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Some of the older users will know me but I'm not around the forums much anymore, but I needed to stop by for some advice. Deacon, my 5 year old boxer who I've had since he was 4 months old, has started growling at me while eating. It's been going on for awhile and I've tried correcting it and I've never been successful and just given up and went back to just leaving him alone when he eats. But recently he attacked my 2 year old pitbull over food and with a baby on the way it's gotten me worried. I'd like to correct this if I can. I've tried petting him while he eats and when he growls making him back away from the food and sit down until I tell him he can eat again, then I'll pet him again and usually he'll just growl again. I do this over and over and it isn't helping anything. He attacked my other dog twice just because my other dog was around him when he was heading towards his food, my other dog wasn't even around the food. It worries me with a baby due in 3 months. But I see it suggested to just leave them alone when they eat... so I don't know if I should just leave him alone and let him be or if this is something I should try to correct. I will say I'm never worried that he will bite me around his food, all he's ever done is a very low short growl. He doesn't do it with treats I give him through the day or anything like that... he and my other dog can sit side by side and accept treats no problem, it's only with his dog food in the morning and night that he exhibits this issue.
Not gonna to lie I didn’t read the whole post..
If your dog ever exhibits food aggression or other types of aggression the easiest method for correcting is this:
Do what is required to establish you are the Alpha. Boxers are stubborn and I do not condone physical abuse but grabbing them by the back of the neck and pinning them to the floor while controlling their body until they “give up” usually only needs to happen about 2 times and they officially respect you as Alpha once again.
 

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Well this is an "Old Post??" And it seems that a "Spammer," brought it back to life??

The OP posted the thread and then seems to have disappeared?? After having the dog for five year's and then having this crap show up?? And with a baby on the way! Hopefully at the minimum he just said "screw this to much for me! And rehomed the dog to a more suitable owner??

I for one tried to help back in 2016, but you know ... with no feed back?? What can you do??

But ... members read these post! Especially when they come back to life! And while I do get what what you are saying. You can't recommend (I feel, laying hand's on a dog for any type of aggression??)

Especially with a "DOG," and if said "Dog's Aggression," is directed towards you! IE "Up Leash Dog!" LOL yeah "Good Luck," grabbing him by the scruff and "pinning him down??"

It depends on the circumstances?? I once had to "pin my Baby Girl," Struddell?? But it was not about me either time. It was about a her "Objection to Gunther's lack of respect! To baby kitten's being born a loud bark with each new birth! And if Dad was not going to tell him to shut the hell up and show some "Respect??" Then she would!! And she leaped over me in a bound and tore into him!

WTH?? I had to scoop her up and hold her close to my head to keep from getting bit! Cuz she was "Berserk," and just forget about grabbing a dog that kinda, crazy by the scruff??? She was "Flat Gone!" There was no reasoning with her, she was flat "Gone," and I was afraid to let her go cuz I feared she'd hurt herself in sheer blind rage??? She was just snapping at everything before Gunther got out of Dodge and got to her!

I got her out of the house and was afraid to let her go for fear that she would hurt herself in sheer blind rage?? So I laid on her until I felt her chill the hell out?? She finally relaxed and let her up and she get's up and look's at me with a "smile," as if to say "hey Dad ... what's up??" LOL I luv the girl's more than the boy's myself ... just don't piss (the girl's) off!

And "Dog," number two that you don't want to be grabbing by the scruff?? Try 113 lbs of "pack fighting," Working Line GSD a send you to the ER for stiches ... for getting in the way, monster!! Grab him by the scruff if you chose but you'd get nothing but lose skin and a "crushed risk," I would imagine?? I settled for a permanently bent little finger (from trying to pry his jaw's lose from my Band Dog's Neck!" And a Handful of stiches! And after all that crap?? It turned out that he did not much care for people either?? Grab him by the neck if you please and I would say ... let me know how that work's out??

He turned into a Fantastic Dog in the long run. It's a long story, I have told many times. But bottom line, I out thought him ... showed him what I wanted and no coercion required!

He never did like people and especially disliked "Toddler's!" But he was a great a dog and knew how to make "Good Choices!" Independent of "me," apparently?? IE, despite one's best intention's some times "Crap Happens??"

