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June 21, 2006


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Hi Kara!

Thanks so much for the response! I *have* been coming at her from above. Even more evident of this as a good possibility, is that she doesn't growl at us at any other time. She is and has been handled and socialized quite a lot in her first two months with us. I've been doing as much of what Ian Dunbar recommends as I can in his "What To Do Before and After You Get a Puppy" and I will pick up Jean Donaldson's book as well. We're putting Zeta, who just turned 15 weeks old, in school next week as she has now completed most of her shots and is ready to go. Should we also consider a behaviorist at this point as well? I'm honored you'd address my concerns!

Buddy's Chance Austin Dog Training and Behavior

You're welcome! I'm sure you've already been doing some great work if you've been using Dr. Ian Dunbar's book. You can probably hold off on the behaviorist since you're starting a class next week. Talk to the trainer about is and get her opinion. But, don't hesitate to get a second opinion if you're not sure your trainer has enough experience to give you advice. Thank you for the comments!



Hi Cara,

My wife and I have a 7 week old boxer/bullmastiff mix (we picked him up earlier this week). He was one of the smaller in the litter and was not one of the stronger feeders according to the breeder.

He has been a joy so far but today when my wife took him into the vet they gave him a rawhide bone. When they took away he began to growl aggressively, protecting the bone.

The vet said that to correct this behavior we need to put him in a submissive position and let him know who is the boss.

However, after doing some reading I'm getting mixed messages. Some articles suggest that taking the bone away and putting the puppy in a subordinate position will only make him more aggressive in the future as he will be in constant fear that his food/bone will be taken away.

What approach should we take? Any insights?

Thanks a million...

Cara, Austin Dog Trainer

Hello, Peter. Your puppy is doing something called Resource Guarding, which, although it should be treated, is not uncommon. I'm going to post a more thorough answer in a full post.


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