Help! My Dog is Too Protective

Does Your Dog Threaten to Steal a Body Part When Visitors Come?

Let’s be honest, one of the reason people get and like dogs is because they feel more confident and protected by them.  It has been proven that even the bark of a Chihuahua will drive away a burglar.  For most criminals it simply isn’t worth getting involved with someone with a dog, let alone an overprotective dog!

When I was 18, a requirement of marriage was getting a Rottweiler.  I got 2!  My female Rottie was around 100# and was the sweetest, kindest, doggie soul you could ever meet.  She almost never met a person she didn’t immediately adore.  I use to laugh because if you simply placed a finger on her she was thrilled by the affection.

As I walked her to the park one day, a man jumped out from around a van.  I had NEVER seen her hackle or her show her teeth to a person before that moment and a growl resonated from within her belly.   I was just an 18 year old kid and definitely not a dog trainer yet.

He hastily scurried around his van entered through the passenger side scooted over and his wheels screeched as he tore out of sight.

It still gives me goose bumps to remember that moment.  I don’t think at that time I truly realized the danger I might have been in, but in hindsight I realize that she sensed something sinister that I did not recognize.  She never showed aggression toward another human being for the rest of her life, she was too busy wagging and soliciting affection to everyone else!

I truly believe that even the most social dog would protect his owner in a crisis.  The good news is that there is rarely ever a true crisis to put my theory to the test.

However, many dogs have a very strong protective instinct.  These dogs feel it is their job to keep their owners safe and they take their job very seriously!

The other problem is that countless people admire and promote this behavior.  When the dog is young and first growls or barks at someone not only are they praised, sometimes people actually feed and reward the dog for showing this behavior.

It usually isn’t until this overprotective dog behavior gets out of control and the dog decides EVERYONE is a threat and no one can get close that the person realizes the danger they have put themselves, their dog, and other people in by encouraging this protective instinct.

I once trained a Labrador Mix as a Service Dog. She adored everyone.  She use to finagle her way around at the grocery store to turn toward the closest person and then she would begin to flirt.  Those brown eyes would wink and call out to the person and her tail would wag incessantly until they gave in and asked to pet her.  She was relentless about seeking attention and affection, but I liked that trait because it meant she liked people and enjoyed her work.

Then I placed her with her new owner and within several months she began getting protective.  I was mystified because I had never seen even a hint of a problem.  But, her new mom was easily startled and a bit prejudiced and she would scream when she was startled or caught off guard.

This screaming and fear brought out the protective instinct of the dog and she began to associate certain people and men with her new mom’s fear.  Screaming showed weakness an inability to take care of herself and probably also scared the dog.  Within a short amount of time the dog just decided, in her mind, if she kept all men away from her mom there would be no more drama or fear so she started to get protective. So sometimes the problem can actually be overprotective dog owners 🙂

Part of the reason she never showed this propensity with me is because I am a very dominant and strong willed person, most dogs would think never think I needed them to protect me because they can clearly see I am in control.  I project an image that I can take care of myself.

How You Can Stop An Overprotective Dog?overprotective dog, protective dog

  • You need to take this behavior seriously!  If left unattended this behavior usually only gets worse and it can rapidly become a behavioral pattern over time.  Behavioral patterns are often very difficult to break.  So stop this behavior as soon as possible or keep it from ever happening.
  • Never praise your dog for barking or growling aggressively at another person
  • Always correct your dog, by telling him NO when he shows aggression toward people (My exception is when someone first comes to the door.  My dogs are allowed to bark but must be quiet when I tell them to)
  • If he is nervous or unsure of people, use your clicker and make sure meeting new people is fun
  • ALWAYS use a leash!  A LEASH = CONTROL and when a dog shows aggression of any kind you need as much control as possible.
  • If your dog is protective at home and  you are having people over, ALWAYS leash your dog prior to their arrival
  • Take control!  Dogs takeover situations they think you cannot handle.   Show your dog that you don’t need to be protected by being confident and in control at all times.
  • Work tirelessly on obedience!  Obedience puts you in control and your dog in the passenger seat.  You need to be able to put your dog in heel position, by your side and in a “Down” position when he meets new people.  This takes control away from him and gives him something to do and preoccupies his mind.
  • You also need to work on the other facets of obedience.  A clear leader, Mom or Dad (YOU) makes the subordinate or child accomplish tasks or listen to get the things they want in life.  Rules are crucial to a good parent/child relationship.  Be a kind but firm parent by having your dog listen to you and do things for you around the house; down stays, sit stays, waiting at the door, come when called, heel at your side and anything else you determine necessary.

 Overprotective Dog Training If Your Dog is Fearful

If your dog is fearful, he requires a bit of a different type of treatment.  Determine if he is simply scared when you both meet a new person.  If his ears are down, or back or his tail is tucked, or he backs up he is probably scared.

  • When a dog is scared he needs to have his confidence built.
  • You can build his confidence by making sure that every time new people are around he gets lavishly praised and rewarded for good, social behavior.
  • Do NOT praise and reward him when he is scared or he will think that is what you want for him to be=scared.
  • Instead, back up until he is showing no signs of fear or nervousness and reward him.
  • Slowly work your way toward new people by rewarding him for controlled social behavior.
  • Calmly and quietly tell him No if he growls, hackles, or shows any kind of aggression.  Do not compound his fears by yelling or aggressively getting in his face.  Just let him know quietly and calmly that, that behavior is not what you want.
  • Make sure that you lavishly reward him and praise him by giving him toys and treats only when people come over (as long as he is not possessive).
  • Keep him on a leash and give him something else to do when people are over to keep his mind off of his fears.
  • Never allow people to pet him when he is scared.  Petting a scared dog can make the feelings and the behavior worse.  If he cannot be calmed down, ask people not to pet him.  This will show him that he can trust you; by forcing him to allow people to touch him, when he doesn’t want to be touched he may learn to growl or show aggression just to keep people away.

overprotective dog, protective dogI have a dog that is nervous with people, but he has never shown possession aggression of his toys or treats.  When I have people over, I put him on a leash, keep him close to me in heel position and in a down as I welcome them and tell them to enter.  He lies down at my feet and chews a special peanut butter filled bone when people come to visit.

This positive interaction of people=a special treat helps him to look forward to visits from other people.  Instead of getting nervous or aggressive when people come over, he is excited because he knows if he shows appropriate behavior he will get his bone!

I never force him to interact with someone if he doesn’t want to, however I do insist if he is nervous or unsure of a person that he lay at my feet on leash the whole time the person is in my home!

Good luck and try to keep this fun but take the control of your relationship back by letting your dog know you are in charge of who you socialize with!

My best advice is never to let your dog show these behaviors!  Trust me, when or if you should ever need him to truly protect you he will undoubtedly be there for you in your crisis!

 

getimpulsecontrol

Save

Save

Save

Start Calming Down Your Over Excited Dogs Today!

Your First Lesson’s FREE:

Sign up below and we’ll email you your first “Training For Calm” lesson to your inbox in the next 5 minutes.

Comments

  1. Diana says:

    Hi= I have a new, rescued 2 year old Chihuaha. She’s been with me less than a week. Am trying to keep her from being too clingy, as is her tendency. I pet her when I want (and thats a lot) and not when she wants and now she no longer insists on being on my lap whenever I sit down.

    She has a crate but now stays in it with it left open. She is basically a very good dog.

    She gets aggressive and barks and growls and jumps up when people come over – she doesn’t know commands yet, although she does know “sit” somewhat (she has to “think” it over before she sits).

    Do you think I should pick her up before I answer the door and hold her when people come over?
    She does not seem to care about food, or treats or toys.

    She also barks at my assistant when she moves from one room to another, but not at me when I move around. Any suggestions?

    Than you very much.
    Diana

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    DO NOT give in and pick her up! That will only escalate the problem. Instead put her on a leash and control her behavior tell her to sit and then help her or wait for her!!! IF she is QUIET and well behaved…THEN you can pick her up!

    [Reply]

    randall Reply:

    its just animal instinct you cannot stop it from barking as your dog is not familiar with your assistant

    [Reply]

  2. Maura says:

    Is a wonderful insight into the psyche of animal behavior. I too, had a 165# Rottweiler and just his size alone was completely intimidating but this guy was brought up around many (all) of my grandchildren where they would grab him by his fur, push him down and take their naps on him. When challenged by a stranger that might have been a problem for me (100#), all I had to do was touch his collar and say “stay with mom”, the same for my husband. He was a gentle giant. I have also had German Shepherds, and Dobies, they were all quite obedient. Now I have a Pug who I am in love with and she in turn is in love with everything.
    Your articles are wonderful and I enjoy them immensely and have learned a lot from them. Thank you

    [Reply]

    lulu Reply:

    I have a German Shepard he always sticks to me whenever someone comes to the door he always barks even if its a family member but whenever i come home he barks in joy but i know its barks of fear and he is really aggressive if someone touches me once me and one of my family members were playing and he almost bit my sisters head off ! how do i get him to stop and now were thinking about replacing him because hes to aggressive should we?

    [Reply]

  3. Arnie Marks says:

    I have a Shih Tzu and she is a real lover. However, barking is starting to become a problem. Whenever anyone comes to the door, she barks at me or my wife to answer the door. When she sees the person, whomever it is, she is happy and shows love to them. We live in a neighborhood near the beach, and get a lot of day surfers parking all around our house (we have a corner lot). When she hears noise, like a door closing, she starts to bark. We do not mind the barking to answer the door, but want the other barking to stop. We say no, and use a can with rocks to shake at her. The noise usually stops her, but it is not lasting. Do you have any comments on how to change this behavior. She is never aggressive with anyone, including cats and kids, but the barking needs to stop. She likes to lay on a rug near the front door, and evidently feels she is protecting us.

    [Reply]

    Barb Reply:

    Hi, I have a 10 month old Yorkie, he is very timid, does not play with toys, etc. The problem is he barks at everyone who comes to the house, all my grandkids and even my husband, he barks and growls and then runs to my side. He has always been very protective of me, but he has never bitten anyone, he is too afraid to bite I think! He does not want anyone near me, and gets very afraid when anyone comes to the door or inside the home. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. He is a wonderful little dog and I just want him to not be afraid and to stop barking at the kids and my husband:}

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You are rewarding him by allowing him to be by your side when he is scared.

    Instead if he is barking or growling make sure he goes somewhere else, in his crate, outside, in another room. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time, it can be fore just a few minutes but don’t allow him to bully.

    And, keep him on a leash so everyone is safe.

    I would also recommend having people toss him a treat, as long as he is not growling or barking!

    [Reply]

    Barb Reply:

    Thanks for the advice! I thought I should keep him near me because he is afraid, but I will try your suggestions and hopefully he will get better. I have put him in my bedroom with the door closed when the grandkids are gonna be there awhile, just because he gets so afraid of them.

  4. linda spalding says:

    our dog is eleven months, big and loves to swim. he is pretty well trained and obedient but when we are in the water with him, he sometimes comes to us and paws at us and snaps, as if trying to play. but it’s dangerous! we get pushed under, he panics, paws even more, and so forth. when we have no footing ourselves, it seems impossible to disciple him. even saying NO sharply, doesn’t faze him when he’s swimming. what to do?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Don’t swim with him until he is under more of your control, then try it slowly with a leash attached to give you control!

    [Reply]

    Peter Gobel Reply:

    Arnie,

    let me suggest that you set the dog up to learn what it is that you want her to do when she hears a car door slam. Call a bunch of friends, (throw a party) and tell everyone that it is a “train my dog party” and when they arrive they should: 1,call you just before they park. 2, sit in the car for a minute. 3, get out and slam the door, pause, then slam the door again.

    You are now in the perfect position to teach her what you want. Get her favorite treat and toy. when your friend calls, begin calmly playing and giving treats for releasing the toy. when you hear the first door slam escalate the play and speed up treat delivery so she doesn’t even have time to bark. and say “YES” and treat and treat and treat before the second slam and let her know that not barking at a slam door is what gets rewarded.

    [Reply]

    gauro Reply:

    I have two dogs- a male one(Sheru) of one year and the female(Suzi) which is very young around 6 to seven months. the female is too young to be mated with hi. It has been 4 days sheru has gone crazy after her he is not eating and hes after her all time we are trying to separate them. i left sheru for a day outside yet the problem is not solved suzi is being harrased by him. and this is not a mating season. what shud i do

    [Reply]

  5. Margie White says:

    I am so glad that this tip came up today. For the first time since rescuing Madam Mocha Moe (a 4 yr old pit bull) from the pound, I am having a rather large group of people over for a BBQ. Most of them she has met before, but not all, and not all of the kids. She is very friendly, when we go for walks little kids allways want to pet her and she loves that. The people that know Moe, know that she will bark at them when they come in,after they say hello and pet her, she usually grabs a chew toy and goes to lay down. I was a bit concerned about too many kids, and people that don’t know that they only need to greet her and she will quit “asking” to be ackowledged. So the keeping her on a leash while everyone is getting to know her is an excellent idea! I did not want to put her in her “house” (crate in my bedroom), because this is her home too, so she should be able to enjoy this get together also.

    [Reply]

  6. Phil Scardina says:

    This was very helpful!!

    [Reply]

  7. Laura says:

    That is just great advice. Well said !!!!

    [Reply]

  8. Ann Wilson says:

    Chet,
    Thank you so much for this aarticle. This is one of the things that my 10mo old boxer (Baby) is doing. I made the mistake several months ago of praising her and petting her when she would bark at a stranger she saw through a window. I will never do that agaon and I will take your advise. This is the type of information that I wanted from you. I am sure I am going to be joining your membership soon and forever.
    Thank you so much and God Bless,
    Ann Wilson

    [Reply]

  9. I really related to the part where you said – don’t let someone pet him when he is afraid. I have a fearful, aggressive dog that barks at every person and dog that we come upon on our walks. One person knelt down to pet him when her dog ran out to us from his front yard unleashed. My dog let the owner pet him but was very anxious – I’m just glad he didn’t bite her.

    [Reply]

  10. Karen says:

    I have a 5 yr old cockapoo…who is afraid of everything and everyone, except me….He barks at the door constantly but backs away as he barks.
    He does not get aggressive toward people but he has bitten 3 children who have tried to pet him. One of those was my granddaughter, who was actually living in the house for two years at the time. If they come toward him, to get away he lashes out at them.
    To me he is very gentle and affectionate…but he still barks when my husband comes in the house, daily!
    I have had professional training…but even the trainer had trouble getting Pepper to do anything with him…I was the one who had to hold the leash. I tried taking him to agility training and he was great…but he would not go close to anyone but me or any othe the other dogs……I had to do the leading. It did not help his fear at all. I have taken him to the pet stores almost daily for a few weeks….but he didn’t seem to get any better….so I stopped doing that, too. I am at a total loss on what do do next!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need to work on his behaviors at a safe distance while not allowing people to pet him especially children! You must protect the children in your life, and your dog! Most dogs get 3 chances before it is mandatory that they be euthanized!

    [Reply]

  11. LIsa Bradford says:

    My 4 yr old Border Collie is a resource guarder. I am the resource. She only does it with dogs and only on a leash. She has bee this way since she was about 1 1/2 yrs old. The last 9 months she has been better and i am able to do agility with her now and go to classes and seminars. Part of the reason she is doing better is because I leave as soon as she shows any reaction. If I can hand her off to someone, I do or if not I just stride off quickly and pay no attention to her. It has been working. I never thought we would ever be competing but we are.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Good for you and your training and your realization that she is resource guarding YOU and being possessive!

    [Reply]

  12. Edna Abedi says:

    My dog is a year old and so sweet to us!! He is a mini daschound. We tried to have him neutered when he was 6 months old and he had a cardiac arrest and they never was able to neuter him. I think after that incident he is afraid and has anxiety around other people. He gets aggressive, barks ALOT and is very nippy so everyone(other our immediate 4 people living in our house) is very afraid of him! He is very intimadating with him barking the way he does, they think he is going to bite them. To be honest I won’t let anyone around him because I also fear he will bite them too! He is so sweet around us and I love him to death! My vet thinks we should try to neuter him because she thinks it will calm him down. I am scared because he almost died before! She said he has no health problems and it was a freak thing! What do you think? Might it happen again? Would you try to do it again? Is there a way to neuter him under local anethesia? We have tried everything including anti-anxiety meds and tranquilizers when we had friends and family over. We did’t see any difference at all!! Please help me….I LOVE THIS DOG!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    If in doubt of your vet’s recommendations see a doggy cardiologist and let them do a total work up on him. They can tell you what the risks are.

    I would want him neutered!

    I also think you need to be doing obedience with him every day and be cautious about letting him around other people.

    [Reply]

  13. Maria Moles says:

    I have a problem with my eighteen month old Lab Annie. She has taken an instant dislike to my father-in-law/ neighbor/ landlord. I will work with her, and she seems to improve, but then if she sees him with something different, i.e., a bucket in hand, handkerchief over his head, etc. she goes crazy barking at him. She has barked at a couple other people, but nothing near like she has toward my father-in-law. He will stay calm and keep his voice down at times to help calm her down, other times he fusses at her and “threatens” her verbally and otherwise. Suggestions, please? She was bought to be a breeding dog, and my hope is to raise service/ therapy dogs with her. I have had her 6 1/2 months.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Do not breed her! This is not a behavior trait to be breeding on to other dogs!!! Especially not service or therapy dogs, many personality traits are passed on in genetics and this behavior shouldn’t be passed on. Imagine how much worry you have over this behavior…what will other people do with their puppies if they show this undesired behavior? Most people won’t devote the time needed to fix it!

    Beyond that HE needs to stop threatening and begin giving her treats and YOU need to give her treats and special attention when he is around ONLY if she is good and doesn’t bark!

    [Reply]

    Maria Moles Reply:

    We have tried the treats, and she will not accept them from anyone other than myself, my husband, or my children. Annie is completely trustworthy around the four of us, our other dogs, cats, and cattle.

    I think part of the problem is that I’m hard of hearing, and I praised Annie when she alerted me to someone coming up in the yard. Normally, that would be my father-in-law. He has a way of just appearing without any “warning”. We have been kenneling Annie when she barks at my father-in-law, shaming her, and making it very clear her behavior is unacceptable.

    This is a genetic condition apparently, since her breeder has mentioned Annie’s father is also very protective of her. We also have dog thieves in the area (they’ve stolen one of my puppies recently), and that is making all my dogs on edge. 🙁

    Thank you for your advice. I’ll definitely have Annie evaluated in person by my vets and another trainer. Meanwhile, I’ll continue working with Annie.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Although telling Annie she is not to bark at your father in law is good, I wouldn’t shame her and make it a big deal. Otherwise your father-in-law=trauma and her getting in trouble. Instead make it a fun thing, but keep him safe and just give her a quick NO or whatever will stop her. Immediately reward her for being quiet and praise her. Give her something else to do when he is over like lay at your feet on leash (but no growling).

    I would try and find out when he is coming and deny her breakfast or snacks or a meal or two so she is hungry…then have him toss her pieces of liver or something really good all while she is on a leash and well controlled.

    Try changing your negatives into a positive, by changing your attitudes and hopefully you will see a big change!

    Maria Moles Reply:

    My father-in-law equals trauma for Annie no matter what I do. Let me make this clear: My father-in-law is NEVER in any danger from Annie. Even when she runs at him barking, she stays several feet away from him. It is Annie who is putting herself in danger, because he has threatened her more than once with bodily harm, even death. Therefore, I do my best to keep her away from him. She does manage to slip by us or the kids on occasion and get outside while my father-in-law is home though.

    When my father-in-law comes in the house, Annie does very well after the first few half barks which I reprimand. I’ve even seen Annie all but get up in his lap to be petted. She does not growl at him in the house.

    I do not get notified when my father-in-law plans to come over. He owns the land and house, and will do as he pleases.

    I am doing my best to work with Annie, and change attitudes, but I can only change my own. I have asked my in-laws for help and understanding as I work with Annie, but they both want her to leave. Annie knows she’s not liked/ wanted by them, and that makes my job harder.

    And as a quick side note: one of Annie’s siblings (one her sire’s side) is currently a service dog. 🙂

  14. Richard says:

    My wife and I have a cross Shiatsu/Toy Poodle. About six months ago the dog started to become very protective of the person present when the other person comes into the room. Especially at night and mostly towards me. If the dog is on the bed I order him down onto the floor and to lay down and stay. The dog responds immediately to the command and remains quiet. If it’s earlier in the day I’ll command the dog to stop barking/growling and into his bed. Again he’ll comply and he remains calm. Quite often before I calm him he will look for something of his and shake the daylights out of it as if he’s showing a willingness take on whatever the challenge/threat may be. Getting back to the bed issue before he follows my command he will kook for something of his on the bed to take with him before he jumps to the floor. So while his barking/growling can be controlled as described how do I get him to stop this behavior before this begins. This is not an issue with strangers or others. It appears to be a protective behavior between my wife and myself.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    This is possession aggression, as in he is being possessive of you not protecting you from someone because he thinks they might hurt you!

    [Reply]

  15. Joe says:

    This was some great advice. I have trouble with my Standard Poodle – I know because he is too spoiled. Advice on weaning him off the spoils? My biggest problem is he will not be bribed by a treat. When we walk, he goes barking and chasing anything on wheels. Last weekend he broke loose on the leash and while showing biting motions around the ankle of a inline skater – thank God – he never bit and we got him under control real quick. Bailey, my dog, is at my wife’s heels ALL the time, even to the bathroom. He also thinks he is a lap dog and gets very depressed and will show his indignation by ignoring us a bit if we go out and he doesn’t get to come. Yet he will jump in the car as soon as you open a door but then barks at every passing vehicle or anything on wheels. He is going on 2 years old in September, so I don’t know if he is just a mindless puppy or he thinks he is in control. He will always bow down to my or my wife’s dominance though. Curious

    [Reply]

  16. Nita says:

    What do you do with a minpin/chihuahua who came to us at 6 months old and is now 11. She is very protective of me and she will bite anyone, myself included. She is food aggressive towards people, but not her housemate, an 11 year old shih tzu. I have caudled her to some degree over the years. If I am in bed (I work noc shift), she will not let anyone in the room without standing her ground. She is a constant barker when my husband comes out of his room for anything. Trying to sleep during the day is insane to the point that I have to put her out of the bedroom, which I don’t like. I like sleeping with her and it’s her favorite place to be, next to me. Any ideas on how to go about fixing what I’m sure I have broken?

