Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My dog is possessive of me.

He's been growling and nipping at people lately. He's been making lovely accidents once or twice in the house. He's been in time out a lot! So, John sat beside me on the couch and he couldn't get to me. He sat in the floor and growled at him. It was funny at first. But then we realized he has to stop this. We have 3 kids and another dog. So, what do you do when your dog is possessive of you or his toys. This is what I've learned.

1. Require him to work for everything. You want to pet him, make him sit. He wants to eat, put his food in his bowl, take his bowl away and make him sit before he eats. This serves as a reminder that you are the boss.

2. Practice giving him things and then taking them away. I gave him his bone and then took it away many times today. It shows him, his toys will come back and there's no need to freak out when someone takes it from him. I also made him sit before I'd give it to him.

3. When he would sit or not growl I would praise him and give him a treat...sometimes.

Possessive dogs are not cute. They are not to be petted on the head and rewarded for this behavior. Make sure you remind them often that they are not in charge. If you have to make situations happen so that you can recreate the possessiveness and teach him another way, you should do it. Teaching them that they are not the owner is the best thing you can do for them. Let them know they are loved but they will work for what they get. I love my dog but I will not allow him to be possessive and make my kids or others scared of him.

Have you dealt with this with a pet? What did you do?