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Hello, I have a question about a dog that belongs to some friends. He is an adult, and while I've known him since he was a pup, I have never lived with him. I have a question about aggression.

I realize that dogs can get highly aggressive around their food. If you try to pet or interact with a dog while they are eating, it is likely that you will be bitten. My question is tangential to this.

The dog in question sometimes decides that food humans are touching belongs to him, and will emit low growls to try to intimidate the food from you. He has never attacked anyone for their food, but when he was growling for food the other night, someone brushed past him and he bit. He only got their pants and a tiny bit of skin, but he was 100% unrepentant afterward, and went back to demanding the food. He is 3.5 years old at this point, so well past being a pup. He is not my dog, and he has no respect for anyone other than his owner. I am no longer willing to do even basic tasks for him like putting him on/off his yard leash, take him by the collar, or interact with him much, as he can become aggressive when anyone other than his owners exhibits any control of him. I no longer feel comfortable even feeding him, as he he growls at me to go faster when I am getting his food. He is a malamute, and quite large, so I am unsure of what to do, but if he were to bit/attack me, he could do very serious harm.

I am very close friends with these folks, but the dog makes me feel unsafe, and I am looking for advice. Thank you to anyone in advance that has ideas.
 

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Not surprised its a malamute, they can be very intimidating breed. it's not about the dog in what your asking,, it's 100% on the owner. if the owner isn't going to intervene for poor behavior around guest, then you need to ask the owners to put their dog up when your there as a guest. That is just a courtesy to you from your friend and you also have the right to say no,, for not interacting with the dog or accepting to be n the same place with the dog. as you said if the dog decided to act they could some harm. Again this is on the owner not the dog.

good luck , be smart and stay safe
 

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Not surprised its a malamute, they can be very intimidating breed. it's not about the dog in what your asking,, it's 100% on the owner. if the owner isn't going to intervene for poor behavior around guest, then you need to ask the owners to put their dog up when your there as a guest. That is just a courtesy to you from your friend and you also have the right to say no,, for not interacting with the dog or accepting to be n the same place with the dog. as you said if the dog decided to act they could some harm. Again this is on the owner not the dog.

good luck , be smart and stay safe
Patricia always gives good advice. There is no way that you should need to tolerate a dog growling at you. I've been around dogs for a long time, and I would not be comfortable with a big Malamute acting food protective around me. If the owners hear from enough people that their dog makes people nervous to the point that they need to put the dog in a separate room whenever company is over, maybe they will get the hint and seek some training. Clearly the dog is not being corrected, and he sees himself as a dominant animal. I imagine this can be addressed with training methods that consider animal behavior, dominance, and aggression. But left on its own this could very well get worse.
 

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I don't always agree with things Patricia says, and in this case I do. It is an owner problem and that dog should be put away when guests are out, or at least when there is food around. A malamute has the potential to do serious damage if he wanted to. It is not fair to guests to be put at risk like that and it's not fair to the dog to be in a situation where he feels like he has to protect "his" property, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the advice everyone! Unfortunately, there is one part of this that I don't think I communicated in my first post.

I am not a guest. I just moved in with these folks. I had thought I knew the dog well enough beforehand (like I said, I have known him since he was a pup), but apparently this is not the case. Is there a good way to help him understand that I'm part of the "pack," and that he doesn't have the right to my food or to threaten me? Again, all advice appreciated.
 

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Thank you for the advice everyone! Unfortunately, there is one part of this that I don't think I communicated in my first post.

I am not a guest. I just moved in with these folks. I had thought I knew the dog well enough beforehand (like I said, I have known him since he was a pup), but apparently this is not the case. Is there a good way to help him understand that I'm part of the "pack," and that he doesn't have the right to my food or to threaten me? Again, all advice appreciated.
Oh wow that's different. Everyone - would it be a good idea to give him treats when he is being nice?
 

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My original post is still valid. it is the owners responsibility to intervene and set the rules with their dog about the household. When My husband came home for vacation. While he was gone I brought an adult dog into the household, DH's vacation was only 10 days long, not enough time with this new dog. New dog went to the indoor barn kennels and the chain link training are for 10 days as DH takes priority and for safety for both DH and the dog. By the end of DH stay you could see the new dog being placed in a safe place to sit back and watch, accepting DH's presence on the property. Next vacation will be long and we will still go for safety first and have more time for DH to bond with the adult who is fully capable of bonding with him given the right opportunity.

My facility was built because I like the larger dogs and knew I would have family and friends visiting some have their own dogs that travel with them and some have their children and some are not dog people especially larger breed dogs. It's my responsibility to protect my dogs from making any mistakes for what I bring into their home As well as towards my guest that I invite into my home.

You should not be left to deal with this from scratch on your own, being that you are you should be respectful towards the dog, don't set the dog up for failure when you know there are triggers. Find a routine in the household and stick to it let the dog get use to you being there. If the owner is present when the dog is behaving badly and they don't step in to redirect the dog. Then you know where the dog gets it's poor behavior from concerning how the dog should deal with you.
 

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Some dogs are one owner dogs. They are not amendable to other people handling or controlling them. Most will begrudgingly allow it and other will not. A confident dog that is only owner focused can be a joy for that owner but also a large responsibility for that owner. The dog should be excluded from the area where people are eating. Gates. Doors. Whatever. The owner should be the only one to handle the dog. The dog is not a family pet.
 

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Agreed. Complete owner responsibility.

I'd move out if the owner can not or will not manage the dog. Seems like an injury is bound to happen.
 
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