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I have a 5 month old dachshund/chihuahua mix. Today, I reached down to unhook his leash while he was chewing on a toy, and he snapped at me and bit my hand. This is the first time he's snapped at me, but he has growled before when I try to take a toy from him, or go anywhere near his face when he's chewing on a toy.

What should I do about this? I certainly don't want a puppy that gets this possessive over his toys, and the biting is definitely an issue.
 

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It's called resource guarding. A lot of dogs do it, it is very natural. You can work with him on it but keep in mind punishing him for growling/snapping is not what you want to do. Not saying you are punishing him but just making that clear from the start. This is a good resource and so is the book "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson.

Resource Guarding and tips to work on it
 

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I have a 5 month old dachshund/chihuahua mix. Today, I reached down to unhook his leash while he was chewing on a toy, and he snapped at me and bit my hand. This is the first time he's snapped at me, but he has growled before when I try to take a toy from him, or go anywhere near his face when he's chewing on a toy.

What should I do about this? I certainly don't want a puppy that gets this possessive over his toys, and the biting is definitely an issue.
I've worked with my puppies since we got them as babies on this issue. The last poster gave you some great links.

I also use the 'trading up' - always giving them something better (my pit mix loves coconuts, which are everywhere here), hand-fed them a lot and also never take their food bowl away but add something better while making a little clicking noise with my mouth, so they associate hand toward bowl/toy/etc= something good!

Also, if they growl I respect that warning as growls come before a bite.
 

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I like the trade up game too. My new rescue Eddee showed his teeth and growled at me a few nights ago because he decided his toy was really great.

I went out into the kitchen and got a nice hot dog. I came back in and sat down beside him and did not make eye contact. He growled again and still had the toy in his mouth. I offered a tiny piece of hot dog but not getting near his face. I made him come to me. He dropped the toy for the hot dog.

I then picked up the toy while he was munching and threw the toy and played fetch with him and every time he had the toy in his mouth I showed him the piece of hot dog. He would drop the toy again. We did this until the whole hot dog was gone.

The next morning he brought me the same toy and dropped it at my feet ... and he was just sitting there looking at me as if to say " Well ... where is my hot dog? " Lol! :)

Just an example of what worked for me. I just probably got lucky that he learned to trust me so quickly. Each dog is different.

I have had no issues since ... I am happy to say. :)
 

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I like the trade up game too. My new rescue Eddee showed his teeth and growled at me a few nights ago because he decided his toy was really great.

I went out into the kitchen and got a nice hot dog. I came back in and sat down beside him and did not make eye contact. He growled again and still had the toy in his mouth. I offered a tiny piece of hot dog but not getting near his face. I made him come to me. He dropped the toy for the hot dog.

I then picked up the toy while he was munching and threw the toy and played fetch with him and every time he had the toy in his mouth I showed him the piece of hot dog. He would drop the toy again. We did this until the whole hot dog was gone.

The next morning he brought me the same toy and dropped it at my feet ... and he was just sitting there looking at me as if to say " Well ... where is my hot dog? " Lol! :)

Just an example of what worked for me. I just probably got lucky that he learned to trust me so quickly. Each dog is different.

I have had no issues since ... I am happy to say. :)
I love this story! Adorable!
 
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