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It started out as kind of cute. I would get up during the night and when I returned to bed, Abigail had moved into my spot. I would gently move her to another spot, all was fine. Then came the small growl when moved, now it has escalated to the point that last night she actually attacked me. Vicious growling and biting at both of my hands and arms, again, I am way out of my league here. I got her collar & lead and dragged her to another spot on the bed, but this is very bad.

What can I do about this behavior? We start obediance class June 1, it is just the basic, since she is a puppy mill rescue she has never been to any kind of training, do you think that will be enough???
 

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This is more common that I thought. Molly is quite grouchy when she is sleeping and offers up a stern growl if I need to nudge her over. Her baby brother Winston is getting like that too. From what the breeder tells me, their mom is like that as well. Still, it bothers me. As Molly got older (she's almost 10 months), she still growls, but is less threatening about it. Perhaps she's realizing that I am moving her over and not removing her. She settles a second or so later and relaxes. However, Molly is an incredibly mild-mannered dog...to a fault. So this may be her personality. Winston, on the other hand, is a little fireball 3 month old who I trust less. So I am quite interested to hear some others' input on this.

Guarding is something you have to work at over time - build the dog's trust. I can now take things from Molly without the fear of biting, but it took us a long time to get there. Winston is more of a challenge than she ever was, the ornery little guy ;) Search the forum for guarding and resource guarding. I know it's been discussed at length and Mikey always has some good links to offer up. Good luck with Abigail.
 

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See Bitey Basset Getting Serious - HELP!

Both dogs have the same issue that is not umcommon in basset and dogs in general. The general discription of the behavior is called Resource Guarding. In this case the resource being guarded is the warm comfortable spot on the bed.

In dog this is normal adaptive behavior. In the wild dog are scavangers. The dogs able to retain resources are the ones most likely to survive and pass on their genes. The fact that is normal does not make it acceptable however.

do you think that will be enough???
it depends on the type of class. A basic manners class may train a leave-it and off commands. A obedience class that focuses on competitive obedience will not help. Well that not total true, it will give you tools that will make doing the type of training you need to do easier and more productive. ie teach you how to train the dog, but not the specific practice and routine to do it . The link above contains a series of videos on training the off command.

now it has escalated to the point that last night she actually attacked me. Vicious growling and biting at both of my hands and arms, again
People have much misconceptions about doggie protective behavior. Think of growling as shouting it is a warning. Actual a pretty low level one at that. It is not something you want to punish or surpress. While you can certainly train the dog not to growl that way, it does not change the underlying emotions in the dog so you end up with no warning and a dog the bites first and asked questions later making it truely dangerious. I got a rescue dog with exactly that senerio. and had to spen two years retraining it to growl. The one thing conspiciously absent from this violent attact is any injury. You mention the dog biting at both arms and hands. I am goint to assume since you said "biting at" that the dog mouth did not make actual contact. Many people assume this happen because they were fast enough to avoid it. Not true. If the dogs intention was to bite you it would have happened. What the dog was doing is called snapping. The next level of protective behavior akin to a push. All this show a degree of restraint on the part of the dog, a sign it is one that can be worked with safely. Even if the dog actual made contact with the skin but did not cause any damage or only a tooth scrape not a puncture the dog has shown bite inhibition, again another good sign. Dog that cause injury the prognosis is not as good. not because they are any harder to train but because personal safety dictates certain things that you could do with a dog that won't actual do harm you can't do with one that will.

What can I do about this behavior?
there are a lot of thing which you chose is up to you.

1. nothing. If you don't confront the dog or ask it to move from where its lieing it won't growl, there is no esculation of aggressive behavior because the dog does not need to. as the old adage goes let sleeping dogs lie.

2. Not allow the dog on the resources it guards. If the dog is not allowed on the bed or any other furniture it guards again the problem does not occur.

3. Train a more appropriate behavior. Teach an off command in order to this to work the dog must have the reasonable expectation there is more in it for him to move than stay where he his. Teach the dog mot to move over into your spot on the bed by making it more rewarding stay where she is.

