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Discussion Starter #1
So Snoops was being very sweet and cuddly this morning.. it was so cute :)

Then he turned mean....

I guess my little niece had dropped a chicken wing under the dining table yesterday at supper time. Snoops found it this morning. I came out of the bathroom and saw him with something. As I was approaching he bared his teeth to me and started snarling very viciously. I came closer to take the bones and he snapped his teeth at me. I took the bones and I flipped him on his back and scolded him. He was snarling the whole time and snapping at me... very viciously. I closed his mouth and tapped him and scolded him again. I held him like that for a few minutes. Then I let him go and he just lay on his back. I went to the bedroom (where he sleeps with me) and he tried to come in but I shooed him away. He began to cower. I wanted him to know that I was upset with him and that he had lost a privilege (for the moment).

We went for a walk and I kept him on a short leash. He saw a doberman and started snarling. I corrected him. Then he found trash and tried to eat it and I corrected him and he cowered again. He is being VERY naughty. The other day he tried to bite me as well when I tried to remove some fluff from his mouth. Today however, was the worst I have ever seen him.

I've decided that I am not going to let him have treats, and he is not allowed at the table for awhile (he usually sits with us at supper and for meals).
I don't know why he is suddenly trying to exercise his dominance so much!
He has always been fine when I pet on him while he eats his meals - he is not normally possessive of food or toys.

Any ideas out there? Snoops is usually such a sweetheart. I can't understand his behavior right now... :confused:
 

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Sounds like he's resource guarding. It's quite common and can be a big problem if not addressed. It often occurs when the dog is trying to exert his dominance over you but can also be fear related. You might want to get a trainer into help you as this is definitely something you want to nip in the bud, especially as you have seen it take place a few times.

I have to say, I'm not a fan of the alpha roll - we alpha rolled our first, very dominant dog, and to this day feel we did more harm than good with it. It's taking a dog who is already threatened/ aggressive and making him even more aggressive as (in his mind) he is fighting for his life while you pin him on his back. These links explain this in more depth: http://dogs.about.com/cs/basictraining/a/alpha_roll.htm
http://tarastermer.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/why-you-should-not-alpha-roll-your-dog/

Here's some ideas on the resource guarding he's showing.

http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_ResourceGuarding.html

If our dogs come across a bone or something else they want to eat that we don't want them to have, we start with the "drop it" command. This works 8 times out of 10. If it's something REALLY good that they don't want to give up, we reach in and grab it. They have never and would never bite us when we do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
haha! I've posted on here many times that yes, Snoops is the boss! We often refer to him as "The Boss".

The resource guarding is interesting. I also agree about the alpha roll... I only reserve it for when he is very naughty. This was one of those instances. I don't like to do it either, but I think it gets the point across to him...

I suppose Snoops considered this chicken wing to be a VALUABLE COMMODITY! Hence he was resource guarding it. He is quite good about dropping things that he is not supposed to have. Usually all I have to do is say "no" or "drop it". This is the first time I've experienced him acting SO aggressively!
 

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he usually sits with us at supper and for meals
This is your main problem! He has never had to be in a submissive roll when it comes to his food so in his mind he had every right to bite at you!

Personaly I think you should stop letting him eat with you or by you and only give treats when he has obayed a command. I would also teach him to sleep in a crate.

The links posted are a great place to start.
 

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You need to be "the boss!" Dog that rule the roost are often very insecure and anxious. They want to have a clear leader! If I were you I would be looking for a trainer/behavioralist. I also agree that letting him sit w/ you at dinner is sending a bad message. Same goes for sleeping in the bed and getting on the furniture w/o permission. Look into NILIF.
 

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Not sure of his age but I think you really need to get on top of this now.
Never was a fan of alfa rolling either and would rather a time out then anything for really naughtyness ( as that was)

Just a thought what if your neice went to grab it would he have bit her?

If he has something dangerous though I have just got something better like apc of cheese or something so they would take the cheese I would take the wing.
You can even work on these things with 2 different treats one on ground with leave it and one in mouth for being good.
Never let them eat it off the ground though.

