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First time ever an I am very upset. My son was eating his breakfast and Cody stole my sons toast. y son was mad at him and started jumping around and Cody turned around and growled at him.
I feel like I have no choice but to neuter him a tthis point because of it. This was one of my major fears (agression) towards my children.

I also have no choice but to kennel him during meals, the food stealing has gotten way out of hand no matter what I try to do.

I feel like crap today. I don't want to neuter him but I also don't want to have to give him away because of my children.

Thanx for listening.
 

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whoaaaaa. Try not to react. Yes, crate him at meals. Yes, think about neutering him. But, let your emotions cool before you do anything. There have been many times I was totally exasperated with Harry... but, asking for help here on GRF and thinking it all through made the difference between making a good choice or one out of the moment. Good Luck with Cody!
 

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I'm so sorry, I know how upsetting it is when they growl at you, even more so your kids.

Have you had a trainer come in to your home to evaluate and give you tips for dealing with the food stealing? I'm sure that would help. I know there must be ways to curb that behaviour. But crating him while you eat is not a bad thing, makes him behave and keeps your food and kids safe. (I'm not sure neutering him would stop this problem, it's more of a need to be taught how to behave than hormones.)
 

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whoaaaaa. Try not to react. Yes, crate him at meals. Yes, think about neutering him. But, let your emotions cool before you do anything. There have been many times I was totally exasperated with Harry... but, asking for help here on GRF and thinking it all through made the difference between making a good choice or one out of the moment. Good Luck with Cody!
That's great advice. I know it's scary when this happens but just remember, he's doing what dogs do. If he's young, he could just be trying to find his place, not necessarily "aggressive". On the other hand, I know this is not acceptable behavior on his part. Is he ok if you hand feed him? That could help him understand that he's low man in your household if everyone takes turns doing this. Definitely get the advice of a good behaviorist if you can, good luck to you.
 

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Luke, Maggie, and Tucker
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I don't want to neuter him but I also don't want to have to give him away because of my children.
Good morning. First, I'm really sorry you had to go through this. :( And I hope your son is okay and not too upset over it.

I definitely wouldn't even begin to think about giving him away over this. I would start off with the crating during meals (be prepared for whining - lots of it). I agree that a behaviorist might be a good idea. Heck, call the trainer at your local PetSmart. They'll give you tips over the phone for free!

How old is Cody now?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My Son didn't even notice, only I did.

I wouldn't give him away because of one growl but my only concern is that it could result in further bad behaviour. He has been and exceptional dog from day one so I am very upset because this was not expected at all.

I have been goign abck and forth over the neutering issue for a while now and I just don't want to risk my children over the dog not being neutered. I would rather have a neutered dog then no dog.

two nights ago he got a hold of some chicken bones and I put my entire hand down his mouth to get them out. I could tell he wasn't happy but he also wasn't mad at me. My kids feed him all the time(dog food) so this agression is a first.
I will see what he is like over the next few days and then make a final decision. neuterings are usualy booked 1 month in advance anyway so there isn't anything I can do about it today.

We don't have Pet Smart or any commercial pet training where I am. But I will call a trainer I have heard good things about to see if she can help us.
 

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You handled the situation properly. Crating is the best first step. But now you have to catch your breath. It's hard to think clearly when you are "in" the situation. Take some time to get yourself back into a better frame of mind and realize the situation is not hopeless. You have options. If it were me I wouldn't even consider neutering, if I didn't want him neutered. I'm not a professional, but IMHO this a behavioral problem that CAN be fixed, but it will take a little time and patience.
 

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Deep breath.....sorry youre having a crappy day....
Cody is doing what normal, typical puppies (and adult dogs) do.... They use their voice to make their wants known....
DOESNT mean is is ok or that you should dismiss it because it is normal......just that it is not IMHO 'aggression'....

Neutering is not going to make him all of a sudden, a creature that feels like sharing stolen toast or keep him from stealing it in the first place. Vigilent management and training of both puppy and kids, will..... However, neutering him is one piece of the behavioral puzzle that needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the whole picture - especially in the next couple of months as he reaches maturity. If it were me, I would neuter the boy.
 

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Luke, Maggie, and Tucker
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Hmm...well, I'm glad you're going to put forth all of the effort to nip this in the bud. You seem like a great dog-mom. :)

Tucker was nippy when I got him (at six months) and it calmed down a LOT after he was neutered. Were you just wanting to wait on neutering Cody or did you not want to neuter him at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ugh! he tried to hump my kids Dora couch just now, lol

I am trying to weigh the pros and cons here and right now keeping my dog is more important to me then possible behaviour issues that might end up me having to give him away.
 