4. find another home for the dog that is capable of dealing with the behavior.

5. euthanise the dog

I would gently move her to another spot, all was fine. Then came the small growl when moved, now it has escalated to the point that last night she actually attacked me.
We are often asked why this occur. Let us ask a few questions. You are sitting in the recliner get up to get something from the fridge and the dog hops in the recliner what do you do? find another seat? Physical move the dog? asked the dog to move? What exactly are the rules for the dog retaining it spot on the furniture? Do you know what they are? If not how possible does the dog? Are they consistent? Does Each peice of furniture have a different or the same rules? are the rules consistent? does the dog know the rules? There are no right or wrong answers dogs are capabile of learning different rules for different pieces of furniture but it can only learn such rules if they are consistently applied. Rules that are not consistent on lead to fustration and confusion on the part of the dog and therefore the owner. Every interaction you have with the dog is a training moment the dog is learning all the time. If you allow rules to be broken the dog is going to have lewss respect for them know that at least sometime they can be broken.

It is clear in the dogs mind anyway there is no rule about not being able to move into the warm spot after you get out of bed. Let look at it from the dogs point of view. Why should he not attempt to move to the warmer more comfortable spot? What in it for HER staying in the spot she's at? Even if only 1 in 10 time she gets to stay there is not the move worth it?


so you gentlely move her. Gentle is in the eye of the beholder but If you had a boss push/pull you around gentle or not you might put up with it for a bit but eventual you going say when approach in situation you where pushed before hey stop, don't do that. Which is what the dog does by growling.

But the request is ignore and you continue to push. The dog has two choice resign itself to being pushed or take it to the next level and push back. The reason the dogs behavior has esculated is because your behavior has esculated as well. When getting in a physical confrontation with the dog keep this in mind , are you willing to fight to the death, there are many a dog that are?

seee How Much Does Your Dog's Cooperation Weigh?
Physical struggles aren't the point in relationship based training


also keep in mind the majority of dog that are resource guarder are also touch sensitive. so physical manipulation is more of a problem for them than the average dog as well.

MINE! - A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO RESOURCE GUARDING IN DOGS

a fair review

Donaldson presents resource guarding as a normal, adaptive behavior and rejects notions that resource guarders are not "nice" dogs or are "dominant aggressive". Instead, she focuses on a behaviorist approach to conceptualizing and remediating such behavior.
In a nutshell, this primarily involves classically counter-conditioning a "conditioned emotional response" where an owner's approach is associated with high-value food treats, rather than representing a threat of loss or punishment. Initially this is done in the presence of little provocation, but incremental advances proceed until the dog can happily be approached when in the presence of whatever he formerly guarded most fiercely.

...Although the book is decorated with oddly cutesy clipart, it appears to be written more for the dog trainer than the owner himself. Donaldson repeatedly refers to the dog's owner as a third party, implying that the owner is not the target audience of the book. Similarly, her writing style maintains a quasi-academic aloofness. This is unfortunate, because a more approachable writing style and tone geared more towards the owner himself would make the book more welcoming for the reader who really would benefit from reading it.

...She notes that, "the most common constellation will involve guarding more than one kind of resource and being uncomfortable about certain kinds of body handling."



In terms of risk and prognosis, Donaldson stresses the importance of bite inhibition and asserts that bite severity cannot be changed. The dog that bites hard will bite hard if and when it actually bites. She does discuss the use of muzzles, tethers, and Kevlar gloves in maintaining safety during behavior modification exercises, and she sensibly suggests management as an often-realistic alternative or adjunct to training. Her own line in the sand relates to bite severity as she asserts, "My personal recommendation is strong management or euthanasia for dogs who inflict deep punctures and contusions."
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Actually she drew blood. I didn't want to say it because it sounds horrible even to me, but she wasn't fooling around. I was thinking it was a territorial type of thing, maybe dominance issues, now that she is healthy and strong, Abby is showing more of these traits. I'll watch the video's and research, I do not like the sound of this Donaldson person however. THANK YOU for all of the above, I have some work to do.
 

