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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Help! Protective / possessive dog behavior

:help: I have an 18 month old male Border/Healer. He is not neutered yet. He is a very energetic pleasant dog. He was my son's dog but when the dog was a puppy my son left for college. He is now very attached to me. He follows me everywhere when I am home. When I am not home my wife and other son play with him, walk him, etc... He is perfectly fine with them, content and pleasant. Beginning about 6 weeks ago the dog began acting differently. When I am home, however, whenever my wife or either of my sons get too close to me he growls and if they persist he shows his teeth. (The dog could have been playing with them shortly before I got home.) This behavior can occur when I'm standing in the kitchen with the dog near me and my wife or sons approach me or I could be sitting in the den with the dog near me when they approach me. In either case the dog gets closer to me and growls when they approach. If my wife or either of my sons keep coming closer he growls louder, shows his teeth and even nipped at my son once. He did not break skin but he left teeth marks. I firmly tell the dog to stop but it does not help. I have to put him in his crate until he calms down. When I let him out of the crate, the dog will play ball with my son in the same room as I'm in. I don't know if this is protectiveness or possessiveness on the part of the dog. I have to think the latter since the dog is not afraid of my wife or sons when I am not home. In any case, I need to stop this behavior. I am more concerned how the dog would respond if someone he was less familiar with than my wife or son's approached me.

I am very anxious to hear any ideas on how to stop my dog from acting this way.
 
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