Dog growls at my son HELP!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2006
Dog growls at my son HELP!!
5
Fri, 10-19-2007 - 9:11pm

I'm so glad that I just found this board and am hoping someone can help! Here's background to my story:

We got our Pug about two years ago when he was just a puppy. I now know that we made a mistake by not signing him up for puppy obedience classes, etc. However, at the time I was finishing college, working, and pregnant and it was just one thing I let slide. Not to mention we lived in a rural town where hardly any resources like obedience training were available. No excuses, I should have trained him.

Fast forward to now. He is usually a really great dog. DH and I could do whatever we wanted to him and he wouldn't care. We can stand by him while he eats, take his bone away from him, stick our hand in his food dish, pull his tail, etc. Obviously, we don't make a habit of this but he is a pretty good patient dog.

That was until a couple weeks ago. My biggest concern is that he has become extremely protective of his food but ONLY around the cats and my son. He was never like this before. He lunges and growls at them. Is it because they are jumpy and have sporadic movements? I am guessing it also has to do with my son being a toddler, etc. I am worried that he may hurt my 1 1/2 year old boy. We do not let our son aggravate or hurt the dog in any way and really our son didn't spend that much time near our dog unless he wants to give him a quick pet. My dog ALSO JUST started barking at every siren, doorbell, etc that hears (whether its on TV or not). He is just so jumpy and unpredictable now.

For now, we have just been letting our dog have his space away from my son and the cats. However, we need to resolve this problem and I really don't want to give him away :( What would you recommend? Is it too late for obedience training? Will that solve our problems? Where would you recommend I start looking for good dog classes? What should I be doing at home to minimize the number of upsets my dog displays. What should I be doing when my dog starts growling at my son?

Sorry this got so long. I appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance!!

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LilypieExpecting a baby Ticker


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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-16-2004
Sat, 10-20-2007 - 12:28pm

Having toddlers can be very hard on some dogs. They can be very unintentionally threatening to dogs. Definitely get into some obedience training. Try to look for a trainer who has experience with the kind of problem you have (food aggression/possession and uncomfortable around your toddler). Start feeding him by himself where the children and cats can't get to him. If he has a crate this is an excellent place to do so. If he doesn't have a crate, lock him in a laundry room or a bathroom to eat. If he isn't already on a feeding schedule then put him on one so there isn't any food just sitting around for him to get possessive over. If you have trouble with him when your toddler is eating then lock him out of the room during meal times. Don't give him bones or other long lasting treats when your toddler is around just in case he might try to pet him while the dog is eating it. Keep treats to stuff that he can eat in one little gulp. He'll appreciate them just as much as rawhides and bones.

It is never too late to begin training a dog.

Turdle

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 10-20-2007 - 1:30pm

Hi Krista and Welcome to the Board.

 
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2005
Sat, 10-20-2007 - 2:39pm

Hi, Krista and welcome to the Dog Training Board.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2006
Sun, 10-21-2007 - 9:28pm

Thanks for all of the advice and articles. There is just so much information out there I wasn't sure where to start. I will definitely have to start reading up so that we can keep Pugsley (an original name for a Pug, I know) as part of the family!

Another think I thought of, we moved a little over a month ago from a townhouse with a huge yard (that he loved to lounge in) to an apartment with no real outdoor space. I know pugs don't need a ton of exercise but could that be the cause of some of the dog's "edginess"? Would walking him more relieve some of that?

Thanks again!!

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LilypieExpecting a baby Ticker


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Mon, 10-22-2007 - 9:20am

Hi Krista....thank you so much for the information.