    [Reply]

  17. My two-year old, Frankie has no problem with people at all. Her problem is with other dogs, especially when she’s on the leash. I’ve been working hard on correcting this. She walks beautifully–people comment on how focused she is. But let another dog come by and, uh oh. I also have a 6 month old puppy. He doesn’t seem to be picking up on Frankie’s behavior. He’s social with people and dogs. I walk them together but worry that he might begin to follow her lead. Although we’ve gotten Frankie’s behavior down to a minimum I still worry.I think Frankie thinks she needs to protect me as you mention in the article. I’ve been working on showing her that I am not afraid of dogs on the street. Unfortunately it may be that she’s picking up on my nervousness which is about her, not the other dogs.

    [Reply]

  18. Dinny Frasier says:

    Excellent advice on how to handle a serious problem!

    [Reply]

  19. Barbara says:

    Great info — I will be sure to use in the coming days. Thank you

    [Reply]

  20. Gareth says:

    This is a very basic principle in dog training, and no less important with smaller dogs unless you want a delinquent!
    Do not spoil your dog, you only cause upset for you and your dog.
    Good article!

    [Reply]

  21. Tracey says:

    I have had my golden lab since she was a pup. I got her @ 12 weeks old.She has been showing aggression towards people for as long as I can remember. The first day I brought her home I walked threw the dorr and was very excited. She backed herself into a corner growled at me and peed on the floor. I immeadiately calmed down and spoke softly appoligizing to her for scareing her.
    She has since ripped a boys shorts riding by on his bike, barks at everyone that goes by the front of my house and it scares me to think I may eventually be face with a lawsuit. I have enrolled her in dog training, but have not yet had my first session. I am afraid it won’t work however I will try just about anything at this point.

    [Reply]

  22. Teresa Hunt says:

    This is a good article. I have a 7 month old german sheperd who we think may have been abused by the breeder or her grandson. When we went to see her, she had her tail between her legs and ears laid back. She is afraid of the water hose. She became very protective of me within a couple of days of being in our house. She even nipped at my husband. We took her with us on a visit to my mother’s for a few days and had to keep her on lease or crated. My mom won her over with a piece of bacon after two days.

    The vet told me to train her from her aggression but I had no idea how to do it.

    This article is exactly what I needed to make my wonderful girl the dog I need her to be at all times. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Some dogs are born with a tendency toward more of this behavior. Sometimes even good people get difficult dogs!

    [Reply]

  23. Ronnie says:

    I really learn from and enjoy these articles. However, my “pet peeve” is people calling their dogs children or that they are their dogs “mommy or daddy”. Drives me nuts. I tell people I am NOT my dogs mom! I much prefer the pack mentality…that they are part of the pack…that we are pack members. Other than the dog’s new “mom” statement–excellent article:-)

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    The wolf pack theory has been disproved! They are saying it is more like a family structure! Hence my comment 😀

    [Reply]

    Pamela Reply:

    why do you care? refer to your dog however you want; I am my dog’s mom and my husband is its dad. She is adored, loved, and treated as an integral part of our family. We know she is a dog.

    [Reply]

    Suzi Reply:

    I couldn’t agree more!! You call your dog a pack mate, I’ll call mine my baby and yes I am mommy and hubby is Dad!

    [Reply]

  24. Jan says:

    Super article, I have always had dogs and never once have I deslt with an aggressive animal. This article however enlightened me for the future or if I should ever encounter one.

    Good work.

    [Reply]

  25. jan praxel says:

    hi, We have a cockapoo. He is three years old. He has always been frightened easily, and I don’t think he sees real well. I’ve told the vet but there is nothing that can be done if it is the case. Last night my husband was washing a window and he barked until I needed to put him in his kennel which is the only place he seems to feel safe. In addition he has now developed the traits you listed in “My Dog is Too Protective.” He barks incessantly at strangers and has growled in a pretty frightening way at children. We have three grandchildren and another on the way, so we can’t tolerate not trusting our dog with children. I called in a trainer and she had me work with pulling his fur and giving him treats after he didn’t growl, but it didn’t transfer to the kids. He used to sit at our front door and still does if the doorbell rings although he barks like crazy (I used your training method) but now he shoots out if bicyclers are going by or if joggers are near, and chases them nipping at their feet. A jogger told me yesterday he would sue me if it happened again. I’m getting pretty nervous about this. In addition, I worked with him as a pup training him to go potty outside, but it was the depth of winter and he aimed for snow up to the time the last snow melted. You’d find a small bit of snow on the ground with all kinds of excrement on it…his personal toilet. In the winter, ever since, he goes out his dog door and loves to go in the snow. However, when there isn’t snow he goes on our deck, or worse yet, in the bedroom or living room portion of the house. When I clean, I see that he has marked all kinds of places that I have scrubbed with every available odor remover. This isn’t all. He also goes in other people’s houses, always on a piece of paper on the floor, on my daughter’s white macbook (on the floor) or on their rugs. We are truly frustrated with this dog. He even struggles with our commands that he has learned. I will ask him to sit and he will do it but he growls as he does it. I am wondering if he is beyond help. Thanks, Jan

    [Reply]

  26. Valerie says:

    My dog is not protective of me with people outside my house, only with my husband. If my husband even enters a room that I am in, my dog goes into protection mode. Nothing I have done helps or prevents this behavior! My dog is now 12 months old and is a little terror! Your article was good but I can’t seem to make it apply to my little dog!

    [Reply]

    Pam Reply:

    Louie Louie’s barking and protection did not start till I hurt my back and had surgery 1 year ago. I think screaming every time my husband helped me in and out bed is when it started. I have tried a squirt bottle and telling him no Louie, also putting a baby gate in the bedroom. He is just not getting it. Please help me!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He is probably not being “protective” unless your husband is hurting you or hurts you on a regular basis. He is being POSSESSIVE which is different! I will try and add this problem to my list of articles to write about!

    [Reply]

    Valerie Reply:

    I can see where my dog is possessive of me as he is of his treats and some toys. My husband is a “nervous” kind of person and gets “angered” very easily. I guess my dog see’s me as his property and feels threatened by my husband when he comes into the room. My dog will bark and growl if my husband even comes near the computer room, if I am in there! My husband is ready to get rid of my dog if this behavior continues. My dog will growl at me if I try to move him if he doesn’t want to be moved and he has bitten me also. He is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and weighs 18 pounds!

    [Reply]

  27. agn says:

    Just on time!Tank you very much

    [Reply]

  28. Verina Ruiz says:

    My son has a mastiff and he is very shy of strangers. I am going to tell him about the not forcing him to be petted by strangers.

    [Reply]

  29. Yarleen soto says:

    Well my dog started to bark at people when he started to see them from the window now he moved on to barking at people when we get near some one when he sees other dogs his back hairs stand up and am scared that might attack some one he is a loving dog to all of my siblings but when he sees some one new that he has never seen before he barks and growls but am trying to do everything in my hands that I cant to help him ……..<3

    [Reply]

  30. Jeanne says:

    I have a Yorkie that is 11 months old and as typical to the breed, she has incredible hearing! Before I know what is hapining, she is on her feet in a high screech, flying toward all the doors. It is impossible to catch her before she is in a frenzy. We don’t take her to stores anymore because of this behavior. Of course, she is not on a leash in the house, so I can’t use that restraint. But when she is outdoors, she does respond to a sharp NO! Love people who write articles done in a way to help instead of just selling you a book.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Thank you! I suggest leashing her in the house if you have people over often or do it and then invite people over to work on the behavior!

    [Reply]

  31. Donna says:

    I have a Chinese Sharpei, that is very protective and it is hard to have anyone over.I am going to try this.Thanks

    [Reply]

    Sue Reply:

    I have a sharpei cross her name is presh and she is 18 months old.I am at my wits end with her, there are only about four people she likes and is like a wild animal when anyone else is even near coming to house and noway can anyone get close
    to me, and even the people she tolerates can not reach across the table to get something as she attempts to charge at them. I have her on a lead if someone is coming into house and is impossible to settle her down, have told them to ignore her to see if it makes a difference but nope doesnt work. Its that bad that a couple of weeks ago she was playing with her 8 year old aunty Pearla in the back yard when she saw me go into garage she went Pearla and yes they where full on fighting his went on for about 3 quarters of an hour with me trying to break them up ended with me needing 26 stitches in my leg stitches removed after 10 days all looked good for about an hour then it all opened up for which I had to have plastic surgery and spending week in hospital I am still having problems not to mention the $700 vet bill for my dog. anyways she is an absolutely adorable and funny little shite BUT the other side to her is very nasty. She takes absolutely no notice of me if i give her a command, she is an arrogant little Bitch!! I have had dogs all my life but this one takes the cake. Please help me

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need the help of a veterinary behaviorist after a bite like that you need somone to see it and I can’t over the internet 🙂

    [Reply]

  32. Mark says:

    My spayed Australian Shepherd shows extremely bad behavior patterns when my Siberian huskies enter my house , she becomes aggressive towards them and is extremely protective of the inside areas. I am in control of my dogs and take control if the situation immediately . But the next time she does it again and never actually learns from the situation.
    She also barks at everything and causes chaos amongst my 4 siberians who are very well adjusted and have a good pack order amongst them. She does not see herself as a part of the pack and continuously distances herself from them. She also attacks our alpha male and will not accept his authority.
    I have tried variuos tips I have read in this subject but cannot get to a point where we cab get past her aggression towards the other dogs.

    [Reply]

  33. Amy says:

    My 14 month old Cocker Spaniel “Kipper” does not show aggression, but barks like crazy when someone comes. Is this protective behavior or just “barking”?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Barking should stop when you tell the dog to stop! Work on getting your dog to be quiet on command 🙂

    [Reply]

    Kimh Reply:

    That’s the clincher! Getting a dog who barks upon people arriving, passing, ringing the doorbell, to be quiet on command. Two years of unsuccessful work is proving unsuccessful for our otherwise loving and docile Golden Retriever. . .

    [Reply]

  34. Tina says:

    Chet ,this is one of the biggest problems we have with sparky.I am glad
    to get this one.
    Sparky is ready to attack my son,everytime he comes to see me.
    He gets very mean and barks like crazy,you can barely control him to
    get him outside.he has even nipped him. so now he calls me before he comes~~
    and now when the phone rings~~Sparky knows someone is comming shortly and
    begins to act up right then.
    he also does this to a little girl next-door,who has been very close to me ever since she was born and she is 6 now.
    we have been putting him outside _or in his pen when they come.
    We are both in our 70S and it scares me. Help !

    [Reply]

  35. Rose says:

    My dog is not aggresive unless he sees a jogger or someone riding a bicycle, or when passing another dog. Since she is always leashed on our walks I make her sit quietly but the other dogs who walk with us lash out and now she thinks she should do that also. I feel like I am back in square one. Bad behavior is quickly learned whereas good behavior takes a lot of work.

    [Reply]

  36. dmj says:

    Great article as usual with simple understandable messages (or maybe I just get it?). Though I think you could have emphasised more about the importance of leadership and trust between the dog and it’s owner/family, as this is usually not there and needs to be (perhaps another article?). This seems to be the “head in the sand” point that dog owners don’t ever want to admit. The dog does not see its significant human(s) as the leader (classic example raised in your article about the service dog placed with the client) and therefore makes decisions for itself as to what it thinks is the appropriate behaviour at the time. Dog owners need to realise that they have to rethink their own attitude towards their dog’s behaviour first before they can acknowledge that they need help to address the leadership problem. Leaving aside the service dog environment where the dog may be dealing with a human with a disability of some type and have to make decisions- ( hence there should always be continuous follow up support for the client); often this leadership problem is wider than just the dog, extending to the whole household interaction and behaviour. Large dog/ working breed/”bull breed” owners have to learn about leadership because of their dog’s size and disposition. The media quickly reports the incidents when they don’t and usually someone has been hurt. Small dog owners never seem to get it because the first thing they do is deny the dog (and perhaps their household human interaction) has a problem, pick the dog up and pat – thereby reinforcing the behaviour.

    [Reply]

  37. Lynn says:

    This article hits home with me. I adopted a one year old Border Collie eight months ago. She is very attentive, athletic, friendly with folks and OK with other dogs if I am not around. I am teaching her the basic commands and working on extending them to longer periods of sit, stay, lie down, etc. From the beginning she exhibited aggressiveness toward other dogs, including my 10 year beagle, when I am around. I am trying to show extra confidence and it seems to be working, yet she still has strong aggression with my beagle at various times when I am around. She does not do this with my husband. I have concluded it’s me she is protecting so I will use your advise in the article and see if I can reverse her bouts of pinning down my beagle. Thanks for your article.

    [Reply]

  38. roxie says:

    i don’t agree that one of the reasons that people get animals/dogs is for the confident and the protection…i think for the most part people love the loyalty and companionship,amongst other self loving desire.like the devotion and unconditional love the animal displays towards the owner.but i so agree with the protection the animal shows for you and his territory.my one dog i had who was so protected of me would try and bite me if i pulled my arms out towards a little kid or animal in a threating manor as if i was going to grab them up fast.i really don’t know how bad he would bite me being his loving and gentle owner.he just didn’t like violence of any degree.even raising your voice.a gentle and loving dog he was.smart.not much training needed.R.I.P.my dog Woddie…mommie still missing you.

    [Reply]

  39. Ashlie Smith says:

    My husband and I adopted a 3 month old lab/heeler mix. He is now 6-7 months old. He is the worlds best dog, and awesome with our 5 and 6 year old. He has also been really easy to train for the most part, but he is really agressive with strangers. It doesn’t matter if we are at home, on a walk, or camping. We try to show him these people are ok by touching their hands or giving them hugs, but every time someone comes over (even if they have been here before) he does it all over again. I know he is just a pup, and we do want him to be kinda of like a guard dog, but we also don’t want to have to put him in his kennel or the bathroom just because someone comes over. Is there anything in particular that we can do to stop this behavior?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    This is very serious at such a young age! Stop encouraging it AT ALL or you are going to find it so much harder to deal with!! He will protect you if ever he should need to!

    Keep him on a leash and I would not touch people or hug them (unless of course you need to for you) he may see this as aggression and could be making him worse. For now I would dial down the touch, keep him on leash and make him lay at your feet or with you giving him a job and a place to be. Be confident and tell him it is not okay to bark at people, but praise him the moment he is quiet.

    He probably also needs some socialization on leash and not allowing people to touch him. The vets office, groomers, and pet stores are a great place to take a dog and just have them toss him treats. He needs to get use to people in all areas and deal with the fact that other people exist. Praise and treat him when he acts appropriately and tell him NO when he acts aggressively!

    [Reply]

  40. Randall says:

    my dog is too picky ! whenever i give her her food she would either walk away or flip the whole bowl over . can any one tell me what to do ? i would appreciate it if there were some comments .Thanks!!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I have never seen a dog that isn’t sick, starve itself! She will eat eventually…she is holding out so that you will cater to her picky eating. Just like you would deal with a child, don’t give in!

    [Reply]

  41. Bdb says:

    My almost 7 month old pup barks in fear. We thought he was just a mean dog at first, which I think he is (more about this later). But soon I figured he is scared of everything that is new, including other dogs and people and objects.
    So we have the barking problem too, but it is driven by fear or anxiety.

    But I have a huge problem with his occasional guarding/possessive behavior problems. I spoke with a behaviorist at a humane society and she figured that his drawing blood when he bites and being only 6+ lbs is a big problem, as he is biting just about as hard as he can at his size. She also said that his being a “singleton” and not having any litter mates might have made him this way. He is really fun to be with and pretty good with me about 90% of the time. But I have hads him for about 2 months now and he has bitten me 5 times, almost got my mom once, and my dad once when my dad was trying to untangle his leash for him. And bit my brother pretty badly and drew lots of blood.
    He snarls and bites when I am trying to remove a contraband from his mouth (first time was when he had a foil candy wrapper in his mouth, and most recently when I picked him up to put him in my car while he was eating grass or something in the grass). Other times, it is over s bone that I am going to throw away b/c of his inability to control himself when he is with it and someone walks by too close or touches it. I had taken it away then reintroduced him to it w/ me holding it and he seemed fine with me taking it away from his grasp and giving it back but he snarls over it sometimes and when he bit my brother, he was gnawing at it on and off. I think he blew his multiple chances with it.
    He once snarled when I opened his crate to get him to pee before I went to bed. He had been sleeping and I slammed the door shut again and yelled at him until he stopped and I got him out and to the toilet. He growls when I pick up the basket he used to sleep in before I got him the crate. These are the reasons why I think he is a mean dog.
    I got him neutered this week in hopes that he will be less possessive-aggressive. I don’t think he feels the need to protect me in any way. He just wants to make noise and be mean. I am scared to walk him outside now b/c he might get too excited and rip his stitches.
    I would like to do the hands-off training, but with a dog that is never quiet or good when people are around, even when I stick a treat in front of his nose to get his attention, it is umpossible. It is hard to award good behavior if it never happens. When we are alone, he is pretty good, plays with his toys and is generally quiet. Imtry to praise him when he is doing well, at home, in jopes that he will be better outside or around other people in hopes ofngettiong chances to award good behavior. It hasn’t happened yet. When we are on his walks, he is a terror and I never get a chance to award good behavior. I tried making him focus on me and the treat in my hand when cars are driving past or when other people and dogs are nearby. Never works. He gets into a frenzy and treats can’t lure him back to focusing until the stimulants are long gone.

    [Reply]

  42. Michelle says:

    We rescued a Rottweiler/lab mix from a shelter. He went to the shelter very early at 5 weeks. We adopted him when he was 8 weeks old. He is a catching on quickly with training, but for some reason the dog will jump up on me (the woman) and nip at me to try to get my attention. When I say NO and down he will continue to do this. I do admit I have had to raise my voice and say NO, go lay down, quite a few times before it sinks in. I then have him go lay in the corner and stay each time this happens. It just does not seem to be getting any better. I am the only family member he does this with. I am the one who does most of the training, walks, bike runs, feeds him, so not sure where this is coming from? At times he will have a toy in his mouth jumping, which I know he is trying to get my attention, but I do not play when he demands it. I tell him to get down and the same thing happens, he will continue to jump up and nip; until I eventually have to yell to get him to lay down. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    hi Michelle,
    I have a 6 month old rottie Reg who we got at 8 weeks. He caught on really quickly with everything, he was toiletting outside within 2 days and eating/ sleeping/ playing at convenient times for us, and most importantly he has only ever chewed his own toys as we spent a lot of time redirecting his chewing. The problem I am having at the moment is that if my husband and I sit together, kiss or even hug Reg will jump up at us, paw us or mouth my arm to pull me away! if we are standing up we have found it relatively easy to deal with as we turn away and completely ignore him then treat him when he sits for attention nicely. However, we are really struggling with stopping the behaviour if we are sitting down or lying in bed. From reading the article I’ve decided that it is because he is too possessive of me. I have started to try sitting and being affectionate with my husband whilst making Reg sit and wait using the stand on the leash method and rewarding Reg with praise and chicken or liver or squirty cheese (!) it seems to be working so far but I was wondering if you had found anything else that has helped you?

    [Reply]

  43. KImh says:

    My Golden Retriever demonstrates this dominant behavior, but only in the presence of other dogs. I have had difficulty ‘harnessing’ this behavior, as she continues to demonstrate it despite our training progress, especially when approached by a dog while on our walks. A submissive Yorkie approached this week, and if not properly restrained with her leash, would have caused certain harm to this Yorkie. Although I realize that being approached by other dogs–which has happened in the past and at times as been the recipient of aggressive approaches–is threatening in itself, I wish that our calm words during the advancement of said dogs, making her sit or lay down, etc., would aid with this reaction. But inevitably, she lunges, barks viciously, and must be pulled off. This is a dangerous situation, not only for the other dogs, but potentially for us / my daughter, who we must restrict walking the Golden for safety reasons. Any suggestions for this?

    Around six months ago we adopted a neglected small-breed dog from down the street, and initially introduced them by giving the Golden verbal praise, treats, etc., for allowing the other dog to approach, when she sniffed her, etc. Now I fear that she is protecting not only us, but her new ‘sister’ as well! Help!

    [Reply]

  44. Jessica says:

    I recently got another German Shepherd service dog, and I’ve had her for about 2 months now. She was with somebody for about a year, but it didn’t work out. The first couple weeks I had no problems, but after she started to bark or growl at random guys. She growled once, and then tried to nip my physical therapist’s pant leg once. After that I found out that the lady who had her before me was really afraid of men in general, so I guess the dog picked up on that, but the trainers said they never had any issues with that. Are there any other helpful things I can do to make sure that doesn’t happen again? She is the sweetest girl, but I just don’t want to have to worry about that when I’m out in public. I really don’t want to have to give her back either. It’s a hard situation.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Get the trainers involved. This is a serious, serious liability and you and the organization could lose everything you own if you continue to take a dog with aggressive tendencies in public. Especially since you have seen it and know a bite is a possibility. Your physical therapist would have no choice but to testify that you had witnessed the dog showing aggression and continued to allow the dog to be a risk to the public.

    It might be best to let them deal with her training issues and have them place another dog with you. I don’t know anything about your abilities, but I do know a lot about service dogs and the law, and I would recommend getting them involved right away!

    Your other option is to retire her as a public service dog and allow her to only work for you within the home.

    Most organizations have very specific rules regarding this type of behavior and what their expectations for you and the dog are.

    [Reply]

  45. Jules says:

    My 1.5 year old female lab has recently been showing agression towards other dogs but only when I’m with her. If my boyfriend takes her for a walk she’s fine with other dogs but if I take her she barks and growls and shows her teeth with her fur standing up. Makes it extremely hard to control her when she goes crazy like that. I want to be able to take her to dog parks again, long walks, friends houses who have other dogs. Any suggestions on how to get her to calm down with other dogs?

    [Reply]

  46. Sebastian Paim. says:

    Hi everyone ! I have two Rottweillers;Trisha and Feenix,now the problem with
    Trisha she’s over protective but more obidient than Feenix…On the other hand Feenix is so sweet,he holds a balanced temperamentbut he obeys less.
    So i’m kind of confused,maybe i need to invest more time on them…But i am also looking ahead in trying to use these new steps given…Thanks a lot !!!