Sorry you are have issues but most of the time issues can be worked out when they realize you are the boss not them
 

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One of the episodes of "It's Me Or The Dog" had a sort of similar situation. I believe it was a dalmation named Pongo who was really out of control. He was very food aggressive, and would steal food from the table/plate/hand whenever he could. He had some other issues as well which included biting. Basically the family complained about Pongo stealing food, but would give him pieces of food throughout the day, and only complained when he took it from them himself and didn't ask for permission. He would also bite if you tried to take it away. For dogs I think you either let them do something completely, or not at all. If your going to feed them human food from the table, they are going to think that this is acceptable behavior all the time, and you should expect no less. Not that your post explicitly said that you feed him while he is at the table, but I'm assuming that this is the case. If not, excuse my post.

It could also be he really wanted that chicken bone since he doesn't get them that often. My cat when she was younger got her hands on a chicken bone and would not let anyone near her, would hiss and growl if you touched her. We never give her human food or scraps, so this wasn't a learned behavior. With precious commodities such as chicken bones you have to expect them to get a little defensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Snoops right now is 10 months old. He is a very well behaved dog, except this is the first episode that he has displayed aggression. This is what has me puzzled because he has never reacted this way before. Yes, he does sit at the table with us. Often times, he just sits at our side, or he sits in a chair. He does not beg for food, nor is he fed at the table. After we all finish dinner, Snoops will head to his little food station and he will get his bowl of kibble. If we are out at a restaurant and Snoops has come along, he will sit in a chair and he will get a plate of salad.

My feeling is that he had found this chicken wing on his own. It's like his primal hunting/gathering instinct kicked in and he was "resource guarding" it - doing everything in his doggy power to protect it. I also feel that perhaps he was acting out since the day before I had left him completely alone for a few hours. He is almost never alone - he usually has another family member at home with him or his big sister Socks. Then in the same evening I had left him with my Mother to watch after him.

Last night and this morning, he seems to be back to his sweet self. I will monitor his behavior and see how it all goes. If it reaches a very severe state, I would most certainly look into a trainer/behavior specialist. At this early stage tho, I think he was just being a dog...
 

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sounds like he's resource guarding. It's quite common and can be a big problem if not addressed. It often occurs when the dog is trying to exert his dominance over you but can also be fear related. You might want to get a trainer into help you as this is definitely something you want to nip in the bud, especially as you have seen it take place a few times.

I have to say, i'm not a fan of the alpha roll - we alpha rolled our first, very dominant dog, and to this day feel we did more harm than good with it. It's taking a dog who is already threatened/ aggressive and making him even more aggressive as (in his mind) he is fighting for his life while you pin him on his back. These links explain this in more depth: http://dogs.about.com/cs/basictraining/a/alpha_roll.htm
http://tarastermer.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/why-you-should-not-alpha-roll-your-dog/

here's some ideas on the resource guarding he's showing.

http://www.paw-rescue.org/paw/pettips/dogtip_resourceguarding.html

if our dogs come across a bone or something else they want to eat that we don't want them to have, we start with the "drop it" command. This works 8 times out of 10. If it's something really good that they don't want to give up, we reach in and grab it. They have never and would never bite us when we do this.
this is very interesting - cesar has said to put them on their back and that is what i have done also - interesting and makes sense.
 

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"For dogs I think you either let them do something completely, or not at all."

I couldn't agree more. It gets very confusing for dogs to know the difference. If you let the dog go on the chair with you and not the sofa, he cant really connect the the difference.

Maybe try to feed him and everytime take his food away from him and give it write back. this way he can associate with removing the food with getting it right back.
 

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I'm not an alpha roll fan either. It doesn't work unless you do it right (no offense, but I really think very few people use the alpha roll correctly), and are consistent with it, otherwise, as the above posters said, the dog is going to get mixed messages from you.
 

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I am not a fan of the alpha roll or anything like that. A true "alpha roll" is an offered behavior by the dog, not a forced thing.
I would suggest playing the "trade game" with him to get him used to giving up items. It is just like it sounds, you trade him something for whatever he gives up.

