Ginger Smiles Primm

Advice Please for toy and bone aggression!

Ginger is now a year and half and is starting to show major bone agression. We have had her all her life and have a 3 year old. Same size and breed. She has always been bossy and is constantly trying to be Alpha which we discourage. I hate to watch those shows when they "humainly euthenize" strays cause of bone or toy hoarding. What techniques can I use NOW to stop this behavior?!! HELP!
PS My Jack never trys to take her stuf.

Asked by Ginger Smiles Primm on Jan 25th 2009 in Behavior & Training
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Don't just try to "discourage" the alpha behavior, stomp it out completely. Have your dog on a lead while in the house with you. When you reach for one of her bones and she growls, correct her immediately and give her a treat with lots of praise. When you correct her, tell her to "leave it". You can practice this inside, outside or anywhere where she has issues with sharing. Don't shout the word "no", just give her a quick tug on the leash, tell her leave it and when she stops her behavior, reward her. You can even try correcting her, then put her in a sit immediately and then reward her. But, either way, keep her on a leash inside and practice, practice, practice reaching for her toys. She'll get it. Also, don't shout "leave it". Just calmly say it. The more calm assertive energy that you show her, the more she'll realize that you really are the boss. But, you need to put this into practice many times a day. If you have her on a leash, she won't hurt anyone and you can control her.

Member 768404 answered on 1/25/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Bone aggression will eventually lead to one of your dogs getting hurt. After one of my Bouvs ripped open the neck of my old Bichon I decided there would be no more bones in the house unless the dogs were segregated while eating them. Each dog enjoys their own bone in a different room of the house. As far as the alpha dog been dominant, there is always an alpha. If you aren't it one of your dogs will gladly take the position for themselves. Watch some Dog Whisperer episodes. Cesar has good advice.

Stella answered on 1/25/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I agree with the first answer about not discouraging, but stomping it out completely. But if you don't feel comfortable (or safe) reaching for the item, try this. Wearing some good shoes Ginger can't bite through and long pants, crowd her. Step on the bone (or toy) and keep moving over it till you mostly cover it, then move between it and Ginger. Don't show frustration, anxiety or fear. You don't even need to speak. Just claim the item by putting yourself btwn it and her. She may bite at your shoe, jerk the leash to one side and immediately release (still holding the leash, but without tension). Don't panic or back down. Eventually she will give in to your claim and relax into a sitting or lying position, calmly with her ears back, when she does this, give her back the item. After a short while reclaim it again, just as before, returning it when she sits/lays with ears back. Practice this often and she will get the idea, without having hurt feelings, I promise, this is how dogs do it.

Member 796517 answered on 1/25/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Same problem with our bassethound elvis and by the age of 16 he was food aggresive , rawhide aggresive and just aggresive....STOP giving him bones, get training, learn how to be the alpha, elvis started out at a yr also and by the time he passed he was so aggresive that when i did give him a bone and he chocked i couldnt even get close enough to help him out,,,,Now we have 2 dogs that are not aggresive and its not even an issue, elvis passed away june 8th 2009, not from the bone issue, after he passed i was finally abel to hug him in 5 yrs, he didnt like people in his space,,,GET TRAINING FOR UR DOG,,,,,GOOD LUCK

REST IN PEACE, ELVISPRESLEY G answered on 1/26/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer