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Our now 5 month old has started to growl at us if we reach to pet him while he is chewing on a toy. He did exhibit some food aggression a few weeks ago for a few days which we managed to train him out of. I am just really surprised to see it return so strongly again.

He could be chewing on anything, his leash, a piece of cardboard or a toy. When we reach out to pet him (as my son did this morning) he gave a low growl. So then I did the same and there was the growl again and wrinkling of the muzzle.

I said 'NO' and put him in his playpen. Later I played with him by throwing one toy after another. Is there anything else I should be doing?

Also his behaviour today was unusually bad. He would not walk, just lie down or pull back towards the house. He barked at running children and was pulling hard to get to them. And kept biting at the leash and my hand. He is very well socialised actually and was good with kids.

I am not sure how to handle all of this.
 

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Step up NILIF and start retraining. By this I mean, he earns EVERYTHING, practice serious obedience with him, and no toys unless he is engaged with you. If you give him a bone or something of that nature, when time is up for chewing on it, offer him a trade. A trade can be anything he considers of value such as meal time or a prized toy. Everything is yours. You basically just let him enjoy it. Meal times, hand feed him for a while while YOU hold his bowl and give him food from it. Add tasty treats into his bowl and walk away as well after putting it down for him. I always hate having to be a meanie but sometimes, you have to be a real harda$$ with them on some things. Growling is unacceptable and wont be tolerated. YES, it is him issuing you a warning because he says "This is mine. You cant have it" Better believe I can have it. He needs to know and accept that he is lowest in pack structure anything and everything belongs to you. This is for HIS safety. If he gets ahold of something dangerous to him, you need to be able to get it from him without him becoming aggressive about it. This is also where a trade comes in handy and a very well taught drop it/leave it. I don't advocate dominance/alpha things but he needs to see you as his leader/boss. He controls nothing while you control everything. NILIF like you wouldn't believe.
 

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step up training immediately. sounds like you're at a tipping point with your pup. gotta make him respect you and know his boundaries or things could get bad. especially with the resource guarding with kids in the house. nip that at the bud because it can get real ugly the older the dog gets.

post above gave real solid advice. dont touch your dog while he's eating and dont take his food away to "test" him. this is the most popular way of creating resource guarding in the first place.
 
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