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Old 12-28-2012, 03:28 PM
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We're working on correcting this behavior with Bear. He has a milder form of food / object guarding. Our trainer recommended a book titled "mine!" We bought it and it outlines the why, where, when and what to do about it. It has a very detailed plan of action but it'll take a long time for us to work through all the steps and truly get Bear pass this. I'll try to find a link to the book.


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Old 12-28-2012, 03:30 PM
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Here's a link to the book on amazon.com

Amazon Amazon


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Old 12-28-2012, 03:36 PM
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I would consult with either the breeder or talk to your vet.


^ This type of growling or "Gremlin noises" are pretty normal for a spunky puppy, but should NEVER be directed at you. It could be something that is easily fixed with training.

One thing I'm thinking is that you have small kids and this is a new "toy" maybe for them. It means that this pup could be acting out because of constant touching/picking up/hugs/kisses/toy taking away, etc....

Even with my adult siblings who are a bit more huggy kissy than I am with the dogs, I was something of a bear when it came to keeping track of them and reminding them to put Bertie down or leave him alone, reinforcing "quiet" time, etc...

With Bertie - even though he's something of a "gremlin" with his attitude (he's already getting the hyena streak down his back when he's out playing with his brother) and I see him as a bit more dominant than Jacks, he still has not growled or snapped at anyone or even Jacks. A lot of that may be breeding, but it probably is a lot of monitoring and maneuvering that I've done that helped. I have nightmares imagining this puppy in a beginner home.

I would probably reevaluate what is going on between the puppy and the kids, and making sure that the pup has plenty of quiet play time where he's not being constantly bothered.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:12 PM
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Try to hand him at least a meal a day. Also trade him for the chewy bone and then repeat giving it to him right back.
Teaching easy - when they are calm you pet them and repeat slowly eeeasy! Also we did the same with Rose by allowing her to "gnaw" at our hand and yelp Ouch! followed with be eeeasy every time she got too hard with her shark teeth.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:17 PM
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I know that guarding high value items is a pretty typical dog thing, but honestly, I would be really concerned over seeing this in my eight week old pup. I would call your breeder if you haven't done so already as well as get into contract with a trainer. Have you talked to your breeder? What did he/she say?
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudia M View Post
Try to hand him at least a meal a day. Also trade him for the chewy bone and then repeat giving it to him right back.
Teaching easy - when they are calm you pet them and repeat slowly eeeasy! Also we did the same with Rose by allowing her to "gnaw" at our hand and yelp Ouch! followed with be eeeasy every time she got too hard with her shark teeth.
I second the hand-feeding suggestion. Hand feeding is a great way to teach trust, build a bond, and to encourage the "soft mouth." It also teaches the pup that you are an excellent source of food, and not a competitor.

When not hand-feeding, you should teach your dog to wait until you give the "release command" for them to start eating. Once your pup has learned how to wait before eating (nothing crazy...maybe between 10 and 30 seconds), you can alternate who gives the food and issues the release command (we put Ella into a sit command, and then we use "OK" to let Ella know she can start eating).

Eventually, you create a culture that reinforces the pup seeing people as the source of food, and not the competition.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:44 PM
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I saw possession aggression in a litter that I bred years ago. Most of the pups had gone to their forever homes, there were several left, including the one I was keeping. I put a stuffed sterilized beef bone into the whelping box. Apparently this was much higher value than anything else I had given them and it was also novel. One of the boys became snarky and snarly instantaneously. He was snapping at his littermates. I was afraid he would generalize the behavior and carry it over to humans. I removed the bone. I also made a mental note to be careful what to give my dogs in the future....

I second what many others have said. Practice trading lesser things for higher value treats.
I might not let my pup,have anything of high value. In our house, nylabones, sterilized beef bones, marrow bones, and antlers are not of high value. We also have multiples of all of them, so they are not coveted.

How old are your children? My kids are older now, but as youngsters, they were never allowed to carry pups, choke hold pups, etc. I also never let my kids any where near the dogs when they were eating, as my job was to keep my children and the dogs safe so no one human or dog made a mistake. Remember no child under the age of five should ever be left alone with a dog. My old boss used to say, "all dogs bite, it's a question of when."

And get the book Mine and call the breeder.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:31 PM
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I taught Zeus easy the same way Claudia M explains. I also agree with hand feeding and making making him sit and stay before eating and slowly build the time up as he becomes more self controlled. By the time Zeus was 10 weeks old he would sit and wait over 3 minutes with me out of the room easily but I rarely make him wait this long. I've known several GR puppies that have gone through this including both mine and my parents and you just have to keep up with training and teach him that it is not appropriate to snap at anyone.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:49 AM
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On the good side you also know what is his "cocaine treat". For Rose it is the Purina Chewnola treat. It worked great at Christmas time when we had 14 people around out of which three were under the age of 3. We gave her a "cocaine treat" and she was happy with it while we opened presents.
And the growling, Rose would hide under the bed and call for us. we would walk up to the bed but not look under it. She would bark and growl quite loud but playfully and I admit that sometimes it sounded a bit scary and it looked scary when she would show her little teeth while crawling back out from under the bed to "get" us. She would get out with the wolfy crest on her back knowing that she will then be put on the bed and she got to wrestle with us and play.
While many trainers nowadays say no teeth and mouth, IMHO it is better to teach them easy teeth and mouth, especially around little children. Any dog will snap at one point or another - the kid is too close and may blow in its ear, the dog may feel threatened by something the kid does..etc - I rather have the dog do that with a soft mouth as opposed to biting hard.
Due to the fact that we have three small grand children I am blowing in Rose's ears and nose on purpose to teach her how to react at such. When she was too hard reacting I simple said "ouch be easy!" and then did it again and she would snap a bit softer and praise her for it with a little treat. Now we play like that and she nibbles on my nose and ears with easy soft mouth.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:32 AM
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Alright, so I took all this advice and started immediatly applying it. I had a kid training session, and also started Lucas (the pup) training too. He learns verrrry fast and can sit and stay for short periods. I did this whenever I gave him anything. Including toys. He eats out of my hand and loves it after only one day (he wasn't aggressive toward food however we did that anyway) I also made him chew the 'high value' toys from my hand also, holding on. He nipped playfully at me to try to get me to let go at first but got over that in less than 30 seconds and can care less if you touch anything he has now. Before he would take toys or anything and hide with them to chew, and that has changed too in just a day. He comes to sit smack on our laps with his stuff and chews them, also if you get up, he follows you until you stop so he can be 'near'. I feel like we have a different dog in only 2 days! He also starts training in a week and I cannot wait to see how sweet and obedient he will grow up to be.
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