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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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6 month male aggression?? HELP

Hi. Jax is 6 months old and he is very sweet and pretty calm for a puppy. In the last couple weeks he has started low growling when he has an item he should not have but REALLY wants.....such as a dish cloth, sock, those sorts of items. When I go to take it from him he is crouched on floor, ears back, low growl and does not want to give the item up. I hold on to item and say " leave it" which he would normally obey but he is now holding on tightly and does not want to give it up. Sometimes I will squeak his favorite ball to distract him. This is starting to not work. I also try a method I was taught in puppy class....."hold treat to his nose and say trade. I treat him when he lets go of item and praise with "good trade" and I also give him treat" This is not really working now either. Now I am loudly saying "let go" and I am getting frustrated. My husband will enter the room and he drops it but sometimes this doesn't work and my husband will be very loud and will tell him to let go. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I am very concerned he is becoming an aggressive dog and I don't know what we are doing wrong. My bro in law stopped by tonight and Jax was barking quite a bit and showed teeth!!!!!!!!! This is not acceptable and very disturbing to me.
I know there are many experienced owners and I'm hoping you can help me to curb this behaviour which I certainly do not want! Please help.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 10:07 PM
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Your pup is exhibiting classic "resource guarding", sometimes called "possessive aggression".
Research it... There is a lot written about it.

Personally, I would start by removing the dish clothes, socks, etc. Get rid of all attractive nuisances. Puppy proof.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 10:20 PM
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Just out of curiosity, are you doing the "positive training" method, or the pack leader method?
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 10:22 PM
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It's resource guarding. Please get a professional trainer to help you. This is a good starting place. Certification for professional dog trainers and behavior consultants


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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDawg View Post
Just out of curiosity, are you doing the "positive training" method, or the pack leader method?
I did positive training and we have never had an issue with resource guarding. Or any behavioral issues for that matter. So don't even start on your tirade about how her dog is like this because she treats her animal with respect and positivity instead of alpha rolls and dominance.

No one has to 'alpha' their dog to get an amazing companion so please stop suggesting that.

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-17-2016, 11:21 PM
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May I also suggest teaching him "drop it" using a high value treat? Makes it rewarding for him to give you the possession. Win win
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 02:58 AM
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Use a High value treat nuked piece of hot dog, liver,chicken this would be the only time you use it. Cut it up small freeze it usually you can get a tiny piece off fairly quickly.Keep up with the Drop It and the Leave It. Just the other day Patches my dachshund left her CET chew in the living room Buddy my Doberman scarfed it up so I pried open his mouth and got it out too small for him, but I have been sticking my hand down dog throats to give pills or fish thing s out for years and years. I start when they are little and I have never had a resource guarding issue but I'm 66 yrs old have had dogs for ever. Good Luck
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I usually keep these items out if reach but sometimes that dish cloth is just a tiny bit off the counter and he sneakily takes it. We have been hyper vigilant about socks and such. The other day I bought him a new chew bone and I went to pet him and this behaviour happened. I said "knock it off" in a firm , loud tone. Up till now I have been able to pry open his mouth and take an item. This instance really freaked me out and I do not want it to escalate.
I wI'll certainly read up on resource guarding and start using high reward treats as well.
I have befriended a professional trainer who has had dobes all her life. She suggests saying knock it off very firmly while grabbing the collar. I must say, I have tried this but this last instance with the chew bone, I was scared!! He bared his teeth at me. I will do every thing I can to prevent this situation from getting out of control.
He is so very loving , calm sweet and to see him act like that broke my heart.
I am so pleased to know that there are so many people like all of you to offer suggestions and guidance. Thank you!
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandgirl View Post
Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I usually keep these items out if reach but sometimes that dish cloth is just a tiny bit off the counter and he sneakily takes it. We have been hyper vigilant about socks and such. The other day I bought him a new chew bone and I went to pet him and this behaviour happened. I said "knock it off" in a firm , loud tone. Up till now I have been able to pry open his mouth and take an item. This instance really freaked me out and I do not want it to escalate.
I wI'll certainly read up on resource guarding and start using high reward treats as well.
I have befriended a professional trainer who has had dobes all her life. She suggests saying knock it off very firmly while grabbing the collar. I must say, I have tried this but this last instance with the chew bone, I was scared!! He bared his teeth at me. I will do every thing I can to prevent this situation from getting out of control.
He is so very loving , calm sweet and to see him act like that broke my heart.
I am so pleased to know that there are so many people like all of you to offer suggestions and guidance. Thank you!

Please consult the list Meadowcat linked, this isn't going to go away..


I'm sorry but your friends advice isn't very good.
If you're going to give him a chewy I would give it in his kennel. Imo you shouldn't have to pry his mouth open. While I understand your frustration grabbing his collar, being firm and loud, physically opening his mouth. Is a recipe for disaster.

The idea is to trade up, I have these super nummy treats but we need to trade.... The reward has to have greater value than the item not just any treat (for every dog will work) you have to find his currency.


