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Discussion Starter #1
So Pilot has been an ANGEL lately. He goes to the dog park about 5-6 days a week and gets along great with his doggy friends. He's pretty submissive so gladly shares the water bowl and toys but I just got back from the park and there was new behavior. Someone refilled the water and he was drinking and his dog friend came to share the bowl as usual and he growled and barked at him to back off. Then later there was one of the many dog toys at the park and he was sniffing it, another dog came by to take it and he did the same thing, growled and barked at him and snatched the ball and ran off. He's never EVER done this before, I don't know what's going on. Is it something I've been doing wrong? How do I make that behavior stop before it gets worse?

Another weird thing, this past week when we take him outside at night and anyone walks by, he starts barking at them and makes a mad run for our front door. Again, brand new behavior. Usually he sees a person he goes insane, but not at night anymore. =(
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I could maybe be the frightened thing towards people at night. Maybe someone passed and startled him one time or something, but I don't know where the possessive aggression towards objects at the dog park came from. This is literally the first time I've seen it today.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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tossing this out...perhaps he wasn't so gladly sharing in the past.... just too young/small/timid/powerless to stop it. Now that he is maturing he is willing to test his theory that maybe he is a grown-up-big-boy!
Perhaps his previous warnings to leave his stuff alone went unnoticed or unrespected ...so what is an up-and-comer to do but to step up his game and unleash a growl to see if that earns him any respect.
It takes a dog about three tries to test a theory before it becomes a new behavior...he has two under his belt...
Were it me....the dog park would be off the list of places to go...
 

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Remy's Mom!
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Remy is 5 months and just went through a fear period... we walk by a semi-busy road and he was suddenly afraid of the sound of the cars driving past... he would cower and try to run. I just ended up having to sit on the side of the road petting my boy saying "look at those awesome cars! wow!" he got over it pretty fast. There were little things through that period that set him off that NEVER bothered him before. I agree that his sudden possessive behavior is strange, though. We have always stuck our hands in Remy's food bowl when he's eating and things to make sure he's totally fine with people taking/messing with his food. I think that has helped with possessiveness a lot. If you're not doing that it's worth a try but of course watch your hand!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well hes never aggressive with me. He knows better. He's sweet as a lamb with people and gladly gives over whatever to people. Use to be dogs too but now that's changing.

I'd hate to keep him from his precious park There are regulars that come at the same time almost every day he knows and loves.=(
 

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Chloe's Mom
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He might be scared. My Chloe is 6 months old and my trainer said to not take her to a dog park b/c of this. They go through periods of being scared, etc. Maybe try to cool it with the dog park? Just a suggestion. Hope he gets better. He sure is a cutie!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah maybe I'll take a break, if it'll help for sure. I don't want him to be scared. He's so happy there and has so much fun with everyone. =)
 

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this post interests me. Tucker is 5 months old, and he just started up with some odd behavior too. last night he fussed in his crate. we let him go out back and then he didn't want to go back into crate. this morning he growled at Tess (small spaniel) and was given a timeout for it. first time I'd heard a big deep growl come out of him. then just now he started barking at something he heard which I didn't. he's calm now but something scared or unnerved him.

I take him to the dog park every morning to exercise. he does very well there but I keep a close eye on him. mostly I don't want him to have a bad experience and become fearful of other dogs. if a large older dog is bugging him by being too dominant, I casually put him into the small dog side. so far, so good. the boxers are the dogs that seem to have the hardest time playing nice with puppies so I watch them.

has anyone else had big behavior changes in this stage of puppyhood?
 

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Annie can get this way when she is tired. Is he playing extra hard, or are you there longer than usual? I can tell when it is time to go home because Annie gets snappy.
 

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Regarding the dog park. I would say that he is being assertive rather than aggressive. It's perfectly all right for him to set boundaries for the other dogs. He's probably taking on more of a 'manly' position with the other dogs now that he's bit older, or at least flexing some muscle.

He's really just telling them: back off, this is mine. I don't see that as a bad thing.
 

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I do think they can also go through phases of bratty behavior- as LibertyME says, testing it out, tryng on the Big Boy routine. He is getting a hormone rush and is entering the "teenage" months. Also, it is possible the other dog was being quite rude, and it was an understandable if not desired response.
 

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Dog Lover for Life
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Hi,
Looks like he could start recorce guarding. Some dogs are extreme as guarding the water dish (my friends Great Pyreniese Mountain dog does that on hikes and his food bowl at home) and some dogs don't like to share their toys either.
When Cooper first came to our house he thought he needed to eat treats or chewies really fast because of the competion with the litter mates.
He learned to relax and that Bogart is respectful of his chews. Bogart demands the same respect but only with Bones he chews.
They can lay now Butt on Butt and chew a bone and either one knows the other is not going to steal it until the other get up.
I would talk to a trainer about it.
 
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