You start by giving him something very basic like a piece of lettuce, a kleenex, whatever is low value to him. You then say "trade" and give him a very smelly, Yummy piece of something for whatever he has. Like jerky, hotdog, garlic chicken, etc. Something he doesnt normally get. He will gladly let you take whatever he has that is less important then the treat you are offering him. Work on very low value items for him for about a week. Gradually increase the value of items and work your way up. Dont push him too fast! Mix up your treats too to keep him guessing.

Besides doing these i would work on getting him used to handling whatever he has. When he is eating his food walk over and drop a piece of cheese in it. Just drop it and walk away. Dont pet him, dont walk to him, even if he growles at you still just drop the cheese and walk away. Do it again with a piece of chicken next meal. Doing this enough will make him look forward to having you around his food as you bring good things!

Also when he is chewing on a toy, rawhide, whatever walk up to him and offer him a yummy treat for whatever he has. Give him the treat and pick up the toy/whatever for a minute. After a couple seconds give the toy/whatever Back to him. Doing this often will help too. It lets him know that its ok to let you handle his things as he will get them back. It will make him less defensive about his things. If someone came up and stole my cake everytime i would growl and bite too! If they gave it back to me i would be much more inclinded to let them take it.
 

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You should also enforce NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free). Make Snoops sit before everything! Sit before you feed him, sit before he goes out, sit before he gets on the furniture etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You should also enforce NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free). Make Snoops sit before everything! Sit before you feed him, sit before he goes out, sit before he gets on the furniture etc.
Snoops does actually sit before everything, and more often than not - he knows to do it on his own.
Yes, he sits at the table with us and yes he is allowed to sit on the sofa, and jump up into bed as well...

I have to stress, that I do not have behavioral issues (per se) with Snoops. It was the incident with the chicken wing, the growling and snapping - the aggression, that I had witnessed him display for the first time. A few days previous, yes he did try to bite/nip as I removed a piece of fluff from his mouth... but it was not as "vicious" as the chicken wing episode..
I think Cdnjennga really nailed it with the info about the "resource guarding" (thanks for that!)

Everything right now seems to be back to normal. I guess Snoops was just having a bad day, just like us humans have. The full moon was also soon approaching!.. weird things happen..
 

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Snoops does actually sit before everything, and more often than not - he knows to do it on his own.
Yes, he sits at the table with us and yes he is allowed to sit on the sofa, and jump up into bed as well...
That's great! Maybe now get him to lie down before those things to challenge him and make him work for them.

I have to stress, that I do not have behavioral issues (per se) with Snoops. It was the incident with the chicken wing, the growling and snapping - the aggression, that I had witnessed him display for the first time. A few days previous, yes he did try to bite/nip as I removed a piece of fluff from his mouth... but it was not as "vicious" as the chicken wing episode..
I think Cdnjennga really nailed it with the info about the "resource guarding" (thanks for that!)
While it MIGHT have been a one time thing, it likely won't be. Resource guarding is a behavioural issue, but he is just starting to display this behaviour, so you're at the ideal time to nip it in the bud. The rule in my house is that anyone and everyone should be able to take anything and everything from the dogs without incident.

With something I like to say a lot; Dogs don't know sometimes or maybe, its either yes or no or nothing get's solved.
Very true.

Cuddleparty, it's great that Snoops seems back to his normal self, but with an issue like resource guarding, you REALLY want to get a handle on it. Especially since Snoops is around children like your niece...what if she had dropped the chicken wing infront of Snoops and went to pick it up? Snoops might've thought it was HIS chicken wing and snapped and growled or worse at her. We would all hate to see that happen.
 

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I'm not sure how to interpret your question. Are you questioning why Cesar said to roll the dog on its back and others say don't? :)
I think a missed a bit here, whos cesar? :noidea:
Pamela seemed to suggest alpha roll was a good thing, when all 3 of those links in fact were dead against it. I know I certainly wouldnt be doing it to my dog after hearing so many negative things. Is it generally frowned upon, or is it of mixed opinions???
 
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