by The Telos
My Rottie is 8 months old, I got him while my husband was on deployment. He loves my husband but for some reason when he tries to take something out of his mouth example he picks a rock up when we are taking a walk. My husband will tell him to drop it open his mouth and shake his head to get it out and my dog shows his teeth and growls.
When i do the same thing he sometimes fights but never growls at me. What can we do to stop this behavior? Is there a better way to get something away from him??
This is pretty normal canine behavior, your dog wants to hold onto his ‘treasure’ and is trying to exert his authority by resisting and even growling when you attempt to take it away from him.
Although it’s normal, it’s certainly going to need to be firmly discouraged as if he is successful in preventing you from being ‘in charge’ in this area it could spread to other issues, and may even result in someone being nipped at some point.
The best way to deal with this is to teach your dog to ‘leave it’ (or whatever command you want to use) on command. Start out by taking things that he’s not overly attached to – for example, one of his less-favorite toys.
When he has something you want to practice with, get a handful of the tastiest treats he loves and then approach him and tell him to ‘leave it’ in a firm, but low voice. Show him the treat while gently but firmly removing the object from his possession. Once he smells the treat he’ll likely lose interest in his toy and loosen his grip. As soon as he lets go, say “Good leave it” and give him his treat right away. Then give him BACK his object and move away.
Repeat this several times a day, until he responds to the leave it command right away. Once he’s doing that nicely, you can begin to keep the object after you’ve removed it from his mouth, but don’t forget to give him praise and a treat and then substitute another toy or whatever for the one you confiscated. Again practice this daily.
Dogs are creatures of habit and after a few weeks your dog will begin to respond to the leave it command automatically. Always take treats and an alternative toy with you on walks so that he can ‘swap out’ any rocks or undesirable objects he picks up.
Hope this helps, best of luck with your dog.