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Member Since
Barked: Wed Feb 8, '12 7:11pm PST 
I have a 9 month old mini and he growls and bites when things are taken away from him or if you move him when he doesn't want to be moved. I have never had a dog that bites ( I only have had golden retrievers). Is this common with this breed what can I do to stop this?

The- Schnauzinator
Barked: Fri Mar 9, '12 7:08pm PST 
First off, I want to tell you that this is NOT dominance or aggression (I know you didn't say anything about it, but it's the first conclusion people draw). I wish I could go into more detail on that, but it would make the post a zillion pages long,lol. I highly recommend you read the book "The 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs". But anyways, on to your problem.

Your dog has trust issues. I'm not accusing you of anything, but whoever raised the dog inadvertently taught it that humans are always out to take away whatever he wants. That's why he growls at you when you try to move him. In the dog world, other dogs do not take away things from other dogs, and likewise they do not force other dogs to move from their resting spots. Only humans and very poorly socialized dogs do this to others. So, when you just walk up and grab his favorite toy right out from under him, he sees this as rude behavior. The only way he can tell you that it's rude is by growling and biting.

Now, when he bites, it's most likely gentle (if he's actually drawing blood, then he doesn't have aggression, he has just not learned bite inhibition. And that's a whole other topic for later). You have to understand that he's not trying to hurt you, he's just trying to get you to understand how rude you're being (according to dog rules). Now, as to how to fix this. I will admit that I have no hands on experience with this, but based on what I know I think I can help you.

First, you have to teach him that you're not out to take everything away from him. Start off by backing away when he growls and giving him his space. Do this enough times and hopefully he'll see that your not immediately going to take his things. Next, whenever he has something that you want, give him a really savory treat in exchange for the toy or whatever. Same thing for when you want him to move: lure him away with a treat. But in the beginning, always give him back his original possession. When his behavior improves, continue giving him treats, but don't give the object he had back. Eventually, he will see that giving things to you is for his benefit. Remember, this may take weeks, or even months- so don't give up!

When his behavior problems are gone, you can stop giving him treats. Teach him the command "Drop it", because if you start taking things from him byforce, the whole problem will just start all over again. Whatever you do, DON'T correct or punish him. That will only show him that you know nothing about dog social rules, and are thus untrustworthy.

As a side note, the most likely reason that your Goldens never bit is because they, as a breed, have a natural inclination to want to make peace. Your Goldens would have rathered allow you to move them, take things away, and be "rude" than to disturb the peace. The Schnauzer, however, is a little more feisty as a breed, and therefore will likely not mind telling you that you are being rude.

I really hope I helped, because I'm sure it must be so frustrating. Please let me know how it goes!

Good luckbig grin