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We adopted our poodle about 6 weeks ago, and up until now haven't had any aggression issues (HUGE seperation anxiety issues, him refusing to listen to anyone but me, etc but no biting).

Last week my daughter sat on the sofa next to him (he was sitting there chewing a toy) and he growled at her. Then this morning, my son (8) asked if he could take the dog out for a walk. He kneeled down on the floor and went to put his leash on his collar, and he bit him out of the blue. Not hard enough to break skin, but hard enough that it turned pink and hurt. I was right there, and my son did nothing mean to him. So we took him outside and I asked my older son (10) to take the leash off his collar. The dog snapped at him too! No growling or warning signs, just a quick nip. We have EXTENSIVELY taught my children the correct way to be around animals (we have cats that are their best friends) so I it wasn't anything my kids did.

What can we do for this? Our dog has formed an incredible bond with me, but really doesn't care for anyone else. I make sure that every morning one of my children are the ones that gives him his treats, but it doesn't seem to be helping. He won't come when my husband calls him, and yesterday I left before he did, and the dog peed all over our bed when my husband tried to put him in his crate (not a submissive pee, the dog looked at my husband when he called him and lifted his leg all over the bed). He cries when ever I leave him and chews up his paws to the point the vet prescribed him anxiety meds.

Any advise is appreciated! We were told he came from a bad breeder and was left outside all the time. He is between 1-2 years old.
 

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Hi.. I would suggest that you dont allow your dog on the sofa firstly, as he clearly has some issues about just how far up the pack ranking he is, your children should always be higher than him! Some dogs are fine to share your "bed" but with some dogs it really does give them illusions of grandeur.. he believes that she is getting on his bed so he is requesting that she gets off it!

Carol UK near cambridge
 

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I think consulting with a beharviorist is a really good idea, have to talked to anyone yet?

I agree with previous poster, if the dog behaved that way in my house, he would be off that couch/bed before he knew what happened. I think he needs to learn that everyone in the house are above him in the packing order. If he growls or snaps at your kids, he should be immediately rolled over on his back, his muzzle held firmly (but not too hard in your hand), look him in the eyes (make sure he doesn't look away) and tell him NO. Keep him in the submissive position until he stops stuggling. You should also have the kids feed him and make sure he sit-stays, or down-stays before the food is placed before him. He really needs to learn who the boss is.

Good luck.
 

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I had this come up with my Standard Puppy, Sting, when he was about 4-5 months. The couch situation was the first time he growled and it was at my 4 yr old son. So after that, Sting was no longer allowed on the couch and we did some mild training to help him get a sense of what the order in the household is. That really helped and I also put him on his back in a submissive postition until he relaxed when the growling occured. It really does wonder's and nips it pretty quickly.

I think the fact that your dog is totally bonded with you and doesnt care about anyone else is a slight issue. He needs to bond with other member's also. Maybe try some activities with his favorite treats. Have the kids teach him to sit and them give the treats. Practice putting on the least with treats if he's behaving etc.
 

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I agree a behaviourist is what you need there is something going on with the pack order and he sees you as the leader then himself and then the rest of the family. My dogs aren't allowed on the sofa it only took about a week to resolve that they have their own beds. I would also have your husband and the children feed your dog, make sure he looks right into there eyes before he gets his food, more pack leaders are need I think,
Good luck


Val
 
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