Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My older golden (7 yo male) has had some mild resource guarding behaviors throughout his life. He would run away from us if we tried to take a high value treat or toy. We got a puppy 4 months ago and have been keeping them apart when they chew bones, bully sticks, ect…. Well today the older boy was chewing on a nylabone that we always have laying around and the younger pup tried to sniff it and he showed his teeth. She didn’t stop so he growled at her - I’ve never heard him growl! I stepped in and pulled her away. Now I’m upset and worried that I’ll always have to keep them separated. I hope it’s just because of the nylabone and that he isn’t showing aggression towards her. He hasn’t shown aggressive behavior in the 7 years we’ve had him :( any advice?
 

·
Kristy
Joined
·
10,863 Posts
My older golden (7 yo male) has had some mild resource guarding behaviors throughout his life....today the older boy was chewing on a nylabone that we always have laying around and the younger pup tried to sniff it and he showed his teeth. She didn’t stop so he growled at her - I’ve never heard him growl! I stepped in and pulled her away. Now I’m upset and worried that I’ll always have to keep them separated. I hope it’s just because of the nylabone and that he isn’t showing aggression towards her. He hasn’t shown aggressive behavior in the 7 years we’ve had him :( any advice?
my first question is why is the nylabone always laying around if you have resource guarding issues? While I do believe in allowing well behaved older dogs to correct puppies, I don't believe in tempting fate if there's a concern about things going too far. Please pick up the chew bones and toys when you're not directly supervising the dogs. If you want to let them chew in the same room in the evening, put a leash on the puppy so she can't approach the older dog. Set everyone up for success by making high value items a treat for when the puppy is crated. Always pick the up the bones and put them away when the chew session is over. Invest in a wire ex pen and use it to make your life easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,824 Posts
I think he appropriately taught the puppy a lesson about respect. A growl was just a warning and I would not consider that aggression. I do think you should be near and if puppy doesn't take the hint you should intervene before your boy has to go to harsher methods to correct next time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
my first question is why is the nylabone always laying around if you have resource guarding issues? While I do believe in allowing well behaved older dogs to correct puppies, I don't believe in tempting fate if there's a concern about things going too far. Please pick up the chew bones and toys when you're not directly supervising the dogs. If you want to let them chew in the same room in the evening, put a leash on the puppy so she can't approach the older dog. Set everyone up for success by making high value items a treat for when the puppy is crated. Always pick the up the bones and put them away when the chew session is over. Invest in a wire ex pen and use it to make your life easier.
He had never guarded the nylabone. We do have an ex pen that the puppy goes into when they are chewing. This was a new thing since he hasn’t guarded the nylabone before
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think think he appropriately taught the puppy a lesson about respect. A growl was just a warning and I would not consider that aggression. I do think you should be near and if puppy doesn't take the hint you should intervene before your boy has to go to harsher methods to correct next time
Thank you. I just don’t know if she got the message :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
Many dogs allow puppies some degree of “puppy license” - tolerance for rude behaviour that they wouldn’t tolerate from an older dog. If you’ve had your puppy for 4 months, she’s probably reaching the age where that puppy license expires, so he was reprimanding her rude behaviour.

A growl or grumble is okay. In fact, a growl is a useful warning that your older dog has reached the limits of his tolerance. If the puppy doesn’t pull back, you need to intervene (as you did) to protect the older dog from the pesky pup, then try to prevent similar situations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,339 Posts
I think he appropriately taught the puppy a lesson about respect. A growl was just a warning and I would not consider that aggression. I do think you should be near and if puppy doesn't take the hint you should intervene before your boy has to go to harsher methods to correct next time
I agree. She was being rude and he told her about it. Very appropriate. Her "puppy license" has officially expired.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,714 Posts
Resource guarding between people and dogs are two very different behaviors. I echo what everyone else said regarding this instance of growling being very appropriate behavior.

Dogs who are pushovers get into many more scuffles than dogs who set boundaries with other dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
I agree with everyone else. I have a 4 year old intact male, a 2 year old intact male, and a 6 1/2 month old. The 2 year old has appropriately corrected the puppy since the day it came home. I can trust them together because the puppy knows it's boundaries and is respectful. The 4 year old let the puppy walk all over him and I had to intervene. Now I'm having to watch very closely when the 4 year old and puppy are together. The puppy plays way to rough with my 4 yo, and in order for the 4 year old to back him off it's a little too harsh for my liking. I am on top of it and it's okay. I have lots of experience, but it sure would have been easier if the 4 year old had set the same boundaries my 2 year old set. Sometimes a nasty growl and a bark teach a puppy more in one second then we can in weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts
First of all, showing teeth and growling are 2 very appropriate things. Your older didn't attack. He warned. You don't ever want to discipline a dog for warning. He was telling the puppy that the bone is his and to go away. Dogs are able to teach puppies how to be dogs far better than we humans can.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ArkansasGold

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,339 Posts
I guess I’m just worried that he is going to get aggressive with her now. Also worried that they won’t get along or that he will start resource guarding other things in the house.
Don’t worry too much! He told her to stop being a brat. That’s actually good for her. He’s teaching her about boundaries in a way you can’t. It’s better that she learns it from him than a dog you don’t know. It will probably happen a few times before she gets it through her little head. Try to just keep an eye on the situation.

I often allow these things to play out with supervision. They are so much better at working it out on their own! A loud “hey!” is enough for me to break up things starting to get out of hand.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top