Pit Bull Puppy Possessive Of Owner?

I have a 9 week old pit bull puppy named Sophie. She has become very possessive of me towards my other older male pit lab mix. She growls and goes for him when he starts to come close to me, usually when I'm on the bed. What do I do? I'm afraid he will hurt her.


Glen from Long Beach, CA

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By Jackie from NE WI (Guest Post)
October 23, 20080 found this helpful

Hello, what I would do is if the puppy is being aggressive then when it growls at the other dog I would flick it (gently) on the nose say "no" and put and ignore it for a few minutes and pat attention to the older dog. I have 4 pitbulls from age 3 to 8 weeks old. I have only had to do that 2 or 3 times for the puppies to stop.
shadowbaby83 w/ yahoo

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By Shelley (Guest Post)
October 23, 20080 found this helpful

Have you ever watched The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic? He's so good knowing dog behavior...Good luck!

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By jen (Guest Post)
October 24, 20080 found this helpful

Never leave the 2 dogs alone until she stops the behavior. Previous feedback was great, you are the leader and she has made you her property. The flick/no/ignore is great.


Also along with this make sure you show your older dog attention, almost to encourage the possessiveness in the pup. That way you can correct her in all situations and she will see YOU are the boss not her.

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By Shelter Worker (Guest Post)
October 24, 20080 found this helpful

#1 is that you should already have both dogs spayed and neutered!

#2 is you really should look at both Victoria Stillwell and Cesar Milan because the problem is that you are not the leader in your home and the dogs are also not properly trained. You need to make some BIG changes fast and those changes all start with you changing your attitude beliefs and handling of both dogs.

It's very normal for puppies to challenge older dogs to see where their place in the pack is. That's why the old wive's tale of how great it is getting a pup to bond with your older dog is NOT good.


It's VERY stressful for the older dog to have a pup constantly trying to push them.

If your dog was properly trained and socialized (which you can accomplish at any age by changing YOUR habits); you'd bee seeking the best companion for your dog in terms of energy level, calmness, etc.

The issue here is NOT just one dog trying to bully the other. Your dogs are NOT well adjusted or socialized because one dog is guarding you from the other. That means the new dog sees you as their property. They feel they must protect you because you have failed to be a leader. This behavior will extend outside the home to other animals and eventually people if not corrected ASAP.

It is however, very do-able. Look up both trainers and see the info on their websites about dogs being overprotective of their owners.

in the meantime, get on a better regimen of exercise and discipline for both dogs. At least 2 brisk walks/jogs for a good 30-45 minutes in the am and pm. Right BEFORE one starts to focus too much on the other dog or oncoming pets/people, redirect them by changing direction in your walk briskly and firmly. Make sure the dogs are walking beside/behind you and NEVER in front of you because the one in front is the leader in their eyes.


NEVER reward bad behaviour by cuddling the dog, scooping her up or talking in a pleading sweet voice when she's behaving badly. Leaders do NOT beg. When the pup makes the first sign of focusing on your other dog in your presence; get up and walk away immediately.

Repeat this as often as necessary (and it will be a lot) until the pup understands that when she goes for the other dog; she will lose her prize which is attention from you. This should be done with no or very, very little scolding because negative attention is better than no attention at all. You want the dog to understand that she will have NO attention and be alone if she misbehaves with the other dog.

Combine that with giving the pup treats when the other dog comes near you but be quick to do it so you distract her from the other dog with the food BEFORE she can do bad behaviours with him. You should quickly build to where you can cuddle them both and give affection to both without incident.


You want a 2 pronged approach where she's denied her favorite reward (owning you) and she sees the other dog as a great thing. Extend the treat technique and apply it on your walks when you go by other pets, bikers, etc. You can change her behaviour by changing yours and still make it all a positive thing for all of you.

The dogs shouldn't sleep in your bed. Give them separate dog beds outside the room if possible. If you don't already have 2 dog beds you can use 2 old blankets that are washable.

This will help a lot but you need to do a bunch more training to be on the right track. Forget about wondering what people will think when you abruptly walk in circles or you get up and leave a room 10 times until both your dogs are respecting you and your guests. Be consistent and it will happen faster than you think. Waver and apply the techniques only when it's convenient for you and nothing will change. Good luck.

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October 25, 20080 found this helpful

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October 26, 20080 found this helpful

Our 1 1/2 year old toy poodle became very possessive of me also. Our vet told us to be sure the dog knew I was the alpha/leader not her. To do this she said the dog needed to be taught to sit before coming up on my lap, sit before going outside - basically earn things.


If she was on my lap and growled when my son walked up and petted her, I would simple stand up and let her plop on the floor. She got the message within a week. Your dog is very young - just train her well right away!

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November 2, 20080 found this helpful

Sounds like your puppy owns you! try watching the dog whisperer and correct that dominant behaviour before anything happens! Long walks with you in charge, exercise, discipline, affection! Good luck!

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