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Old 02-12-2008, 08:18 AM
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Growling over Bone

Last night Benny(3 months) was chewing a new raw hide bone. When I went to take it from him he snarled and growled at me. Right away I took him by the scruff and showed him I was not impressed.
He seemed to get it, because we then practised "give it" for a couple of minutes without any issues. However, about an hour later I went to take the bone from him and he snapped worse than before. So I scruffed him at let it be known that it wasnt cool.

After a time out in the crate(where he gave me the "soo sorry" look) we tried "give it nicely" again. A little while later my g/f gave it too him and got it back without any reaction, and I did it with no signs of resistance.

The real thing that baffels me is that the other night he was given the same bone at a friends place with another dog around and he didnt make a sound. In fact they both traded bones several times.

My question is what could have caused that reaction in my otherwise playful loving puppy? Do you think he got my point or should I expect another battle tonight?
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:42 AM
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It is puppy growing pains. He has something that is good and after a pleasant chew by himself, he's not willing to share. Before, he was given the bone in a dual dog setting and didn't know the difference. Now he does.

Hopefully your corrections have left an impression. He may continue to test you a bit, but don't over-react. Just take it away calmly and reinforce your status as alpha.

Have you been picking up his food dish while he is eating? That is often an object of possession as well. It might be a good idea to teach him that things taken away are returned if he is good. Just feed him a small portion, take up the bowl, put a little more in and then put it down again, etc until his meal is done.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carraig View Post
Have you been picking up his food dish while he is eating? That is often an object of possession as well.
I have had no issues with anything up to this point. We have hand fed him, put our hand over the bowl to stop him for a sec to show our control, all with out any issue. he was the perfect gentleman with regards to food and treats. Thats why I am so concerned now.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:21 AM
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I could have written this thread! ust the other night , our puppy (5 1/2 mos.) who always gave before growled when I put my hand on his paw when he had a new bone.. We took it from him, then gave it back.. and kept this up for the night til we were sure he got it.

I have taken his dish from him often while eating, just to be sure he would not have any food aggression issues.. He never seemed to mind me doing that.. so it struck me odd he did that with a bone.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:38 AM
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I know, I was angry with him, but I was more confused at why?
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:11 AM
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Baxter did this during the first week after we adopted him. I picked him up, and then tried to take a bone off of him, and he tried to bite me. I was so shocked and befuddled that I dropped him. (he did not get hurt) I was so depressed the next couple of days thinking I had adopted a demon dog as none of the dogs that I have ever owned had ever did this. Then I read something in a book about giving him a little treat (we used kibble or another small treat) when we wanted to take something from him so that he would associate our taking something from him with getting a treat. Over the course of a couple of weeks, he started giving things up w/o growling or biting without us having to give him a treat. But there are still times when he gets protective of a bone or treat that he is chewing, so then I try to reinforce the give/take theory again.

Good Luck.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:22 AM
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Samson has done this. I would take it from him and put my hands all over it (putting my scent on it). Then I would let him chew on it while I held it. Then I would take it again. He's now 10 months and we still do this on occasion just to remind him that "it's mine!" and I've chosen to allow him to have it. LOL

Samson and Delilah occasionally growl at each other if one gets too close while the other is working on a bone. I stay out of it as long as it is just a warning growl.

But they both better not growl at me or anyone else.

Keep it up....practice.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:58 AM
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I know that when I get home from work today I will have to practice his manners. Also, it seemed like if I let him have it for too long, he got too into it, making it harder to get it from him. I guess it will be controled incriments until he knows better.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:03 PM
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OMG! Please stop scruffing him. It's making it worse, as you've already seen, and will continue to do do.

Trade for something wonderful and practice that often. You want to teach that your presence near his "goodie" isn't a threat. Also, with the food bowl, as you reach for the bowl, make sure you're dropping something better into the bowl as you reach.

If a dog has a problem with something, we have to TEACH HIM it's NOT A PROBLEM vs. just CORRECTING HIM for saying that he feels it's a problem.

If you keep taking the scruff shake/correction route, you'll lose in the end and it will become harder to rehab the dog.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:15 PM
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The only time I scruffed him was when he got aggressive. When he didnt go ape S&*^ I would reward him with a treat and the bone back while giving him tons of praise.
I am sorry but I cannot sit back and try to bargin with him when he is snarling. To me that is rewarding bad behaviour.
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