I have a 9 month old Yorkie-Poo. She is very smart and lovable, but has a bad aggressive habit. When I try to take something that she shouldn't have away from her, she growls and snaps at me. I've learned to stay away from her food bowl while she is eating, but this snapping and biting thing has got to stop. Any help at stopping this type of behavior will be greatly appreciated.
By Barb from Munhall, PA
The best way I've used to stop this kind of behavior is a quick squirt of a water bottle, and a firm no. Is very effective. They don't like it in their face and they won't continue for long. After awhile all I had to do was shake the bottle at them.
As far as the growling/snapping when you take something forbidden away from her, try distracting her with something she likes better, whether it be a treat she really loves or a favorite toy. Tell her "drop it" and praise her when she releases the forbidden object and reward her with the treat or toy.
For the snapping behavior where her food bowl is concerned, she needs to learn there is no free lunch. Make her work for her meals by teaching her to sit and stay before you put the food bowl down. Praise her when she waits for you to tell her to eat. Be consistent - everybody in the family has to to this with her or she will never learn.
Try feeding her from your hand for awhile so she realizes you are not taking food away but giving it to her. One piece at a time. Do you have little ones? Mine became this way do to my kids not leaving him or his things alone, so he became very possessive over his things and things he is not allowed to have. He snaps at us also. Be careful. If your dog is this way so young make sure you get a handle on it now, before he/she does really bite someone.
I always worry about our dog biting others now. We love him, but I do not trust him and it is no ones fault but ours. Should have watched the kids w/the dog more and waited till the kids were older. Now, we love our dog and just realize what sets him off, and leave him be. Yours is still trainable. Good luck.
You need The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan. You can get his books and DVDs at the library. You'll have this problem solved if you do this. Here's his website too: http://www.cesarsway.com/
I agree with "wacky camper". Take her bowl away. No food left down. Make her sit. Feed her in the morning and at night, by hand only. The only food she gets is from your hand. Don't worry if she doesn't eat much at first. She won't starve herself to death. After doing this for a week or so you can set the dish down and put several pieces at a time in the bowl until she's eaten her entire portion. She'll become used to your hand near her bowl and will look for your hand to put in the food.
You and your husband both should do this. If you have kids, have them participate as well. As "molly539" mentioned about the forbidden objects, this method works wonderfully. I use the command "leave it" and give them something really tasty. We do this with our dog that likes to catch possums! I have the really tasty steak treats and as my husband picks it up I say "leave it" and give him the treat. Now, he goes ahead and sits and waits for his treat. He thinks he's done something really fantastic! And, he has.
Your dog doesn't see you as the alpha right now. Make sure you go through doorways first and make her wait until you tell her it's okay to come through. You must eat first before feeding her, even if it's just a cookie. Alphas always eat first. Do not let her sleep on the bed. The alphas have the highest spots. Make her sit or lie down to be petted or for anything. This is called the Nothing In Life is Free. She has to work for everything she gets, food, petting, anything. These all go toward establishing yourself as alpha. Give it a try, it can't hurt. Good luck.