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Discussion Starter #1
:help:I have a high energy 18 month old un-neutered male border healer who need some mental exercises to get him more mental stimulation. He gets walked multiple times per day including at least one long walk, i.e, 2+ miles and sometimes 3.5 to 5 mi. on weekends. [ I know! He could use more.] He is very pleasant but also very possessive. He growls at and shows his teeth to other people in the family when they get near me, even though if I walk out of the room or especially the house he happily plays with the same people. Telling him no,very sternly, does not stop his behavior. I have to crate him and even then when I let him out, if people approach me he will growl and show teeth again if they do not back off. I need to get him to stop this and I need to give him more mental stimulation. Any ideas for appropriate mental exercises and/or training techniques would be most appreciated.
 

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What is the situation when he is growling? Is he on your lap, are you walking around the room, what is going on?

First off does he understand the basic obedience cues, sit, down, come, stay, heel? Start with those training them in every room of the house and outside and on walks in as many places as you can find. One way to incorporate those cues into your walk is to run through them every time you cross a street. As well as that train him to stay on a particular place in the rooms where you sit for a while like the dining room, kitchen and living room. If you don't know how to do these things see the sticky thread at the top of this forum, "Useful Training Links". A simple down stay needed to stay on a mat is very hard work for an active young dog right there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hi Kathyy,

The possessive behavior can occur when I'm standing in the kitchen, sitting in a chair or on the sofa in the den, lying on my bed, or even sitting on the toilet. If the dog is near me, in any of those places and my wife or sons approach me, he will growl at them, if they persist he may show his teeth too. Meanwhile, he will get closer to me, often right against me, and between my wife, or my sons and me. I sternly tell him to stop. I make him sit. He still growls. If the person keeps getting closer the dog gets louder and acts more menacing. He hasn't bitten yet, but he did snap when my son and my wife reached towards him. The interesting thing is that he could be playing with my wife or my son before I came into the room and then he growls at them when they approach me when I enter the room. Likewise, after he growls at my son for approaching me, he will play ball with my son in the den.
 
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