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my dog got aggressive with my boyfriend

We have had him sense he was a puppy so I was taken back by what happened . When we got him I was the one taking care of him so of course he bonded with me . This Christmas he got a really big dog bone , but I noticed he was guarding it and would growl if we got close to it while he was chewing it and if he wasn't he would run over to it to guard it . I told my boyfriend this so he decided to try to take it from him , but when he did he growled at him and attempted to bite him so he made the big mistake of hitting him and when he did the dog really went after him . I told him to stop hitting him and started to call the dog to me . He eventually came to me and sat down so he decided to put him in his crate which he would not go in for him , but all I said was in and he went in , he then removed the bone . My concern is his agressiveness toward him . A while back my boyfriend went to bend down to give me a kiss before he left for work when he was next to me but as he bent down I had to grab him by his collar and pull him down to the floor to keep him from biting him . I am concerned about his behavior toward him and wonder what would cause this . I told him hitting him was not what he should have done because it made his agressiveness worse and he only stopped when I called him . My dog is a shepherd / husky mix . I have had shepherds before and have never seen this before . I only question if he has been hitting him before like when I am not home . I really would like to know what is going on here.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Community Manager

Re: my dog got aggressive with my boyfriend

[ Edited ]

Hi hipps 56, and thank you for your question. 

 

As a dog parent, it is extremely important to understand dogs’ body language and signals, as they will, by using their ears, eyes, mouth, eyes, tail and even body positioning, tell us how they feel in situations (a great visual resource is available through https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/free-downloads-posters-handouts-and-more/). A growl is one of the most important signals a dog can provide, as often it is one of the last things they will do before actually lunging and possibly biting. When a dog resorts to biting, besides missing the stress/emotional signals and pushing the dog beyond its threshold, we have set the dog up to resort to biting quicker in a similar situation without displaying as many signals.
There are many resources available for reactive dogs. Although it seems that your dog may have some resource guarding issues, it is best to work with a certified animal behaviorist to figure out your dog’s possible triggers and thresholds. We highly recommend to locate one by following these links:
American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) www.veterinarybehaviorists.org
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviors (AVSAB) www.avsabonline.org
Working with a specialist will help you, your dog, and your boyfriend sort out how to live together in harmony. After working with a behaviorist, they may even suggest the three of you enroll in a group class, to explore the power of positive dog training, build a bond, and strengthening that bond.
 
We hope this helps to point you in the right direction, and please come back and keep us updated!
1 REPLY
Community Manager

Re: my dog got aggressive with my boyfriend

[ Edited ]

Hi hipps 56, and thank you for your question. 

 

As a dog parent, it is extremely important to understand dogs’ body language and signals, as they will, by using their ears, eyes, mouth, eyes, tail and even body positioning, tell us how they feel in situations (a great visual resource is available through https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/free-downloads-posters-handouts-and-more/). A growl is one of the most important signals a dog can provide, as often it is one of the last things they will do before actually lunging and possibly biting. When a dog resorts to biting, besides missing the stress/emotional signals and pushing the dog beyond its threshold, we have set the dog up to resort to biting quicker in a similar situation without displaying as many signals.
There are many resources available for reactive dogs. Although it seems that your dog may have some resource guarding issues, it is best to work with a certified animal behaviorist to figure out your dog’s possible triggers and thresholds. We highly recommend to locate one by following these links:
American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) www.veterinarybehaviorists.org
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviors (AVSAB) www.avsabonline.org
Working with a specialist will help you, your dog, and your boyfriend sort out how to live together in harmony. After working with a behaviorist, they may even suggest the three of you enroll in a group class, to explore the power of positive dog training, build a bond, and strengthening that bond.
 
We hope this helps to point you in the right direction, and please come back and keep us updated!
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