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Today my 5month Lab growled at me due to food aggression,what to do?

Today my 5mth Lab growled at me due to food aggression.While walking him in the morning , he picked up a chocolate wrapper and when I saw him chewing something I tried to open his mouth but he clenched his teeth shut and then growled at me.I immediately gave him a rap on his nose with the leash and asked him to drop it which he did.I scolded him and we saw another wrapper lying 50m away.I dared him to eat it and scolded him when he tried to saying No Drop it loudly. A fortnight ago he had bitten my 7 yr old due to chocolate related aggression.What should I do to overcome his behavior Looking forward to your valuable tips
By phoebe · 15 Nov 2011 3:27 pm

Answer

 
By KamalRaj J Kuppal · 15 Nov 2011 4:38 pm
Seems like all labs behave same even my lab did exactly same at 5-6 months old like growling if i take something from his mouth, I think what you did is right, scold him, warn him and even you growl against him when he growl at you. Remember that you are dealing with animal not human baby (I say this as I saw some treat dogs as humans which actually dogs doesnt like that). You should always be top of him in ranking and he should be least rank in your family. Give him food only after all family members had food. Some says this behaviour can be change by positive reinforcement and this rarely works in my case. Understand while raising dogs keep discipline as first and exercise as second then after only comes affection. Teach him disciple, set rules, be calm and assertive, dont allow him to own house or things, you need to own/rule. While going for walking dont allow him to go first, make him to sit and you go first and thenafter take him to follow you. Also when you or some of your family members enters your house, dont talk/pet your dog, talk to all members in your family and finally pet the dog. These things will make your lab to understand that you are pack leader and to obey you.
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By Dinkar Singh · 15 Nov 2011 4:57 pm
Generally we find pups very cute and treat them as our children and spoil them, which is wrong.

Love your pet like you would love your child but do not spoil them. Pups and children are quite similar. My suggestion would be obedience training which is a must for all dogs so that they are a pleasure having them around. Do it your self rather than getting a trainer as it builds are bond with them too. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train. I do not believe in hitting or beating a pet. Just a loud tone of voice should be enough for the dog to understand that you do not like it. Too much disciple can make a dog shy or fearful which again is not desired as it has its own set of problems.

One must also show the dog that its at the bottom most position in the family. The best way for this is that let one person train your dog in basic obedience and then let the others also take charge and see that the dog listens to them including your daughter. Food is them best reward and also praise and reward when the dog does a desired behavior. Ignore any undesirable behavior. Generally what we do is make such a noise and give so much attention to the dog when it does anything wrong that for it, it is good as it gets so much attention from you.

If your dog is sleeping in your bedroom or bed, stop doing that too. No sitting on the sofa etc. Also do exercise your dog as they have a lot on energy and need to run around. A lot of behavioral problems also occur due to boredom and lack of exercise. Children should also be never left alone with any dog breed.

All the best
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By SaiShyam · 15 Nov 2011 5:44 pm
Hi Anita,

I have already told you some suggestion regarding puppy handling in another post.If you could try to adapt it then you wont be having this problem.Growl at 5 months shows his dominant status, unless you rectify this it will overcome his natural behaviour. Also for any dog lovers, Please walk the dog only after 7 months so that you can create a good bond within these 7 months. Without you being respected at home going out with your dog is of no use , will just give you embarassment. Puppies love everything so you need to give him and show him what to taste what not to. This will not happen overnight you should have done this last 5 months.So try to start from today before it is too late. Dogs can smell while walking that is good but eating anything or growling means he thinks he is the pack leader.

Take suggestions from experts like Navjot,Kamalraj and Dinkar here and try to adapt it.
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By Anita · 16 Nov 2011 12:57 pm
Thank you all for your valuable feedback.I have finally trained him how to walk properly without tugging and he responds to me when I tell him not to pull.I stop in one place when he starts to pull and he understands.I use a choke collar and a small length of leash to make sure he doesn't get much room to pull.
The only thing that hasn't stopped is eating things on road which though I try hard to control I cant as we go for walks before dawn and then in the evenings when I cant see if he is eyeing something
As Ravi says not to take him for a walk , I am afraid that is not possible.He cant relieve himself in the house so he has to be taken out though I don't take him for extensive walks,Instead I play fetch with him on the terrace
Regarding his chocolate aggression , when I scolded him he understood that he had done something wrong and cowed down immediately but I am sure he will do it again. I gave him a tiny bit of chocolate and then forbade him to eat it and he obeyed me
I never tie him up or hit him but he is a pampered Dog because this is the first Dog my kids have though I have had dogs all thru my childhood.
Yes , though he is not allowed in my bedroom he sleeps in the kids room and often gets on the bed too
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By KamalRaj J Kuppal · 16 Nov 2011 4:19 pm
Chocolate is harmful for dogs, give him biscuits instead of chocolates.
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