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Is it possible to teach "off" of a specific place on the bed rather than off entirely? Harriet does this too, but it hasn't escalated beyond growly. She's pretty good a "leave it" but I'd never thought of using that command, I guess the spot didn't seem like a resource to me until I read this...
 

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You really need to get help with this ASAP.
I know from personal experience the problem will not go away it will escalate.
She has learnt growling does not stop you trying to move her so has now decided that biting will.
I would never let her on your bed,either make her stay in a crate,on a dog bed on the floor or have her sleep in another room.
She may well start to guard other things as well as the bed so you do need to train her to accept you in her space and near her things that she values.
My boy that guards will react over an empty bowl or even a pile of vomit if he has decided it belongs to him.
 

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Actually she drew blood
Bite inhibition
FYI, a standard scale has been developed to judge the severity of dog bites, based on damage inflicted. The scale is:
* Level One: Bark, lunge, no teeth on skin.
* Level Two: Teeth touched, no puncture.
* Level Three: 1-4 holes from a single bite. All holes less than half the length of a single canine tooth.
* Level Four: Single bite, deep puncture (up to one and a half times the depth of a single canine tooth), wound goes black within 24 hours.
* Level Five: Multiple bite attack or multiple attack incidents.
* Level Six: Missing large portions of flesh.
FWIW the is a big difference between a puncture wound a tooth scrap though the scrape often bleed a lot more. The cause of most tooth scraps is the human or other animal pullling away rather than intent on the part of th dog.


When ever behavior involves actual bitting it is a good Idea to get the help of profesionals not a dog trainer but a behavioralist

Find a board certified animal behavaiorist

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Directory of Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist


she is a puppy mill rescue
One of the most important if not they most important thing to teach a puppy to insure it has a long life is bite inhibition. It is usually done by littermate but inorder to get dogs to bond with humans we remove them from the litter before this process is complete. It then becomes the humans responsibility to teach this. Unfortunately the opurtunity to teach bite inhibition is quite limited past 20 week the window is virtually closed. Trying to teach bite inhibition after this age is spotty at best. You have a dog the will bite and do damage if she feel the need to protect herself. You need to keep this in the back of your mind in any dealings you or stangers have. It also mean some of the management stratagies I mention come more to the Fore front.

You need to consider what happen if I have guest over etc. Can you educate every one not to try and move the dog? do you need to need to seperate the dog from quest? Even if you train the dog to stay of furniture what happens if a quest approaches her doggy bed. etc? These things you need think about.

I have a rescue with a similar situation, however she is more touch sensitive than resource guarding but that reaaly doesn't matter you neet to be diligent . Keep notes on tiggers to avoid them in the future etc.

additional resources
Aggressive Behaviors in Dogs Yahoo group.
 

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I had a resource guarding run-in with Winston this morning. He threw up and when I tried to clean it up, he snarled and launched at me to bite. He got the throw up before I could...oh well. Molly used to be this way, but by diligently working with her, I was able to curb it quite a bit (though it's not completely gone, it is much better). Now I can move her with a slight growl and no attempt to bite. I think it's a combination of age and trust. My obedience trainer taught me to make trades with Molly - give her something she really likes (a toy or a treat) in return for what I want to take from her. Molly used to have a stick fetish and would bring them in from outside. 1) I don't want her eating sticks and 2) chewed up sticks are a mess! But what I did (and this really helped in the trust department) was to let her have a stick, then get her to give it to me, then give it back. Trust began to develop.

Now Winston is more of a challenge and I am concerned. He is much more aggressive than Molly ever was. He gets annoyed quickly and will nip. He sometimes is more forceful than a nip. I am working on this and he does seem to be responding a little. He was at the vet today and has an ear infection. The vet took a sample from his ears, then looked in them with her instrument, and when she tried to peek in them again, he snapped a bit. She sternly reprimanded him. Then, the tech (who annoys me to no end) was messing with his jowls for no reason...really she was just playing with them. He was already agitated and I told them to give him a second to let him reset (the vet was in agreement), so when the tech was messing with his mouth, he snapped again. When I shot him a look, he froze. The vet was impressed. So I do see some hope for him. I am hoping that he will mellow with age and training, though he's a tougher nut to crack.
 