    [Reply]

  47. Emma says:

    Hello my name is Emma and I have 10 year old boston terrier / bulldog mix. He charges at the door if anybody tries to enter and if we try to leave he attacks us as well , he will bark non stop if he sees anyone outside the window. We had an incident with him where one of my friends came to sleep over. My dog was limited to our living room only because he was blocked off by a gate. Sadly he knocked it down , ran up the stairs and tried to bite my friend. He has also recently started to bite his own family members. Hes not very nice with other dogs either. This has made our lives a nightmare because whenever we had people over he always had to be put away downstairs or outside. Plus the constant barking at people on the street is quite annoying. I love my dog but if my parents judge that hes to dangerous to keep….they might put him down. Im just trying to avoid that but now im the one thats getting attacked the most because im trying to change his habits.

    [Reply]

  48. Amber says:

    I have a rescue maltese. Outside of my bedroom he is fine with the other people in this house. But if anyone comes back to my bedroom he freaks out! He’s tried to bite my parents just for stepping into my room. I don’t understand! Its only when they try to come into my room that he freaks out and growls and barks. And my other rescue is starting to do it.

    [Reply]

    Senta Reply:

    I have been having the same issue with my new rescue Pit. I am interested in any feedback people may have.

    [Reply]

  49. Dale says:

    I like that photo. Makes you want to train your dog fast.

    Thanks

    [Reply]

  50. red says:

    my chiwawa keeps on growling at people i tried to lock her up but she keeps on howling and my guests get disturbed i dont know what to do

    [Reply]

  51. Kelly says:

    My fiance and I have an amazing 10 month old Boxer/American Bulldog mix. He is a great dog in almost every way, but he barks. He sounds very viscous and scares people, but he always wags his tail while doing it. We have been working very hard to enforce words such as “leave it” which he knows well when it relates to objects, but he doesn’t understand how to “leave” a person alone. We also will say no, but that never helps. Recently, I have been trying to teach “quite” but we are still in the early stages of that command. Using a leash at home when guests come over does tend to help and give us more control, but we don’t always know when the doorbell will ring which makes that difficult. We also use a leash in public, but it doesn’t seem to have the control it has when we are at home. After a minute or so our dog will calm down and get comfortable, but getting to that point is embarrassing due to the looks we get. Any other advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    [Reply]

  52. Joan Powell says:

    The excellent tips on training your dog and the best do’s and dont’s are so helpful and I look forward to receiving your emails.

    I have a four year old Pit Bull who is loving, obedient and such a pleasure
    thanks to your training information

    [Reply]

  53. Christian Lubanski says:

    I have a 5 month Pitbull mix, I’m not quite sure what shes mixed with yet, but i’m pretty sure shes mixed with Black Lab. Anyways, Shes very protective of the house and growls at anyone that doesn’t live here, even if a friend of outside family member comes over.

    Any ideas?

    [Reply]

  54. Janna says:

    I have just moved back into my parents’ house with my 2.5 year old maltese/yorkie cross. When I am not home she is fine with everyone in the house but when I am with her and my brother or my parents’ dog (dalmatian/border collie cross) comes near us, she will start to growl like crazy and will on occasion snap at the other dog. My parents’ dog(Mack) doesn’t seem to care when my dog(Mia) does this but I don’t want Mack to get fed up one day and hurt Mia. She seems to be overly protective of me. Is there anything I can try to get Mia to stop doing this?

    [Reply]

  55. ellie k says:

    Hello, I found your webpage very helpful. Hubby and I are dealing with a rat terrier that has been getting worse about barking at people who come in the house. Hubby is sooooo tired of it. I am afraid we may have to do something drastic if we cannot improve his behavior. So hate to put him down if nothing works.

    [Reply]

  56. Anna says:

    My little mix breed has become very sociable in a short time. She allows even toddlers to pet her. I walk her frequently where she’s always encountering and socializing with new people and new dogs. So I was puzzled when she started yapping at some guy who was trying to talk to me. She’s never done it before and I was pre-occupied trying to get hold of her collar and apologizing and reassuring the man “don’t worry, the doggie won’t bite.” Only then I realised the man was exposing himself to me. Good on Leah! She realised looong before I did that there was something weird and wrong about this guy and tried to tell me. Dogs DO have instincts about people.

    [Reply]

  57. Angela says:

    We have a Chi and the only time we have issues is when…My fiancee sleeps during the day as he is third shift and when I go to get him up our loving dog turns mean. He will try and bite me. After getting him off the bed and after a few minuets will act great giving kisses act. When we are in bed together Dasher has no issues. How do we stop ths?

    [Reply]

  58. Bruce says:

    We took a dog (collie/retriever/toller cross)from a rescue centre 7 months ago. We know nothing about him apart from the fact that he comes from Ireland and was skin and bone when he was brought in. Since his arrival he has jumped the gate to go for the postman and growls and barks at delivery men and workmen in high visibility jackets. When off the lead in the country he has run after cattle and sheep. We have been told he should never be let off lead outside the house and should repeatedly give him treats when he calms down and shows good behaviour. This we have done as much as possible but he is still totally unpredictable. Inside the house he is very affectionate to all family members and people he knows as well as to strangers who are friendly. My wife will not hear a word against him but I am worried that if this continues he will be a risk to himself and others. I am not confident that we can make progress but have been told that it is too early to make a decision on the future and he may calm down as he gets older (he is 2 1/2 to 3 years old). Any thoughts you have will be most welcome.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He should not be off leash and you need to work with him on obedience first inside until he is under your control almost completely verbally, then he needs to go to a class so he learns more control in another environment, and then I would suggest working with a behaviorist to work with people in uniform!

    [Reply]

  59. adrienne says:

    HELP!!! please!
    I have a Four year old Pit that has just recently decided to display some serious behavioral issues – His latest change is, for me, a cause for concern –
    He has become increasingly protective around me, lunging at people’s feet if they come near and/or barking/growling like a loon. Given his size, people are becoming increasingly uneasy around him since this new tweek. The main problem I am having is that he doesn’t display this behavior All the time, it is so spuratic! I correct him when he does it (saying a stern NO. grabbing him back, and attempting to make him sit and stay), but his eyes remain paniced (ears back, eyes bulged) and if they move even a smidge, he jumps up to do it again. then other times, even around the same people, in the same room, he is 100% fine! sitting next to them, letting them pet him, no problem! The other thing is he never really relaxes. I have never had a dog that doesn’t know how to shut his eyes and chill!
    Back story –
    We lived with my grandmother for two and a half years helping out, and he became very attatched to her. It wasn’t until this past year, when she passed away, that his behavior started to change.
    I used to be able to take him anywhere (park, stores, etc) and have no issues; He was never fearful of dogs, people, or the wind, and now he is afraid of the world!
    He is now on PhenoBarb for his seizures (he has had them since I first got him as a puppy)-
    I have taken him to dog class, and after months of one on one sessions, the teacher told me she was at a lose with him. One moment when he displayed poor behavior, the corrections worked, the next time it didn’t (just seemed to intensify his reaction).
    I need some help here! if anyone has any suggestions i would greatly appreciate it!
    thank you for your time and input!
    -A

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Since this is new and completely unpredictable and he has already suffered from seizures I would take him back to the vet and have a full work up done. He might be suffering from seizures.

    Then I would recommend a veterinary behaviorist to help you with medications and behavior modification. This aggression is too severe for me to give you appropriate information without being able to see him and get more of a case history!

    [Reply]

  60. Senta says:

    I just got a 1 1/2 year old pit from a shelter. People at the shelter raved about how great and laid back she was. She has been very people friendly and they said they saw no aggressive issue with her. I have had her about a week now and I just started using a crate with her during the day. When I am home, the crate door is open and she chooses to rest in the crate yet can come out whenever she pleases. Lately, when someone enters my bedroom where she spends most of her time, she growls. She lays low and does a low growl towards my mom-who she is familiar with. I have no idea why. I tell her ‘No” and she usually stops but it has happened on multiple occassions. I dont want my mom to make me give her up. When growling, she is not in the crate, she is next to me. Please help.

    [Reply]

  61. Ryan says:

    I have had my Dane/lab for over two years. He is turning three. When he was younger he used to be my moms dog but he took to me so much that she gave him to me. He used to be able to go out with us and everything, he used to love attention form strangers. But now he Lunges at people and if he is in our backyard he runs to the gate and will start barking and the hair on his butt all the way up his back will stand up. Is this because he is to protective or because somebody broke into my backyard and he attacked that person so now he doesn’t trust people? How would I go about helping him?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would not assume anyone broke in unless you found large quantities of blood and other things broken or stolen.

    Read this

    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/time-seek-professional-dog-training-aggression/

    [Reply]

    Ryan Reply:

    They broke in to our back yard and my sister let my dog out. Ever since then he lunges so how do I help to stop that. I got him a gentle leader and it has helped so much.

    [Reply]

  62. cheyenne says:

    Last August I adopted at boxer/pitbull mix from the local shelter. Shes about three., we think, and shows signs of being severely abused. She was found with five puppies of her own extremely emaciated and near death, but never showed aggresson toward me or anyone else.I have trained her out of almost every bad habit and fear she possessed over the course of these ten months but we are now having one large problem. She is highly protectiveand shows agression toward people in public places. I am eighteen and would like to move into town, but will not until her behavior improves. Aside from her protectiveness over me towarrd people and dogs, she could be considered the perfect rescue dog and has become my very closest friend. Any tips on how to train her out of it? Sarabeth is a lover and flirt to everyone she knows or likes, but being that she is a large-breed dog,I am at a loss on how to control her protective tendancies toward strangers.

    [Reply]

  63. Heather says:

    My husband and I have 3 dogs, our oldist is a boy 7, chocolate lab mix 80-85lbs (Buddy), Middle is a boy 5 golden retriever 85-95lbs (Pal), and youngest is a girl 2 retriever/lab mix about 90-95 lbs (Bella). We have never had a problem with the boys with them being protective of me or my husband. Our oldest is a bit shy, he will bark a bit but really just wants to sniff new people, our retriever is a big ball of love, but once we got our girl we took on something we never had before. She is so protective of ME. I would say us, but it’s not it’s me. Whenever new people come in our house she barks, and she has even snapped at people’s hands, Luckily they are people who know us and don’t mind. But I don’t know what to do anymore. We have tried putting her outside but sometimes, people will show up at our house and just happens so quick, I’ve tried to get her attention else where with treats. When we take her camping, she lays by my feet and just barks whenever other dogs get to close to me, it’s embaressing. Is there anything you would suggest?

    [Reply]

  64. Sophie says:

    My dog, Tilly is super sweet and tolerent to everyone in our family. She never shows any sighns of agression towards us, but she always barks and growls at strangers. She is very protective of us. We are going on vacation soon and don’t know if we can leave her with someone. Help!

    [Reply]

  65. Michelle says:

    We adopted a 5 y/o Dachshund dog – he loves us all, but if he’s sitting with one of us anyone (even his family) that sits next to him or even enters the room he growls showing teeth. He will even breakout in an uncontrollable bark. We make him move off the chair or sofa, but he continues to bark and growl.
    When we are outside he growls and barks at everyone and everything that is in a 3 foot radius. Now neighbors cross the street when they see us coming. I feel embarassed. I have tried almost everything except shock collars – which at this point I’m almost considering, but I do feel it’s a last resort.
    It’s driving me crazy and I don’t know whatelse to do. He’s a cutie and I’m not going to give him up. Help?

    [Reply]

  66. Kelsey says:

    My family has a three year bernie we got for Christmas. Ever since we got him he’s been kind of my mom’s shadow and really protective of her. His protectiveness got worse when my mom started working and he became protective and possesive of anything of hers. We noticed that he started taking her shoes and wouldn’t want anyone to come by him when he had them. At first he would find one of her shoes and just act really tense if someone walked by him. It didn’t matter to him if you were just walking past him or saying his name, he would start to get upset. His behavior got worse and if you walked near him he would either stand of lie on top of the shoe and you could hear a low growl from him, but at the same time he would wag his tail. Now his behavior has become even worse and he’ll now jump up and start to growl really loud and bare his teeth. We’ve been trying to fix this behavior by taking away and hiding my mom’s stuff and reprimand him but nothing has worked. Help?!

    [Reply]

  67. Sarah says:

    My dads friend rescued a Pitbull/Black Lab mix, and he was too roudy, so she asked my dad to take him. When I came home (I live with my grandparents) he was here. He slept in my room that night, and from then on out, has grown completely attached to me. He is SO protective, to protective. He follows me everywhere, EVERYWHERE. I can’t leave him at home by himself, because he’ll chew on the door, trying to get out, and hell trash the plac trying to get out. Nobody can touch me, without him shoving them out of the way. And the main problem is, nobody can come in my room or outside my door while i’m in there, because he growls, and he’s actually bit my grandma, twice. He’s never growled, bit, or snapped or showed any aggression towards mne, At all. He’s just so loveable towards me.. I need help on this..

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need a crate to keep him and the rest of your family safe from him both while you are home and while you are away.

    And, you need the professional help of the veterinary behaviorist. Find the closest veterinary school and contact their behavior department.

    [Reply]

  68. Rose says:

    Hi. I have a year old chihuahua(male) who is protective of me when it comes to my mothers boyfriend. He doesnt like him on bit! And it is only him that my chihuahua gets protective with. Is this abnormal? Or does he just not like him? Is this something i can change?

    I also have another chihuahua(female same age) that has pretty much rejected my mom. My mom never tried to pet her, or hold her, or anything but it was obvious that she was the one my dog wanted attention from the most. Lately, my chihuahua just sits in her kennel or goes back to my room when my mom comes around. She can be all happy and stuff when playin with my or my friends, but when my mom comes in she gets really depressed. what is this?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this article http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dogs-control-owners-relationships/

    In order for your chihuahua to be comfortable with your mom, your mom has to put in the time and effort to build a relationship with her.

    [Reply]

  69. tammy youngs says:

    my brother bought a chawawa about 7 months ago they say hes good with people who are around alot but with people who arent he goes nuts he almost bit me once so when I go over to his house they lock him in another room,he dosent even need to see me just the sound of my voice sets him off.the day he almost bit me my brother had to hold him down so he couldnt do it again.any sugesstions of what can be done with him and his behavior

    [Reply]

  70. Zoe says:

    I have a 8 month shar pei boy he’s brilliant with other dogs and people when he’s off the lead on a field but when he’s on the lead and sees another dog or people at the car boot for instance he goes mad really barks agressively and jumps up I’m unsure how to handle this and im unsure why he is doing this, I would appreciate any advice if any1 has any?

    [Reply]

  71. emily says:

    i have a border collie dalmation mix and we will be walking down the street an he will back at everything that moves with his tail curled his ears up and the hair on his hackles stand up so i tryed a shock collar and i really feel bad but it sort of works and like he lunges for what ever he is barking at he even barks and growls at mushrooms and status any help????????

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    My guess is that he is not confident, and that even though the shock collar seems to work a little now it is making him less confident and more fearful. In my opinion you are creating a ticking time bomb with the shock collar.

    You need a veterinary behaviorist and a behavior modification program especially for him. Or I am afraid you are going to have a dog that bites someone that surprises him someday.

    You need to raise his confidence level and teach him to trust you instead of using the shock collar.

    [Reply]

  72. Ryan says:

    My neighbors have a small dog, of bischon breed. Usually, her mother(the owners mom) watches the dog. It was determined that the dog was very protective of her, but primarily of her late husband. It will bark viscously at anyone who is not their immediate family, when they come to the door and even after they have come into the house. Usually she is put on a leash or held, and is fine if you don’t move or raise your voice, she will usuallybonly bark again when you go to leave. Last night, however, she was not on her leash because she is usually ok when I am sitting. I am very frightened of her as it is and last night took the cake. She was laying down being good, bit then all of a sudden without warning (I wasn’t moving) she ran and bit the gushing of my chair, about an inch from my leg. She was promptly scolded and picked up. I am very afraid of this dog, and it keeps me from seeing my neighbors, who I love dearly. The dog, unfortunately kept me from seeing her late husband in his sickness and before he passed away. I had wondered if she would stop this aggressive behavior after his passing, but it seems to have increased. Your feedback would be very much appreciated.
    – thanks,
    Ryan

    [Reply]

  73. Mandy Leezer says:

    I have a question. I have a 1 year old female English Mastiff. When people come over, into the house she gets all excited and won’t leave them alone – just wanting the attention. When she is outside, on a leash/chain or even running free she will not let anyone pet her. Tonight I took her for a walk and my neighbor wanted to pet her, so I had her sit and put my hand by her ears and started petting her, telling her to be good. He reached out so she could sniff him and she growled at him – this is the first time I have ever heard her growl. I understand Mastiffs are very protective of their families, and thought maybe that was the case….but most of what I’ve read states if you show you are ok with the person, they will be too. I told her no, that was bad, and kept walking, yet every person that we passed she would be really skiddish and coward down and pull far away from them. Any suggestions???

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    At a year old and a mastiff, she is still just a baby and not quite sexually mature yet.

    She is trying to figure out who she is going to be when she grows up.

    I would not chain her anymore, this is creating frustration and a protective instinct that is going to get worse if you continue to tie her out. If you have to; walk her to eliminate.

    Give people treats to toss to her, biscuits or something mediocre then you carry great treats like “cheese” or hotdogs and when she is good and confident and doesn’t grow feed her your treats and have people toss treats near her.

    Don’t let people pet her unless she is overly excited and wagging and wants to be petted. By forcing her to have people touch her you can be creating a time bomb.

    Read this article http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/growl-good/

    [Reply]

  74. Phyllis says:

    My daughter (age 46) and I (age 75) live together. About 2 months ago,we adopted a 3-yr old small (about 50#) female German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix from a shelter. She has become VERY attached to my daughter. She likes to lie in the doorway to my daughter’s room. But when my daughter is in her room and I go in, she will try to get between us and has barked/growled at me a couple of times this week. What is the discipline we should use and who should discipline her? I’m the one who feeds her and I am with her during the day while my daughter is at work without any issue.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You should be the one training with her and bonding with her during the day, it is not enough just to live with and feed her! Work with her, play with her.

    The problem is that she thinks your daughter is the “fun” parent the one to play with and bond with when she gets home. You know like kids do when their dad (or mom) comes home from work all day.

    You need to be the fun parent too and your daughter needs to ignore the dog for a while when she comes home so that you can bond and she doesn’t encourage it.

    I would also put a leash on the dog when your daughter comes home and don’t allow her to lay in the doorway.

    And, if you can take an obedience class together I think you will see an improvement in her behavior simply because you will be spending time bonding together!

    [Reply]

  75. Phyllis says:

    Thanks for your suggestions. We’ll work on them!

    [Reply]

  76. Jake says:

    Hello,
    I have a Shar-pei who “sharks” new people and scares the heck out of them when they come in the fenced in yard. He is a calm and obedient dog when just family is around, but when new people come he goes crazy. I have tried to suppress some of his energy when he sees someone new but allowing him to calm down before he seems them (such as putting him in another room and using my body as a door), but it can take up to 20-30 minutes for him to calm down, and even then he still does not trust the new guests. Also by the time the dog is calm the guests have left. I’m unsure if trying to allow his high energy to calm down is the right path or not? And also should it take this long to calm him down? Any help would be great, thx.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Each dog is different and has a different threshold.

    Keep him on a leash and keep working with him. Utilize treats or toys to try and distract him and keep him from over focusing.

    Obedience is also key. Instead of letting him bark and carry on, get him to do something else, like push ups (sit, down, sit, down) to break his mindset. Most dog’s don’t multitask well, so having him do obedience for you can help break the cycle.

    And continue to train and work with him! If it takes 20 minutes, aim for 18 the next time. With consistent work he will get better!

    [Reply]

  77. Hanna says:

    I have a mini dachshund that just turned a year old three months ago. He used to be very friendly around other dogs when on leash, but just recently he started barking at them and almost going after them. He never shows his teeth or snaps at them, but I am fearful that it might get to that level. He is an extremely friendly dog and is fine around our other two dogs at home, even when on leash. Also when people walk by when he is on leash he either barks nonstop (while wagging his tail and never growling) or gets scared and hides behind me. All of these issues occur when on leash, but now I am nervous whenever I see another dog on lease come near him. What can I do to make this better?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this article. http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/1-practice-habit-derailing-dog-training-program/

    He needs his confidence built. This comes with lots of work and treats and getting him to ignore other dogs and people by giving you eye contact. This builds his confidence.

    Taking an obedience class is a great place to help them learn that dogs and people are fun and not scary. Otherwise you need to find groups of people and dogs that you can work around on your own!

    [Reply]

  78. Iliana says:

    We have a 18 m lab and when we met him he was good with us and my small dog but here in the house he has barked at anyone outside the home and all dogs.. His hairs stand up ans when barking at other dogs I can’t control him he jumps and he tries to go towards them. In the house he listen and is very submissive. I am scared he going to get lose from us and attack

    [Reply]

  79. Adriana says:

    Hi, I have a 5 month old Female German Shepherd. We received her from a breeder in Hawaii at 4 months. Ever since we received her she has had a problem with Human Males. She is extremely afraid of my Husband. Izzy is extremely protective over me and she is ALWAYS by my side. When my Husband gets out of work and she hears the garage door, she is instantly alert and growls when he enters the house. Every time she is aggressive with my husband, I always tell her No and have him put his hand near her nose so she can smell him and realize he is not a threat. That worked until tonight. I was at my desk with he at my feet, as my husband passed by and walked away from us, she sneakingly darted at him and nipped at his thigh! He was extremely upset and I quickly grabbed her jaw and said NO, Izzy, bad girl! It seems she understood, because she put her head down and kept to herself after that. I am scared she will get worse and my husband has already threatened to get “rid” of her if she bites him or nips at him again. He is extremely frustrated with her, he has fed her, given her treats, and taken her on walks. She hates it when he walks her, its pretty much forced and will take the treats, but get as far away from his as possible. As for the food, she waits to approach the bowls until he’s gone. Any advice would be great! I have grown very attached to Izzy and it would break my heart if I have to Foster her or she gets put down for biting.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I want you to read this article.

    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dogs-control-owners-relationships/

    In order for things to get better your husband needs to step up and build a relationship with the dog and you need to BACK OFF your relationship with the dog!