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I would either crate him during meals, or have a mat for him in the kitchen or in view of the kitchen. Across from where you are eating so he's not underfoot. Even a carpet sample works for this. When it's your mealtime, he is to stay on his mat. You can leave a leash on him. If he gets up off the mat, walk him back to it tell him 'mat' and have him lie down there. That way before he's stealing food off the table or out of hands, he's being put back in his place. It's better manners anyway for him to keep clear of the table during mealtimes, and it puts him in his place in more ways than one.

You can also hook the leash to something so he can't go too far off the mat, if it helps, and then still put him back on the mat. That also helps if someone drops something - he will self correct if he tries to race for it. You want him to learn that when your family is at the table eating, he is not welcome to wander under the table, sniff at fingers, or try to steal food - he should be a good distance away from everyone.

Your kids can also help with this and walk him back to his place when he gets up. That will remind him of his status in the household as well.

Then after the meal and after things are cleaned up, floor swept, he can have his dinner. I wouldn't allow him to clean up the plates, pick up floor crumbs or anything like that for a while, till he's being very good about staying on his mat.

I think it's mainly a 'manners' thing, if he's thinking he's allowed to steal food (and I think he's the one on tables too?) and he gets to pick up the crumbs or lick the plates, he's going to push it a bit. It may have also been a bit of a 'knock it off' to your son for acting like that too, if he doesn't normally jump around and get mad.

Lana
 

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First, let me commend you for reacting the way you did. Way too many people just blow it off the first time it happens. It's important that you take action right away, because you are right, it can escalate. That was a warning.
I'm always amazed when a customer will tell me his dog bit someone in the family and they had "never seen any signs of agression". Then as we get to talking, they will say things like, oh, well, he growls if we try to get near his food bowl, but that's to be expected. Oh, and he growls if we tell him to get off the bed, but you need to let sleeping dogs lie. Oh, and he growls if...etc. etc. And I say, geez, how many warnings did he have to give you????? So I'm very glad to see you take immediate action without making excuses for the dog. He did it, he should not have, time to put a stop to it.
Cody is a teenager alright. He's feeling his oats. He would certainly try it with a child, not you, because dogs tend to see children as lesser pack members, especially if they are able to steal food from the child. That right there tells them that they are above that child in rank. So when you son went to "steal it back", he growled. Normal, but totally unacceptable, dog behavior. It does NOT mean Cody is aggressive at all. He's just asserting his position in the pack.
At his age, neutering might help, but honestly intact males usually don't, and shouldn't act that way, so don't expect it to be a cure. I know of an awful lot of neutered males who act the same way and intact males who do not. No dog should get away with growling at any human over his food.
Crating him while you eat is absolutely a must. That will remove him from a situation in which he can steal food. Also, when do you feed him, in relation to when the rest of the family eats? A lot of people feed the dog first because it's convenient, then they sit down to eat. That sends exactly the wrong message to the dog. Be sure that Cody always eats LAST. Let him sit in his crate and know you are eating. When you are all finished, he can get his food. That's the way of the dog world; he who is on the bottom of the pecking order eats last.
Cody needs to go on the "nothing in life is free" training program for a while. He also needs to go to a good trainer who can help you work thru these situations when they come up.
But geez, don't even think of giving him away over something like this. He felt that one of his littermates was stealing his food, and he let it be known that he was planning to defend his food. What you need to analzye, with a GOOD trainer (please, get a good one, there are a lot of goofballs out there) is why he considers the children to be packmembers, and why he considers himself to be above them in the pack. That's the key to the growling.
Does Cody respond to the very basic obedience commands? Especially, down, and stay? My favorite way to "discipline" a dog that gets out of hand is with a nice long down-stay. If he even LOOKED at one of my kids funny, he'd get a "DOWN!!! STAY!!!" immediately. And enforce it. I've enforced them for 10-15 minutes with some dogs that I thought needed it. "Down" is a very submissive position, and to be forced to hold a "down" sends a very, very strong message to a dog, especially a young one. Put a collar and leash on him and stand on the leash if you have to. If he's not real good with the down/stay commands, I'd be working on that with him big time during non-punishment times, so that you can use it to your benefit when you need to.
But please keep it in perspective. It's certainly a behaviour that can be worked through, and it doesn't make him a bad or dangerous dog by any stretch.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was wanting just to wait at least 12-18 months.

it has to get done. I booked at our vet for Saturday.
My #1 reason for always getting him done before 18 months was for fear of my kids getting hurt. I can not have a dog that I can't trust.
I know it was only 1 issue but I suspect this wont be the first.

