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Ok, so I have a 1 y/o, m, pit-boxer. He's a very playful dog, and such a good dog:p. However, recently, he's been growling. not all the time, or at random people, but at family (mine, not his haha). It's usually around bed-time so to speak. He'll go to his room (mine), and lay down to sleep, but when my mom, or my sister comes up to say g'night to him, he starts to growl at them as they approach. When I'm around, I try and correct him, but there are times that I'm not around....he'll go upstairs, then my mom, or sis will go up to say g'night, and when they enter the room he's fine, but if they attempt to pet him, or give him kisses he starts to raise his lip, and growl:eek:.



My question is this....why is he behaving this way, and what can I (or my mom or sis) do to correct this?:confused:
 

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He is behaving this way to express his dominance. He thinks it is his room and while he might tolerate them in the room (for now) he certainly wont tolerate them getting too close. (Is he on the bed?)

Your mom and your sister need to make him do tricks. They need to establish their dominance. Have them feed him. Have them make him sit, lay down etc. This dog needs to learn that ALL humans are alpha to him, not just you.

I suggest a nice strong NILIF program by all members of the family. Everyone needs to participate so that the dog does not get further confused.

By the way, if this doesn't work - go the vet to make sure there is nothing wrong (unlikely given it is in your room at night and only these two but better safe than sorry).
 

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This isn't a dominance issue. The prescription of NILIF is appropriate, however, NILIF has nothing do with dominance. It has everything to do with priority access to resources. Resources reinforce behavior, so by effectively controlling resources you can control the dog's behavior.

I would also recommend the children in the house be taught how to appropriately approach and handle a dog. The dog should be taught how to tolerate hugs and kisses by children, but if the children haven't been taught how to achieve that, this is the bigger issue. And NILIF helps with that too.
 

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While I would certainly disagree that this is not a dominance issue, I do think that everyone in the house must understand how to approach dogs.
 

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I think this more has to do with your dog seeing himself in the role of territory guard. Mum and sis obviously haven't endeavoured to establish their place in the dogs mind and so he has been led to believe that this room is his domain and protects it as such and everything in it. It's much the same as a dog with a bone, unless you train him not to growl, he will growl, and unless everyone who interacts with him, trains him not to growl at them personally, he will still growl...your mother and your sister have to get proactive, the NILIF attitude is perfect, especially with a pit that is starting to show aggressive tendencies. how about as a result of growling, he gets removed from his "territory" and placed in a confined area for 5 minutes...bring him back and repeat until he settles, if your mother or sis is to scared to grab him from his bed, you get him and hand him over and they take him and put him away. and make sure that one of them returns him to your room after his "time out". because being taken away from what he is guarding, shows him that his power is only in his own head, and you guys are the deciders. also have your mum and sis feed and walk him for a week or so, this will help him and them bond and also form a hierarchy in his head. also get them to teach him some tricks, for dogs with aggressive tendencies, "crawl" is a really good trick, as it teaches the dog to submit and be lower than you....you can google how to train that...

good luck, and I hope I helped and if he's sleepign on your bed, put him on the ground...just so he finds his place
 

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Question for the other more knowledgeable members: Could he be resource guarding the room AND Emtony? Just a thought since it happens when he/she is in the room with the dog...
There is no way to know for sure, I'd say from what i've read that it sounds as though he is being possessive and resorting to this as a way to communicate his unbalanced mental state...due to i'd say non-constant leadership. he just needs consistent correction and training


(considers self more knowledgeable member....:p)
 

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Question for the other more knowledgeable members: Could he be resource guarding the room AND Emtony? Just a thought since it happens when he/she is in the room with the dog...
I'm not counting myself as knowledgeable ;) but that is how I view the situation. My Dachshund guards me and was guarding the bed, but not because he's dominant or I'm not dominant or people coming in the room aren't dominant. He sleeps in bed with me, and if my boyfriend would come to bed after me, he would go ballistic at him. After a night out I had gone to bed and a friend came to say goodnight, and the same situation occurred. He had come to view the bed with mom as his and his only. Well, Jonas got the boot from the bed and learned quickly. He has since stopped that behavior and is welcomed back, but every time he raised a fuss about him coming near the bed, he was put onto the floor, and he is too small to get up there again. When he was allowed back, he was allowed back by my boyfriend, who would pick him up and place him in bed with us. He is a classic example of why not to allow dogs to sleep in bed with you :p

OP, is your dog crate trained? I would not allow him to guard the room, as I know a friend who rescued a dog who treated the bathroom in this manner. Another friend went into the bathroom unknowingly and the dog ended up biting her. A crate is somewhere that can be HIS and a safe place for him to go to sleep.
 

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After rereading the original post, it appears he guards the room/bed whether Emtony is there or not..but when Emtony is there he is able to "correct" the dog. So, it would seem he is guarding the room, not Emtony..unless he acts this way when someone approaches Emtony.

Resource guarding is not necessarily about dominance. Regardless of WHY he does it, it's not acceptable and something needs to be done. NILIF has already been suggested and I definitely agree...the thing with NILIF is that ALL family members have to be on board with this protocol so be sure to get the kids and mum clear on what it means. No freebies for your pup.

You haven't clarified whether the dog sleeps on your bed or whether he has his own bed IN your room..I'm going to assume he's on your bed.