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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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I agree SieYa......I'm not so sure her advice is very good either. I will consult the list Meadowcat listed. I want this to be corrected properly.
Finding his currency is a challenge as well. So far peanut butter is a huge huge love for Jax. Slip it on a smAll treat and voila BUT this won't be very efficient in all situations.
Thank you
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Meadowcat!! There is one listed for good ol' Thunder Bay,Ontario !! I will be calling her to help us remedy this behaviour.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandgirl View Post
I agree SieYa......I'm not so sure her advice is very good either. I will consult the list Meadowcat listed. I want this to be corrected properly.
Finding his currency is a challenge as well. So far peanut butter is a huge huge love for Jax. Slip it on a smAll treat and voila BUT this won't be very efficient in all situations.
Thank you
Left over steak or chicken breast, any 'meat' smelly cheese (Apple wood smoked cheddar is a huge hit here).
Something he doesn't always get. I keep mine in the freezer, when I open the freezer they hear the bag and are right there with me.


Good luck, let us know how things go.


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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
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I did positive training and we have never had an issue with resource guarding. Or any behavioral issues for that matter. So don't even start on your tirade about how her dog is like this because she treats her animal with respect and positivity instead of alpha rolls and dominance.

No one has to 'alpha' their dog to get an amazing companion so please stop suggesting that.
Easy there tiger. Don't worry I understand how one sided this forum is on the matter. It's not an open forum for debate. Here it's "this is the only way and we will try to intimidate you if you disagree". I'm just looking to establish a pattern, and thus far it's very clear.

Sorry to the OP. I have no intention of debating this issue anymore here. I just wanted the answer to a simple question.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 09:49 AM
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Except it's not very clear. At all. I just proved your 'pattern' wrong. Many people here have proved your theory wrong. You just refused to accept the fact that someone can 'tame a beast' without using alpha theories and outdated training methods.

I truely worry for the puppy your about to get.

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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I don't want a huge debate. I train with positive training but I must say I ain't no expert on either method. Jax is not allowed on furniture/he must wait for his food and I do take it away part way through feeding and then return it it him/ he exits house after me/he goes to mat when we eat. So I'm not sure I'd that is part of alpha training or good manners. As I said....I ain't no expert but I do know what I want my dog to do or NOT do. Perhaps I use a combination of training and when something is not working the way I want it to, I will ask those who have much more experience and expertise in this area.

Please don't fight......
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 10:46 AM
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smoked salmon is highly valued in my house. All I have to do is open the ziplock and everyone stops what they are doing and starts sniffing the air. I save it for those occasions when I really want full attention.

I am a big fan of positive reinforcement. I suppose though there may be dogs, behaviors, or situations that require a different approach. I have only had three Dobermans, but I found all of them to be highly sensitive to correction and not in a good way. The "make mom happy" method seems to work for us.
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 11:02 AM
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In addition to working with a professional, I really like Jean Donaldson's book, Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs

In my experience, teaching dogs that giving you high value items is very rewarding for them is the best way to go, because when it comes down to a very bad situation you want them to be able to relinquish an item without thinking about it. I've had a couple of situations where I've had dogs "drop it" on instinct because we've worked on that principle...that "dropping it" and giving me things is really rewarding. Our previous girl, Shanoa, dropped a live rabbit out of her mouth that she caught in the yard, because we'd worked on drop it very often and it was very rewarding for her to drop stuff for me. Richter will drop and relinquish his raw bone when I ask, which is very high value for him.

I don't ask my dogs to give up good stuff often - I teach drop it by always giving them better things when they give me something good, or giving back the item they had, so they learn that giving me the good thing doesn't mean they will lose it forever or that they will get something even better. They learn they don't need to "protect" stuff from me. When I put my hand near their food bowls, I don't take stuff out or stop them from eating, but I drop in really yummy stuff, so that a hand near the food bowl means something awesome is about to happen. I also often just leave a dog alone with a really good chew thing (like a bully stick) in their crate until they finish it...when I have a super yummy piece of pie I probably wouldn't want someone sticking their fork in there and stealing my pie, LOL We don't always need to mess with dogs when they are eating.

If you teach dogs that they will be left alone, or, that they can trade you for better stuff, you can teach a really solid drop it because they are eager to do so, knowing that they don't need to guard from you - you are the giver of great things! It takes time to build this foundation, but it's very worth it. Some day when your dog picks up something dangerous you don't want to have to pry open their mouth (or, if you do need to examine your dog's mouth, which we all should, on a regular basis, you don't want a dog that is worried or aggressive when you do!).

Just my two cents and the way I've trained my dogs successfully to not resource guard from me. Resource guarding BETWEEN dogs is a different thing all together, and Jean Donaldson's book addresses that, too, but I won't get into that here.


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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDawg View Post
Just out of curiosity, are you doing the "positive training" method, or the pack leader method?
Just out of curiosity... If you were eating something you really like and someone came up and wanted to take it from your mouth. What would you do?

