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Thread: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

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    Pooper scooper BrunosMum's Avatar
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    Default Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    Hi everyone

    I would like some input/advice on the situation I have.

    We adopted Mya (6 yrs old) about 3 months ago. We were told she growled at one of the kids, when the little girl fell near Mya when she was sleeping.

    The problem we have is, she can be very possessive with her Nylabones. She growls when we go near her. Sometimes she will let us take it away from her. The previous owner told us they used to play tug of war with her. Would this be part of the issue? She comes up to us with the bone, wagging her tail, then starts growling when we tell her to give it to us. Is this part of a game to her? She isn't food possessive, I can put my hand in her bowl with no problem. Another thing she does is, when she is in the car and someone comes close to the car she will launch at the window barking.

    I feel like I am a bad Mum as I am unsure what to do. If anyone can give me some pointers I would really appreciate it. We have never experienced this with Bruno.

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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    I think she is wanting to play. Our bully does that,,,she wants us to try and get it from her. I love her growl, it's so funny. We don't take it from her but tap the ends of the bone and she growls and shakes her head. Our bully went through 3 homes before us because of her growling and afraid she would bite. Well, she has been the best dog we could ever ask for. She won't bite us,,,just love to growl and play. We've had her for 5 years now.

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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    Well..jake does this exact same thing...but only with my hubby. He wiggles all over and tries his best to get him to WANT his ball or bone...but if a move is made to pretend you want that toy..he growls something fierce. But...it's very obvious Jake is playing. And he has zero history of growling at anyone...especially a child! If you have seen no other signs of aggressiveness ..I bet she is playing.
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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    Walley-Bubba does exactly the same thing.
    He picked it up from the Yorkie, dogon hoodlum!

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    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    That tail wagging? Ignore it for now. What other signals does your pup give that will help us to determine her intentions when she growls? Is her butt up in the air? (play bowing) Does she have the toy in between her front legs? (claiming the toy) Does she snap when you try to grab it? (clearly possessiveness)

    That being said, you should be able to take something away from your dog anytime without any fuss. The pack leader owns all the toys. You just LET THEM play with them. I know. I know. That sounds mean, right? It isn't. Its in our Dog's DNA to understand pack hierarchy and they actually ENJOY the comfort in knowing their place in the world. They really do.

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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    It may just be a play growl. Buddy does this all the time with me when he want me to play with him and his favorite hard rubber bone. Lucy will do it sometimes as well when she wants to play or wants attention. You can tell it's play growl because their tail will be going, if they wag their tail and they usually bring the toy to you. If she get aggresive when you try to take the bone away then that's a different story and that needs to be addressed. I'm thinking she is just play growling.
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    Pooper scooper BrunosMum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    Quote Originally Posted by Vicaroo1000 View Post
    That tail wagging? Ignore it for now. What other signals does your pup give that will help us to determine her intentions when she growls? Is her butt up in the air? (play bowing) Does she have the toy in between her front legs? (claiming the toy) Does she snap when you try to grab it? (clearly possessiveness)

    That being said, you should be able to take something away from your dog anytime without any fuss. The pack leader owns all the toys. You just LET THEM play with them. I know. I know. That sounds mean, right? It isn't. Its in our Dog's DNA to understand pack hierarchy and they actually ENJOY the comfort in knowing their place in the world. They really do.
    Thanks for your input Vicaroo. She doesn't normally have her butt in the air. The bone is either laying at her paws, then we don't usually have any problems, she lets us take it. She seems to growl more when she has it between her paws, saying like "this is mine, leave it". This is she will snap at the bone, or bark when she has it in her mouth and she is standing wagging her tail at us. I think alot of the time it is a bit of play, but also some aggression. She did snap at my husband the other day when he tried to take the bone off her.

    We do the pack leader thing, she's tries to do the dominance thing, but it doesn't wash with me.

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    Pooper scooper BrunosMum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidh View Post
    It may just be a play growl. Buddy does this all the time with me when he want me to play with him and his favorite hard rubber bone. Lucy will do it sometimes as well when she wants to play or wants attention. You can tell it's play growl because their tail will be going, if they wag their tail and they usually bring the toy to you. If she get aggresive when you try to take the bone away then that's a different story and that needs to be addressed. I'm thinking she is just play growling.
    Thanks for your input Davidh.

    As I said in my previous reply I think she is playing but also shows a bit of aggression.

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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    @BrunosMum Our Diva, when she was about 8 months old would try to be possessive with a golf ball that she would find in our back yard every once in awhile when we would take it away and would snap at us. We would immediately grab her by the side of her face and say "NO" and after a few times she quit. Now I can take anything away from her.
    Have a Great Bully Day.
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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    If she/he growls while twitching the lips, then they are serious, offer something else so they aren't afraid to give in. and then the nylabone again, kinda of like a game so they understand you are not keeping it forever and it's alright to give things up. it may just be that trust issue
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    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    Banks is a VERY mouthy player, but she is also very dominate so we have to watch her body language and the sound/tone to the bark/growl (sort of like a baby cry -- momma knows there is a difference to that cry). when I am correcting her, my sister will tell me 'leave her alone, she didn't do anything --- I say yea, because I stopped her. Took us months to get it down, but now 7.5 yrs in, we get to keep her in line
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    Default Re: Advice needed - bone possessiveness

    Kiah was very resource aggressive when I first rescued her. Now I can take anything away from her, especially that rare chicken bone she may find on the walk. Our first exercise was working for everything. Whether it be a sit, down or paw. Second, trading up. I wouldnt wait till she started resource guarding, I randomly used different treats while she was chewing away on the bone. Never letting her get to that point where she felt threated she was gonna lose her prize. Now after 3 months, I walk over to her, say her name, she picks up her head and the bone is mine. 25-35% of the time I still reward her with another treat, usually I will just reward her by taking her outside or a neck massage.
    When you are working the exercises, move around to his sides. Dogs can feel threatened when approached head on.

    Caution on the tail wag, if the butts not shaking and her lips are curled, you might want to consider that a warning. Kiahs play growl sounds vicious, almost terrifying. She talks in all different pitched growls and barks. I can tell by her posture and lips as to what she is conveying. The eyes and ears tell alot too. Its a bit tougher with the EBs cause of the wrinkles. Now her pissed off growl sounds ferocious, distinct tones and depth. You can definitely hear the difference. The good news is I havent heard her "I'm gonna eat your face" growl in ages
    Last edited by Bullyproof; 06-24-2013 at 08:18 PM. Reason: android autocorrect...sigh...
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