Help! My 7 month old puppy randomly became agressive and bit me!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by meaganlee, Dec 14, 2010.


  1. meaganlee

    meaganlee PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a 7 month old chihuahua dachshund mix and his name is Toby. He is the sweetest puppy ever and very loyal. He is trained and never bites or growls at anyone or anything. He does not growl when you take his food away or pet him while he is eating. He loves children and if dogs bark at him he'll just stare at them and will not bark back. He's a quiet dog who is not aggressive at all. Randomly today we gave him his first marrow bone and Toby became super protective over it right away and would growl and snarl at me and my boyfriend when we would walk by him or try to pet him. We tried to show him that we were the ones providing the bone to him and not trying to take it away from him but it got worse. He even ran away from us with the bone. We took the bone away for an hour and gave it back to him to play with for awhile. When he was done chewing on it i took it away and later on held him like I always do and hugged him. He then snapped at me and bit my face. I'm glad he did not bite hard because it was near my eye. He now will not look at me or my boyfriend in the eye and he will not come near us. His eyes seem wet and bulged out for some reason and he seems super sleepy. He is even laying down and growling for no reason. Is he just stressed out? Please give me some advice!! This is not like my sweet Toby!!
     
    #1 meaganlee, Dec 14, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  2. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,441
    Likes Received:
    495
    All dogs are superprotective over a bone and if this is the first one he has ever had, it is certainly not uncommon for a dog to behave this way. If, as you say, his eyes don't look right and he is behaving differently, I would pop him down to the vet to see if perhaps something is wrong.

    I am puzzled, though, that you say he doesn't growl if you take his food away. Why would you take his food away?
     
  3. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    10,270
    Likes Received:
    485
    I agree with the above :)
     
  4. harrysmum03

    harrysmum03 PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm presuming she means not food aggressive! which is why she couldnt understand why he'd snap regarding a bone???
    Not everyone keeps the dogs food out all day either.
     
  5. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,441
    Likes Received:
    495
    I am not saying anyone does, or should, leave the food out all day. I get what she meant, but it sounded like the food was being taken away whilst the dog was still eating it. I was just wondering if this was some idea that trainers used to have about taking their food away to show them who the pack leader is. That is why I asked.
     
  6. keirk

    keirk PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    14
    He thought he had won the lottery - and you were trying to take it off him. In future if you need to take the bone back for any reason use distraction. Ring the door bell or something to lure him away. A bone is SUPER HIGH VALUE to a dog and it sounds like you take food off him mid eat so of course he is going to protect it.

    Why?

    I would take him to the vets - I dont think these things are related.
     
  7. the melster

    the melster PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    16
    I also take food off my dogs when training, especially with anything new to stop food aggression. When giving a bone for the first time I usually keep hold of the bone and allow the dog to chew it but keep hold of it for the first few times. This has always worked for me. It might be an idea to teach a 'leave it' command .. hold the bone and if he leaves on command treat him with something of higher value, liver cake works for me.
     
    #7 the melster, Dec 14, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  8. ddb

    ddb PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    4
    i don't take the food away when we feed the dogs but i do interrupt from time to time so there is no food aggression
     
  9. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,441
    Likes Received:
    495
    The only reason to take food is because there is a problem. I sometimes have to swap them over if they have gone to the wrong bowls as Joshua has his supplements in his. I see no point to this otherwise.
     
  10. meaganlee

    meaganlee PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes, thats what i meant to say ^ we never take his food away for any reason we let him eat but we do not free feed him

    and thank you everyone! he seems to be back to normal now and my boyfriend did a little bit of training today with the distractions and trading method and he seems to be perfectly fine with his bone now he's not protective what-so-ever over it. he actually seems bored of it!
     
  11. meaganlee

    meaganlee PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    my boyfriend tried this today too and it worked. toby seems to be better with the bone and i'm glad! thank you. and i only took the bone away because i was confused and was not sure why he was acting that way for the first time. so i wanted him to know that i was the one giving him the bone.
     
  12. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Messages:
    13,762
    Likes Received:
    339
    I bet he was loving that bone so guarded it from you. Once he has them on a regular basis he probably won't mind you taking it - try the swapping method to get him to give it up, offer him something else and take the bone. You can then give it back so as he knows you're not going to keep it.

    I think it's important to be able to take food away from them as mine have on occasion got to the bin and no way are they gonna keep a cooked chicken bone, so they always let me take it. You never know when you may need to take something out of their mouths. Teaching "drop" is also good! ;)
     
Loading...