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 treat guarding/growling/snapping/showing teeth

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Male Join date : 2012-03-28
Location : Greenville SC

PostSubject: treat guarding/growling/snapping/showing teeth   Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:45 am

Whenever Zoe gets a toy or bone under the bed or grabs something and hides under there she will growl and snap at us when we try and get the toy or item back. To us this is unacceptable. She is definitely being serious and I feel like it's a matter of time before she bites. This doesn't make sense because we have had her since she was a puppy and always punished behavior like this. It has gotten progressively worse the last month or so. Any ideas on how to train this out of her? My biggest fear is that someone else will try and take something from her one day and she will bite them.

One last thing though is that right now she only does this when she goes under the bed with something. What we are attempting now is to take it every once in a while and if she growls we hit her nose(not hard) and tell her no in a stern voice. A few times she has shown her teeth and looked like she was going to bite so we grabbed her by the collar and put her on her side until she settled down.
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The Long-Winded Canadian

Male Join date : 2011-08-11
Location : Montreal, QC

PostSubject: Re: treat guarding/growling/snapping/showing teeth   Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:56 am

Quote :
Whenever Zoe gets a toy or bone under the bed or grabs something and hides under there she will growl and snap at us when we try and get the toy or item back.

Here is the ugly part about pups who den. We actually had a thread yesterday where creating or mimicking a den was possible fix to a behavior. There are however draw backs or possible training issues when you have a pup who dens often, at least from what I have seen.

When an area, or in this case a den under your bed, is perceived as property of the pup they can become extremely powerful inside it. I mean how would you feel if the place you considered your safe heaven was invaded and your snack was taken away from you. You would probably fight back or at least protest as this is happening in your own home so to speak.

Denning is a double edged sword in this aspect. The pup can be the most loving and tolerant dog in the world, but once they get into their den they can get very protective. It is a very powerful place for them to be as inside that domain, no matter how small it might seem to you, they are kings there.

If it were me, and one of mine were acting like this, I would limit or remove the ability for them to get under my bed or to their den. Taking away this powerful location can ONLY help in working on this problem.

I'd then start from basics on "Leave It / Drop It" training both with meal times and treats.

Working on those two commands it is always a good idea to have a higher reward treat to give if they preform correctly.

At the first sign of distrust towards a human I would remove the object entirely and wait until the fixation or searching for it period is over and return it.

If it persisted or the response I got was a snap or like it I would also consider a time out or what ever you chose to use as punishment.

Growling, bearing teeth is enough for me to drop everything and retrain or work on a behavior. Snapping is unacceptable for me as my god children are always hugging and playing with my dogs.

Just the road I would take in your position. Hope some of it helps if not I hope you find your solution.


Is this about the cake problem? What's the matter with you mathematicians, cake is never a problem. - Professor Lazlo
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Husky Collector

Female Join date : 2009-12-13
Location : South Fl

PostSubject: Re: treat guarding/growling/snapping/showing teeth   Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:14 am

Sounds like Odin! Hitting/tapping/rolling while they seem like they must be used to fight aggression/possession they are probably the worst way to go about it. All the dog learns is that you will use whatever force necessary to take their item away which usually will start to make things get worse. The dog will take off and hide in areas (such as under a bed or table) where they do have the advantage.

They will usually do this when they are used to things being taken away from them all the time. You are now seen as the taker of things and must be avoided.

Trading games and building a fun drop it/leave it are very effective ways to stop this habit. Creating a fearful drop it (such as ripping it out of their mouth or hitting them on the muzzle for taking it) creates a very useless and unreliable drop it as they usually will only respond if they KNOW you can get to them.

Force Free Training Thread
Cheyenne, Mishka, Mickey, Rodeo, & Odin

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Male Join date : 2012-04-18
Location : New England

PostSubject: Re: treat guarding/growling/snapping/showing teeth   Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:33 pm

Just last month, my husband bought lumber and built a frame for our bed because Q became obsessed with going under it. He started ripping apart the mesh from the underneath of our box spring. For some reason when he was under there and not tearing up things, he would just lie there and whimper and whine. It was a cheap fix that was well worth it. We too have had and are still having some issues with snapping, but we are working really hard with the leave it/drop it commands and are seeing a difference. Best of luck!
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