Here are my suggestions:

No more bedtime on your bed.
No access to the bedroom when you are not home. If he can't get in there, he can't guard it.
No correcting the growl...if he's growling he's warning you..heed the warning and work on WHY he's growling so he no longer feels the need to do so. Especially with the kids...they are NOT to try and correct, chastise or remove the dog from anywhere he is guarding.
Look into crate training for your dog. This gives him a safe spot to be and also means he cannot be guarding your room.

Since this is a new behaviour I think you may want to do a bit of investigating around his life in general:
Has there been any new stressors in the house? People leaving or moving out or in? Changes in habits of the family? Work hours changed or anything like that? Is he showing this behaviour at ANY other time? Over food, toys or anything else? (remember it doesnt' have to be a growl..a guarding dog will stand stiffly over the item, with his head pointing at the item, but his EYES on you).
Is he showing any anxiety or fear about anything else?
What are you feeding him? What is the protein level? A high protein food is like rocket fuel and can contribute to behaviour issues (as can chemical additives).
How much exercise is he getting? What kind of exercise?
Is he neutered?
What sort of obedience training have you/are you doing with him?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, so first of, sorry it;s taken me a while to get back to all of you.
Hadynn does not sleep on the bed for starters. He will jump up on the bed, and lay in it a little bit, but will not sleep in the bed. Also, he is crate-trained for the most part. I've been reading alot of responses, and what not. and after last night, I'm not sure what to think anymore. So he's up in my room last night, and laying on the floor, my sis comes in, and he's fine, no growling, no lip-raising, nothing, sall good. she invites him up on the bed, and he jumps up all nice and everything, just chillin. well, as she's leaving and says g'night to him, he starts to growl, so following most of the advise here, I get up and attempt to take him into time-out, at this point he growls and raises his lip to me, so i take him by his collar and take him into the bathroom and leave him in there for about 5 mins. I'd like to know if this will really help.

and also, right now, I'm not really able to enroll in any obedience classes.
 

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Honestly, if he's getting this pissy about your bedroom, don't allow him in there anymore. Growling, lip-raising.. sure, you can do behavior modification, but if this is happening in one room of the house, prohibit his access to that room.

We had to do it with my dog. She slept by my bed and growled when people entered the room. It might have been partially because she was guarding me and partially because she felt trapped in the room (only one doorway). I tried having my mom walk in and out of the room giving her treats, stuff like that. The last straw was when she went trotting down the hall one day growling at my mom as she approached. My parents almost got rid of her that day. I hate even thinking about it.

We haven't had any more problems since Marge has started sleeping in the living room and is not allowed upstairs in the bedroom. She whined and howled the first few nights but then settled in and now sleeps comfortably on the couch. I didn't crate train, but in retrospect it wouldn't have been a bad idea.
 

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The more I read this post the more I'm inclined to believe he has become handshy as well as some resource guarding.

I suspect the guarding has developed from the rough treatment of collar corrections...being removed from safe, secure places and has now escalated with the correcting for the growling...now, the dog is really confused. This is supposed to be a 'safe' place and all he gets is corrections.

As Cracker stated no more corrections for growling...no more grabbing of the collar. Fix the fear....yes, the growling is done because he's afraid now and giving him a time-out because he's afraid will only make matters worse. Fix the hand shyness. If you want the him to move somewhere...lure him to that spot with food without grabbing or using force.
 

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So he's up in my room last night, and laying on the floor, my sis comes in, and he's fine, no growling, no lip-raising, nothing, sall good. she invites him up on the bed, and he jumps up all nice and everything, just chillin. well, as she's leaving and says g'night to him
What does this mean? She goes to kiss him on the head? Hug him? How old is your sister? Many many dogs do NOT like being touched or hugged around the head..you have to TRAIN your dog to LIKE it through conditioning. If "saying g'nite" is where the growl starts then DON"T SAY GNITE...

he starts to growl, so following most of the advise here, I get up and attempt to take him into time-out, at this point he growls and raises his lip to me, so i take him by his collar and take him into the bathroom and leave him in there for about 5 mins. I'd like to know if this will really help.
A time out can mean YOU all leave the room (remove all attention) or it can mean having the dog leave the room...either way taking him by his collar and forcing him is a BAD IDEA. You must desensitize the dog to collar touches..it's still early in this dog's life and if you handle this correctly NOW you will have less problems later and as a bonus NO ONE GETS BITTEN. Time outs are fine and dandy but you need to LURE the dog off the bed and out of the room, not force it. Chances are any force you use will only escalate the behaviour that started the whole chain of events. So, technically, no it won't really help without a whole lot of other stuff being done/changed as well.

If your pup is guarding the bed he should not be allowed on it, period. If he's guarding the bed your sister and your mother should not be inviting him up on the bed, period. It's dangerous and foolhardy and the dog will pay the ultimate price.

You didn't answer my other questions...as they say "the devil is in the details"..if you truly want to fix this problem and prevent an escalation details are necessary as is the ability to see this as both a people and a dog problem. I highly recommend you get and read a copy of "The Culture Clash" and of "Mine" both my Jean Donaldson...since you cannot do obedience classes right now at least these books can give you some concrete information on dog behaviour, resource guarding and some good exercises to do with your dog.
 
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