    She is getting all that she needs from you, she has no desire to have your husband in her life. She needs to NEED him! So in order for that to happen you need to ignore her for a while so that they can build a relationship.

    Don’t worry she will still love you but don’t give her affection for no reason anymore and don’t let her lay at your feet at your desk so she is less likely to lash out bite and guard your space.

    And, a note about fostering. No one wants an aggressive dog. Even people that don’t have husbands or many men in their lives still have SOME men in their lives. And, she has proven she is unsafe. Giving her to a rescue just sets her up for a worse euthanasia and a terribly sad life not to mention the liability to you!

    [Reply]

  80. chrissy says:

    i have a french mastiff who is very aggressive outside the house and very timid inside the house whenever someone comes over. he is unfixed 1 yr old what can be wrong?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    First is that he is not neutered.

    Testosterone and hormones can wreak havoc on a dog, especially one that is already nervous. AND, there is absolutely NO reason to breed that and pass it on to other puppies… so I would neuter him and help ease his aggressive and nervousness.

    Next (once his hormones have evened out after his neuter) I would get him enrolled in an obedience class to boost his confidence.

    He needs to see people in a very controlled environment and realize he is going to live and that he doesn’t need to be scared or aggressive.

    Right now he has no confidence and so he is trying to control his environment with aggression.

    He needs to learn that you are capable of taking care of yourself and him and letting some of his insecurities go. You need to be the leader so that he doesn’t feel like he needs to be protective. This will help him gain some confidence.

    You may need to take several classes in order to condition him with people in that controlled environment.

    You might also need to seek the help of a Veterinary Behaviorist if you need additional help!

    [Reply]

  81. Anna says:

    I have a lab mix who prior to us leaving on vacation was the friendliest dog on the planet. My nephew who was caring for him while we were gone brought a friend over who the dog had not met previously and the dog bit him. Since then whenever he is in the yard with us and someone comes over Unannounced and walks in he bites them, it has been three so far but if we are in the house and someone comes over he is friendly toward them. I’m at a loss of what to do. I want my friendly dog back, my husband is ready to give up on him PLEASE HELP

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It isn’t ethical for me to give you advice on a biting dog without seeing him and his behavior.

    I suggest you find a veterinary behaviorist that ca come over, witness the behavior, and put you both on a behavior modification program.

    [Reply]

  82. Ashley says:

    I have a Black & tan coonhound (1.5yrs old) we are having issues when new people come over to our house. He runs and barks at the door, we hold onto him and when the person comes in he barks aggressively and moves towards them. He never warms up to them so we remove him to his crate or a bedroom upstairs, until they leave. He is good with everyone he knows and is generally good with strangers when we are walking but every once and a while a person approaches to pet him, he reacts the same way, it seems completely random man, woman, old, middle aged he doesn’t select a type of person. The only people he’s consistently good with is kids (thank god). We are at a loss as to how to control these behaviors . Advice please?

    [Reply]

  83. Joni says:

    My 11 month old husky/lab-Shepard mix has recently( week or so) has been growling aggressively at certain people. Today she allowed a young woman bend down and pet her for about 5-10 min, when the woman stood, faced me and began to talk to me she growl and snapped at her. She did not make contact but scared all if us. Also she growls/ barks at an entire family who recently moved next door. Help I would hate to have her bit someone ( obviouly). Let me add I held my dogs collar, the whole time the young lady was
    Petting her Im not sure, but she may have bit her had I not had a hold of her.

    [Reply]

  84. Cara says:

    I just got a 3 year old Pekingese mix….a little over a week ago. For the most part he’s an awesome dog. However, he’s very territorial/protective and will bark at anyone he doesn’t know if they come into his zone. When I first got him, he would even bark at my children if they came into my bedroom during the night. The first time it happened he actually chased my three-year old across the living room. Since then, he gives a warning bark when my bedroom door opens but stops once he realizes its one of my boys. Sometimes he will bark at one of the kids when they come downstairs into the living room until he realizes he recognizes them. This has also decreased since he explored the upstairs and realizes it’s part of the house. When I take him out he’s just fine and dandy…he’s sweet and gentle with other people and will lay quietly next to me (on a leash).

    The biggest problem I’m having, that’s not showing any decrease as he gets more comfortable, is that he aggressively barks/growls at anyone that enters my home. He could see this same person in our front yard and have no reaction….but, if anyone other than myself or the boys enters the house then he barks/growls without stopping. Tonight I’m baby sitting a 4 year old girl…and I was able to get him to stop barking and lay quietly…with an occasional growl….but when the little girl started running around with my 3 and 5 year old…the dog proceeded to bark and chase her, nudging her with his nose, almost as if he was herding her away from them. Next time I’ll keep him on a leash…

    My question is…does this seem to be territorial or protective behavior? Or is he being dominant?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Yikes!

    These are all warning sings. You have only had him for three weeks and he is showing a significant amount of aggression.

    First KEEP HIM IN A CRATE AT NIGHT!!! What happens if one of your kids accidentally does wake him up and he bites one of them in the face? Its just not worth it.

    By allowing him to chase them and other children you are teaching him that this behavior is acceptable.

    If I was babysitting a small child, I would crate my dog. You have to be able to control ONE of them if you are training and if you can’t ensure that you have control over at least one of them then it is a risk that is not worth taking.

    My guess is he is being all of the above. But he is not getting a ton of structure, and learning what to do instead.

    I had a repairman over to the house today, my 6 month old acted aggressive and territorial from his crate.

    Because I knew the repair guy wouldn’t interact with him and I could control the guy, I took the puppy out and taught him how to respond around visitors. Having him sit, down, give me eye contact, and do obedience commands. He realized he didn’t need to be a brat.

    If I had had a 4 year old child over…. I would have crated the pup in another room with the door shut and I would give him something good to chew on in there. Then I would make sure no one bothered him.

    You have to be in control of one of them while making sure everyone is safe!

    [Reply]

  85. Stacy says:

    We have a year old lab, he sits at the window and growls at everyone passing. When visitors come in he is very excited and friendly. However this growling is becoming constant. Any suggestions.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Put him on a leash and set him up for training, growling = not being able to look outside.

    Tell him “leave it” and then make him come with you and do something else… like a down stay.

    If it is constant and you have people going by often, pull the shade during the time you are not training and raise it for training time.

    He will begin to associate that this is not a behavior that you like and will begin instead staying with you and stopping the behavior he knows = obedience.

    The sight of the person will trigger the obedience of being with you and laying down!

    [Reply]

  86. gerri says:

    Hi,

    I adopted a young (barely a year old) female German Shepherd from the pound. She was mal-nourished, full of flea alergies and very scared. It is obvious that she was abused, probably by a male, as she seems frightened around men. I have three young grandchildren and she adores them. She plays with them and lets them cuddle and lay on her. She however, has started barking and growling at the parents of the children when they come over.I know is is a combination of fear and her possessivness of the childre. What is the best course to take to stop this behavior?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Get them involved in playing games with her and feeding her and taking her on walks. They need to become a fun part of her pack!

    [Reply]

  87. Minette says:

    Get him to be quiet and pay attention to you.

    No barking or growling, get eye contact.

    Once you have control of him, have people toss him treats… Hopefully then he will learn that people are great and bring goodies.

    [Reply]

  88. Steph says:

    I have a Neopolitan mastiff (5 years old) who we adopted last year. I’m not sure if she was mis-treated but she was very very nervous when we first got her. Despite this, when my dad came round, she wouldn’t stop barking at him. In the end, I took her outside and left her there for the duration. After that time, she acted shyly around him, but eventually they became very close friends, always very happy to see him. Now she’s had her first litter (3 weeks old on sunday) and she was a bit protective but not too much. He came round last night (my partner was out) and she started barking again, with her tail tucked between her legs. He was understandably upset by it, especially as he makes a real effort to speak gently and not tower over her. Is it just protectiveness because of the puppies and because my partner was out?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It is hard to say. Mothers who have puppies are naturally protective and he is not specifically part of your pack.

    However it is not a good idea to breed a nervous dog. Only the dogs with the best health and temperaments should be bred or dogs are destine to end up in shelters because people can’t handle them.

    [Reply]

    Steph Reply:

    Sorry, I haven’t made myself completely clear with regards to the nervousness. She was very nervous when we got her a year ago, but after about 2 months she became a lot more confident. Now she is the most placid and caring dog you can imagine.
    I’m assuming she was just being protective because my partner (who i’d say was the alpha male) was out – maybe she stepped up to that position?

    [Reply]

  89. Heather says:

    Hello. I have an 8 y.o. male Brussels Griffon. My new husband and I have been having some problems with him being quite protective over me. It predominently happens when we are in the house. He does things such as standing in front of the bath tub (while I’m showering), as though he’s on guard. If my husband comes in the bedroom (not even the bathroom!) he will ‘glare’ or begin growling. When we are in the kitchen, he wants to stand right beside me and will wedge himself in a corner, and growls if my husband comes close.
    My husband is very kind to him, loves on him, and is trying to figure out why he ‘doesn’t like him’, too – but I think it’s more about him being overprotective of me. I just want to know how to make it better. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I don’t want it to happen at all. I love my boys!
    Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I am guessing it is not protective but possessive… There is a HUGE difference for dogs. I doubt the dog thinks your husband is going to hurt you, more that he doesn’t want to SHARE, like his food or other things he doesn’t want to share.

    Read this article http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dogs-control-owners-relationships/

    [Reply]

  90. James C says:

    I have a Collie, he is now 11 months old. He does as he is told most of the time, but he is extremely over protective and will not let anyone near him who doesn’t live in the house.
    For example, when I took him to the vets to be castrated, I had to be the one who held him while they gave him the injection to make him sleepy.
    Same was when I went to collect him. He wouldn’t let any of the vets take him out of the kennel, but when he saw me he sat there good as gold wagging his tail.
    I have tried mixing him with other people by taking him out etc, but if anyone approaches me, he goes demented. Same applies if anyone comes near the car when he is in there.
    I would appreciate any advice you could give. Thanks

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Ask your veterinarian for a referral to a behaviorist, not a trainer, a veterinary behaviorist so he/she can see the dog and get you on a behavior modification regimen so that your dog does not bite someone!

    [Reply]

  91. Pittie mom says:

    Hi, I was hoping you might be able to give me some advices. I have a male pit bull, and he just turned 12 months. He is a great dog, and has had obedience training, etc. The problem is, I think he is too protective of me. I live with my husband, and our two kids, ages 10 & 12. We have had him since he was 12 weeks old. Whenever the kids or my husband even come near me, he will immediately run to me and stand very close, some times in front of me. He will also bark if any one of them hug me, or touch me in any way. It doesn’t seem like an agressive bark, but he always does it. Weird thing is, he doesn’t really behave this way if we are outside. I just worry that he may go too far if one of the kids hug me, and I’m not paying attention.
    I can’t play wrestle with my kids or anything like that because he gets upset and will bark, and gas growled. I get nervous, so now I just don’t do it. If I shut the bedroom door and leave him out there, he will hear us playing, and go crazy barking to come in. I just want to show him, that he doesn’t need to worry about them hurting me!
    Any advice you could give me would be very much appreciated. He is not overprotective to anyone else in the family. Have I inadvertently led him to believe I need him to protect me from them?

    Thank you!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    This is very dangerous. He is a big dog and can do severe damage or even kill your kids if you are not careful.

    It is important to understand that he is probably not being “protective… he is being possessive” you are his “THING” and he doesn’t want to share. He probably doesn’t think the kids or your husband is going to kill you (unless there is heated fighting). Instead he is treating you like you are his bone or toy and this makes his threshold to bite even lower.

    This behavior needs to stop immediately and you need the help of a veterinary behaviorist, one that can come to the house, see the behavior and prescribe a medication as well as behavior modification. http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dogs-control-owners-relationships/

    Read this article http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/time-seek-professional-dog-training-aggression/

    And take this serious!! He is warning you and your children that he is willing to bite and if they don’t “heed” his warning to his acceptance he will bite… that is what he is saying by barking and growling and showing his teeth.

    If he is not neutered get him neutered ASAP this is making the behavior worse.

    I don’t want to see him and you make the news for another pit bull that has mauled someone to death. I love pit bulls, but he is making it very clear what his eventual intentions are, and that is to hurt someone in your family.

    [Reply]

  92. Maria says:

    I adopted a bulldog, age 5. She has had some good training such as sits on command, let’s me walk first, waits when I let her in after being outside (I go first) gives paw. I can even place a treat down and until I tell her she can have it, she waits. She has been great! I know long time ago she had been kicked to the point her leg was broken. She has been in 2 foster homes prior to me adopting her and hadnt shown any behavior such as this. For two nights she had slept on my daughters bed when she wasn’t home. The third day my boyfriend came over and we were going to watch a movie in my daughters room. He was on the bed with his back to me (i was standing near the bed) as we were trying to find the remote. My dog jumped up on the bed and out of the blue started to attack my boyfriend. I got the dog down and managed to distract her behavior. She is no longer allowed in her room. Thank goodness his back was to her and needless to say I was shocked. I was told she was being protective of my daughter (who is 19 and wasn’t home when it happened). I don’t trust the dog around others since this. I’m looking for answers as to why would she have done this? Was she being protective? Or is this a different type of aggression? I’ve since been taking more control over her as to letting her know “we” are the leaders in the house. Is this something we can help her with? Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She was probably possessive of the room and HER bed, it probably has nothing to do with your daughter.

    Get a veterinary behaviorist over to get her on a behavior modification program and possibly medication.

    This is serious aggression that cannot be diagnosed over the internet.

    [Reply]

    MayIAdd Reply:

    Dogs don’t attack “out of the blue.” In addition to seeking a QUALIFIED trainer (one with actual credentials) or veterinary behaviorist (though medication should never been an initial go-to move), learn about dog body language so you can understand the warning signals that preceded the attack.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Some dogs have few warning signals, even for professionals to see.

    AND, a behaviorist is the only one who is qualified to determine whether or not medication is called for.

    Medication is quite effective with behavior modification and can help an owner get control in the beginning when others and the dog are at great risk.

    [Reply]

  93. Sam says:

    I have pit bull/lab mix that we have had for @ 6 months now. He is @ 10 months old and was a rescue. He is a great dog and is a wonderful friend to my family. I did the obedience classes with him and he is very well mannered. This is the strange thing though. When I take him out in public which is very regularly he is well mannered and generally friendly towards everyone and other dogs. At home its a different story. He barks at the neighbors and acts nervous towards all of them. If we have people over he watches them and sometimes even growls low at them. He never acts at all aggressive though just unsure and nervous. He will sit across the room and just watch the. Any ideas of why he is acting like this and what I could do to get him over it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Growling is aggression. So the first thing to do is recognize and accept that he is being aggressive. Staring is also aggressive and a sign of intent. Most often dogs, stare, growl then bite.

    Keep him on a leash inside your home or when meeting people near your property. AND, don’t let them pet him. When he is nervous like this he is telling you he doesn’t want to be petted and forcing it can get you both in trouble.

    Instead, keep control of him, have him do something else for you; like give you eye contact so you can begin to defuse the way he feels and reward him for good behavior.

    Dogs often become territorial as they age. If he has not been neutered please do so or this behavior will get worse.

    And, even though you think he is fine with people away from your home (and he may be) be watchful of him and know that he has this side to him.

    The worst bites come from people who think “My dog would NEVER bite anyone”. When the truth is, most dogs would under the right circumstances…its all about knowing those circumstances and recognizing them and controlling your dog.

    Read this article too, I think it may help http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dogs-petted/

    and this one http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/give-kiss-understanding-dog-language/

    [Reply]

  94. Shadow says:

    I have a 2 year old Black Lab, he is over procted of me. When i take him for a walk and vist a friend, he will start growling and barking at my friends friends who are their and his two kids as well. My dog will also growl at people who we know come to my house and he never met them before. But he won’t let my other dog near me either, he will bark at my other dog if I am near him. I had him since he was 6 weeks old. How can i stop him from acting this way? He also by my side 24/7 he don’t let me out of his sight he is by my side 24/7

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need to seek a professional behaviorist who can see the behavior. Since I can’t see it and under what circumstances it is impossible for me to diagnose.

    But it is up to you to make sure he doesn’t bite, so I would not allow him to interact closely with these people.

    Instead teach him to give you eye contact and give you attention and do things for you so he is not preoccupied about other people and what they are doing.

    Use a gentle leader or a muzzle if you need to to keep people safe, until you can get someone to come out and help you both.

    [Reply]

  95. Matt vague says:

    Hello I recently got a mini Aussie with my girlfriend that was 5 months when we got him. He has learned very quickly how to sit, come, wait to eat his food or treats and is generally very well mannered. He has no problem with other people but is protective of my girlfriend and I when other, larger dogs come to close to us, although he usually only cares if we are sitting or are right next to each other. We can’t figure out how to get him to stop snapping at these dogs and are afraid one day a larger dog isn’t going to respect his wishes and will just take a piece out of him.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He is a herding dog!!! Herding dogs have a natural tendency to want to protect and keep larger “stock” from their owners.

    I remember when I took my older dog herding for the first time. He definitely had the herding instinct and did GREAT until the sheep got so close to me it made him uncomfortable so you would defluff them. He was just trying to keep me safe.

    You may have to keep him on a leash and not let him play or he may truly get hurt badly.

    Teach him eye contact and coping skills and hopefully that will curb the behavior. Obedience is a big key. If he can lay down or sit or heel or give that eye contact YOU are in control and not him!!!

    [Reply]

  96. Bailey says:

    Hello.
    I have a 7 year old German Shepard…he’s a police wash out dog…we adopted him at 2 years of age…over the last 8-9 months every time my husband comes home he greets him at the door with tail wagging.
    But when my husband approaches me for a hug or kiss, our dog starts to go crazy….growls, snarls and has even on occasion bitten my husband…why is he doing this? he loves playing with my husband and going for walks and everything but its only when he is coming near me…how can I correct this…we don’t have children right now but wish to and I would hate for him to do this to a child….

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He thinks you are his and doesn’t want to share.

    I would get a veterinary behaviorist involved right away.

    The thing about being bitten by a dog that has done bite work is that they KNOW how to bite and do the most damage, because they have been taught since they were little.

    So what might be a nip or a little bite from another dog might break your husband’s arm or inflict serious, serious damage.

    All 3 of my dogs do police dog work and I make sure they never have an opportunity to bite, because I know what they are capable of!

    [Reply]

  97. Rosi says:

    I have a 1 year old GSD which we adopted for a previous owner who couldn’t take care of anymore. He has adapted to our family very well, even with our older GSD and toy poodle. He does favor me quite a bit as I am a stay at home mom and am with all 3 of them until the kids come home from school. The problem is that he barks at no one other than my father in-law who is living with us briefly. For some reason, we have no idea why he does not like him and will continue to bark at him.

    Has this happened to anyone and if so, how was it corrected. We’ve told him no many times when he begins to bark at my father in-law but he continues to do so. I I’d believe that dogs do sense things in humans that they may or may not like and I am wondering what our dogs problem is when he sees my father in-law.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    For some reason there is something about him that makes your dog uncomfortable. It could be how he smells or looks or just a feeling your dog gets. But that part doesn’t really matter, fixing it does.

    Put the dog on a leash in the house when your father-in-law is around so there are no incidents and you can command the dog effectively. Don’t use a command if it is not effective.

    Arm your father-in-law with treats to gently toss to the dog when the dog is calm and quiet. Use treats that are pee sized and smaller and whenever he enters the room have him toss treats to the dog’s feet.

    In order for this to work best it is important to get him involved in helping the dog. And later feeding him and walking and playing with him.

    [Reply]

  98. Hannah f says:

    I have a one year old pit bull and terroir mix. We love in a town home and She barks at everyone in the complex that walks by our door, to get into their car. She fierce fully barks at anyone who enters our home, which is mostly our family coming to visit. She growls and seems like she’s gunna bite them. She’ll even jump on them. It’s very stressful for us when people come over because we have to figure out what to do with her. We are also expecting a baby. Please help on what kind of disapline or training I should take in order to stop this over protective behavior

    [Reply]

  99. Suavanna says:

    Hi I have a ten month old rescue dog. She is a grey/walker hound mix. She bit my brother he is ten. I know I’ve had her only two days but I need a little help. My other dog is a mushy thing lives everyone so this is a big change. What else can I do to help my pup be happy friendly girl? She is protective of me. That’s the only thing I can figure cause all he did was turn to talk to me and show me something. She didn’t hurt him no broken skin…. but either way caught me off guard. My home has visitors all the time and small kids visit.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need to contact a veterinary behaviorist after a bite. Call your vet and ask for a referral but one bite usually leads to another and since I can’t see the dog I can’t really give you advice for aggression

    [Reply]

  100. Johane Grunsky says:

    Hi.

    I have a 2 year old pomeranian that is big boned and weighs 19 lbs. He loves me to death and is the sweetest but oh so very intelligent. When someone rings at the door, he starts barking and when I walk to the door with him he is anxious. Today I put my leg in front of him to slow and calm him down and he actually bit my leg. Strange how the door bell freaks him out yet the knocking doesn’t. Does anyone know what I can do? Its like the doorbell sets him off big time.
    Please help me fix this..

    Johane

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Put a leash on him when you expect company or when the doorbell rings so you don’t feel like having to body block him or pick him up (which will make it worse).

    Next ring the doorbell often… even if you have to buy another one and put the button somewhere where you can ring it all the time, this will desensitize him with the noise and teach him it doesn’t always mean someone is at the door!

    You can always unplug the ringer too if you just want people to knock.

    [Reply]

  101. rosalind says:

    Our dutch shepherd has never been protective of us, always friendly towards other dogs. We recently found an injured matted small dog on our walk. We rescued her and our shepherd loves her and plays gently with her. However she now is extremely protective of the little dog. We love to hike and sit in the front yard in the evenings. We let her go off leash on hikes but now she growls and almost attacks other dogs. What can we do? Are we going to have to give up the little dog?

