
Mine all sleep on the bed but do not growl if pushed or pulled - get a water spray bottle (power jet) keep by the bed - any growling squirt water right in her face - please do check her over first for lumps and bumps in case she has a sore patch but I’d most likely say she is grumbling about being asked to move when comfy and that’s just tough luck. If water doesn’t work put her on the landing - please don’t give treats - don’t reward bad behaviour!
I'm sure you won't, but whatever you do, don't listen to that last post about outdated and aversive training methods.
Agree entirely with PPs - train a solid up and off command using positive reinforcement. And definitely have an MOT at the vet as perhaps pain is the cause here. Good luck, your dog sounds lovely.
Tell the dog to move rather than physically moving him. If he's deep asleep he prob doesn't want to be manhandled.
@Ilovemylabrador that’s crap advice. Squirting a dog in the face won’t make it less likely to growl but could make it more likely to bite.
Don’t give treats when the dog growls. Say off and throw a treat on the floor to reward the good behaviour.
He has never growled or snapped at us in any other situation ever
What difference does it make?
He is behaving aggressively towards you over the bed.
The behaviour is dangerous, it may well get worse over time and is totally, utterly unacceptable.
Do not let him on the bed ever again.
Guarding dogs have no right to valued resources imo.
If it was my dog, I would be inclined to boot him off the sofa aswell until he learns some manners.
My dog is always on the sofa and sometimes I invite her up on the bed for a sneaky cuddle when DH isn’t about but she has never in her life growled and if she dared she wouldn’t be allowed up again.
Kick him downstairs, well not actually kick but you know what I mean. Dogs need to respect our personal space and the bedroom is not for dogs (plus if anyone breaks into your house you want the downstairs barking!)
My dog did that at about 15 months when we picked him up off the sofa to put him in his bed. We left him there to start with but then put treats in his bed. Now when we put him to bed he has a treat in there. Hasn't snapped for months. Did wonder if it was a hormone surge as a friend s dog did a similar thing at a similar age when it came to bed.
Please don't listen to whoever suggested spraying the dog in the face
Growling is not a bad thing - it's a dogs way of saying "I'm uncomfortable/unhappy - stop that now" - it's not inherently aggressive. Truly aggressive dogs will not give a warning growl - they will go straight for the bite.
Punishing growling in dogs is not a good thing. Dogs should be allowed to show they're uncomfortable with what's happening to them - just like we are.
He's showing he doesn't like being disturbed while he's asleep. So either lure him off the bed before getting in, or train him to sleep in his own bed. Ours sleeps on our bed and has done since day one, but he's never growled or snapped or shown any possessiveness over it. If he did we would rethink the situation immediately.