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Old 05-24-2014, 07:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sigh.. possession aggression...

Hello all.. I am just a little miffed tonight. My baby boy of 2 years got extremely possessive over a beef rib bone with me. He has never, ever, ever been food aggressive/possession aggressive with us. I gave him a rib bone from my birthday party earlier, when I went down to pet him/love on him he tensed up and growled at me.. he has never ever done this before.. he is well trained, socialized, and an all around good guy.. he is unaltered and just turned 2 a week ago.. could his hormones be a possibility?
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I recall my first dog ( neutered male ) pulled something similar when he was about 2 years old....got a bit bold ( growl and some teeth showing ) with me when I moved him from our bed...guess he thought it was his. I reintroduced the dog to who was sheriff again immediately and with "clarity"....never had another episode like that again.


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Old 05-24-2014, 08:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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So the question is how did you react?
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When dexter was younger we were on our way up to the boat and stopped for tims, well brendan went to take a bite of his sausage bagel and dexter leaped at his breakfast and ripped the sausage right out from his bagel. Andrew stopped the car , dex got a very firm no followed by turning the car around and he went right back to his crate for the day.
Im curious too how did you react?

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Old 05-24-2014, 12:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Handling that kind of thing is delicate sometimes. Resource guarding often signals a disconnect in the relationship somewhere. A lack of trust usually. Sometimes it's an operant thing. I've seen a lot of clients trigger the behavior by approaching and trying to take an item from a dog in a hesitant or weird way that emboldens the dog to attempt a response.

It sounds like you weren't even going for the item. The dog probably didn't realize that, but even if you were it isn't a good response to get.

I don't know if it's a relationship thing or a weird hesitant approach that caused it or what went on, but if I didn't see it in one of my dogs and it suddenly happened at the 2 year mark for the first time ever my response would be very very sudden very very dramatic and after I got done smacking him around I'd give him the item back and let him be on his way. That way it's very clear it wasn't about the item it was about the agression.

I don't necessarily recommend that approach to people who don't know if they can win a fight should one start though.

For people who can't do that and even those who can I would just never put the dog in that situation again so as not to strengthen the behavior.
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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trade up
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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With well trained, what do you mean? Is he generally respectful of you? Crate trained, does he have impulse control? He is not a 2 year old baby, he is a young adult male dog. I hope you don't treat him like a baby. He might have strat climbng the social ladder and see how far he could go.
On another note the beef rib from your party, was it cooked? Because that can be dangerous as it might splinter and harm him. Bones should never given cooked.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's how I start with puppies with food and toys to build that trust and relationship. The problem is if the relationship is there and has been there and suddenly you see it anyway. The punishment on the first incident in that case is to prevent a repeat of the behavior. It isn't about the item. If you gave it to the dog you gave it to the dog. It's about punishing the act of agression.

It isn't about dominance or showing the dog who is boss. It's about punishing a behavior to weaken it. Once it becomes an operant thing it doesn't matter how the dog views you, it becomes conditioned as a behavior despite all that. Dogs are like autistic kids in that way. There's no thought put into the action necessarily it's just a reaction to a conditioned stimulus.

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Old 05-24-2014, 01:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What happens when there are no other higher value items to "trade up" with ??

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Old 05-24-2014, 01:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you're dead set against confrontation make the dog drag a leash and remove the dog from the item and not the item from the dog. It's a manageable thing. Or if you're wanting to load the dice in your favor punish with e collar.
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