    [Reply]

  102. Rebecca Gray says:

    Hello my name is Rebecca and I have a 9 month old pug name Parker.. He has grown to become a mommas boy and can never leave me side! I don’t have to use a leash when out side bc as soon as I call him he comes bc he thinks I’m leaving. His attachment to me ahead grown the old he gets. I’ve notice the last month or so that he has been getting really territorial over me when someone comes around me. Either he will try to bit them or growl at them. He does it more towards men and kids. We were in the store last week and to guys tried to pet him and he tried to bit them.. He also gets mean when another dog gets close to me or is walking towards me. And when he has a toy and a dog comes around he thinks there ganna get it and he gets mean! How can I fix this before its to late?

    [Reply]

  103. Michael says:

    Hi too all,

    I have a wrottwieler that is 3 yrs old, very obedient dog. Just need some help as the last few months the dogs behaviour is starting too change. For some reason it’s starting too attack people that come too my house. I got a friend too pat the dog and also give treats, I was very pleased but when my friends turned his back the dog went for him… Which I had full control of the dog on the leash.. Can someone please help me as this is starting too really worry me as I get a lot of friends and family too my house

    Thanks in advance

    [Reply]

  104. Louise says:

    Hi,
    I have a 3yr old female jack Russell who is always anxious and she always has been, we got her at 12weeks old and she imprinted on me straight away and ever since follows me everywhere and when I’m around can be aggressive to people and dogs she barks constantly at any tiny noise and hates children (luckily we don’t have any) I am always fearful of her getting loose and biting someone.
    She can get extra anxious for what I see is no reason ‘her bad days’ as we call them and she will hide in a cupboard or under furniture.
    Recently we have looked after another dog who she is ‘friends’ with while their owners are away we thought it would help but she won’t let the other dog come anywhere near me and has attacked her several times I of course stepped in and stopped the fight but I was shocked at the viciousness but it was mostly handbags and noise the other dog was fine but shocked, but since having the other dog over it has made us see how bad our dog is.
    I fear that she will attack someone and end up being put to sleep

    [Reply]

  105. Stephanie says:

    Hi,

    I have a 15 week old Dalmatian girl, we have had her since 13 weeks, from the first time we took her out on a walk she has growled and snapped at other dogs even if they dont come near her, she also does this to people, i have tried walking her to school with my children and she is perfectly fine until people are near her, i have tried to make her stop doing this by forcefully telling her no but nothing has changed i just end up taking her away from the situation, it seems to me that she is very nervous around other people and dogs as she has her tail between her legs ears down etc. can someone please give me advice on how to stop this.

    [Reply]

  106. Marcy says:

    Hi!
    We have a 6 month old hound mix (we think coonhound and maybe Dobermen). we have had him for almost 2 months. He is protective of me with my husband. My husband tries to show affection and the dog starts whining, barking and growling! How can I stop this behavior?

    [Reply]

  107. Kristen says:

    Great advice. We’ve got a 4 year old Blue Heeler mix. He’s become more and more protective over the years. We live in the country and he has his own fenced in yard, but we often leave the gate open for him. He never wonders off our property but we have people walk down the road that he barks at and they are afraid of him, as well as the UPS lady, and FED Ex man. Though I’ve heard from some that if they stop by and he is out, but we’re not home he is totally fine. But when we are around he’ll nip at them. I can see the leash thing working with him when people stop by, but its unrealistic to think I’ll run out there everytime someone walks by, to hook him up on a leash. I like the association with a treat when guests come. Any other advice to help him?

    [Reply]

  108. mitzi says:

    Hi. I found one reference/question above, including your response which was a little help. Hopefully you have a little more incite for me. I have a 3 year old toy schnauzer I found on the street when she was about 5 months old. She is a sweet little, loving dog to all family and friends-except when my husband, kids or friends try to kiss or hug me, wrestling around, etc., whenever she feels that I am being threatened in any way. She will lunge, bark like crazy and even try to nip them. She is too small to hurt anyone but very protective. Always stands between me and others, camps out by the shower and stove. I thought it was being protective but now maybe possessive. Of course I think it’s so cute but she should know by now that these people we live with, see every day would never hurt me. What should I do?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You are rewarding it because you think it is cute! You are teaching her YES!!! Keep doing that. Instead she needs to lose the privilege of being in the room and with you.

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/love-thee-possess-thee/

    [Reply]

  109. Laurie Stevens says:

    Hello I have a Rat Terrier,, Rosco. He is a great dog but, whenever he is on my lap or anyone else’s and someone tries to pet him he will growl and if you don’t back away and stop petting him he will bite. He is also very nervous when any one comes to visit. He will bark at them continuously. We just ignore him when he does that and eventually he will stop and maybe associate with our guests. He also thinks he can always bully my 14 year old son bu chasing him to the door while barking and growling at him. I would like to correct this problem before it gets worse. Rosco is just a little over 2 and is going to be neutered at the end of the month. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank You!

    [Reply]

  110. Siggi Arnke says:

    Hello – I have a 1.5 year old great dane (male/neutered) With me and people he knows and sees frequently he is adorable, affectionate and lovely. Also on the street and beach he is usually friendly, but protective and on guard without being too agressive. But his behavier at home is starting to worry me. With visitors, especially male he does not relax. If they approach the house he barks and stand in front of them or jumps around them. He is not agressive at this point, just making sure they do not go further until I am there.
    My entrance is through the garden and he is the first to meet them. When I tell him to go into the house and lay down and he usually does it right away. He also stays there until I tell him to get up again – so no problems on that side. But he does not relax, he stays suspicious the entire time of the visit. There would be no way my guest could pet or touch him. If they get closer to him, or try to pass by he growls. He also starts to growl at the vetenarian and he knows her since he is puppy and allways adored her. And I am not sure anymore if he wouldn`t bite (of which I was sure, until 3 weeks ago)
    With his size and weight he is really intiminating and some of my friends stopped to come over. I am afraid to have people hugging me at the house, when he is next to me, because I am not sure what he will do – so having him on a leach next to me, wouldn`t solve the problem. Is it me being too afraid he COULD bite someone? I wished he would be more social and friendly, but have no idea how to get him there. Beside walking him for an hour once a day, he stays at the house and I do not take him with me to friends houses or public places because of this overprotective behavier and his size.
    He really freaks people out. Any idea how to get him to relax?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Oh no, my guess from your description is that he would have no problem biting and at some point in the near future probably will since he is only now reaching sexual maturity. Even if he is neutered he has been a puppy up until now. If he is not neutered I would get him neutered immediately so he is less territorial of you and his space.

    We just started an aggression program for dogs like him. I would recommend either joining us or finding out when it will be offered again and you can do that be contacting customer service at info@thedogtrainingsecret.com

    [Reply]

    Siggi Arnke Reply:

    I am living in costa rica, so pretty far away from any aggression program.
    Is there a special training i can do with him myself?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It is an internet program so since I know you have internet access that is what I would recommend and yes, it is a detailed course

  111. Josh says:

    My Fiancee and I each have a dog,and we live together in an apartment. Our dogs are small and we are desperately trying to upgrade to a house for them however we are unable to do so at this time. The larger of the two is mine (Jack, terrier schnauzer mix) and he is only about 20 LBS but is a strong dog for his size. The smaller of the two,(Sam, terrier chihuahua mix),despite her smaller size of 10 LBS, is the clear alpha. When we first got the two of them together, Jack was new to us. So he has really always been kind of a second dog, never a dog by himself. The four of us have been living together for over 2 years at this point but between dates outings etc. we are at about 3 years of everyone being in close quarters.

    About 2 years ago, right after we moved in together officially, Jack started showing aggressive behavior towards Dogs and Strangers when we would take him out on walks, to the dog park, or just out for a quick bathroom break. When it first started my Fiancee (girlfriend at the time) notified me of it and we researched tips and tricks etc. We bought him a gentle leader and tried to be firm in our training and walk him close to us etc. I noticed that the issue also seems to arise more when my fiancee walks him and also when he was walked with Sam as opposed to alone. We immediately started walking them separately and tried to get him more socialization. After a year or so of this things seemed to get better. They never fully went away but they seemed to be much more manageable.

    A few months ago we moved to a larger apartment and have seen a return of this behavior when my fiancee walks him, sometimes with Sam. We unfortunately are in a tight situation at the moment that we don’t have lots to pay for a trainer so I figured I would put it out for some answers.

    I would rather not give up on him, because he is actually one of the most loving dogs in most circumstances, and in our apartment he doesn’t have much trouble meeting new people, only outside. I would also rather not get a remote shock collar, although I honestly am getting close. He isn’t very treat/reward driven. It does work to some extent but he is honestly driven by affection more than anything.
    We have tried:
    Gentle Lead
    Walking him alone
    Training it out
    Treat/reward
    I’m embarrassed to say I’ve even smacked him on the butt a couple of times.

    Does anyone have any other thoughts or ideas that Might be able to help. I have read the above article and am going to start with some of the behavior tips, and I do think that me being a larger and very confident man does help me, while my Fiancee may not put out the same vibes when she walks him doesn’t achieve the same result. We really need a more permanent solution. Outside of this behavior he is a pretty well mannered dog, so I would like to figure something out as we did just have the very heartbreaking “Is being here best for the dog” talk.

    Please help.

    [Reply]

  112. veer says:

    I have a 3 year old lab and he is of good nature and has always been obedient around kids and adults. Recently my 7 yr old cousin has been spending a lot of time with us and my lab seems to be obsessed with him. Unfortunately my cousin has an allergy towards dogs though he loves them dearly. There are times when him allergy gets severe and we need to separate the two, however my lab gets protective and trys to snap at me and he won’t let anyone near my cousin. This kind of behavior in him has never been seen before. I’m worried as he completely disobeys my commands when my cousin is around. I’m not sure how to deal with this situation. I want to fix things before they get out of hand.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need to go back to basic obedience and work on it daily. Make sure it is fun and the dog is rewarded for good behavior and then teach the dog a good down stay on a bed for when the two need to be separated or use a crate sometimes. But obedience is your main key

    [Reply]

  113. Rebeccah says:

    Hi! I have a 2 year old Deer Head Chihuahua and a 4 year old Apple head Chihuahua. The 4 year old has improved vastly since we got him a month ago. He used to bite and refused to let us pick him up. Now, he will cuddle by my head when I lay down to sleep.
    on the other hand, our 2 year old seems to dislike my older brother. He will growl and run to hide when Mike enters the room. In general, he is just too skittish and we are wondering if we should keep him. We got them together, but we are at a loss… Help!!

    [Reply]

  114. Tracy says:

    Hi,

    We recently adopted a mixed breed (Boxer, Pointer possibly Pitbull). He is now 11 months old. We have had him for two months. When we first got him he was very submissive. Cowering when we would try to pet him, etc. But he quickly warmed up to us- once he realized we were not going to hurt him. Now he is aggressive when someone comes to our house, or when he is in the car. If I go to a drive-thru he barks and growls and acts like he is going to attack the person. This behavior seems to be getting worse and worse. I am at a loss as to what to do now. Any suggestions?

    Tracy

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I recommend our aggression course. email customer service at info@thedogtrainingsecret.com to find out when another will start

    [Reply]

  115. Crystal says:

    Hello, so I have a Bichon Frese/ dauchsie mix. Just recently we got her spayed. Before the spaying she was a well behaved happy dog. Now that sh I fixed she has become very over protective of our kittens that are about 3 weeks old. So much to the point that she won’t let the Moma cat close to the babies. And she has started to whine a lot. She never was a whiner before. Is this normal behavior? Will it last? Any ideas on what to do? We keep telling her no when she won’t let the mom by the kittens and we keep her away from them as much as possible. Please help. I want my loving non whiney dog back. Now she almost seems sad and like she has lost something.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    This has nothing to do with the spay, if anything spaying will make this better eventually… you say recently but it can take a month or more to get those hormones out of her system.

    Keep her on a leash and away from the kittens and the mother and have the mother spayed so you don’t have this problem again!

    [Reply]

  116. Ginnie says:

    Hello. I recently adopted a chihuahua. He doesn’t bark or bite much, loves to follow me around, and leave my two cats alone for the most part. But every time my cats get near me or cuddle with me, he seems to get jealous or protective, and would bark at them and try to chase them away. I tell him with a firm NO, and tried to give him treats when my cats are around. It works but he always goes back to the old way. I’m frustrated and feel this is unfair to my kitties. What can I do? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Every time he does it put him outside or give him a time out where you are not… he will learn that if he wants to stay with you he needs to stop this behavior

    [Reply]

  117. larry bursey says:

    My 7 year old chihuahua male dog goes nuts when a dog gets near me. He goes off showing his teeth,he gives a look of affection when he does it. Not too long ago I had to get between him and a big dog. I got him a whileback at the kennel as a worker. He was scared of everything, even dogs.

    [Reply]

  118. danny says:

    I have well i dunno how big of a problem, but here we go. I have 2 children 6 and 10 months. My 6 year old shitzu is acting wierd around my 10 month old son. Such as not leaving his.side, constantly trying to lick him, when people are holding him(my 10 month old) thmy dog ted will not leave there side and or even growl when people try to pick my son up. Now i have never seen ted aggressive before in his 6 years only little warning growls, not even a snarl. And if you upset him he will grab you with his teeth ever so gentle and hold you like please stop but never ever anything aggressive like a touch from someone who has no teeth is best to compare it to. I have been trying to occupy him in other ways such as play walks outside and cuddle, but as soon as we in the area.of my son. That is Teds main focus. Even warning growled at my 6 year old son when he kissed his brother good night. A little help would be great. If it is needed. And we have not had much for life style change and he never was like this until just recently.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    If this is new behavior take him to your vet first to make sure there is no health problem or change. Then seek a veterinary behaviorist if he is healthy

    [Reply]

  119. Debbie says:

    I have a 7 year old jackrat who is very protective to me. Today I was in my recliner and my husband came to hand me a piece of paper. Our dog growled and showed teeth. I was holding onto her harness. My husband wanted to hit her. Finally got this stopped. I have never seen act out this bad and don’t know what to do about it. Suggestions please. I’m afraid I’ll come home some day to find my dog gone. She is such a lovable thing. I am hoping to be able to help her.

    [Reply]

  120. Claudia says:

    Hi,
    I have a 8 month old rottie mix that I adopted about a month a half ago and he is very nervous around people. He is getting better at meeting people outside the house but gets very protective at people entering the house. He stands on the top of the stairs and barks which can be very intimidating. He is okay with letting some people in but others he doesn’t like too. I am trying to train him but he gets so worked up sometimes. He will sometimes do a low growl towards people even after he has smelled them and is nervous about letting them in the house. How can I stop this behaviour because I don’t want my family to be fearful around him. He was okay with letting people in the house for the first couple weeks but now he has gotten very protective over it. What can I do? I have tried some of the stuff in the article provided but he is still very unsure about visitors. He has also recently attended a training class that he did very well in.
    Thanks.

    [Reply]

  121. Amanda says:

    Hi, I have a 3 year old springer spaniel that is very aggressive at home. Whenever she goes in the garden and hears or sees someone she is aggressively barking until I bring her back in. Also, whenever strangers come round she continuously barks until they lead also it is very worrying that she will carry out on this threat since it is a continuous pattern. I started taking her in the garden with the lead for a few months now but her behaviour is still the same. However, it seems to be a territorial issue since if I bring her to someone else’s house or if we are out walking she has never been aggressive she is sometimes even shy why passing a bigger dog. Please help me as this issue is getting worse and I fear the worst could happen. Thanks Amanda

    [Reply]

  122. Jacqueline Picken says:

    Hi I have a 9 year old rescue Border Collie named Holly.
    in the 4 years I have had her although very smart and picks things up very quickly, unfortunately I have not been able to stop her nipping at trousers and has on a few occasions biten through to a leg rather then nip. She is over protective of my home and I have taken on board advise to try curb this by keeping her on a lead when people visit, but it’s also when we are out and she’s on a lead and very sneaky with it catching me out whilst I was waiting outside a shop with her. I can only describe this behaviour as almost like tourettes syndrome, she just can’t seem to stop herself. Has anyone experienced this behaviour in a dog? or has anyone got any advice to help me to stop this with my Holly, she is a sweet little thing, but also very nervous (sound sensitive) not good with meeting new people.

    [Reply]

  123. Joseph says:

    We have an 18 month wire haired dachshund. He is really friendly around us; however, when people come over he growls and barks incessantly. He may then get to know someone and even let them pet him, hang out. 10 minutes later he is barking at them again.
    This happens with neighbors he has seen 100’s of times. Once we visited my sister and brother-in-law and every time they left the room and came back in, he was barking at them, even if they had become “friends” earlier. It is almost like he has short-term memory loss or something. What can we do? The breed are barkers by nature and we are naturally fine with him barking when appropriate. Where is the off switch? For now, we will try the recommendations in this article. Again, it is just so odd, that our dog can be friendly one moment and not the next. I am guessing that he feels threatened in some way and will for the signs.

    [Reply]

  124. Brooke says:

    Hi all, I am a 12 year old girl and my friend has gone on holiday. She left her 21 year old (dog years) cavoodle with my family and I for a couple of days. Last night when my father entered the room, he began to argue with my brother who was petting the dog. The dog (Bell) immediately began to bark and yap at him. My dad thought she was going to bite him so he pretended to kick her away, she then resulted in barking louder and louder and then pounced at him. We had to get my father out of the room and calm Bell down. We then tried to get him to enter the room again, this time on his knees to show Bell that he meant no harm, he began to laugh (thinking he was better than her) she kept barking and we had to put her in the laundry. In the morning my mum told me that she finally got Bell to stop barking at my father. This afternoon my dad came home from work and Bell showed the exact same reaction as before. This is really stressful for me because I feel that it is all my fault that we got this dog for a few days in the first place. PLEASE HELP ASAP.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Have him carry and toss her treats BEFORE she barks and keep her on a leash around him.

    [Reply]

  125. Sharon says:

    Hello
    My shitsu or maltese dog is VERY protective. No one can walk by, come to the door w/o him barking. He bit a lady that was walking by. I was ready to get rid of him permanently. I will not give her away for the safety of others. I do not want him so protective. It scares me for other people who come. Can’t give him a bath because he will bite us. He nipped at the dog groomer. What do I do with this dog.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Find a veterinary behaviorist that can help you. You need someone who can witness the behaviors and work with you both. I can’t see it, so I can’t effectively help you.

    [Reply]

  126. Lizzie says:

    My dog is a 12 year old poodle. He is a very sweet and loving dog but recently has been very overprotective over me. He growls and barks at my fiancé anytime he tries to get a kiss or hug or anything from me and then jumps on the bed and just licks his face and shakes. He does this everyday for about a month and a half or so. I don’t know what to do.

    [Reply]

  127. Caitlynne says:

    Hi there!

    I have a pomeranian/eskimo mix.
    He is 7 years old, I adopted him 4 years ago, and he was not fixed.
    So I fixed him up and he has been my best buddy since day 1.
    Before he was fixed, he was aggressive toward other dogs, almost in what I describe as a jealous way, but that changed the moment he was fixed. He listens to me very well and doesn’t mind other dogs around, the only problem is, he is still a barker, and I mean at EVERYTHING. I was living in condos and he would bark at the elevator doors opening, any time someone walked the halls, when the mail came, he always has, and I’ve tried everything, spray bottle, citronella collar, positive reinforcement, but nothing works for more then a moment.

    I have now moved home with my parents into a house, and he is still terrible!
    He ONLY barks at every noise when I am home, and when I am not, he is silent at every noise. But when I am around, he barks at everything. Yesterday we had men working on our roof and he barked at every hammer for 5 hours straight. Nothing would stop him! Our family dog is a bichon and you can tell even he is getting tired of it! He never makes a sound!
    I don’t know what to do!! How do I get him to chill out!?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/top-5-reasons-dog-quiet/

    [Reply]

  128. Michael says:

    I do not have a comment but I need HELP. My dog jenny adopted at 5 weeks from the animal rescue 3 years ago is very protective and recently because of human error got into 2 altercations with other dogs both times she felt the need to protect when other dogs approached. The dog Worden was fired for not issuing tickets, now there is a new dog officer and this person has issued 2 tickets. I took the dog out of the municipality and the original dog Worden was ok with this. I am petrified courts will try and take her away, she is the sweetest animal alive. Can the new Worden issue tickets? This person did not exist 3 weeks ago. HELP & THANK YOU

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would find a lawyer in the area, all areas have separate and different laws regarding animals.

    Also you need the help of a veterinary behaviorist to better evaluate your situation.

    [Reply]

  129. Jennie says:

    HELP THERE IS AN OVER POSSESSIVE DOG! I have been with my boyfriend for over a year now, I often go over to hang out with him and his family at their apartment to have dinner or watch TV, the only issue I have with going over is their little white Maltese. It is very over protective of my boyfriend, and him alone. Whenever we touch the dog must get in between us or it stares at me and will sit licking my boyfriend’s leg for hours. And whenever he leaves the room it will come and try to bite me for no reason at all. Whenever I come over it has to be outside or else it will snarl at me or growl anytime I show my boyfriend affection in the apartment. How do I deal with this or get it to stop?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/love-thee-possess-thee/

    [Reply]

  130. Ashlee says:

    I have a 1 1/2 year old German Shepherd. He is way to strong for me so I can’t take him on walks very well. I’m the only one in my house that will take him. When I take him he pulls the leash and he has a harness so that he won’t pull as bad but it doesn’t work very well. When he see’s someone or something he stops and barks. Sometimes he will charge. I would like to take him more often but I can’t because of that reason. I want to take him out and be social but if he doesn’t know who the person is when I’m with him he will nip at them and then I have to discipline him and leave.. What should I do?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    There are other ways to exercise rather than walks, like retrieve games.

    Otherwise I would recommend a gentle leader and our aggression program.

    Contact Dana at customer service at info@thedogtrainingsecret.com to find out when our aggression program starts again.

    [Reply]

  131. Kevin says:

    I have a five year old pit bull great dog he’s a very happy dog but is starting to be overprotective with my wife, he is my dog and iv had him since he was born but shows more love for her witch I think is fine. But we are about to have a baby and I really don’t wanna have him be overprotective with a baby around seeing as it’s gonna take a lot of our time away from our dog. So what I’m asking dose any one know or have any tips on what I should do we’ve tryed a few things like telling him no and getting him to lay down when he gets up set witch he listens but is still willing to get up set.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/preparing-dog-human-baby/

    Make your wife get involved in actual obedience training have them take a class or something so he his getting used to listening to her. This will help him respect her more and be less likely to be over protective as she will be teaching him she can care for herself. It will also help him not to jump because as she gets further along in her pregnancy and when the baby comes that becomes dangerous

    [Reply]

  132. Marie says:

    I have a 4yr old border collie who has turned aggressive to people outside now that ive had a baby. She suffers from high anxiety and lack of confidence. She sees herself as the boss. I have had a trainer involved these past 2 mths which has helped in a lot of ways. However she is now toiletting in the house and she pee’d on my son after he was sick. Now im worriwd and dont know what to do. Please help….

