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In March we rescued a dog from the shelter. He is a pointer and we named him Tripp. I am having some problems with him and don't really know what to do about it.

I don't know what happened to him before we got him but I'm thinking he was abused. Here is why.. Sometimes when we try to hug him, pet him, sit by him, ect. he starts to growl. Sometimes he's okay with it, but many times it makes him growl- I'm thinking out of fear. Yesterday my 4 year old son was just petting him. We make sure to teach our son to be gentle with animals. Well Tripp started growling and then bit him. It wasn't hard- didn't even leave a mark. It was like Tripp just grabbed his arm, as to say ,"stop touching me." My son didn't even seem bothered by it, but still... I don't like that behaivor.

How do I get Tripp more comfortable around us. He'll jump on our bed but we can't even cuddle with him because he freaks out. Then a lot of times if he starts to growl at us and our other dog is nearby he will pick a fight with him.

I am just at a loss and would love any ideas of what to do. We have 2 other dogs (both golden retrievers) and have never dealt with this kind of behaivor.

Thanks,
Lauren
 

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Don't hug the dog. You should try the NILIF (nothing in life is free), it's sticky also in this section of the forums. I don't think it's a good idea to have that dog with a child, just for your son's safety. If you are going to keep it, make sure you stop it before he starts any of that behavior.

Good luck.
 

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I don't know what kind of training if any he has but I would start by making sure he knows who controls the food. Make him be well behaved before you give it to him and pick it back up at different times then leave your hand in the bowl while the dog eats, after a bit of that start petting him and then lay your arm around him. Now I am NO!! dog trainer and do not know your dog so use your better judgement good luck.
 

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My first (second and third too) dog was a pointer. My father raised, trained and field trialed English Pointers - he still has three. They can be a fantastic dog. That being said, they also need a lot of exercise. I definitely second the NILIF training, no beds, no couches, nothing without working for it - especially the food.

I would also keep him and your child seperate for now. The potential for harm is there. He may have been abused, he may have been poorly socialized - it could be any number of reasons he is doing this. How much exercise does he get daily? How much training? Are you taking him to obedience classes? Does he have a crate where he can get away from everyone ?
 
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