View Full Version : Possessional

1st September 2006, 12:52 PM
Do any of your cavaliers get possessional with things? like their dinner, toys, bones??? Cookies getting quite bad with it now cos she has started to snap a few times. Apart from that she's a complete angel. I videoed this this morning:


It shows how cookie will go from a complete angel sleeping to being naughty.

1st September 2006, 12:57 PM
I have seen it before but I don't have the problem with Kosmo. I have to say though you sound so cute and sweet in your video!! Cookie is so lucky!! :)

1st September 2006, 01:14 PM
I don't have this problem with Merlin, he may not give you the toy as he tends to run off with it to play games with you. He does get noisy when you play "chase round the bedroom" but he never tries to bite or anything.

Is that Cookie's favourite toy - looks like she does love it - she probably is just telling you that it hers and you've got your own toys!

1st September 2006, 01:20 PM
thats her favourite toy at the moment, but if she gets over excited she will get possessional abot any of her toys. We'v had to stop giving her bones of any large chews because she can sit there for hours (when we first got her it would last 5 hours). She does it over her food bowl, so i had to hand feed her for seven months and we'v introduced her food on plates and now gradually introducing a bowl again.

I don't know why she does it. She didn't for the first 2years of her life then when she was at this other house for two years she came back a changed dog and had a difficult time there.

We need to find a way around this problem though because we've got babies around the house alot visiting.

1st September 2006, 03:23 PM
Please search for previous threads on food aggression -- I have posted some links for this in the training section I think; we had a discussion on this very recently and several people offered advice.

It is VERY important to woprk right away to train away from this behaviour. It can become not just problematical but dangerous. It is not difficult to stop if you take steps right away.

1st September 2006, 03:25 PM
I found the link:


1st September 2006, 03:36 PM
I'm so pleased this subject has come up. We're having this problem with Bradley.

I understand his REASONS for being possessive with his toys, food, (or his mummy!), because of his background, but his life has changed now and his behaviour has to change.

Just about to read your link, Karlin. Thx. :)

1st September 2006, 03:39 PM
The links should be very helpful. :)

1st September 2006, 06:16 PM
It's so true that the days Brad gets little training, are the days he tries to be dominant.

Dogs aren't vindictive or awkward - they just want to please. But they do need to be shown what we want them to do. We can't expect them to be psychic and to know the 'rules' instinctively.

1st September 2006, 08:46 PM
Those articles that Karlin has posted the links to are excellent and are also the way I have trained a rescue Cavalier to 'give' things to me.

I agree that you need to stop the behaviour ASAP especially if there are going to be smallies around.

Was Cookie yours for 2 years and then not? I'm a bit confused here (doesn't take a lot!). It only really takes for one incident in her past to make her 'guard' things.

Hope you make headway with her training, she's such a gorgeous girl :flwr:

Bradley too, Fran. You know how much I love him & as you said, you can understand why he guards, but now you've got the work to do to stop it ;)

We all know that taking on a rescue isn't easy but it's so rewarding :flwr:

Cathy T
1st September 2006, 10:16 PM
I do have to have a little chuckle because she is so incredibly sweet sleeping with her little toy. And you voice is so incredibly sweet and soothing. But it's not working is it?! Hope you get this figured out. I just adore Cookie...she the prettiest little thing.

We did teach "can I have it?" and they will both give up whatever they have. Not sure how we did it ... it was a long time ago. But, after giving it up they either get a treat, another toy or I throw the toy they gave me for them to fetch it.

1st September 2006, 11:57 PM
thank you for the articles, iv not had a chance to read theough them properly as i'v been packing to go away on sunday, but i will definately give them a try.

What happened was Cookie lived with my best friend until she was two but they didn't have the time for her so gave her to a family friend. She was at their house until she was four and the family split up, the father was becoming mentally unstable. Something must have gone on in that house as when we got cookie last october she kept on cowering like she had been hit, she gets stressed out with shouting or things being thrown near her, she didnt know how to play, v.unsociable, and the worst was probably the possessional issue.

We had to get rid of her old bed because she wudnt let you within a metre of it. We had alot of trouble feeding her at first because when you would enter the room her bowl was in she would run past you growl and cower over it and bark! I'v got a video i'll post where shes doing that back in december. It breaks my heart though when she's like this because she has come such a long way since we got her ten months ago (she actually plays and WANTS to cuddle, whereas before if you cuddled her she'd run off into another room) but when shes guarding something cookie totally switches off and you can see after a while she hates being in that state of mind and feels really bad about it.

