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First a little background, I have had my pit bull for 3 years now and she is about 4 now. With me she has no hang ups at all, she knows I'm the master and that's that. Me and my girlfriend have been together almost a year and a half, she moved in with me about 3 months ago, my girlfriend and my dog have always been good with each other, they play, cuddle and my gf even feeds/waters her half the time but these little incidents just started happening this past month.

The first was when my gf was coming to bed, me and the dog were already in bed and when my gf approached the bed my dog growled and jumped up.
The 2nd thing that happened was my gf came downstairs and walked past the dogs food bowls, my dog saw her coming, growled and ran over to her and then started eating her food.
The 3rd and 4th incident were pretty much the same and only a day apart, me and the dog sitting on the couch, my gf get up from her chair and walks in front of the couch, my dog growls and jumps up toward her.

In my opinion, my gf has never asserted her position as a dominate one. She always freezes and backs away when my dog gets weird. I know that is partially correct she doesn't need to challenge the dog but what can we do to stop this. Its really starting to affect their relationship.
 

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Not good from what it sounds like this needs to be addressed quick befor he dose it to all people it sounds like the dog is telling her I'm hire in the pack than you and know your place eg her walking past the food and telling her thats mine and you wait dogs do this in the litter or pack when sorting out whos where in the pack this can turn to a bite if not corrected first of all her being afraid is not good so at the moment you need to be super domanint when he dose this telling him no and get him to submit to then remove him from where you are so he can't see you the next thing is to get him walking on a lead nicely not pulling you down the road as these guys do and start to get your girlfriend to start walking him in a leader role and get trust between the two so her fear goes away and he starts to see her as a leader and not bottom of the pack but untill she can trust him he will pick up on that and treat her as weak for now clame her as yours and make sure he knows it and being domanating towards her is not going to happen then get the trust going then make her a leader good luck
 

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Give up the dominant/alpha thinking. It's been disproven. Your dog is resource guarding. The resource being you and the food. There is plenty written about it on this forum (and training forum). I'd institute NILIF. Also make sure the dog is getting plenty of exercise. At least 2 45 min brisk walks/jogs a day, plus some regular obedience training for things like "sit", "down", Shake, etc. Anything to work her mind. Also, I would keep her off furniture for now.
 

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There is no such thing as a pack order or dominance or being an alpha to your dog. It's a disproven theory and working within it's bounds will get you nowhere fast except into a steaming pile. It's ridiculous.

Your dog is NOT trying to dominate you or your girlfriend. Please get that straight. The second you start thinking you need to dominate or "assert" yourself over your dog, you're all going to go down hill fast and things will get worse.

This sounds like resource guarding. For whatever reason, your dog has decided she doesn't trust your girlfriend and now feels the need to protect her things, which is you, the bed, the food, etc. RG, though not acceptable, is natural and many dogs implement it. It can be solved, but it will take time and understanding.
Read up on resource guarding and in the mean time, heed your dog's warnings.

Never punish the growl.

Hopefully someone else with more experience with RG can come along behind me and give you more advice, but please, in the mean time, drop the 'master' and 'pack' crap.

~~~
Here are just a few helpful links about the falsity of the Dominance theory.
De-Bunking the "Alpha Dog" Theory
Misconceptions of the Mythical "Alpha Dog"
Alpha Dog Techniques doing more harm than good
Dominance Theory
 

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First of all, as others have said, what this dog is doing is called resource guarding. There's a great blog post from a renowned behaviorist explaining why it happens and what you should do (at least when it comes to guarding food) right here. The good news is that this is something that can be fixed! :) Your girlfriend should take over the feeding for now, and should do the things explained in that post.

Does the dog have a solid "off" command? You should be able to tell her "off" and have her jump down from the bed or couch without you having to touch her. If she growls at your girlfriend from on top the furniture, you should tell her "off." She has to learn that if she's going to guard the bed or couch, she's going to be asked to leave it. You shouldn't physically force her down or yell at her or anything like that -- just give her a firm "off" command the second she growls. Give her a treat when she jumps off the furniture. (She will understand that she is being rewarded for jumping down and stopping growling, not for growling in the first place.) In addition to this, your girlfriend should do things like toss the dog treats when the dog is sitting nicely and ignoring her. You want to build the association in your dog's head that your girlfriend being around = good things happening, not bad things. And with most dogs, the way to their heart is through their stomach!

Secondly, please ignore everything Oscar m said. Dominance between dogs and humans is not a thing. That style of thinking/training was based on 40ish-year-old studies done on captive, unrelated wolves. Those wolves, in their artificial packs, fought a lot. However, research in the past 40ish years has shown that real wolf packs are family units, with the parents as the natural leaders. Their offspring do not fight them for status, and a lot of things that researchers thought were natural wolf behaviors (such as pinning each other) are actually not. In any case, dogs have evolved separately from wolves for so long now that they don't act like them in many ways. Wild/feral dogs don't really form strict packs. And while dogs do seem to look to us as leaders, they are not competing with us for status. We do not need to assert dominance over them -- they know that we control their food, walks, and training, so they already look to us for guidance.

Here are a bunch of links that explain in much more detail:

De-Bunking the "Alpha Dog" Theory
AVSAB Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals
Misconceptions of the Mythical Alpha Dog
Wolf expert L. David Mech's site (he helped popularize the whole "pack order"/alpha/dominance thing, but later learned that much of what he believed was wrong)

Here are a couple of good links that explain how to be a good leader without buying into the "alpha" stuff:

Enforcing vs. Reinforcing – Reflections on Leadership and Dogs
Nothing In Life is Free (NILIF training method)
 

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Even my mild mannered little sweetheart RG'd. It's very common with dogs. For Kabota, it was bones. I gave him a bone, then walked by and got a full on snarl, teeth bared, the whole deal.

Here's what I did: I got deli ham out of the fridge (very high value reward and not something I ever give to a dog) and started tossing little bits of ham at him as I walked back and forth past him. After a couple of pieces of ham, he growled without showing teeth. The next day, the same thing, and then he was hovering over his bone, but not growling. The third day, he was looking up excitedly to see what marvelous treat he would get as I passed by.

Today, if I give him a bone, he follows me around with it, probably under the theory that he's not getting treats if he's not near me.

You can apply the same principals to any RGing, be it you, the bed, whatever.
 

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Ludo and I worked hard on resource guarding. When he was younger he wouldn't let me near his food dish. I can now reach my hand right in there while he is eating (although I wouldn't - it is beyond rude and serves no purpose). He knows that I never take something away without good reason. This has also allowed me to be able to reach into my dog's mouth to remove and offending chew object without fear of being bit. Now, would I have someone else do that? No. Ludo and I worked a long time and I am comfortable with his limits.

I agree that the traditional "dominant" ideas are outdated. This sounds like typical resource guarding. But it does need to be addressed. Your dog does not get to "guard" you, the bed or the food. I don't know why this would have just started but work on it and you will see a lot of success. Good luck!
 
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