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I have a Boston Terrier who just turned 1 in April. She has been socialized, is 90% potty trained, sits, shakes, rolls over, etc. However, over the past week she has started to growl, snarl, and then bite me and my husband. The only other time this has happened is when she was in heat. (Which it doesn't appear that this is the case this time)

We had around 60 people, and 2 other dogs, over at our house for a party this past weekend and she was fine.

The biting occurs when she is doing something bad and we tell her NO! She gets aggressive and bites. I'm not sure that we are handling these situations correctly. Most of the time she finds our shoes and starts to chew them. When we go to get them away from her is when she has been biting.

Any feedback?
 

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Shoe chewing is a huge relief for dogs, especially their owners shoes.

When she happens to be chewing the shoes, has she been left alone in the room with them?

The reason dogs love to chew their owners shoes is it smells like their owner, and chewing is a relief. I'm not saying that she wants to chew on you, lol. I am saying that the smell mixed with chewing really relaxes her. Something could be stressing her out. Try to see if there are any targets that make her chew the shoes. When you catch her doing it, what has been happening before that point?

Also, it's possible that she doesn't enjoy being yelled at, as it scares her, so she gets super defensive and attacks. Perhaps a different correction method is needed for her. When you say no, have you been swatting at all, or anything like that? Do you clap your hands? Or squirt her with a spray bottle?

Some good advice to avoid having shoes chewed is to tuck them into a closet that can be closed and that she can't get into.

You also need to be making sure she gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and make sure she has lots of her own toys to chew, and a good variety.

You sound like great pet owners with a problem and you're concerned is all, that's a good thing. Hope nothing I said offended you, just am trying to understand the situation better.

Good luck! =]
 

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I would consider a vet visit since this behavior has developed abruptly. Some medical problems can cause uncharacteristic behavior.

Regardless though, I would NOT yell at her (even just a loud no!) for chewing shoes. Instead you should trade-up by offering your dog an appropriate high value chew or treat and grabbing the shoe while she is distracted. The behavior she is exhibiting is called resource guarding (there should be a sticky you can read on the topic for more info) and it will never be helped through scalding, which will almost certainly make it worse. This only makes her more upset that the thing she wants is being taken away from her. You want her to see your approach, even when she's doing something bad, as a good thing. After you've been trading up for a while, you will easily be able to take inappropriate things away from your dog without confrontation.

As for preventing her from chewing shoes in the first place, I would get into a routine of keeping them somewhere where she can't get to them so easily. The more often she gets to them the more it will become a habit. Also be sure that your dog always has things to chew on that are appropriate such as Nylabones, antlers or whatever she likes to chew that isn't your shoes. Then you can get a habit of redirecting her to these things when she's got something inappropriate.
 

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Thank you all for the great advice! :)

Ms. Annabelle (our Boston) sees a vet on a regular basis, due to her allergies. He has suggested that we schedule her to get fixed.

So this is next on our to do list.

Shes actually a great dog, she gets a lot of exercise, and we buy her every toy we can find thats stimulating. She loves brain teasers!

When she gets ahold of our shoes its directly after we sit down on the couch and just happen to kick them off of our feet. However, last week i fell asleep on the couch with my flip flops on and she took them off and bolted. (Shes a smart girl)

Ive never taken her to a professional trainer,so im considering this as as well...
 

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When was her season? It could be a slight phantom pregnancy. I have 5 girls and they all had it in varying degrees. Maud my youngest loved my husband's socks - she would gather them up - stealing from the laundry basket - and just nibble them. Girls and hormones.....
 
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