And the best preparation for the unexpected is a "Well Trained Dog!" Been there done that ... "Nothing Happened!" :)

But aside from that kind of crazy, a good guide line as regard's Alpha Rolling a DOG! Is from Leerburgh a GSD guy and his advise as regards that kinda "Crazy Crap," is "Don't Start a Fight Your Not Prepared to Finish!"

That is not to say you can't Roll Hard on a "Dog," if required with that DOG?? But there are "tool's" for doing that and if used "properly," they do not require any "Hand's on the Dog," if you will. I prefer not to lay hand's on a dog, if given a choice. :)
 

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I had an animal behaviorist tell me never to "correct" a growl. It can be more dangerous if a dog may stop a growl as a warning because of fear of punishment. They might just go directly to using their mouths to bite, or nip.
 

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Interesting, as the growl is a vocal warning. So makes some sense. I don't know if I would correct a dog not to growl, but in this case it seems like resource guarding and I would definitely correct the behavior that leads to the growl.
 

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I had an animal behaviorist tell me never to "correct" a growl. It can be more dangerous if a dog may stop a growl as a warning because of fear of punishment. They might just go directly to using their mouths to bite, or nip.
I guess by now we all know this thread is 4 well 5 year's old now. And the OP seems to have disappeared??

With a "Baby," on the way ... most likely he rehomed the dog safely and with full disclosure?? But hey we don't know what happened??

Nonetheless, it's an interesting subject?? Most likely bte 2, would have seen this before so his take would be interesting. :)

Cuz as we know ... we just don't tend to see Boxer's behaving this badly very often?? So we score big on that front. :)

I have never had a dog of mine growl at me?? Now Rocky did pretty much growl at everyone else (Save for Me, Marilyn and Struddell) and he kept going after my Bad Dawg and yeah he never growled first??
"But that was "Poor Management On My Part, my bad."

I did get my "issues," with him solved and it was "PO," though I did not realize that at the time?? So ultimately I tend to agree with your behaviorist. No force or corrections, but it did take time!

I'm not a "Pro," and I can't reasonably guarantee, X-Results, in X amount of time??? But what I did ... (I still say) anyone with a (seriously) difficult dog can do?? I just have no idea how long it would take??

I just showed "Rocky what I wanted and how I expected him to behave??" My dog my problem ... I did not care how long it took for him to become civil with people as it were?? And he did "Growl!"

But it was a very different growl??? Some on Germanshepardforum have heard, it with there dog's! You need to be close to your dog and you feel it more than heard it?? They give "Guest," a hard cold stare as they lock eyes on intruder's (In there home??)

And if you happen to be close enough to "feel it happen??" It sends a cold shiver up your spine! So it was not directed at me?? But ... I did not think that "Correcting," that behavior out of him?? Was a great idea?? So I did not. I got him to be safe Civil and manageable. But I really have no idea how long it took?? Although I think it was week's or months and not year's?? And although, I found him to be easily manageable? He was a serious "Responsibility, and it would best to "Never Forget That!"

To the your point ... it never occurred to me to "Correct the Growl??" I did use other mean's at home or out and about ... "I kept people out of his face!" That was my job and he got that ... it worked out fine as far as I am concerned he never bit a stranger in his sigh 10 y ears with me ... so you know job done. :)

Still ... on the other hand, I do know that one of the Pro's I respect and follow, advocates that one should "Squelch," the "Growl, Hard!"

He deal's with Ten's of Thousand's of Aggressive Dog's and that is what he tends to do?? So he does not "feel," that if you squelch, the Growl ... you get no warning?? I have no idea which "approach is correct???" But I was more "comfortable," with a "no corrosion approach." :)
 

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Interesting, as the growl is a vocal warning. So makes some sense. I don't know if I would correct a dog not to growl, but in this case it seems like resource guarding and I would definitely correct the behavior that leads to the growl.
Oh it is was "clearly resource guarding!" And the dog seemed to take it out first on his other dog. And then turn it toward;s the owner?? Most likely it was the same old, same old, the dogs slept with him/them, he was not crate trained, they free roamed in doors and hopped up on the furniture at will?? Pretty much standard Boxer fare?? But sometimes it can go sideways???
 
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