HELP! I have a 5 month old half German half American and yesterday when Gunner was chewing on a treat he kept growling at my 3 and 4 year old.
It got so bad, that he growled, showed teeth, and bit my 3 year old’s hand. No blood was drawn but now she is scared of him. I was wondering maybe how other owners have handled this if it has happened in their house.
Gunner does not growl at me so I think he might think he is superior to the kids. Any tips or advise anyone can give me?
This is fairly common behavior with dogs who are putting themselves ‘above’ human family members, especially with children as many adolescent dogs see them as siblings and are using dog language to assert their own dominant position.
Obviously though this is dangerous and totally unacceptable so you’ll need to show your pup that you’re not allowing him to behave this way. Verbal corrections each and every time are vital, but you’ll need to get started on some other training techniques designed specifically to deal with this behavior….
Teaching the ‘leave it’ command (see Teaching your pup to ‘Leave It’ is a good first step.
You’ll also need to work on his possessive behavior with edibles by hand-feeding at first, and working towards being able to put your hand in his bowl while he’s eating. I’d recommend you get the children to help hand feed him as they seem to be the target of his bossiness right now.
Obviously this is something you’ll need to take very slowly and carefully as he needs to be re-educated and you can’t rush it safely.
Check out this page for more on dealing with food-based aggression …. Dog Food Aggression
Hope this helps. Best of luck with your pup.
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