    [Reply]

  133. Courtney says:

    Help! I have a 1 year old havenese who I rescued about 8 months ago, and every time someone comes over she has to be the center of attention. I recently started dating a friend who she has known since i adopted her and every time he comes over she goes crazy (barking, whinning no stop) if he does not hold her, or if she is not with us the entire time.

    [Reply]

  134. Growlingpom says:

    Hi, just wondering if anyone has any tips! I have a 15 year old Pom called max. he always lived outside, but when I got married 3 years ago, my husband and I decided to keep him in the house. He adapted well to this, and has a good relationship with my husband. I had a car accident 1year ago and spend my days in the house with Max! My husband works long hours. Recently, I have noticed when my husband touches/kisses me, Max growls ALOT!! And if I hug my husband, max barks and cries, until my husband moves away from me. He has never tried to bite, but I am worried this could happen if it continues!

    [Reply]

  135. Sami says:

    My boyfriend and I recently moved in together and are trying to socialize our two male dogs together. They are both bulldog mixes and roughly 50lbs, both are neutered.

    My boyfriend’s dog (Jake) is roughly 8 yrs old very vocal and hyper, loves to play but overall he’s obedient FOR MY BOYFRIEND, he is still learning his boundaries with me. My boyfriend has had him since he was a puppy. My dog (Smokey) who is roughly 3 yrs old, and a foster that I am hoping to adopt, is quiet, and laid back for the most part. He seems to be totally mesmerized by our fish tank but the biggest problem I’m having is he is far too protective, especially of me. He doesn’t like for our kids to be running around chasing each other playing, and will often nip at the kids if he thinks they are hurting each other. He’s even nipped at a house guest who was picking up one of the kids.

    The two dogs have gotten into altercations on a few occasions to the point now that I keep them segregated in the house. I rotate them around the rooms so they don’t feel like they ‘own’ any one particular room but it’s still a nuisance to remember that I can’t let them in the same space because they may fight and seriously injure each other. It totally breaks my heart because I really think they could be great pals if Smokey can learn WHEN to be protective! I’ve only had him 8 months and this behavior is relatively new (since the last major altercation), but its becoming more frequent so I want to nip it in the butt (no pun intended) before something serious happens!

    [Reply]

  136. Tania says:

    Can anyone tell me how to stop my 10mth old female American staffy being aggressive , protective towards my other staffys , she has always been very sweet , playful, loving towards them until she had a leg injury & was put on bed rest for a few weeks ” in my bed” now when ever the other dogs come near my bed or jump on the bed she wants to fight them & has also started fights with them outside to? I have told her NO everytime she even starts to growl or is looking at them funny but it hasn’t helped at all? I use to love having the 3 of them in my bed during winter but now im hating the tension I can’t even leave her in the room alone with them & the other female & male are starting to not even want to go near her? Please help my family get back to a normal loving family??

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need to get her off of your bed, and the other dogs as well in order to work through this without pushing her buttons to the extreme. If you don’t, the resource of the bed, and attention with you may cause a serious fight.

    And, honestly now, this may be a long time maintenance problem. Once one of my dogs is aggressive with another, I don’t trust them to get along unsupervised. I am not willing to risk death or serious injury, surgery and vet bills.

    Also read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/love-thee-possess-thee/

    [Reply]

  137. Katie D says:

    We adopted our dog Evey 1.5 years ago. A woman found her wandering around a lake for almost a week and was unable to locate her owners. She kept her for about a year, and decided that she couldnt have a dog anymore, for whatever reason. When we got her, the vet estimated that she was 8-9 years old, and spayed. We think she is part rat terrier part chihuahua. Today, we are estimating that she is about 10 years old.

    Shes spoiled, shes our only dog, and our first one together. At night, she sleeps on our bed, usually near me. For a while now, she has growled and whined whenever my husband and I kiss, or even hug around her. Sometimes she even jumps up at us. At first, we thought it was funny. We didnt really understand what it meant.

    Also, when we are getting into bed, she sits on the bed before my husband gets in and growls, barks, mouths/almost nips his hands as he tries to get into bed. This only happens if I am already in bed. If he is in first, and then I get in, she doesnt do this. And it is only to him. I usually yell at her, tell her no, and to get under the covers (where she calms down and rests). She doesnt respond to calming tones, she is just mad and keeps barkind.

    The same thing happens in the morning. Husband wakes up for work at 4:15am, Evey barks and growls at him right up until he opens the bedroom door to bring her outside to pee. Then when she comes inside, she jumps back on the bed and growls at him, and sits on top of the blanket (while i am trying to sleep) and stares at him. Even when he closes the door after letting her back in, she is alert, ears up. It takes me a few tries before I am able to coax her back under the covers where she falls asleep.

    Last week, I had my 3 year old nephew and 6 year old neice over. They were climbing on me and walking around the house, just talking. She didnt like that, and she barks at them and gets in their face. I had my husband hold her in his recliner while I was sitting on the floor with the 3yo, her ears were up and she was barking and trying to get to me.

    The only time that I give her a treat is when she comes back in from using the bathroom in the morning (2nd time), and its a Greenie (vet says to give her one a day, for her teeth). Husband feeds her human food during dinner, not a lot, and definitely less than he used to.

    She is on medication, she takes phenobarbital twice a day for seizures.

    I dont know what else to do, the barking/growling is getting worse.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Get her off of the bed. Your husband doesn’t deserve to be in an abusive relationship. You wouldn’t allow another human to threaten him in his bed?

    And she needs to be put up or on a leash when children and probably others come to visit to keep her from biting.

    My dogs have to earn their privileges, you can’t be on the bed or lose in the house if you don’t have good and controllable behavior.

    [Reply]

  138. mike says:

    Hi. Great article. I’m hoping you can help me.
    My fiancee and I adopted our four year old 1/2 German Shepherd 1/2 Blue Heeler about six months ago from her brother. He is a very well trained dog, other than the fact he is very protective of my family and his territory. He barks and scowls incessantly when people come over, and what I have been doing is giving our guests treats to give him, and it eventually will calm him down and he goes on to being very affectionate. He gets very aggressive when other dogs are around. Yesterday, he got out of the harness we have and ran onto our neighbor’s property up the street, chasing his two small dogs. He also gets very aggravated when we are running on the trail and people run past us. Typically, a stern “no” and a tug on the leash brings him back to reality. He has never bitten anyone and is just very, very vocal and protective, but to a stranger who does not know him, it will escalate things further to the point where he might bite someone. What can we do?

    Thanks

    Mike

    [Reply]

  139. Samantha says:

    Hi ive got an English Staffordshire terriër she’s a female of 3. She sleeps with me everynight sinds the day we got her. She isn’t an aggresive dog at all and loves strangers. However when someone enter my room she starts growling and barking. She also does this when someone talks to me outside my room. I don’t know if she’s just startled or of this is a real issue.

    Thanks
    Samantha

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    That is a real issue. Aggression is aggression and she is saying she doesn’t want anyone in your room, and if someone were to proceed…. they could be bitten.

    My dogs only get the privilege of being in the bedroom or bed with me if they show no aggressive behaviors and they listen to me and my training during the day.

    If they are not, they sleep in crates and the problem is often alleviated

    [Reply]

  140. April says:

    Hi, I have a 4 1/2 year old Boston Terrier. She is a great dog, happy and loving, until my 10 year old son comes out of his bedroom down the hall or goes toward his room down the hall. She becomes a little terror, barking and growling, trying to bite at him. His instincts are to yell and swing at her. I’ve told him over and over just to ignore her and walk normal but it doesn’t seem to help. The weird thing is that when he sits down somewhere she jumps up on him and licks him all over.

    We are all getting pretty frustrated with the barking and nipping. Any suggestions as to what we could do.

    Also we have a 2 year old female English Bulldog and the two dogs do not get along at all. We have to keep them in separate areas of the house. Any suggestions as to how to try to get them to become friends,

    Thanks a lot,

    April

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You can’t force dogs to like one another, just like you can’t force people to like one another.

    You need to control both your son and your dog, they are feeding off of each other and headed toward a bite if it continues.

    I would make my 10 year old take the dog to an obedience class so they learn to interact in a healthy way. Even if the dog has been through one, it would be good for them both.

    Then I would put the dog on a leash and not allow this behavior. Give a command and make the dog lay down when your son comes out of his room.

    [Reply]

  141. Diana says:

    I have a 2yr. old pitbull. He is the sweetest dog at home and loves playing with our 4 yr old Shih Tzu. But whenever we bring him outside for a walk (on a leash) he is very protective and barks to anyone walking near us. His ears are up and his eyes are so focus as if he has target. It seems like he is ready to attack and we have to apply all of our strength to hold him back and prevent him from biting. We tell him “NO” but seems like he is not even listening. Why does he acts like that towards anyone near my husband, my shih tzu and myself? he is a sweet dogs and he is very friendly with our guest only inside our apartment. Help!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    My companion dog program is about to start, I suggest that you take it. Email Dana at info@thedogtrainingsecret.com and she can get you enrolled.

    [Reply]

  142. Christopher Rogers says:

    My 4 yo staff cross neutered dog keeps mounting our three bitches and is agressive towards my wife and our 11 and 12 girls. How can I train this out of him and reassure him that although our pack has become larger he will remain part of it.

    [Reply]

  143. katie says:

    When my 1 year old german shepherd sees somebody walking alone across our property he gets defensive and quite agressive, we have six houses on our property (all family) and it usually only happens when me or my dad aren’t outside, when we are around he usually doesn’t bother, he’s quite friendly when there is a group, it’s just when people are alone. He’s does it to me too, until he gets a good look at me, then he’s like oh its just you, but other people he just won’t stop barking and he likes to come right up behind them, I’ve seen him snap at them but never actually bite them, then they turn around and start being aggressive towards him which only makes the situation worse, and makes the dog more aggressive back, telling me that they’re going to punch him in the nose, no matter how many times I’ve told them to talk calmly towards him, they think the answer is to be aggressive thinking that will solve the problem, it only makes it harder and harder for me to call him back, which usually if they would just ignore him or playfully call him a dumba$$ he will back off and be totally fine, I’ve told them all this but they don’t listen to me they still think aggression works best, and I’m afraid if they actually do manage to hit him all hell is going to break loose and he’s really going to tear into someone. He’s normally pretty well behaved and generally likes people and is totally fine on a leash, it just when people are alone, especially in the dark, like I’ve said he’s done it to me when he sees me from a distance but stops when he realizes its me, but then when everyone is around he’s totally fine even affectionate towards someone he may have been barking at earlier, it seems odd to me that he would be like this, barking at them one moment and totally fine the next. I think it may have something to do with his eyesight, he seems to have poor eyesight, like a t-Rex in jurassic park, can’t see you when your not moving, but if he catches motion he goes right after it, when I take him to the vet I think I might get his eyes checked, I just don’t want someone to get hurt. He really is the sweetest and likes pretty much everyone he meets, he gives lots of licks, tail wagging and everything. Just when people are alone does he turn into a little jerk, I just don’t want him or anyone else to get hurt, especially if I’m not around.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He is being aggressive. The first thing is not to sugar coat it and understand it. A dog that snaps is showing intent and a young dog is telling them what he is preparing to do.

    I would never let my dogs out without me being out with them. That means I go out with them at 2 am. or when it is 20 below or hailing.

    And, my dogs aren’t around other people when I am not around. They are in the house, in their crates where I know nothing can happen.

    And teach him to control his drives and impulses through obedience when it comes to wanting to chase.

    you can look up articles on training and working in “drive”

    [Reply]

  144. Lauren says:

    I have a 7 month old pyernees and shepard mix. She just recently became a little over protective. She sleeps with me and my roommate usually sleeps on the couch or in his room. Now, when he enters my bedroom she will bark growl and even snap at him. If he tries to hug me or get near me anywhere else in the house she doesn’t become aggressive like that but she still tries to put herself in between us. It’s the snapping that bothers me. I tried not letting her sleep with me but she is still protective of ppl being around me or in my room. I’ve tried telling her NO when she starts growling and making her get down off the bed but she still wont stop growling or barking. What can I do to make her stop?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    at 7 months this is a very serious problem! She needs to get off of the furniture completely. She needs to be in a crate if she is in your room, and I suggest an obedience class you can both attend and lots of obedience in her life.

    She thinks she can make the decisions in your life, and if you are not careful she is very likely to bite one of these times her warning is not heeded.

    [Reply]

  145. Mary Spingath says:

    I live as a roommate in a house. I had a boyfriend whom lives with me. Recently, my boyfriend left for about a month. My housemates elderly dog feels he must watch over me. He will not leave me alone. But the owner thinks that her dog doesn’t love her anymore so she crys . What can I do to make her dog not pay attention to me so much.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Stop reciprocating affection. But ultimately it is up to the dog who he or she likes best

    [Reply]

  146. Carol says:

    I have a 4 yr German shepherd. She has over the last 6 months started barking and showing aggression at new people when they come to the house. She will bark at them and when they try to walk down the hall way she will jump up, bite there clothing and pull. It doesn’t matter how old or young. My daughter had her friend round for about 30 mins and she jumped up at him too. I ended up locking her in the kitchen so he was safe. She is like this whether it’s myself or my partner in the house.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need the help of a veterinary behaviorist before the nipping of clothes turns into the biting of skin and liability

    [Reply]

  147. Dawn McQuiston says:

    I have a 2 year old Shih Tzu, that is protected over me . When my husband and my mom go to pet him sometimes he shows his teeth. Toby always been a friendly dog. Just yesterday he snapped on my 10 year old son for no reason. I don’t understand why his acting like this?

    [Reply]

  148. Tabitha says:

    Hello my pit bull is protective over our house and a neighbor came by today and my dog went crazy we built this front porch closed in and has a gate on it so he can go outside and he almost jumped over the fence to try and attack my neighbor because he’s so protective over my house.We need help A.S.A.P.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I suggest you find a veterinary behaviorist in your area to come to your home and help you. I cannot see your dog or his behaviors over the internet and with anything this serious it is imperative that you get help.

    [Reply]

  149. Nikki says:

    Hello, i have a 2 year old pittbull. When we got him he was very kind and listened very well, now he tries to bite myself and my mother inlaw. He will get inbetween my daughters doorway and growl, pounce,& bark at me not letting me go in. I brought my 6 month old nephew neer him, (we were in the truck with the dog and my nephew was out of the truck)& my dog wanted to attack the baby. He listens to men, not women. When we are firm with him, it gets worse. What should i do?

    [Reply]

  150. Rachel says:

    I just adopted a dog that was headed to pound owners couldn’t have pets at their rental and the “rescued” him from previous owner who as they knew were very mean to him and didn’t want him any more . hes very sweet. was told he always went to dog parks unleashed. only thing is he whimpers or cried when the mom would pet him.and didn’t like scary Halloween masks. now I have him for 4 days and if anyone gets too close to me he will growl, and move like he intends on nipping . I have small kids and am NOT for that! what is the best way to stop this behavior. and why would he be soooo great with other dogs and so far the 4 dogs hes met in the neighborhood it hasn’t gone smoothly at all!! help if you can! thanks!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need to find a veterinary behaviorist in your area. I can’t see the level of aggression on the internet and it could be very dangerous for your children and their friends. you need a veterinary behaviorist to come in and see the aggression.

    [Reply]

  151. I rescued a Tibetan mastiff about a month ago. I know the people very well at the humane society I got him from. They were able to walk him and people could approach him on his walk. He also played well with the other dogs there. I choose this dog because it was believed by the humane personnel that he had separation anxiety. So at this point he charges the door and people coming in with excessive barking. I have been doing, very well at establishing myself as alpha, except with stopping him from charging the door and people (need to relook at my alpha status). After reading this article I will leash him now, and follow all instructions. What concerns .me is this, I took him for a walk today and a little teddy bear size dog came running straight at him from across the street. As soon as buddy heard the little dog barking, he completely got totally out of control. I had buddy on a very short leash. He knocked me down because of his thrashing about to get to this other dog. With me on the ground on my knees he drug me across the grass . Finally the other dogs owner pick up his dog, but only because I threw myself backward with my whole body. I weigh 200lbs and am a female. I could not control my dog. I don’t want to walk him anymore untill I get his behavior within my home under control. I guess what I’m saying is he is so strong, how do I combat that. Oh, and by the way, he just growled very aggressively at my 5 yr old grandson when he walk by buddy who was chewing a raw hide. He’s never done that either. Time to seriously training.

    [Reply]

  152. Sophia says:

    I have a lab mixed with pit and chow and is very protective of me (mommy). I thank you for your article and will use some of the techniques you discussed. My dog is 5 years old and I taught him the other day how to shake and roll over. I would love to change his aggressive behavior towards strangers because he is a good dog. Thank you

    [Reply]

  153. Katy says:

    I just got a rescue mix breed, and have been having issues with her and my cat. We’ve had a dog before, so I knew the cat is going to be a bit aggressive but then calm down. The dog, three times her size, is a bit scared of her, which makes things settle since she doesn’t engage the cat, which in turn calms the cat. However, in the past two nights if my cat tried to walk by my bed, the dog would run at her (to protect me, it seems). The attack makes thw cat aggressive all over again so I can’t get them to settle together.
    How do I convince my dog I don’t need protection from the cat?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    The dog should not be allowed on your bed if she acts this way. Being on the bed is a privilege and the cat was there first.

    This needs to be managed with strict obedience. My dogs aren’t allowed to chase my cats; my cats are in charge read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/cat-alpha-dog-pack/

    [Reply]

  154. cs907 says:

    My dog is overly protective in our home. It is just the 2 of us living here, but when I have company over she walks behind them never biting but “heeling” them. She doesn’t get away with it, I tell her no and I put her in her kennel. Some days its worse than others but I need for it to stop. If we go out she is fine, at dog parks, on trails, just not at home. What is it that I can do?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Put her on a leash and don’t allow her to do it at all. She must not get away with it for even a moment.

    [Reply]

  155. GALE PLATT says:

    I adopted a dog from the pound. I love her except for one huge problem. She is over protective. She will not let anyone into our home, I have to put her into another room. Lulu will try to bite them, very aggressive. She is completely gentle with me and my Adult son. She is very obedient to all my other commands.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She needs more obedience. Obedience should not be a pick and choose situation.

    Even when I am training police dogs, who bite for a living and on command, if I don’t want them to engage in the bite they must lay down, sit… etc. with no aggression. Even if the person in a bite suit is yelling or threatening.

    Dogs are capable of obedience even in these situations.

    She also needs to always be on a leash when people are over so she doesn’t have the opportunity to get at the visitor.

    [Reply]

  156. Kate says:

    I have a shitzu and he will attack anyone coming to the door except his owner and her husband and myself. I tried all kinds of things and now resort to putting him in his kennel everytime someone comes to the door. I am afraid he will get someone before I can get to him in time. He is sweet to us but dislikes anyone coming to the house. He will not listen or can’t be distracted or anything when someone is walking up to the house or at the door. Don’t know what to do anymore. He barks, growls and turns very scary and will bite.

    [Reply]

  157. Annie says:

    I have a 2 year old fear aggressive dog – he is reactive out on walks but a BIG PROBLEM i am having is he seem to be resource guarding Me, he is pretty well behave when i am not there but when i am home as other member of my family leave the room i am in he turns nasty, barking like crazy – jumping and trying to bit them – the barking is deafening. This behaviour seems worse at mealtimes – i dish out the food and my son and daughter come into the kitchen to take their food – the dog barks loudly at them and tries to bit them – as if he does not want them to take their food – he has nipped both of them on the legs a couple of times. Any advice how to stop this behaviour around me would be greaetly appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need a veterinary behaviorist immediately, especially if you have children. Do this before your children are attacked! http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/recommend-veterinary-behaviorist-dog-trainer/

    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dog-hates-husband/

    [Reply]

  158. Dan says:

    I got a mix breed at humane society about a year ago. He was returned once before due to his behavior towards males in that house. He was friendly with me though from the start. My son however is a different story. The dog watches his every move and if he comes near me he goes crazy barking. Also goes crazy when someone is at the door, he will even nip at my heels to try and get around me and at whomever is at door. He wont bite or nip at people at door but he gets right in their face and barks. He will stand toe to toe with my son and not let him walk towards me. I have to go block for him to get by me. When I am not home and my son is here alone with him he is fine, no issues except if someone comes to door. Outside the house he never displays this behavior, he is perfectly behaved and social. I can even let him off lease and he stays with me and doesn’t run. No issues with other dogs. Im stumped.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    with aggression such as this I recommend a veterinary behaviorist so they can witness the specific behavior and put you on a behavior modification program.

    [Reply]

  159. Diane says:

    I adopted a shelter dog a year ago. He is now 2. He is overly protective of me. My husband can’t even come near me. It seems to be getting worse lately. He had obedience training when I first got him. Currently he is in a stay & train at the local day care. His trainer says he is very good in all of the commands that she gives him. He is very loving otherwise. He loves going to the vet, groomer, pet store, dog park and day care. People just love him. Yet around me he is a terror when anyone, or another dog gets near me. When he’s in protective mode he won’t listen to me at all.
    He has been evaluated by a few behaviorists who say his case is severe and he should never be allowed to be around anyone until he has at least 6 to 9 months of training. Which of course costs thousands of dollars. I did not agree that he should be kept under lock and key. I thought he needed more socialization, not less.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    They are worried about liability and a severe bite. Socialization is great but it isn’t worth a bite.

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dog-hates-husband/ But I can’t see the dog… so if others are afraid of an incident… that is definitely something to take into account.

    And, training by someone else doesn’t work. I could train a dog to behave for ME. And, then send him home to the same dynamics and the same problems. It only works if YOU are doing the training and being consistent.

