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Ok, so I have read many threads regarding dog parks being the devil on this forum, yet I think everyone has to try it out for themselves, which is just what we started doing a couple weeks ago.

The first time, my husband and I brought Marley and she was a dream dog - played nice, no barking (which can sometimes be an issue when she's on leash), and heeled very well. I was a proud mama :)

So we decided to make it a weekly thing. We ventured out again, only this time we brought our 12 year old son with. Everything was going so well again, until a Newfie came up to all of us - all three of us humans were sitting on a bench and, of course, gave the newfie a good petting... woah, Marley DID NOT like that... I don't know if it was the size of the dog, the proximity of the dog to me (it literally placed its huge head onto my lap), or the fact that I was giving it some attention, but Marley got underneath my legs and bared her teeth, growling and barking :( Of course, the newfie paid no attention. And its owner and the dog just walked away, leaving Marley, still aggressively barking, behind.

We of course left immediately. I was quite shaken and honestly, a bit embarrased. I definitely don't want to have "THAT" dog... :no:
Also, I think we won't be visiting again for quite awhile...

We have really tried hard to ensure that Marley is well socialized - bringing her to training classes and having "play dates" with other dogs. But I have always noticed a slight protective or jealous tendency she has towards her "people". When we give other dogs attention, I've found myself making sure she is distracted with something else, to be sure she doesn't come barreling over to get inbetween. But she has never barred her teeth before - it really got me spooked.

So, of course, I would like to nip this in the bud and get it under control. Any suggestions on how to help her with these issues? Any good tips or training methods?

Thank you!
 

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I agree, you don't want that. At her age, she may have felt the best defense is a good offense.

I'm not much help beyond that. Penny's possessiveness never went beyond pushing in for her fair share of pats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And that's what she often does as well - butting in for her own attention, barking, almost to say "what about me?" :)

My husband thinks I'm making a bigger deal out of this than I should, and maybe he's right. But ever since the first day of bringing her home, I wanted to do everything right - I just feel its so much easier to fix a potential problem right away, than to wait till their older and it's become a serious issue.

Marley is a wonderful dog and we have always brought her everywhere with us - camping, swimming and to the lake - I just want to be sure this isn't a sign of something worse... I would hate to not be able to bring her certain places :( She's my super buddy! LOL
 

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Jean Donaldson has a book out titled " Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding In Dogs". You might give it a try as it includes a wide source of issues including owner resource guarding which is what it sounds like you're dealing with.


Pete & Woody
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jean Donaldson has a book out titled " Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding In Dogs". You might give it a try as it includes a wide source of issues including owner resource guarding which is what it sounds like you're dealing with.


Pete & Woody
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll definitely give it a read!
 

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I am not familiar with training for this type thing, so can offer u no advice, other than maybe consult a good trainer/behaviorist.
I do think tho, you are right to want correction for this tendency before she makes it a bad habit.
 
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I had a friend with the nicest Golden ever, sweet as pie. But boy, when he was retrieving his ball all dogs best stay away. He would be fine one minute and if a dog went anywhere near him or ball when it was in play, he would go full out ninja, teeth and all. My poor Homer was recipient of this too many times.
Olliver has just begun to really really get in to his tennis ball retrieving. Its almost getting compulsive.
I can very easily see this possibly becoming a guarding thing in the future, so I will check out F.R.S's book suggestion as well.
Thanks!
 
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What's the "pack" like in your household? Are you making sure that you're the strong leader/alpha in the house? There are a lot of things us humans do that seem very right and well in OUR world, but mean a completely different thing in the canine world. I'd double back and make sure that you are A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y asserting yourself (and your family) as the pack leader(s) and start from there. You'd be amazed at how many behaviors that alone will influence! Alphas take care of their packs and will most definitely let intruders know they aren't welcome in THEIR group... This just may be a symptom of an alpha mind.

... Personally, I would not at all let this cripple your want to keep him socialized. You definitely want to correct the problem, not sweep it under the rug! Get him out and about in the situations he's having issues with so that the proper corrections can be made. YOU CAN DO IT! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What's the "pack" like in your household? Are you making sure that you're the strong leader/alpha in the house? There are a lot of things us humans do that seem very right and well in OUR world, but mean a completely different thing in the canine world. I'd double back and make sure that you are A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y asserting yourself (and your family) as the pack leader(s) and start from there. You'd be amazed at how many behaviors that alone will influence! Alphas take care of their packs and will most definitely let intruders know they aren't welcome in THEIR group... This just may be a symptom of an alpha mind.

... Personally, I would not at all let this cripple your want to keep him socialized. You definitely want to correct the problem, not sweep it under the rug! Get him out and about in the situations he's having issues with so that the proper corrections can be made. YOU CAN DO IT! :D
Thank you! I thought about this as well... Especially since we had no problems the first time, only the time that we brought our son with. She listens to me VERY well, but tends to get more guarding when my son is present.

I've been taking my son with me to our training sessions and have also started to have him do some of daily mini-training sessions with her that we do at home. Do you think that will help?

I am definitely not going to stop bringing her out... But maybe steer clear of the dog park for awhile :) It's tough when something like this happens and it brings my anxiety level up! But I will for sure keep on the training - thanks for the supportive words! I appreciate it!!
 

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Thank you! I thought about this as well... Especially since we had no problems the first time, only the time that we brought our son with. She listens to me VERY well, but tends to get more guarding when my son is present.

I've been taking my son with me to our training sessions and have also started to have him do some of daily mini-training sessions with her that we do at home. Do you think that will help?

I am definitely not going to stop bringing her out... But maybe steer clear of the dog park for awhile :) It's tough when something like this happens and it brings my anxiety level up! But I will for sure keep on the training - thanks for the supportive words! I appreciate it!!
I definitely think that letting him work with her is great! We've always had Australian Cattle Dogs and they can get really stubborn when it comes to kiddos... But after letting our daughter take control of the leash and working him with commands and tricks as she got older, even in his older age our Irwin now looks at her in a new light. Not just another "little human"... but a leader. It's just all in leadership actions. Little things, really. (Ex. Making her wait until you all have passed through the door first before going outside. Leaders lead, she needs to follow.) Small things we don't even think about can make a big difference in the canine mind.

STAY CALM! I know something like that, unexpected, can be a rush of all the wrong emotions... But they feed off us and staying calm and collected can make a HUGE difference in bad situations.
 
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