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My obedience trainer taught me to make trades with Molly - give her something she really likes (a toy or a treat) in return for what I want to take from her
that is standard procedure for working on resource guarding and even preventing in the first place. Teaching the dog the beneift of giving up what it has mean getting something equally as goo or better. and even sometime getting what you had back as well too.

She sternly reprimanded him.
You saw how effective that was latter. In most cases any sort of adversive be it physical or not is not really a punishment in that it does not decrease the likelihood of the behavior. at best it is ineffective at worse it aggrivates the situation. What does work is distraction and rewarding the dog. but here it is general working on a classical means rather than operant. That is what the dog does is not the contingency of the reward. Ear touched treat, ear touhed treat. ear touch dog growls treat. You are not rewarding the growling but rather greating an association that when his ear is touched he gets a treat. It is best to avoid the behavior you don't want like growling in the first place by staying below the dogs threshold but if you make a mistack and cross it it not the dogs fault. Also with a touch sensitive dog that has proven to bite I personally would not let it be examine by a vet without at least a soft muzzle.


Is it possible to teach "off" of a specific place on the bed rather than off entirely?
yes but there are some pit falls. especial if you use off to be completely off in other context. Yes dogs can learn words/commands/cue can mean different thinks in different context but not first without a bit of confussion. This can be avoided simply by using a different wor/command/cue such as moveover. "moverover" has some problems a well when it comes to training. It the criteria is very abigious. Moveover- how much and 1" or 100'ft To trainin dog it is much easier to have a clear criteria in mind

That is why rather than teaching the dog to move. I would train instead a specific spot on the bed that is the dogs, that is clearly deliniated. If the dog is not on that spot they then can be redirected to it. The easiest way to deliniate such a spot is with a doggy blanket or mat. Teach the dog to go to its mat can be done in other context other than the bed to start as well. ie go to mat while preparing dinner so the dog is not under your feet etc.

for details on mat training see

Go to Mat

if you are not versed in shaping behaviors the above link won't help much

Training a Dog to Stay on a Mat

Go To Your Spot

Teaching Your Dog to Settle

Train Your Dog to Go to His Place


All these basical accomplish the same thing. But the criteria is much clear to the dog and just important to the owner/trainer so it is cler when the dog should be reward and when not to.


Also keep in mind with thie dog does not want to move that while resource guarding is part of the picture it is not the entire picture. Part or a lot of it is how we respond to the dog as well. when we elavate the physicallity in response to the dog what does that tell the dog.! Getting more physicall is acceptable behavior. It has been clearly demonstrated aggression begets aggression when dealing with dogs.
 

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You saw how effective that was latter. In most cases any sort of adversive be it physical or not is not really a punishment in that it does not decrease the likelihood of the behavior. at best it is ineffective at worse it aggrivates the situation. What does work is distraction and rewarding the dog. but here it is general working on a classical means rather than operant. That is what the dog does is not the contingency of the reward. Ear touched treat, ear touhed treat. ear touch dog growls treat. You are not rewarding the growling but rather greating an association that when his ear is touched he gets a treat. It is best to avoid the behavior you don't want like growling in the first place by staying below the dogs threshold but if you make a mistack and cross it it not the dogs fault. Also with a touch sensitive dog that has proven to bite I personally would not let it be examine by a vet without at least a soft muzzle.
I am in complete agreement with you. As my dogs get weekly ear cleanings (Winston more than weekly right now due to infection), I teach them to sit nicely and accept the cleaning by using treats. Molly is almost 100% accepting. Winston will get there. I think he was overwhelmed today. Poking, prodding, shots, etc are enough to annoy any 3 month old dog. I was quite annoyed when the tech told him he was mean 2X after he was finished. You're right...the tech crossed his threshold and it's not his fault he snapped. He gave her fair warning with his growls. I always respect the growl for the warning that it is and never try to teach the dog not to growl.

