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Discussion Starter #1
Tonight I had a concerning incident with my 13 week old dachshund mix puppy. We bought him some sort of knee bone thing to chew on at the pet store this afternoon, and gave it to him after he had his first bath this evening, which he absolutely hated (vet gave us special shampoo for his flaky skin). He was really excited about the bone, but the cats were also interested and were trying to get it away from him. He got REALLY protective of it, and was growling at the cats, and trying to hide from everyone to eat it. I had to follow him and pick him up, he wouldn't surrender the bone to me and continued growling until he finally dropped it, and I took it away and didn't give it back again. He has NEVER been toy or food aggressive at all. You can put your hand in his bowl while he eats and he doesn't care. You can take treats or rawhides or toys away from him, and other than trying to play tug when you try to take a toy, he's never reacted in any way. Immediately after I gave him a different chew treat and he was totally calm again (sweet potato chewy, the cats have no interest). Is this a harbinger of doom, or was it just a fluky combination of stress and a really exciting treat that he didn't want to share? Did I handle it the right way? I was concerned he'd bite me if I tried to take it so I just held him until he let it go. Obviously, he won't be getting that or other similar treats again if he reacts so strongly to them.
 

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It's the novelty of a REALLY high value treat. Practice trading up, teaching him "Drop it" start with giving him a toy/low value treat, and offer him something better, while saying drop it. Repeat often. Meanwhile, if you want to give him a bone, put him where he will be left alone, and not bothered by cats/kids. After he has had it for a while, he will lose interest, and you can trade him the bone for something like cheese/hot dog/etc, that is quickly eaten. Pick up bone if you cannot supervise, to avoid having him accidentally go after a cat or kid that goes near him.

It's called resource guarding. Very common when getting something new that is REALLY good.

Be aware that you don't want to give him store bought smoked bones. They can splinter. Get raw bones from a grocery store and give those. Freeze first, then thaw and give them.
 

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It's not a harbinger of doom! You gave your new puppy a super yummy treat and he LOVED it. He didn't want anyone taking it away, so he growled to tell people to back off. I don't think you need to stop giving him super yummy (high value) treats like this, you just have to manage the environment better.

Think of it this way, if you gave me a triple short nonfat mocha and I was really, really loving it, and then a couple of people started coming around, grabbing at my mocha, I'd get a bit growly, too.
If you started to take away every mocha (treat) you gave me when I growled, I'd start doing things like hiding or just going straight to biting in order to guard it.

By taking things away AFTER you've given it to him, you're just reinforcing his thinking that treats NEED to be guarded. If you let him have them in peace, and manage the environment, he won't worry about it so much.

Trading up is a great tool, but you have to find something he likes even better for the trade!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe this will be a supervised back-porch cat-free activity for him. That way he can enjoy it and make a mess and no one with bother him (cats don't go out). I have this horrible fear of raising a monster of a dog. Every time I see an ill-behaved dog it sends chills down my spine of "THIS COULD BE YOU!!"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We gave it back to him on the back deck this evening, and my husband sat out with him and read while he played with it. It kept him occupied for an hour, giving me time to clean his puppy zone and make dinner (amazing!). This time, he growled a little when my husband pet him and he had it, but stopped after a growl and let my husband pet him no problem. When I went back out onto the deck he dropped it and ran over to me tail wagging, and sat and gave paw to my husband to get it back. Then he just put it on a chair (?) and went to the back door to come back into the house like "Ok! Done now!" I swear it's like living with a wee alien.
 

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Sounds adorable! AND, it sounds like he totally trusts you! So, not taking it away, once you've given it to him, unless you're trading, can really help him feel comfortable and safe, like he doesn't have to guard things! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds adorable! AND, it sounds like he totally trusts you! So, not taking it away, once you've given it to him, unless you're trading, can really help him feel comfortable and safe, like he doesn't have to guard things! :)
He is my shadow! He will be snuggling with my husband on the couch, I come and sit down, and he just moves right on over. I actually wish he was better bonded with my husband because it sometimes makes it hard to do things with him underfoot, since he will always choose being with me over being with him.
 

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Many dogs do chose one special person in the household, that they just always want to be with. I am Harper's and my fiance is Abby's, so we're even!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There is no even around here!! I came into the relationship with my two cats Monchichi and Atticus. Monchichi does actually love my husband and it's about split with him now, and Atticus loves anyone with food... Then we found Sir Didymus as a stray kitten the shelters were "too full" to take, so my husband said "Oh well you have Munchie and Atticus, I'll have a cat too!" and Sir Didymus attached to me and he doesn't mind my husband, but he's definitely my buddy. Then with the dog discussions he was like "You have the cats, this way I'll have a buddy" aaaand it's not going in that direction! I'm with him SO much more though, I'm not surprised he prefers me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This afternoon he insisted on sitting on my lap while he gnawed on the thing outside. And dropped it about 80 times and kept looking at me to pick it up again. I appreciate the trust, kid, but man that bone is nasty and now I have to wash my jeans!
 
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