I know there are those people who will support me and others who will think I am nuts for over thinking this. But I love my kids and my dog and I want to keep the dog.
 

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First, let me commend you for reacting the way you did. Way too many people just blow it off the first time it happens. It's important that you take action right away, because you are right, it can escalate. That was a warning.
I'm always amazed when a customer will tell me his dog bit someone in the family and they had "never seen any signs of agression". Then as we get to talking, they will say things like, oh, well, he growls if we try to get near his food bowl, but that's to be expected. Oh, and he growls if we tell him to get off the bed, but you need to let sleeping dogs lie. Oh, and he growls if...etc. etc. And I say, geez, how many warnings did he have to give you????? So I'm very glad to see you take immediate action without making excuses for the dog. He did it, he should not have, time to put a stop to it.
Cody is a teenager alright. He's feeling his oats. He would certainly try it with a child, not you, because dogs tend to see children as lesser pack members, especially if they are able to steal food from the child. That right there tells them that they are above that child in rank. So when you son went to "steal it back", he growled. Normal, but totally unacceptable, dog behavior. It does NOT mean Cody is aggressive at all. He's just asserting his position in the pack.
At his age, neutering might help, but honestly intact males usually don't, and shouldn't act that way, so don't expect it to be a cure. I know of an awful lot of neutered males who act the same way and intact males who do not. No dog should get away with growling at any human over his food.
Crating him while you eat is absolutely a must. That will remove him from a situation in which he can steal food. Also, when do you feed him, in relation to when the rest of the family eats? A lot of people feed the dog first because it's convenient, then they sit down to eat. That sends exactly the wrong message to the dog. Be sure that Cody always eats LAST. Let him sit in his crate and know you are eating. When you are all finished, he can get his food. That's the way of the dog world; he who is on the bottom of the pecking order eats last.
Cody needs to go on the "nothing in life is free" training program for a while. He also needs to go to a good trainer who can help you work thru these situations when they come up.
But geez, don't even think of giving him away over something like this. He felt that one of his littermates was stealing his food, and he let it be known that he was planning to defend his food. What you need to analzye, with a GOOD trainer (please, get a good one, there are a lot of goofballs out there) is why he considers the children to be packmembers, and why he considers himself to be above them in the pack. That's the key to the growling.
Does Cody respond to the very basic obedience commands? Especially, down, and stay? My favorite way to "discipline" a dog that gets out of hand is with a nice long down-stay. If he even LOOKED at one of my kids funny, he'd get a "DOWN!!! STAY!!!" immediately. And enforce it. I've enforced them for 10-15 minutes with some dogs that I thought needed it. "Down" is a very submissive position, and to be forced to hold a "down" sends a very, very strong message to a dog, especially a young one. Put a collar and leash on him and stand on the leash if you have to. If he's not real good with the down/stay commands, I'd be working on that with him big time during non-punishment times, so that you can use it to your benefit when you need to.
But please keep it in perspective. It's certainly a behaviour that can be worked through, and it doesn't make him a bad or dangerous dog by any stretch.
Thank you.

He does know all the basic commands. I have been able to train him to do everything, but his gut rules him. I have tried everything I can think of with food on the table but he just wont get it.

I will kennel him for lunch and dinner and feed him his dinner after we eat.

Any sort of negative behaviour towards my children is not allowed. I have never allowed it from day one and he knows this.
I have noticed he is getting very brave with his attitude in the last week or so. I assume this is because of hormones and I honestly don't know if I am experienced enough to deal with the hormones and behaviour problems. I can deal with the behavior problems but when you add the hormones on top of it I might be out of my league.
I agree with everything you said about how his behaviour probably wont change by neutering him, but I hope everyone understands that if I didn't have small children this wouldn't even be an issue.
I just can not take a chance that my kids could get hurt.
 

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I agree with you 1000%. I love my dogs, and lord knows I do anything for my dogs, but they're still dogs, not children. That will probably annoy a lot of people on this forum, but it's my opinion only.
The brave attitude that you are seeing is definately from hormones, and this is the exact age you would expect to see it.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with getting your dog neutered to assist you in toning down his behavior. Here in the states a ton of dogs (the vast majority) are neutered at 6 months.
I suspect you might also notice him not always coming when called anymore if he's outside and something else is holding his attention. Just another sign of the age.
There's a very good book you might want to pick up called "surviving your dog's adolescence". Applies to children too ;)

I have noticed he is getting very brave with his attitude in the last week or so. I assume this is because of hormones and I honestly don't know if I am experienced enough to deal with the hormones and behaviour problems. I can deal with the behavior problems but when you add the hormones on top of it I might be out of my league.
I agree with everything you said about how his behaviour probably wont change by neutering him, but I hope everyone understands that if I didn't have small children this wouldn't even be an issue.
I just can not take a chance that my kids could get hurt.
 