Or if you were say playing on a tablet or computer happily quietly enjoying yourself and someone just snatched it away.


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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
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Just out of curiosity... If you were eating something you really like and someone came up and wanted to take it from your mouth. What would you do?

Or if you were say playing on a tablet or computer happily quietly enjoying yourself and someone just snatched it away.
I'm sure he would bite the hand that feeds because he's so alpha.

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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 11:25 AM
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This is a reminder to refrain from personal attacks, folks. People are allowed to have differing opinions on this forum.


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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandgirl View Post
I don't want a huge debate. I train with positive training but I must say I ain't no expert on either method. Jax is not allowed on furniture/he must wait for his food and I do take it away part way through feeding and then return it it him/ he exits house after me/he goes to mat when we eat. So I'm not sure I'd that is part of alpha training or good manners. As I said....I ain't no expert but I do know what I want my dog to do or NOT do. Perhaps I use a combination of training and when something is not working the way I want it to, I will ask those who have much more experience and expertise in this area.

Please don't fight......
I'm no expert but I'd say it's very similar to raising children. I am not my son's friend, I am his father. He lives in a very nurturing household but he knows mom and I rule the roost, and if he misbehaves he might get a pop on his behind. Of all the dogs we've owned directly (Pit bull, German shepherd, jack russell, daschshund, Chihuahua, various mutts) or indirectly (dogo argentinos, labs, bird dogs), one thing is clear in our household and that is: Humans are the boss! I've never see any issues with resource guarding or any aggression. All I've had are happy go lucky dogs who are eager to please their master.

The bottom line is no method is right or wrong. It's a case by case scenario. I just take offense to the bullies here who seem to think their way is the only way. It's not black and white.

Good luck with your training!
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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 11:28 AM
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I don't want a huge debate. I train with positive training but I must say I ain't no expert on either method. Jax is not allowed on furniture/he must wait for his food and I do take it away part way through feeding and then return it it him/ he exits house after me/he goes to mat when we eat. So I'm not sure I'd that is part of alpha training or good manners. As I said....I ain't no expert but I do know what I want my dog to do or NOT do. Perhaps I use a combination of training and when something is not working the way I want it to, I will ask those who have much more experience and expertise in this area.

Please don't fight......
OP, there is a balance to all training.

I think you need to define what you want to accomplish? Do you just want to be able to take food out of his mouth because you can? Punishing the dog because he won't give up what YOU gave him is silly. You need to train the dog that you taking a toy / treat / ect is a positive experience. Some people have given excellent advice to you.

Personally I'd focus on leave it and drop it and really bring out the high value treats for those exercises. That is what we did. My boy will happily give me any item he may have, even his most prized reward, a frozen detached deer leg (from a deer my SO shot this year). He drops it because he knows good things happen when he follows commands. He gets praised. I don't even need a reward. A good pat on the chest is enough.

There is nothing wrong with teaching him to stay behind you as you go out the door but that takes time and impulse control on the dogs part. Be patient with him it is def good mannors!

I find it rude to interrupt a dog who is eating. Our boy has no problem with me picking up his bowl during meal time. He sits back down and waits. When I return it, it has an extra yummy treat on top like tripe or egg. It's positive, therefor he doesn't resist. I don't stick my hands in his bowl because he has raw food and that's yucky lol. I can also call him off his food if he is actively eating. I never had to grab a collar or intimidate him. We have a bond and he naturally respects our commands because of that. Because he wants to please us!

It can be done. Don't let someone tell you that you have to dominate your dog to fix these issues. You don't.

"stay hungry, stay foolish."

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Just out of curiosity... If you were eating something you really like and someone came up and wanted to take it from your mouth. What would you do?

Or if you were say playing on a tablet or computer happily quietly enjoying yourself and someone just snatched it away.
That's easy. When I was a child I had rules to follow. For instance, I was not allowed to use the computer for certain things. If I used the computer for something other than what I was authorized, I lost my privileges. Simple cause and effect. I knew kids who didn't have those rules...they didn't turn out too well.
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The fact that you hit your child explains a lot. I'm shocked a breeder agreed to sell you a pup, honestly.

"stay hungry, stay foolish."
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You can teach a dog to respect you through submission and you can teach a dog to respect you through reward. In one instance they are respecting you through fear, in the other you are making it "their choice".

For the most part I like to use reward based training but there are times, when coached by a professional, when I think positive punishment is ok. With that said I think always starting with reward and when that method doesn't work then seek other methods.

I personally do not agree with going straight to punishment. Just because your dog is happy doesn't mean you're training is correct. They don't know any other life. Along the way you will make mistakes, I know I did training my first dobe, but you learn from them, from others as well, and move on. A friend of mine is a trainer and goes to people's houses where they often are using positive punishment and it's not working. He shows them how reward training, through redirecting works, they see it work and they still do punishment even though it's was failing from the get go. Don't be that person. Stay open to all kinds of training methods and try a few and see what works for you and your dog.
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