    [Reply]

  160. Emily says:

    I have an Australian Shepard mix who is a little over a year. When new people come over he’ll bark at them and he gets to the point sometimes where he barks out of fear. But he’ll meet the person then be fine and then a few minutes later he’ll growl at them. Even if they give him a treat he’ll growl. He doesn’t do it to everyone. So far just two people but he does get somewhat of an aggressive bark. Even when I take him for walks and he sees someone all the way down the block he’ll bark. He is so loving once he warms up to new people.

    [Reply]

  161. Haleigh says:

    My sisters dog is extremely overprotective of her. He’s a Labrador/Poodle mix that she’s had since he was a puppy. He’s always been protective of her, but it’s gotten a lot worse since then. My dad’s service dog has recently moved in with us, and if Izzie (the service dog) gets even slightly too close, he attacks her. Usually we manage to break it up before he hurts her, but recently we weren’t so lucky. We’re scared that we might have to put him down. What can we do to hopefully fix this issue?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would either find a veterinary behaviorist in or close to your area, or have the service dog organization come out and work with both dogs

    [Reply]

  162. Kira says:

    We left our dog with a family with 2 dogs for few weeks during our vacation. When we came back we noticed that she acts bit protective around other dogs in the park. She greets with them and shows no signs of aggregation if we just walk around. But when we pet or give treats to other dogs, she tries to push them away and starts barking at them. This never happened before we left her. How can we correct this behavior before gettng worse?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I wouldn’t give treats to other dogs in the dog park, this can create serious aggression at some point

    [Reply]

  163. Leslee says:

    I have a 1 year old neutered male Labraheeler that was born and raised on the streets until rescued at 4 months. We’ve been working on the socializing as he’s very timid around new people and have come a long way. He’s more of a scardy cat than anything. In fact he won’t leave the property unless I physically remove him and then he’ll walk on a leash. He loves other dogs too. I am alpha for him by the way. Recently I had surgery and have been on the couch which he loves as he gets to be pet all day. But the other day he growled real low at other members of the family when they got too near me. I quickly corrected with a sound we use for distraction and said NO in a low firm voice. We had to do that for a couple of days. He stopped for a couple of days but I know I need to do something about his anxiety and fear in the long run. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

  164. Marianne says:

    We adopted a 4 yr old cockapoo. We had her for about 4 months now and she is very over protective. If anyone gets too close to me she growls and starts barking – sometimes it sounds really scary. She has not hurt anybody and even wags her tail when she does this. She seemes to like the grandkids, but still growls when my grandson gets close to me, but not my granddaughter? Yet she will sometimes even growl at me when I walk into a room where my granddaughter is. We were told that she had this possessive behavior problem and thought we could train her, but we can’t seem to get her to stop. Her owner passed away and his kids took her to the shelter because of this problem. When we picked her out, we took the grandkids and our son with us to make sure there would not be an issue. She took to all of us right away. We also fostered her for a few days first, to make sure she would be ok with her new home but after a couple of weeks she started being possessive. She also runs to the door and barks at anyone when they come in, including the ones that live here. She hasn’t hurt anyone, but sometimes her growl really scares me, even though she is so small. We all tell her NO when she does this, and calm her down, but she keeps doing the same thing over and over. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Even the most aggressive dog wags it’s tail, so that means nothing.

    She is telling you what her intentions are when she growls and at some point she is likely to bite.

    I take aggression very seriously when children are involved. You need the help of a veterinary behaviorist who can see your family dynamics and the dog’s behavior.

    [Reply]

  165. jenna says:

    I have a pity black lab mix. She is very friendly towards my children and close friends/family. She excessively barks when people even walk by our house. She has attempted to jump the fence at certain dogs and at others she’s just runs back and forth crazily barking. I find her very over protective of myself (mom) and my daughter. Even when in the house and people walk by she’s will bark while running back and forth. My recent step has been to interrupt her pacing and it seems to be helping when inside the house, i will also get her to sit lay down until she is calm, but outside I’m not sure what to do?! She is starting to show more aggression when out on hikes and walks but mainly it will happen if the other dog is on the same side of the street and can get close to me.

    Lastly, my pup has gone to dog parks since she was 6 months, she is now 1 and a half and has never had an issue with any other dogs at the park. And listens very well when at a park. Any suggestions for my situation?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She is reaching sexual maturity (even if she is spayed) and their personality sometimes changes. Just like humans… we don’t stay who we were when we were 10 years old, puberty brings maturity and changes.

    She is very clearly communicating what she wants and what she doesn’t you need to listen before there is a serious incident.

    And go back to very strict obedience.

    [Reply]

  166. Shannon says:

    I just adopted a mix bread 10 month old female dog names Lady! She is the sweetest most lovable dog I have ever encountered. I have now had her for only a week and she is beginning to become very protective of me. She does not normally bark or growl when people enter the home, but if she is sitting next to me or close to me and someone comes up to me she growls and barks.

    The other day my best friend came over and jokingly tapped my arm, as we were teasing each other and Lady lost it. However, upon my friends entry to the house she was warm and welcoming to her. I don’t think she has it in her to bite anyone, since her previous owners had 2 children who would play and lay on her and she never showed any type of aggression. But, I just do not want to take the chance of her possibly hurting anyone.

    I feel as though all she wants is to please me, so I am starting to train her more and more. I found this article to be very helpful but am a little confused since you say to keep the dog near you when company comes but her issue seems to be when she is near me she becomes protective. If she is on the floor and away from me she is the same loveable dog.

    Please let me know of any further suggestions.

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  167. Craig Harms says:

    We adopted a female staff terrier, Maya, over a year ago from a rescue to keep our eight-year old male Rottie named Boo company. Six months later, someone dropped off a sick female pup we named Inca and adopted. They are now both in adolescence and get along great–until my wife or I come around. Maya gets excited when we come home and will attack Inca, the same is true if we show Inca more attention. Her “temper” seems to erupt every couple of weeks and it sometimes gets vicious–blood-drawing bites for the dogs and for me (I have had stiches in my hand from being in “the line of fire”). Today Maya grabbed Boo’s jowl, but did not cause damage. She also attacks the vaccuum cleaner as if she is trying to protect me.

    Any ideas what we can do/where to start to curb Maya’s aggrssive behavior short of finding her a new home? She is generally very sweet and mellow but her sudden outbursts of teeth-bearing fury have us concerned.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    First off she needs to be crated. You can’t control her or her behavior if she is loose with the other dogs and she may do more serious damage that you could likely come home to.

    next find a veterinary behaviorist who can come to your home etc. so that they may see the behavior to be able to help you one on one.

    [Reply]

  168. Megan says:

    My 3 year old Doxie/basset recently recovered from “cold tail syndrome and started showing signs of aggression towards my husband but only when my husband kisses me goodbye in the early mornings when I’m in bed and he leaves for work.
    My Doxie/basset’s bed is on the floor next to my bed and when he says goodbye to me, my Doxie/basset will get up from his bed lunge and growl at him. And this is the absolute only time he’s is throughout the entire day that he is aggressive towards him. And it’s been every morning for an entire week now.

    Is there any suggestions on why he’s doing this and how to stop it?

    Thanks in return.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    First I would have him examined by a vet. He may very well have back pain or other physical problems.

    read this as well http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dog-hates-husband/

    [Reply]

  169. Tonya says:

    We recently adopted a 1 1/2 year old male GSD. He is very intelligent and will
    Listen to commands such as sit, lay, stay etc. but when a car drives by our home he constantly barks. I have to click his line of vision and tell him firmly NO. He listens until the next car comes by. It’s annoying but that I can deal with what had me bothered is that noine other than me, my husband and son are allowed in the house. That told us he was trained in search and rescue and had been to obident school.
    My brother came by this morning and I put him on a leash to let him come in but our dog went crazy. He barked growled and lunged. He calmed for a minute and sat but started again. I want a protective dog but not an aggressive one. What should we do?

    [Reply]

  170. Dorothy says:

    Have a 5 year old rescued newfoundland. My daughters new boyfriend started coming into the house. He is fond of dogs, but ours just growls and barks at him. This is very uncomfortable for all of us. She is on a leash and I make her sit and pat her and tell her no. The boyfriend will have his back to her, until she calms down and the he can pat her gently. After a while, she will start in on the barking and growling. She is #120 pounds of a lap dog, and I want this to stop. Any ideas?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    #1 stop patting her. This is telling her you like her behavior. Instead give her something to do, like a down stay or something where she thinks she has a job.

    Second, stop making the two of them interact. The dog doesn’t care for the bf right now and I am guessing he is terrified of the dog. Instead of making them both more uncomfortable work on control with the dog. Put her on a leash and make her conform to obedience.

    Eventually he can have more of a role, training and playing but take it a step at a time. They both have to be comfortable with that first.

    [Reply]

  171. Sarah says:

    I have a young female dog that was from the local shelter. She is very nervous around strangers and despite me telling people she is nervous and not to pet her they proceed to lean over her and try and pet her head. She has now resorted to lunging and barking at them.

    For example a couple were coming out of their house to their car and my dog freezes and stares at them. She will not budge and they take this as her wanting to say hello so try and pet her. She was okay with the woman but the man took his gloves off to try and stroke her and she barked and lunged at him.

    She does this freezing behaviour a lot with people and other dogs. I have no idea what to do about it.

    [Reply]

  172. Jennie says:

    I have a 2 year old Yorkie and we just had a baby. Before baby she would just randomly show aggression towards my husband, protecting me, and we could never figure out why or what triggered it because 2 minutes later she’d be licking him. But now that we have a baby she’s extremely protective of the baby and lashes out at him whenever he gets close to the baby or she is just always watching him. I’m not sure how to fix this problem but my husband is getting sick of it and he keeps threatening to get rid of her and I do not want that!

    [Reply]

  173. Tina says:

    My dad and his 5+ yr old chihuahua just moved in with us. The dog is very over protective and a barker. We have 2 goldens and had 2 cats, and the chihuahua goes after them mercilessly. She constantly goes after my husband and other men. My dad doesn’t seem interested in correcting her and tells the dog I’m mean when I tell her no or to stop barking. My husband is angry that dad won’t correct the problem. I can’t consistently correct the problem, as I’m not always there when she attacks my pets or husband. We have lost one cat due to the stress caused by the little dog. I can’t kick my dad out, but is there anything I can do to keep his companion dog without jeopardizing my marriage or other pets?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    First you need to set rules, the dog should be on a leash unless it is alone in the room with the door shut with your dad. I’m sure you had rules growing up. If the dog can’t get along with other pets and people it needs to be controlled and contained.

    [Reply]

  174. kama says:

    My dog has had fear aggression for a while we took him to training but it seemed to make it worse so we enlisted a behaviorist who diagnosed it as fear aggression they gave a list of things to do but this did not work much either we have since moved to my grandmother’s house and he is home with her most of the time and his fear aggression seems to have escalated into protective aggression now to anyone who is not family approaching or walking past the house he used to be OK with other dogs but there are not as many here and today on a walk we we’re approached by a runaway dog who was over playful with him and he turned his protective aggression onto the runaway no one got hurt but it did scare me a bit how can I help him overcome these issues also I’m not a dominant type of person but do enjoy the company of people and other dogs and just wish he didn’t feel the need to protect me so much he is my best friend and I just want him to be happy and safe.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need to work with the veterinary behaviorist and work consistently with the advice they give. I can’t see the dog and therefore cannot give broad advice on aggression.

    [Reply]

  175. Sue says:

    We have a pitbull/cattledog/boxer mix we rescued about a year ago. We just adopted a blue heeler/doberman mix, who is very skittish, but has warmed to us & they are best buddies. If the newer dog shows any fear around guest, or neighbors, the older dog will lunge, and actually bit my son in law ( he came through front door, which is rarely used, and the new dog was close to him)….. How to we stop this behavior?? Will it get better as the newer (and younger) dog gains confidence?? Any suggestions??

    [Reply]

  176. chels says:

    I have a bull terrior / austrailian shepard mix iv had her since she was just a little baby ( 6 weeks old i know to early i wasnt happy when they brought her to me so soon ) she usually LOVES people but the past couple weeks shes been acting different, took her out to the bathroom and there was a pizza dilivery guy coming in the building to deliver to someone ( live in an appartment ) and she got really nasty because he walkd by me she growld and barkd and was in a stance that she has NEVER done before , she is fine if people come in she gets hyper and excited then settles down and comes and lays down either with me or my 2 year old but lately if i take her out and she sees someone neer me she gets angry ? She even tried to go at another big dog that barkd at me ? Idk whats gotten into her but the hubby and i have been trying for another baby and i know that dogs sence this stuff so i know it could be possible we were finally successfull but im wondering what it could be thats causing this if it isnt that ?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    take her to your vet, she might not be feeling well

    [Reply]

  177. Cheyenne Johnson says:

    I’ve had my dog Ivan for about 3-4 years and he’s very over protective. I can’t remember when it started but it wasn’t like this in year 1 and 2. I’ve gotten into a lot of depression and stuff and there’s a lot of shit in my family so I think it’s causing him to react that way. He’s aggressive to dogs too. Not just new ones but ones he lives with. Not all the time but they do get in little fights once in awhile. He’s cautious with everybody that comes over. He will inspect them. He’s always gotta be in the room with me and my friend. He’ll even nip at my family if we are wrestling or tickling. Cause I’ll scream you know but I’m also laughing. But he freaks out and will get inbetween me and the other person. If it goes on long enough, he will jump and nip. I’m worried that it will get to a point where he will actually hurt someone and we will have to put him down. But I can’t do that. He’s my outlet. My best friend. I can’t lose him. Not yet.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Then it is up to you to put him in a crate and/or teach him your expectations.

    [Reply]

  178. Melissa says:

    I have a 5 y/o shihtzu-chihuahua mix. He is very ober protectibe. He only nils & has nipped 2 times in the face. Once because the child got into his fave. And this time because the child was giving me a goodbye hug & I was holding him! I do not know what to do?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    call a veterinary behaviorist, biting children is never okay. A veterinary behaviorist will put you all on a behavior modification program.

    [Reply]

  179. chels says:

    So i commented about my bullterrier/aussie mix and her temper lately and i know why she has been acting this way …. i just found out that i am indeed pregnant and even her vet said that thats why she has been this way because she sences it and is getting protective. I took her in after i found out just to make sure that was really the reason and turns out it is and shes healthy as can be

    [Reply]

  180. Megan says:

    While I don’t have issues with my dog (Pembroke welsh corgi) being overprotective towards people, she IS overprotective whenever my other dog, a lab, gets close to me when she wants to sit and cuddle, or whenever I’m doing something that leaves me distracted, such as using the toilet or doing the dishes. I never reward her growling or aggressive behavior, and it never leads to biting, but not knowing why she gets this way with my other dog is eternally confusing. They were puppies together and they play and get along. Its only when it comes to me or even more so, my mom, that she starts to get snippy at our lab. Should I treat this aggressive behavior the same as you would if it were with people, or should I be trying other things as well? I’m not sure if she’s being protective or if she’s jealous in some way.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dog-share-affections-dogs/

    [Reply]

  181. Jean says:

    I adopted a 5 yr old Maltese (male) last June from the Humane Society. He started showing protective behavior for me early on. Lately he has become more protective barking at anything he sees out the window and attacking family members when they try to hug me. If we are standing he is less aggressive but it is worse when we are sitting. How do I handle his behavior? Some advice was to yell at him when it happens.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/love-thee-possess-thee/

    [Reply]

  182. KEISHA says:

    I HAVE AN MONTH OLD PITT THAT SHOWS AGRESSION TOWARDS OTHER PEOPLE AND ANIMALS WHEN HE IS WITH ME WHEN HE IS WITH MY BOYFRIEND HE IS CALM AND LISTENS WHY IS THAT

    [Reply]

  183. Lucie-Mary says:

    My name is lucie, I am 22 and only 4’9, saying that, I know how to cage fight and in my younger years was a vulnerable nervous teen. I used to have a rottweiler who didn’t trust any of my friends and had a routine of warning every one of them. She would pretend to be nice, let people Stoke her for a couple minutes and then she would lunge at them, hackles up, all teeth showing and growl or bark viciously at them but never bite. It was always a warning that she didn’t like them, and she was right, they all turned out to be nobody worth being friends with, but she was fine with my dad’s friends, one in particular until the day he sat next to me, then she did the same thing to him. We had to tell everyone who came into our home not to touch her. If they didn’t touch her, then she didn’t do it.

    She passed away a coming up 4 years ago. I now have a rottweiler cross mastiff who is nearly 3, we got her after my rottweiler died. Over the last year I’m starting to see similar traits in her. I am not a weak person anymore, nor am I nervous anymore. She is fabulous with families and children, but lone men, not all lone men, but a few (5 so far) she has had a massive go at, hackles up, lunged towards them, Barking, and she does the same ‘play nice’ thing. Only today, she didn’t start with the play nice, I took her for a walk, I had just had her stop and sit to be stroked my a 2 year old girl who was with her mum and young brother. After, I continued to walk her home and a young lad on his way home from school walked past, didn’t even look at my dog or me, and she lunged at him and got aggressive, hackles and all. I pulled her straight back to me (she wears a face harness), put her fur down, gave her a little tap on the nose and told her off, and have done every time but she doesn’t seem to be stopping.

    I don’t know what to do to stop this before its too late. She if fabulous on the lead, comes when called, sits when told, lays, does high five, goes on her bed when told, she is obedient. I live with my mum, dad and two brothers and have a long term boyfriend who stays several days a week so it’s not a dislike to all men. I am the one who walks her, and she listens best to me in my home than my dad or anyone else who would be a more dominant figure than me.

    Please help me! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong! :'(

    [Reply]

  184. Angie says:

    We rescued a 3 year old american bulldog who was abused and mistreated for the first 3 years of his life. He loves people as long as he is on his leash, he wags his tail forever and is so happy to have attention from any human. EXCEPT when he is inside my house and sees a person approaching (mailman, delivery person, neighbor) he will lose his mind barking like a lunatic and ramming his body into the windows of our house, as if he is trying to break the windows to get to the person. It is extreme, he will knock over furniture and just act like an insane dog! We can’t even leave the windows open in the summer because of it, even when we are home! Delivery people RUN from our home, and that is with the dog INSIDE the house with all doors and windows locked!

    If we put him on his leash and open the door, he calms down real quickly and makes friends with them very fast with tail wagging and asking for attention. But you don’t always know when a delivery is coming, so getting the leash on him fast enough can be a problem, and most of the delivery people run away before you have a chance to open the door anyway…..I can’t blame them!!! It is so embarassing!

    He seems extremely protective of the home for the short time he has lived with us. We have a lot of windows and he seems to think it is his job to patrol them all day long. If someone is walking down the road, he will just growl at them quietly. If a strange truck goes down the neighbors driveway, he will growl at it too, but not freak out as bad as he does if someone actually steps foot on our property. He knows what all the neighbors cars are and does not react at all to their vehicles, but anything out of ordinary gets a quiet growl.

    We tell him NO and try to stay calm and not yell at him, as to not encourage this behavior, but we don’t know what else to do. My son is having a birthday party soon which will mean about 15 different sets of parents coming to our door for drop off and pick up…..and at this point we are going to have to board the dog for this day!!

    [Reply]

  185. Courtney says:

    I have an 8-year old beagle/hound female. Maybe a day or two ago, she was on my bed and my mom came in my room. When she came in my room, she got up and growled at her. She has never growled at her before. What should I do?

    [Reply]

  186. Alissa says:

    I have a mini labradoodle who is 3. We rescued him from a home where he was not treated well. He submissively pees when he gets excited or nervous. We have 8 dogs including him. 6 of the dogs including him are all under 25 pounds and then we have 2 Saint Bernards. We have always had two saints while we have had this labradoodle. He never had a problem with any of the dogs at home until one of the saints passed and we got another Saint. He is very aggressive with the puppy Saint. He has drawn blood. I also cannot take this labradoodle on a walk or to places such as the vet without worrying that he is going to snap at someone or another animal. He has snapped at a little child at the vet and he tries to go after every animal in the vet. I have to basically sit on him to keep him from attacking.
    He is good with all of the animals and people except for the new Saint while at home. He’s good with strangers at home- unsure about strange children at home. When out in public he does not do well with anyone. He constantly barks and growls. When someone or an animal gets close he tries to go after them.

    [Reply]

  187. Lyndsay Souto says:

    I have a 2 year old Texas Heeler, who I’ve had as a pup. She has been very well socialized and LOVES all people. However, our living situation had changed and we were living with my mom and she has 3 dogs. I wasn’t too worried as she had been socialized with them since she was a pup, until Hanna started becoming very protective of me. She has attacked 2 of the 3, as one is very submissive and calm. I tried everything I could to avoid the situation, even muzzling her, but when I muzzled her the 2 attacked her and she couldn’t defend herself. The weird part in all of this is that when she goes to the dog park she submits right away. I take her to someone elses home and she submits right away to their dog. I get shes trying to protect me, but I need to nip this in the butt and I dont know how. We now have a 3 month old Texas Heeler and she loves him to death, but now shes overly protecting him at the dog park. Nothing has happened yet, but I don’t want anything to happen. She is crated, and she has great recall, but I find she’s quite nervous. Any loud noises and she starts to whine and pace around the house. I was thinking of getting her a thunder shirt, but I am not sure as to what has caused her anxiety. I should also mention that when she was about 8 months I had given her to a cousin of mine as she lived on acreage, and she was completely fine when I had given her to them, but when I got her back a few months later she was completely different. She would cower to people and other animals, and she had never done that before I sent her there. I know they had an older dog who didnt have the paitence, and also kids as well. She loves kids. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

  188. char says:

    i have a almost 2 year old german shepherd. she has been going to the dog park since she was little. she doesn’t like strange dogs and won’t let them come anywhere near me till she gets to know them. she is great with people. I am afraid she might hurt a little dog when they come near me. she pounces on them. i correct her but doesn’t seem to work. any suggestions

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Why do you take her? Why do you risk it? What if she was a little dog and met a dog like her, or what if she meets a “strange” dog that has no patience for her some day??

    Please stop taking your dog to places where she can be off leash and hurt other dogs. Not only could she kill another dog, another dog could kill her and since you are aware of the situation and you continue to take her… you could be sued for anything you have and anything you make in the future.

    Walk her, play with her yourself but stop taking her to the dog park.