Next time, I will intervene more and bring my own treats...teaching him that the vet isn't such a bad place. I think I will step in and make them allow me to comfort him during the exam. Strange people doing unwelcome things to him. I'd want to bite too.
 

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My guys have tried this a couple of times and they found out that I bit back and we havent had any more problems.
 

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:( Awww... little bassets, please listen to your mommies and daddies and stop biting them... hope these problems get better soon. I'm sure Mikey has the best advice here...

from a layperson's perspective, i'm with Duder. When we first got Worm at 4 months, he was growly and resource guarding his food. Sometimes there was no growling at all, he would resource guard with his body, blocking us from his food bowl or facing away from us with his toys and bones. He never lunged at us or try to bite us when growling. He also would try to bite my roomie (because I never stuck my hand in the crate too often) when she tried to pet him through the crate during crate training, as he would be frustrated being in there. Not hard, she thought he was playbiting, but i was concerned about it.

We did a combination of giving him a lot of security, but also exposing him a lot to his fear that we would take away the food. I think that if fear is involved at all (ie. fear of the stick being taken away, fear of losing her new spot permanently, etc.), you decide-- exposure is helpful. if it is anger and the dog is mad, then i don't know so much. I didn't want him growling, and so I would tell him 'no.' After awhile, he knew not to growl anymore. I saw what Mikey said about this, but for Worm, when he stopped growling, he would drop it and move onto something else. ie. his anger/fear did not escalate for us. He now knows he's not supposed to growl at us. Or other dogs during play (we stopped him if he growled). And he doesn't growl now. For the food, we sat with him as he ate, pet him, told him he was good dog. With the bones and toys, we would move them around as he worked on them, esp when not growly. We would hold them for him, so he got used to us being around him. We would have to take away his bones when they got too splintery. The first time that happened, he was very upset with my roommate for doing that. He looked around for it. After that, whenever i had to throw his bone away that he was working on, I would give him a different treat that he likes (duck-wrapped yams, that take a few minutes to eat).

For Abigail, did you try an in-between solution of giving her a nice treat that would make her move to another part of the bed...? And if you feel it's fear-based at all (ie. fear of losing her comfy spot), you could give her a treat to move to different spot. Then give her treat to move her back to her comfy spot. Don't know how food-motivated Abigail is, but if she is, this could work. And if it works, I would just do that over and over again, so she knows she can always have her comfy spot back. Once that's working, the next step might be to move her away from the comfy spot w/food, and then you sit down back in your space and give her a treat in her new spot. and do this a lot... anyway, just a thought here...

We used negative reinforcement and punishment for the biting in the crate-- he always got "no's" and I would stop playing with him. it worked for us.

The growling and biting stuff went away within the first month. Of course, he was young. And also, I'm sure dogs and dog temperaments can be different (meaning that doing the same thing w/2 different dogs could yield 2 different behaviors....)

I also felt that we handled Worm A LOT. You can ask Worm. (Yes, my people are always touching me. First I had eye and ear infection, and they always touched my eyelids and ears and touch the inside of my ears. Then they touch my teeth and mouth when they try to brush my teeth... ech! They always wipe my paws, pee pee, and butt multiple times a day when i come back in from bathroom outside. They are always touching and petting me everywhere. They move me around all the time and used to pick me up a lot when i was lighter. they are always in my face 'cause they like to kiss my head and my cheeks. they touch my neck everywhere. they won't leeeeeve me alone...!) poor Worm. yeah so, the growls and the biting stuff went away. he knows he's not supposed to growl or bite. He hasn't done either since that first month. also, he knows he doesn't get everything he wants, and he seems ok w/it. it's not great, but he tolerates it. so, we never bit back like Duder, but we did use 'no' and Worm responded to that and learned what he was doing was unacceptable. and he stopped. we are in his face a lot and move him a lot and handle him a bunch every day. he's pretty used to it now. he's also ok w/us taking his stuff, touching his food when he eats it, etc. oh, and should mention that in his puppy class that we started, the instructor said to handle them a lot. play 'vet' with them, touch their eyes, nose, ears, paws, belly, a lot... again, these dogs may be past the stage of this being helpful (and may be even dangerous to try), but it is food for thought, esp for those w/young puppies... seems to be helpful to get them started down this path....

