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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, Tucker and my son (6 1/2) are really good buddies. However, we got Tucker a really yummy bone from the pet store and when my son went to pet him, Tucker growled. Now I know this is normal behavior but what should we do? Tucker has treated Ian like a littermate and we've been trying to work on this. When we took the bone away, he didn't growl at us at all. He hasn't ever growled about the food bowl or toys with Ian, just this bone. Do we not get them anymore?
 

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Be sure to give the dog the bone, and have your son take it away from him, if he growls, have your son tell the dog no sternly, and then try again in a little while repeat until your son can take the bone away, and not have any problems. Be sure it is all supervised, as I don't know how old Tucker is. I just had to do this with Star our LD, and in 2 tries, we had no problems..
 
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From experience we've learned that preventing dogs from getting overly possessive of bones, food or toys is extremely important & should be done as soon as you get a pup. The previous posts were right on with not allowing the dog to keep the bone with his growling intimidation tactics. In addition to saying no & taking the bone away, here's an additional way that worked great for us & was actually fun for the dogs & our kids.
An easy way to teach Tucker not to guard his possessions from your son is to have your son play a game of "trade." Get 2 bones & give Tucker one. Then put a little peanut butter on the other bone which will make it even tastier than Tucker's. As your son says "trade" & gently takes Tucker's bone, he should give the other "better" bone to the dog in trade & give him LOTS of praise. This way Tucker will learn that he doesn't need to fear that your son will take something away from him & leave him empty-handed (actually, empty-pawed!) He'll learn to trust your son more & also learn that giving something away will end up being a good thing & that better stuff is waiting.
This is also a good way to teach a dog the command to "drop it." After a while, they'll give you whatever they have & you won't even need to give another bone or toy in exchange -- a pat on the head & loving words of praise will be all the trade they need.
It may be easier to start with trading toys than bones so both Tucker & your son get the hang of it & there's no danger of Tucker going beyond a growl to an actual bite.
Good luck. Keep us posted.
 

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Great, great, great advice! I agree 100%.
I would add, too, that your son should be involved in training Tucker. Tucker should see your son as a leader and by making him obey your son's commands, Tucker will learn that he is in charge. He needs to respect him as a pack leader, not treat him as a littermate.
 

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Everyone has given such great advice so far! Especially love the "trade" game.

Another part to that suggestion would be to routinely take Tucker's food, toys, bones, etc. away from him when he has them, and give them back. During mealtime, take his bowl away for a few minutes, then give it back and let him keep eating. When he plays, make sure he doesn't get possessive of toys either by taking them away and treating him when you do it, or giving them back relatively soon. He will quickly learn and understand that you and your son are the bosses!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the good advice! We will start trying all those tips. I also thought maybe our son should start feeding Tucker. It's been kind of hard to get Ian to be firm with Tucker. He just wants to roll around and play with him. Tucker starts obedience school this week so I think that will be good for everyone too. I really appreciate having this forum for advice, we our 1st time dog owners and have lots of questions. Tucker is a great dog and we love him- we want to make sure we do things right so he is happy.
 

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In addition to giving your son more of a role in the training, you may also be able to teach your son to use a deeper, sterner voice than his usual tone when giving the dog commands. When Fred was about 7-8 months, he went through a disobedient phase--especially with my son. I had my son use a sterner tone than he had been using, and it did help--although Owen is a teen so this may not work as well with your 6 year old.
Good luck.
 

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We are having some of the same problems with our Dylan ( 8 months). He likes to steal our socks and slippers and then when we try to get them back, he growls or snaps at us. We had a trainer come to our house to work on it with us. We have worked on the "drop it" command. Which works about 90% of the time. However, when he gets into is severe disobedient times, she suggested spraying Bitter Apple in his mouth. Then when it drops the item or stops growling, quickly give him a treat. We are having a lot of luck with these tips. She also suggested that we work on it EVERY day, even if he has been doing good for a few days. That way, he won't surprise us someday and then he is constenly reminded of the comands.

It definitely helps to know that we're not the only ones out there. My husband and I were convienced that we were doing a bad job raising our doodle. But the trainer kept telling us that his is at the age to test us and we just need to keep reminding Dylan that we are the boss.
 
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