    [Reply]

  189. Chris says:

    Hi! Im helping my neighbor, who has 2 German shepherds, because she is injured and has been unable to take them out on walks. They are well trained to commands andI have never had any issues with them until just two days ago, when her male shepherd went broke his collar and went after a bigger dog who was also leashed. Thankfully no one was hurt and neither dogs were injured. Apparently these two dogs have a history, and have never liked each other. Ever since that incident, his anxiety has gone up, and growls at every dog and every person. I no longer feel comfortable walking him, but I am the only one that can walk him at a certain time and she can not do it herself. He is a very sweet and affectionate dog at home, and very gentle with the children and very welcoming to strangers that come in his home. I have stayed in contact with the owners of the other dog to let them know when I will walk him, and we also avoid the area that the incident had occurred. What can I do to calm our anxiety with walking?

    [Reply]

  190. GRAHAM says:

    HELP Hi I have a nine month old French bulldog who is very protected if any of our children come and sit next to me or my wife whilst we are sitting on a sofa or laying on a bed he will rush up and bark like crazy and jump up and get inbetween us and our children .
    I need to nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand

    [Reply]

  191. Claudia says:

    My dog barks and growls at every single person or dog that passes by my home, How can I stop this behavior, he’s too agressive.

    [Reply]

  192. Dee says:

    I got my 1st puppy almost 3months ago, she is 4months old. Her dad is a Rottweiler and her mom is a Chow mixed with Cocker Spaniel. At 3months she started barking at everyone she didn’t know, the vet said it was social anxiety and is normal with puppies to give people treats to give her to help her feel more comfortable. When someone visits she doesn’t know she barks at least 10mins straight if not longer if they try and give her a treat she won’t get close enough to take it.. I’ve never seen a puppy act like this.. Now when she’s outside in the yard she’ll pace in front of the fence barking at anyone she sees. She’s good when we walk as long as noone comes up to us then she starts again… I do think it’s her being territorial, overprotective, and scared but not a lot of experience with dogs, not sure what to do because treats aren’t working and she’s such a loving puppy I hate that she’s scared.. I always thought people had to train their dog to be a guard dog, never thought it just could be so natural at least not for a baby.

    [Reply]

  193. Ken Paulovich says:

    We’ve had a 2.5 year old rescue female mix hound/ terrier we think for about 2 years. She gets along well with our other rescue, a 7 yr old black & tan mix male. We travel by car frequently between Louisiana and Colorado. She loves it! Most of the time unless the weather is bad, they stay in our paved and fenced in back yard. The female is very protective of her fenced in area and if anyone walks by, she barks at them constantly and shows aggression. Last week a neighbor was weedin her flower bed right adjacent to our fence. Ellie put her head through the fence and bit her on the hand. This bite required medical attention and notification of animal control who came out and picked Ellie up for a 10 day quarantine. I’m torn between giving her up to the foster mom to try and re-place her with another forever home or learn how to train her to never do that again. Your thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You can’t just place a dog that has bitten in another home. No one wants a biter and if you don’t tell the person you can be sued for everything that you own now or in the future.

    If you keep the dog you need to look into a boarded veterinary behaviorist.

    [Reply]

  194. worried owner says:

    My dog Jack Russell crossed toy pom has become very protective over me. She normally sleeps with me at night and if my mother or sister come in my room in the morning to take her to the toilet. She puts her front paws over my legs and growls aggressively at either mom or sister. She hasnt always been like this. It’s only been about a year and it’s progressing over the year. It was subtle at first but over the last 6 months since I was assaulted that it’s become extremely worse… Please advise the cause and solution

    [Reply]

  195. Angie says:

    I have a 7 year old German Shepherd that is very protective and will not let anyone in the house. We have to put him outside when people come over because they are afraid of him and then he will bark constantly outside when he knows people are in the house. I am afraid that he will bite someone. But he is very lovable and acts like a little baby around us.

    [Reply]

  196. Susan Zeman says:

    I adopted a shelter dog. She was 3 mos. She is a lab beagle mix. She is 4-1/2 mos. now and is potty trained and follows 6 commands. Four people live in our house in the country, a 9 yr old boy, his mother, myself and my husband. Our dog will not let family members near me without growling, barking and almost biting. I am the only one at home all the time with her. I have had many dogs but none who behaved this way. She is about 20 lbs., has been fixed and had all her shots. She is relentless. I tether her bed when this happens and tell her no. She plays with everyone as long as I am not in the room. I feel terrible.

    [Reply]

  197. Kayla Charbonneau says:

    I have a 4 yr old jack Russell mix and he is like my child. When he was a puppy he was extremely sick and had almost no fur at all. I use to cover him with blankets to keep him warm and he always sleeps in my bed with me. However he has gotten extremely protective of me and my boyfriend. When a new person comes it doesn’t matter what I do he is ready to attack. He has even gotten to the point where if my sister stands beside me, if I say owwwww, he snaps at her. He has bitten her before but it’s like once he puts his mouth around her arm he doesn’t put pressure. I’m worried that it will get out of hand and he will apply pressure to someone he doesn’t know. I also wanted to be able to have him as a possible ring bearer one day, but he tends to bark and snap at everyone he doesn’t know, and even the people he does know but hasn’t seen in a while.

    [Reply]

  198. Libby says:

    I have a German shepherd 4 year-old female. To better understand my problem. I have a 24 yr old brother with autism. He has a mind of a 2 year old. He also can not speck. To show that he is up set or mad. He will “headbutt” you. Because he can not say what he is feeling. Well one day I had to babysit him. (I still live with my family)He “headbutted” me. My German shepherd of course did not like that. So she barks at him. But lately she still barks at him if he is close to me or my other family members but now she jumps up on him. One time she gave him a big scar. I am worried that if I don’t get this under control her next step is biting. Another problem I have is that she overprotive of my parents room. She doesn’t let anyone in but my parents and me. We have another dog. A 3 yr old Brittany. Well tonight my German shepherd bit her when she entered the room. She is protative of my room as well but no to this extant. Would love any advise. My German shepherd is my world. I don’t want my mom to make me get rid of her. I can’t afford a new place or even find a place were i can keep her. I have lost many dogs in the past. If I lose her it would brake me.

    [Reply]

  199. Rose Y. says:

    I adopted a rescued pit bull mix from the shelter a few months ago. After I looked her over when we got home, I saw that she had lots of scars, and spots where hair wasn’t growing. My dad and I think she might have been abused or even a fight dog. She was the best dog for about two weeks. She would love on everybody who came to the house. Now, after those two weeks, she became EXTREMELY protective. We have to muzzle her when people come over. IF they even come over. Everybody is afraid of her, so they just avoid coming to my house. We can’t walk her, we have to go outside with her because she jumps on the fence and barks at the GSD next door. Arond me and my family, she is just the sweetest dog. I don’t even have to tell her to sit to give her treats, she just does it! But I want people to know how sweet she is. We hired a dog trainer, but he was scared of her so he didn’t work with her at all, just our other two dogs. I love my dog, and I want to be able to take her places. What do I do?

    [Reply]

  200. Joann says:

    I wish I could have read this five years, and twenty two stitches ago. 🙁
    Makes sense. I’ll have to tell my husband. I’ve started saying No! When our boy barks- obsessively! At EVERYTHING that passes our house. (He actually barks when a flea farts ; ) )
    My husband wants people to know we have a dog. Hence NO ONE can enter the house. When he barks, We have always said “good boy”
    He will soon be seeing a trainer. I pray it’s not too late. I now look out the doir, or say Momma’s looking out the window. Then I call him to me. When he comes, I make him sit give paw, or other commands. I then give him a treat, so he doesn’t confuse the treat with the initial barking.

    [Reply]

  201. Linda says:

    My dachshund wants to get aggressive with friends visiting and if they get near me she would bit. What can I do?

    [Reply]

  202. Katherine Watson says:

    Hi there please help!
    I have a beagle (nearly 9) and a Rottweiler (14 months old). 2 weeks ago I found out my beagle has cancer and that it could be weeks or months before he need to go to sleep before that pain gets to much.

    Over the past few days dragon (beagle) has been getting worse and we are seeing if the new meds might help. But during this time our Rottweiler pup has be come over protective of dragon. Is there anything I can do? And is this normal she nudes me out the way when I’m giving dragon his meds.?

    [Reply]

  203. Judi Williams says:

    Hi, I have a rescue removed from an abusive , neglected situation. When we are out of the house he is fine, but while in the house NO ONE can visit without him being crated, he becomes extremely aggressive and does very much so try to attack anyone other than my son or myself. He has never shown us any aggression. He also goes after children in any situation. I correct him each time , but he continues to react aggressively. he is also a highly reactive dog. Not sure how to go about fixing this situation. I do not want to return him , he would certainly be euthanized.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Correcting him, as you say, is undoubtedly making it worse. I recommend contacting a boarded veterinary behaviorist.

    [Reply]

  204. Janelle says:

    My dog is protective but as soon as she knows the person is okay (I greet them, whatever), she is just fine. She barks when the doorbell rings, but never approaches the person when I open the door. She is great with all people and children, even other dogs when I bring them in the house. The problem is with strange dogs. Pretty much just other dogs her size, especially dobies, shepherds, rottweilers and aussies. She growls, barks, lunges and I have a hard time controlling her. Little dogs are fine. Dogs while she is off-leash are fine as long as they sniff once and move on. It is when she is on-leash that other, similar sized dogs are a problem. I know that positive reinforcement is key, but I cannot get positive behavior to reinforce. Other dog owners curse at me and tell me I am unfit to have a dog like this, but I rescued her and didn’t know. She has NEVER bitten or attacked another dog – just the growling, barking and lunging. In addition, I wonder if I should be discouraging all barking because barking definitely keeps the burglars away.

    [Reply]

  205. Esme says:

    We recently adopted a 2 year old boxer/pitbull mix. He is the sweetest and most gentle dog with my our family. Of anyone comes over he gets very over protective and seems aggressive, even tho nothing has happened yet. We have to slowly introduce him to people. Once hes sniffed and established that youre a friend, his demeanor changes completely. I really want to keep hin but im worried the behavior might slowly get out of control. Any thoughts?

    [Reply]

  206. Anna says:

    We have a boxer and either pittie or american bully mix with the SAME issue! We are starting to work with a trainer on this. Have things improved with your dog? What are you guys doing to work on it?

    [Reply]

  207. Samantha Restrepo says:

    I live in a apt and therefore I could take my dog out with people saying something when she was little. Now she is one and every time we take her out she barks at people and gets scared. How could I help her feel more comfortable

    [Reply]

  208. Samantha Restrepo says:

    Couldn’t ***

    [Reply]

  209. Ariel says:

    I’m fostering a mom and pups and mamma is scared shitless of men and if she sees or hears a man she gets very aggressive. I am wondering also weather or not it would be a good idea to meet my dog (female) to give her a feeling of having a pack that she’s never experienced before?

    [Reply]

  210. Sam says:

    I do t have a problem with my dog being agressive towards other people. Other dogs on the other hand if they start the come to me all hell breaks loose. I correct her immediately. And we usually leave the park when it happens. I cant figure out when it started or anything. It us beginning to drive me nuts.

    [Reply]

  211. Dee says:

    I adopted a 6 or 7 year old shih tzu – terrier mix in May from a municipal shelter. First, the shelter had posted online that he was a stray; a volunteer later told me he was an owner surrender. Second, the shelter lied about his friendliness toward other animals. No way. He’s a 17 pound maniac, very aggressive with other dogs. Before I realized how strong or determined he was, he got away from me twice before I could tighten the lead and bit two dogs. Fortunately no injury or blood and the owners were forgiving. He was aggressive toward men; I trained him out of that but recently he’s started going after women as well. He’s obedient to command when it’s the two of us but goes berzerk in public. He’s not a nervous dog, some separation anxiety which has improved and continues to. If he never had to leave the apartment he’d be a great dog! I’m out of my league with this; all my prior dogs loved everyone. He’s smart, learns quickly, is loveable and very cute. I hate it but I’m going to have to find another home for him. I can’t afford a behaviorist; retired and on SS. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He isn’t going to be an easy fix or easy to control. I would recommend our aggression coaching course. You can email info@thedogtrainingsecret.com and they can let you know when it will start.

    [Reply]

  212. Dee says:

    Thanks, Minette, I’ll look into your course; it may not be an option due to cost though because, as I said, I’m retired (65) and limited to SS. I take him to a neighborhood park daily for exercise; other pet owners and I simply avoid contact which is a pain. Would you recommend taking him on short lead to a dog park to try and desensitize him? Maybe if he’s surrounded by dogs he’ll think twice about raising a ruckus or, miracle of miracles, even become more comfortable?

    [Reply]

  213. Jamie says:

    I just rescued a pit bull and he is doing the exact same thing! His previous owners had no issue in regards to aggression with him – he had a home with a young adult woman who had nieces and nephews who were young- and I adopted him for a place I work and he had no issues with anyone there either.

    He doesn’t react to dogs, is super friendly to people outside, but when a woman walks in our house (only women, he’s completely fine with men) he lunges, snarles, barks, bears his teeth, the whole 9 yards…

    Did you get any progress in with yours? I hired a trainer and I started doing counter conditioning with him when women come to the door but it has not been helping at all so far

    [Reply]

  214. Tom S says:

    I’m so glad I found this site. We adopted 2 Sheltie puppies (brothers) 2 years ago. They were in an abusive situation prior, which we had not been informed of. We got the. At 9mos.
    Both dogs have bonded very well with my husband who has become the major caregiver. With me, not so much.
    Chance is a very fearful guy and won’t come near me unless I have treats. He will run away to avoid being near me or even passing me in the house.
    Lucky is the major problem. He went through a period of biting me without any known cause simply because I was in the same room as the rest of the family. He was about to rehomed if it wasn’t correctable but ultimately we stopped that behavior. But Lucky still runs down the hall or across the room and lunges, barks, and growls at me with a guttural sound and turning in circles. This happens multiple times on most days. He no longer bites.
    It is frightening to me when he does this because I am in constant fear he will bite me again. The barks are also so sudden and loud that I am constantly on edge for fear of being startled by him.
    I’ve become convinced that this is all about protecting my husband. How do I know this?
    Lucky is a completely different dog the minute my husband leaves the house. Lucky is calm, not barking or growling, although he still tends to stay in another room from me, sometimes he will sit near me.
    My husband returns and all the bad behavior return with him.
    The dogs are now 2.5 years old. Much training has not improved anything. And we have put a lot of effort into this.
    Your thoughts?

    [Reply]

  215. Pat says:

    We have an 8 month old male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He is truly a very sweet puppy and there is only one thing that has me a little concerned. Whenever he is a little overwhelmed or nervous he clawes up my leg and bits at my clothes. I purposely ignore this behaviour and praise him and reward with a treat when he stops and sits. How do I stop this behaviour before he begins doing it.
    Thanks

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Put a leash on him and when he starts, hold the leash out and prevent him from doing so; then ask for an alternate behavior

    [Reply]

  216. Carol Leach says:

    I rescued a chihuahua mix 8year old dog. With just me he is really a sweet dog but the minute a man comes to my home he gets very protective and aggressive. Barking, growling and trying to bite their shoes. I don’t know what to do about this. I’ve only had him one month.

    [Reply]

  217. What should I do? We adopted a mix chiuvava dog,(3 years old now,
    I (wife) can’t even touch my husband or get close to him when he is holding the dog.if I do,the dog snaps at me,I know she was in an abusive home and we rescued her,but I can’t stand this,is it normal? What should we do?

    [Reply]

  218. Penny Johnson says:

    I think I’ve loved my boy too much. I cuddle him, stroke him, give him treats without him doing anything for them let him sit on my knee etc….and I thought he had fear aggression with people but having read this I think it’s protection aggression…he has no problem with other dogs loves them can distinguish between friendly and not friendly but his problem is people…not everyone not everytime so I can’t distinguish who and when he will react…his reaction is barking and growling heckles up sometimes but no teeth bearing….yet his tail will be wagging, sometimes he will jump up at people sometimes back away…I have tried reassurance, telling him off …giving him treats giving people treats to give to him but nothing is working so obviously I’m doing it wrong! It’s not just me or my husband that he’s protective of but anyone that’s ‘looking after’ him…if out for a walk he would literally run a distance over to someone to bark at them….obviously we keep him on a lead now in areas where people can appear but he’s a sprocker and needs off lead exercise….any advice would be very helpful. He’s 17 months old neutered we’ve had him from 18 weeks and was like it before we got him apparently.

    [Reply]

  219. Josh says:

    My wife and I recieved a tarrier-chihuahua mix puppy as a wedding gift last year. Ever since we got her home she has been attached to my wife. I started noticing her try to bite or scratch me every time I got near my wife. Even when my wife instigates the interaction. It has put a strain on our marriage. I love my wife and our animals are like our children. But I need this to stop.

    The dog was also taken away from her mother a month early as well, and where she was born was not what you would call the best of environments. I thought that this issue would work itself out, but I can’t wait any longer. I really hope this works.

    [Reply]

  220. kbar says:

    we have a lab/pitbull/shepherd??? mix that we rescued 5 years ago. she was approximately 2 at the time. she is a sweet, lovable wonderful dog in the house and with my 2 20-something year old sons. we have had a couple of incidents with her going after other dogs, but the more recent thing is that she has bitten 2 neighbors totally unprovoked when i have been walking her. my husband thinks it is because she feels my anxiety and wants to protect me, and i tend to agree. the dog officer had to come over today to release her from quarantine for her latest biting incident. my husband was not home and so she lunged at the dog officer. i felt horrible, but the dog officer was very cool and said that the dog clearly feels like she needs to protect me. the dog does seem fine when my husband is around, but for some reason she feels the need to protect me. i love this dog dearly but don’t know what to do. she is 8…….can training help? I feel like i can’t take her out at all, and if anyone comes to the house i now feel like my husband needs to be here. i never felt that way before.

    [Reply]

  221. Shirley Rieber says:

    We adopted a 1.5 yr old boxer staffordshire terrier mix and he has become very protective of us over the 3 months we have had him. Now he won’t let anyone in the house except us and our son. We had a trainer come to the house and are doing some conditioning training with a herm sprenger collar. It seems to be helping a little, but I don’t why he steadily got more an more protective. Even if he knows someone (like our other son that does not live here), if he doesn’t see them for a couple weeks he treats them like a stranger again. I have to leach him, do the down/ stay and he has top get to know them all over again. It is always scary because I’m never sure if he will accept them again, and they take a risk giving him a treat. It is difficult not to be tense myself, when trying to teach him not to be stressed.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would get him used to a basket muzzle

    [Reply]

  222. Ron says:

    I once had a king Doberman dog ,115 lbs
    ; I know now it is not a true Doberman … he was highly sencient…
    without training he never barked and was very safe and playfull … Doberman markings and hair type were perfectly Doberman. he naturally became overprotective of my son … utilizing harmless warning bites to the wrist or arm of any one that showed aggression or disciplinary contact when my son was around 5 years old. My dog didn’t respond the same way when discipline was instilled by myself or my wife . He never growled: but only used warning bites which were lightning fast and then he would return to a previous play or attentiveness prior to the warning as fast as it happened.. no one ever got injured or a painfull bite or bled; they did get the point though. Is this unusual??? Another thing; he had an unnaturally large head ,particularly in the cranial area…

    [Reply]

  223. Kecia Missos says:

    I have just adopted a 5 year old Pomeranian who has shown aggressive tendencies. I know little of his background except he was often put in his kennel and has had issues with biting before. He has chosen me to protect and just recently growled at my husband when he approached me. I corrected him firmly, but I’m afraid this is the beginning of some bad behavior. He is happy to meet people outside of the house, he is friendly to everyone, kids and adults. But inside the home, I have had issues with completely having the control and he does not want to listen to my husband at all. We are seeking a vet-recommended trainer now.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You need a veterinary behaviorist and not just a trainer.

    [Reply]

  224. Ansley says:

    I have a German shepherd and she just turned 1. Whenever anyone knocks on the door, rings the doorbell, or walks into the house she runs straight to them, screaming. She barks as loud as she can at them and it is very startling and scary for guests. She barks so much and so loud, surrounding the guest, but when they try to touch her she just moves away as if she is scared. What do I do to fix this? She aggressively barks towards guests all the time, taking 10 to 15 minutes for her to be comfortable and finally stop.

    [Reply]

  225. Courtnie says:

    I have a 6 month old Cockapoo. I just adopted him from the breeder. I know little of his background and what I have seen is that he was not properly socialized. My parents and I are working on fixing this socializion; however when we’re on walks he growls and barks at everyone, kids adults, men, women. He even growls at the fire hydrant. When we enter stores; he’s completely different, he’s shy to everyone. He hides behind me and doesn’t want others to bother him. No growling. When he’s in my room, he growls at my parents upon entering, he seems to have Velcro Dog Syndrome, he seems to be overly attached to me and doesn’t want anyone near me. I really need help. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I recommend a boarded veterinary behaviorist

    [Reply]

  226. Char says:

    My trainer had suggested leaving my dog leashed in the house at all times to teach him that its your house and not his. It was annoying holding his leash whilst i did chores but saw a massive improvement

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Makes a huge difference~

    [Reply]

  227. Ashton says:

    Hi!
    I have a 2 year old Jack Russell who is extremely overprotective of me, and my mother in law and sometimes over my other Jack Russell, who is a male and very submissive. She is very female driven, she doesn’t care much for men at all. She has been around a lot of positive influential men, one being my boyfriend, BUT she lately has been very aggressive towards him. She has actually went after him a couple times this month and broke skin. When this happens we usually tap her on the butt and tell her to go and lay down in her bed and basically give her a ‘time out ‘ . But it’s not helping, her aggression and overprotective behaviour has gotten worse. All it takes is for someone to walk by me and she will start growling. Our niece can’t even run around the house because my female Jack will think she is running after me.We currently live with my in-laws who have two dogs, male and female. My female Jack Russell is constantly going after her dogs, I’m thinking it’s a dominance/ overprotective issue. She has already established that she is the more dominant one out of all the dogs because they are both scared of her, but it’s proving that she is also dominant over us as well.
    PLEASE HELP !! I’m at my wits end and she’s soon going to get us kicked out or she is severely going to hurt someone.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would recommend finding a veterinary behaviorist near you to deal with the aggression. Aggression like this can’t be dealt with if it isn’t seen in it’s entirety.

    [Reply]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *