In some situations dogs may misinterpret the fact that we are trying to take their toys from them and become possessive of them. A possessive dog may simply not let go of its toy, it may growl at us or even bite us, a behavior that we must avoid for the record.
Under no circumstances should we let our dog growl or try to bite us for being possessive, but neither should we punish or scold him for being possessive because then he will learn that by force we can get what we want and he will also try to do it.
From Dogsis.com we are going to explain how we should deal with possessive behavior in our dog, with or without a growl and how to avoid this type of situation by educating him correctly as a puppy.
Index of contents
- 1 How to Correct an Adult Possessive Dog
- 2 How to prevent a dog or puppy from being possessive
How to Correct an Adult Possessive Dog
If our dog has become possessive with his toys, with his bed, with his food or even with any stick that is in the street…. we have a problem. This behavior is mainly due to three reasons, which we must solve:
- Fear on the part of the dog to lose its possession.
- I try to mark their territory.
- Wrong learning because of bad examples on our part.
The first two reasons are practically linked, insecure dogs are usually also territorial. Dogs that have not been socialized and are afraid of losing what they have achieved, be it a toy or food.
A possessive and adult dog can be dangerous if we do not know how to educate it correctly, since if we try to take away its possession it may growl at us or even try to attack us. If we are not sure if we can solve this problem, it is advisable to go to a dog trainer.
However, we can put into practice some tips little by little and with great patience, trying to eliminate this behavior. If, as an example, our dog growls when we approach his food, we should stop putting food in the bowl and start getting used to giving him food from our hands.
This is a process that we must practice with great patience and care, day after day until the dog gets used to eating from our hand and not from its bowl. Later we will be adding food to your bowl little by little, at the same time that we give you food by the hand.
Finally we must be able to approach his food bowl whenever we want without him growling or making bad gestures, always with care since a bad act can result in a bite. If the case of possession occurs with a toy, the ideal is to divert your attention with food, take out some of your favorite sweets and try to let go of the toy.
When he releases it, we must give him food and reward him, then we will give him the toy again (we should never take it away completely). The purpose of this system is to teach the dog to let go of what it is biting when we ask it to, therefore we must practice a lot the order to “give it” or “let go” always with food.
If the dog is possessive for the third reason, that is, for having learned from a bad example on our part, there is no doubt that you are going to need professional help. Many people try to take toys, food or a bed from the dog when he becomes possessive by force, even physically punishing him.
With this our dog will only learn one thing, to be even more aggressive and possessive. You will think that by force you can get what you want just like we do, so we should never apply this type of behavior with our dog.
How to prevent a dog or puppy from being possessive
To avoid having a possessive dog, we only have to put into practice a very habitual and healthy technique, socialization. We must join our dog with other dogs from puppy to learn to play and relate, the same with other people.
When we feed him, we should be able to reach into his plate of food without growling or making a bad gesture. We and any family member, even unknown people.
The dog must learn that nothing happens for other people or dogs to touch their toys or their food, which is completely normal. In this way our puppy will grow up with a very positive and sociable attitude.
If our dog is already a little adult or very adult, the steps to follow are the same but with more caution. Socializing is the trick so that our dog is not possessive neither with the ball, nor with his toys.