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hmmm, for some reason I thought you were in the UK, but ignore that "here in the states" comment if I was wrong....sorry...
 

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Deep breath.....sorry youre having a crappy day....
Cody is doing what normal, typical puppies (and adult dogs) do.... They use their voice to make their wants known....
DOESNT mean is is ok or that you should dismiss it because it is normal......just that it is not IMHO 'aggression'....

Neutering is not going to make him all of a sudden, a creature that feels like sharing stolen toast or keep him from stealing it in the first place. Vigilent management and training of both puppy and kids, will..... However, neutering him is one piece of the behavioral puzzle that needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the whole picture - especially in the next couple of months as he reaches maturity. If it were me, I would neuter the boy.
Ditto what Mary said. I've seen plenty of neutered dogs (many here on GRF) guard a stolen object, which is what Cody was doing.

IMO:

First step = manage/prevent the behavior. Crating, tethering or keeping him out of the eating area is a great idea. As he gets older and has more training, he can maybe in there with you, doing a down-stay on his dog bed. He's not ready for that yet.

Second step = house rule is that the kids are NEVER allowed to try and get stolen stuff back from him. That's an adult's job.

Third step = if he's already stolen it, he's already had his fun. Then it's too late to do any training that's designed to prevent future stealing. Your best hope at that point is to, if needed, get the item back is the least confrontational way possible. In my world, if it won't kill the dog to eat it or cost me more than $100 to replace it, I leave it alone. If it's a non edible object, not paying attention to the dog with it causes it to quickly lose it's value and the dog gives it up and walks away - and THEN I go get it back.

If you're more comfortable neutering him earlier than you'd originally anticipated, I think that's fine too. Plenty of male Goldens have been neutered prior to 18 months and they've gone on to live long, healthy lives. While I understand and support the reasons why many people wish to wait, I also think it's okay to neuter sooner for behavior reasons. Again, I can can say with absolute certainty that neutering Cody won't suddenly make him never growl of you try and take back a stolen object -- but like Mary said, in your situation, it may be the best idea. I said in another thread that often, testosterone can supercharge behavior and a "supercharged" Golden in a pet home with small kids isn't always the best combination!

Hang in there. Breathe! It will be okay! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
hmmm, for some reason I thought you were in the UK, but ignore that "here in the states" comment if I was wrong....sorry...
I am in Canada.
The normal age is 6 months here too.

My son just told me he is going to make a machine so Cody doesn't hurt us, funny but sad.

Thank you for your support. I called the best dog trainer I know about and I am waiting for her reply. I am going to see if she can do an in home visit to deal with the jumping at the table issue.
I am in dog classes right now but it is just basic stuff we already have tought him. It was pretty much a waste of money sort of, only because it isn't abel to adress our issues like jumping at the table.
 

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Ditto what Mary said. I've seen plenty of neutered dogs (many here on GRF) guard a stolen object, which is what Cody was doing.

IMO:

First step = manage/prevent the behavior. Crating, tethering or keeping him out of the eating area is a great idea. As he gets older and has more training, he can maybe in there with you, doing a down-stay on his dog bed. He's not ready for that yet.

Second step = house rule is that the kids are NEVER allowed to try and get stolen stuff back from him. That's an adult's job.

Third step = if he's already stolen it, he's already had his fun. Then it's too late to do any training that's designed to prevent future stealing. Your best hope at that point is to, if needed, get the item back is the least confrontational way possible. In my world, if it won't kill the dog to eat it or cost me more than $100 to replace it, I leave it alone. If it's a non edible object, not paying attention to the dog with it causes it to quickly lose it's value and the dog gives it up and walks away - and THEN I go get it back.

If you're more comfortable neutering him earlier than you'd originally anticipated, I think that's fine too. Plenty of male Goldens have been neutered prior to 18 months and they've gone on to live long, healthy lives. While I understand and support the reasons why many people wish to wait, I also think it's okay to neuter sooner for behavior reasons. Again, I can can say with absolute certainty that neutering Cody won't suddenly make him never growl of you try and take back a stolen object -- but like Mary said, in your situation, it may be the best idea. I said in another thread that often, testosterone can supercharge behavior and a "supercharged" Golden in a pet home with small kids isn't always the best combination!

Hang in there. Breathe! It will be okay! :)
Thank you for the suggestions.

My son didn't actualy try to physically take the food, he was just jumping up and down because he was mad and Cody groweld to keep him away. I would hate to imagine what could have happened if my son actualy touched him.
 
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