i'm sure the circumstances are different at this stage and Mikey's advice is prob best (ie. once the behavior has escalated). but these are all the things we did with Worm to deal with his initial growling and biting from the crate...
 

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We do the "vet" thing with our dogs too. We'll lift their lips to look at their teeth, open their mouths to look down their throats, look at their ears, their eyes, and their paws. We do this to make sure they know what's expected of them when they go to the vet's office for example. We should have done more handling of Doppler's feet when he was younger. He absolutely HATES when he has to get his nails cut. Virga just rolls over on her back and let's us do what ever to her.

Also, while they're eating, we'll occasionally take their food bowls up and then give it back to them. We'll pet them while they're eating so they know that there's no danger from us being near their food. However, Virga once made the mistake of trying to check out Doppler's bowl before he was done eating and she almost got her head bit off. We didn't fuss because it's his bowl and Virga learned from that one time to wait until Doppler is done eating. And then they switch and check out each other's bowls. I think when we have kids we're going to feed the dogs in their kennels until our kids are old enough to know not to mess with them while they eat.
 

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I can see it now...."Hi, I am Wworm's parent and I like to touch my dog's tongue when he yawns."

I had often wondered if anyone was as fanatical about their dog as I am, thanks to this forum I know I am not alone! LOL
 

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i have a freckle in the middle of my tongue that matches the ones on my nose.
some think this is urban legend, as it's never been seen by the masses.

the legend continues...
 

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We do the "vet" thing with our dogs too. We'll lift their lips to look at their teeth, open their mouths to look down their throats, look at their ears, their eyes, and their paws.
that should be basic part of socializing any puppy The Veterinary Olympics

Preparing for Veterinary Procedures

i have a freckle in the middle of my tongue that matches the ones on my nose.
some think this is urban legend
Mariah has a black spot in the middle of her tongue as well. We think it explains a lot about her temperament in biteing it obvious she must be Part Chow Chow
 

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but these are all the things we did with Worm to deal with his initial growling and biting from the crate...
one must take into the development stage of the animal in question what you can get away with a puppy can result is a severe injury when tried with and adult dog.

He now knows he's not supposed to growl at us. Or other dogs during play (we stopped him if he growled)
IMHO it is not a good idea to stop growing during play. Iam sure that there are plenty of other including experts that will disagree.. Play is how dogs practice doggie skill etc. While us humans are not very good at differentiating growls it it is clear that dogs certain do have different growls and some can have unexpected meanings. Macey growls when her ears are petted low and rythmic it is a sign of contentment, i refer to it as purring. There is studies done on dogs reactions to grows and the clearly can differeiate the meaning of the growl absecent or even with contrary body lanquage.

'Grrrr' Means Many Things in Dog Speak
For example, when a dog growls while playing, it sounds different than the same dog's growl while reacting to a threatening stranger or guarding food. And when scientists recorded these sounds and played them to other dogs, those dogs reacted differently based on which recording they heard.
agression
Just as not every show of teeth is a display of aggression, neither is every growl a display of aggression. Dogs can use growls for communication, such as to convey that they do not like something and to ask someone to stop. Normal, healthy dogs use growling and other means to give others every opportunity to avoid a confrontation. Dogs also growl in play. Sometimes, even sounds of contentment can sound like growling.


And if you feel it's fear-based at all (ie. fear of losing her comfy spot),
I would be relunctant to frame desire to retain an object as fear of losing and objected. the body lanquage etc of a fearful dog and a resource guarder are often very different. This is not to say fear is not part of the equation for some resource guarder and how we react to there behavior can exaserbate or create fear but it is obvious fear is not a motivation for resource guading for alot of dogs.


