Teaching a Puppy Not to Growl and Snap?

I have just gotten a Collie cross with a Labrador puppy who is very affectionate and loves people and being the centre of attention. She is very fun and gentle, but recently when she has taken on one occassion a sock and other something in the garden, when I tried to retrieve same she growled and snapped at me and even jumped at me. I was very surprised by this behaviour as it seemed completely out of character for her. I have been able to take other things out of her mouth such a pebble or toys. I am not sure where this is coming from and just wondering how I should treat this behaviour?


By Sophie Q

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December 23, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

This is a type of aggression called resource guarding. It may seem cute in puppies, but you're right to deal with it now, since it can lead to biting.

Stand to your full height over the puppy. Using a firm, strict voice say "Drop it!" To teach the puppy what you mean, tap him on his shoulder or neck with your fully outstretched arm, no bent elbow. Don't try to take the sock until he has dropped it.

If he keeps trying to dive for the sock again after he's dropped it but before you can pick it up: Back him off by using both your index fingers to his chest.


Push slowly, not hard.

While you're using this technique, do not say anything except "drop it." Don't use his name.

You'll need to do this for anything you want him to drop, even if you think he would give it to you. Never take anything from a dog's mouth. Even if he wasn't previously aggressive about that type of thing, as he grows older he may decide to change his mind at any time. Always have him drop it and take it.

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