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This has only happened once so far, but we only have had Chaos (He is 13 weeks old) for a week.  We had him outside with a meaty bone.  I went to pet him and he thought I was after his bone and growled at me.  So I said no, and he stopped.  To test the waters I went for the bone, and he growled even louder and when I just about to touch the bone, he snapped at me.  Now I know he is just protecting his food, but I cant have that, specially if and when we have kids around.

Not sure if this was the correct action, but I just flipped him over onto his back and shut his mouth and told him no teeth, and took his bone away.  Later that day we gave him the bone back.

Cheers
Andrew with Chaos.
 

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I would do this with anything Chaos likes. For example, while you are playing with him, Take the toy away, have him calm down and then resume play. Same thig with his bones and food. Don't take it away and keep it away or he will get into the notion that if he doesn't protect it, he will not get it back. Just a few seconds and then give it back. Do this frequently and see how things come along.
 

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Hmm, Guido will growl at me a lot, I am sure you have seen posts on here about him. But that's mostly due to the fact that he isn't fixed yet, but will be soon.

It's good to train them early on their behavioral problems. I'm not sure what you can do about this, but wait a little bit and I am sure Liz will post some great advice for you, she's the best at training on here!
 

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You need to make him understand that everything he gets comes from you...you are the source and you can take it away (in essence it belongs to you even though you gave it to him).  Anytime you give him something (to include his food and water) give it and take it away.  When you take it away praise and treat him for being calm...

What you are experiencing is resource gaurding.  It is fixable.  It just takes time and patience.  This is one of the few times I will actually tell someone to do it irregardles of wether the dog is ready for it or not.  Just do it.  Be prepared to be snapped at or bitten (its part of the process).  If he snaps or bites remove the guarded item immediately.  Don't allow him to have the toy/treat/food without yourhand in or on it.  When feeding you can also feed by hand straight out of the bowl until he gets used to you having control of his feed.

Liz and Lilly
 

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you have to establish dominance of your dog from the beginning.  haylee used to do the same but after she figured out I wasn't going to eat her food she would just take it and run around and have me chase her, more of a game now.  My way is probably not right and you should probably wait for liz to post.  Now I can put my face in the dog bowl with all three and act like I'm eating their food and none of them are bothered by it.
 

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Actually its not a matter of establishing dominance, its a matter of establishing leadership.  its also a matter of establishing that you control the food/toys/treats etc...That's why I HATE free feeding.

Liz and Lilly
 

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I use the command "HERE" which means that you may have this.  I start this right away with my puppies when I feed them their four times a day meal in the bowl.  I set the dish down and say "HERE"  I will then say wait, pick it up and then quickly set back down and say "HERE" again.  I also do some quick easy touches while they are eating so they get used to being handled when they have food and that it is not going to be taken away.  I have never had any problem with resource guarding in 26 years of Boxers of items I am in control of.  When and item isn't for them it is "MINE".  

Another good command to teach early on is the "DROP IT"  command.  This means give it to me.  You will have to gently extract it from his mouth possibly at first.  It is a very useful command and easy to teach.

Also, don't punish a dog ever for growling.  The next way of them letting you know they can't handle something is to bite.  I also am not a fan of the "flipping" of a dog.  Dogs can understand a simple thing, like the good thing going away as you did.  Also Liz's advice that you control the good stuff and if you don't behave in an appropriate way it disappears.  It isn't about dominance, it's about clear leadership from you.

Nano
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info.  He has been really good lately, I have stuck my hand near his bone when he is chewing and petted him and he hasnt growled or snapped.
 
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