Also, while they're eating, we'll occasionally take their food bowls up and then give it back to them. We'll pet them while they're eating so they know that there's no danger from us being near their food.
standard exercise in preventing food bowl aggression ie guarding the food bowl Keep in mind however this works/help with resouce guarding from humans but the dog may still guard vs other dogs. and even other humans who have not worked with the dog. What many fail to understand about dogs is they learn and apply what they learned very differently than humans. Humans learn something new they seek out to apply it to all different kinds of situation many time inappropriately so. Dogs on the other hand seek out why this happen in that specific context and seeks to differentiat it form other. So dog must learn the same thing over and over again in different context before the begin to general it to all contect. If you teach the dog to sit in the kitchen it means just that. Sit has no meaning in the living room, outdoors etc. unless you train it. This goes for these exerciese as well if only one member of the household practices them the dog learns to share with that member but does not mean it is willing to share with the others.


Resource Guarding & The Food Bowl Game

Resource guarding is natural behavior. Sharing is a learned behavior. You will have to teach your dog that if he “shares” he will get what he wants.​
 

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I didn't want him growling, and so I would tell him 'no.' After awhile, he knew not to growl anymore. I saw what Mikey said about this, but for Worm, when he stopped growling, he would drop it and move onto something else. ie. his anger/fear did not escalate for us.
Did you read the article on the meaning of growls. was the growl out of play?
The dog has a toy and growls, was it because he wanted to retain possession or to illict play from you. If it was to illicit play it does not take too long for the puupy to learn that growling does not work with humans, The reaction of wworm is what I would expect if the growl was for this purposs rather than retention of the toy. If the grow was for the retion of the toy why would he give it up when you say no and do nothing.? If anything doing nothing reinforces the growing behavior because the dog get to retain the object longer. If the growl was to illicit play giving it up when play is not forth coming is understandable because the toy was only a means to and ends.

Surpressing a play grow by negative punishment is not going to have the same effect as other growls because why the motivation of the dog is different. You can effectively punish play growling by ending play. How does doing nothing punish growling? I think this where some confusion comes in. Most people interpret growls as always a sign of aggression when in doggie context a grow has many meaning but often we human are not keen enough to differentiate between the different types of growls like dogs are.

If a dog growl when it has someting in it mouth it is not always an attempt to keep it. many times it is a solicitation for play. If you can't differentiate the mean of the growl there is a lot of logic to teaching the dog not to growl in the play context but it is important not to confuse this with resource guarding as well. even if you cant differentiate between the growls how the dog rects body language etc can be big clues as well.

keep in mind that a gross amount of assumption had to be made without ever seeing the behavior or interaction, and for the given context I could easily be completely wrong.
 

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standard exercise in preventing food bowl aggression ie guarding the food bowl Keep in mind however this works/help with resouce guarding from humans but the dog may still guard vs other dogs. and even other humans who have not worked with the dog. What many fail to understand about dogs is they learn and apply what they learned very differently than humans. Humans learn something new they seek out to apply it to all different kinds of situation many time inappropriately so. Dogs on the other hand seek out why this happen in that specific context and seeks to differentiat it form other. So dog must learn the same thing over and over again in different context before the begin to general it to all contect. If you teach the dog to sit in the kitchen it means just that. Sit has no meaning in the living room, outdoors etc. unless you train it. This goes for these exerciese as well if only one member of the household practices them the dog learns to share with that member but does not mean it is willing to share with the others.
Mikey this makes a lot of sense! I hadn't even though that Doppler might react differently if someone else took his bowl up. That's a very good point. And he is dog aggressive when Virga tries to stick her head in his bowl before he's done. But she knows better and keeps her head out of his bowl until he's done. Luckily Virga is definitely submissive to Doppler so she doesn't push his boundaries. And Doppler doesn't go overboard with his punishment. I think they have a nice balance in the house.
 
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