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Territorial? snappy/growling yorkie!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Blueyorkie, Apr 28, 2011.


  1. Blueyorkie

    Blueyorkie PetForums Newbie

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    My rescue yorkie that i got just before xmas, aged 6, is still very unpredictable and I'm not sure what to do. (I have just emailed a behaviourist!)

    He is very friendly to all who visit home, will sit on laps, play with them, until something gets in his mind and we're not sure what, he will then start growling and threatening!! He appears to be really territorial too, doesn't like my husband and me being too near each other, he kind of butts in with barking or whining, and today, he has just snapped at my hubby's legs as hubby walked towards me, he was growling and snarling. Is it possible to stop this kind of behaviour? It is so unpredictable, hubby could walk towards me ten times without this happening and then all of a sudden the dog snaps!! Such a lovely boy in all other respects, but also seems very unsociable or intolerant of other humans. Do we live with it, or live without him if he can't be fixed or at least modified. It's worrying when people come round, if they outstay their welcome they get really growled at. Ohh and he has snapped at feet several times before, despite seeing the people he snapped at quite a few times before and being friendly towards them!!

    I absolutely adore him, but part of me is scared of him and how he seems to dominate with his fearsome ruling!! Good job he is only small!! Only wanted to give him the best life possible. :(
     
  2. Blueyorkie

    Blueyorkie PetForums Newbie

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    ........and he's done it again tonight! Husband was about to go out to the shops and was standing near me, doggy starting growling and snarling again!! I wouldn't mind but the dog usually loves my hubby, always sitting with him and spending time with him. How weird, I wonder what is going on for this dog??
     
  3. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear what is happening, have you been to vets with him ? the reason i ask is a few yrs ago my mum had a dog who started to snap at her and other people and a few times to bite, tests were done at the vets and it was "Cushings" she had, she was put on meds for it,
     
  4. Blueyorkie

    Blueyorkie PetForums Newbie

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    Might be useful and shouldn't be ruled out, but he was vet checked before he left the rescue and no obvious signs, he had a dental and was generally given a clean bill of health. I think its more to do with his personality traits or the way he's been bought up before!! Poor little mite, rather than being angry, we are more concerned about him and want to help him overcome if at all possible, whether he can unlearn this stuff I'm not sure, perhaps he needs some dog CBT to change his way of thinking.......
     
  5. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    If you don't believe this is a health caused sudden deterioation in behaviour, then you need a good rewards based behavourist to observe and work with (see sticky), no other advice would be responsible. It sounds like some element of guarding behaviour of you, from what you describe, so both you and your husband will need to act as a consistent team to teach the dog to be tolerant of "extra" company.

    Similar sounding cases have been shown on Victoria Stillwell USA shows, where removal from a bed and husband rewarding wanted behaviour seemed effective.

    Forget the "dominate" idea, your dog just wants to keep a resource to itself (say your lap) rather than run the household, confronting the dog may result in an escalation so good professional help is wise, rather than viewing it as a battle about who's boss, beware of anyone who claims you need to become the pack leader.
     
  6. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    The dog is protecting you.

    I would imagine you have taken on this dog (well done you for going down the rescue route :)) but you have given him too much affection and not enough rules and boundries.

    In my opinion dogs often get above themselves, within the pack and will feel it their duty to protect.

    In your case you are probably his main source of affection, and he feels it his job to protect you.

    It's time to shift the pack balance around. Make you and your hubby the top of it, and the dog at the bottom.

    Unless it is medical or fear related, a dog will attack/bite a person because they feel they are superior to the person, to whom they are attacking. Or in your case perhaps you are reinforcing the fact that your dog needs to protect you.

    Good luck :)
     
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