I'll definately read through the articles in the morning as its midnight now, and i'll let you know how she's getting on. I'm training to be a therapist so know about conditioning which'l help. Thank you all for your help tho i really appreciate it. Apart from the possession aggression cookie is such a wonderful dog and very playful now (as I'm typing shes on the sofa behind me on her back with her nose on my shoulder snoring haha)

2nd September 2006, 04:13 AM
Riley was very protective of some of her special toys and would growl at us if she thought we were going to take them from her. She's also very protective of her stinky socks!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

We taught her "let it go" by exchanging the object for a treat. She still is a little protective at times, but she will freely give up whatever she is protecting if we tell her to, so we continue to work on it and she gets better all the time!

2nd September 2006, 09:38 AM
I had never had that problem with Lady but now at the grand of age of nearly 10yrs she went for me :yikes She had a chew in her basket and i walked passed her and she shot out growling and snapping! iwas very shocked but maybe its her age :?

Sarah Xxx

2nd September 2006, 11:43 AM
Oh poor Cookie :( She's got a wonderful, loving home now though and you have to concentrate on the future :D I'm sure you'll get there with her.

When Charlie first came to us he was terrified of his feeding bowl and not at all keen on the bedding he brought with him.

We binned the lot and now, almost a year later, he's a completely different dog. He's still a bit skitty and nervy but completely different in all other respects.

I just think that rescues are very special little dogs indeed. Good luck with it all and big hugs to Cookie :flwr:

3rd October 2006, 01:06 AM
I just have to say, I have to pull this up and watch from time to time! I think it is so funny!!!! Sweet little cookie asleep with her toy in her mouth and then out comes the little devil! icon_devil

She has the sweetest little face! I just LOVE this video!!! :lol: :lol:

3rd October 2006, 03:44 PM
She is soooo cute!!! Aawwww, LOL.

I would start training the "drop it" command. I don't think it will take much to break her of this, if you look at her body language, her tail is wagging pretty much the whole time. But yeah.. you want to nip that in the bud.

*still giggling*

3rd October 2006, 04:18 PM
Cookie really loves her toys doesn't she :lol: However, I would be concerned if there are children in the house. Those toys are very inviting and something unpleasant could happen if a child decided they wanted to play with the cuddlies too. I suggest you work very hard on the leave it/drop it commands. Also. I would confiscate the item any time she acts this way. She should learn, maybe, that they are your toys, not hers and you can take them whenever you wish.


Daisy's Mom
3rd October 2006, 09:16 PM
SarahG --

I just wanted to tell you about our dog (poodle) who started showing the same behavior you describe when he was about 10-12 years old. Not so much with us humans, but with his mother, who he was never aggressive towards before. When she would walk past him from behind, he would sometimes just suddenly pounce on her ferociously for seemingly no reason.

Our theory is that the behavior was because he became deaf in his golden years, and his vision was probably not that good, either, so when something would walk up from behind him that he couldn't hear, and probably couldn't see because of poor peripheral vision, it would really startle him and make him mad. It's like something just suddenly popped into his field of vision and completely started him. I don't know what else would explain it. He was always dominant over her, but never aggressive over her before. Then when she died at the age of 16, he mourned her so badly and he died about 6 months later, poor little soul. He had never been alone and had never been without his mommy. :(

I just thought I'd mention it to see if your dog was deaf or had vision problems, and whether that could possibly be a cause.

Cathy T
4th October 2006, 03:33 AM
Just have to mention that I think you're doing a wonderful job with Cookie. Who knows what she went through before she came to you. Sounds like her previous household was a bit terrifying. Have you figured out how to deal with this yet?

Laurie Moon
4th October 2006, 03:52 AM
Cookie is beautiful and your voice is adorable...Cookie acts like my 13 year old beagle girl Bonnie...One minute she is an angel the next she acts like a crabby old lady :roll: ....I hope you work it all out for the sweet girl...She is beautiful !

4th October 2006, 03:57 AM
Hmmmm, if it were me, I think I would consult a behavioralist to help me out. She sounds like a really sweet dog, but somethings trigger unacceptable behaviors. It sounds like you are making strides towards eliminating behaviors but maybe a specialist can help too. Good luck, she is definitely worth the effort. Let us know how she does.

4th October 2006, 11:20 AM
thank you all for your messages, the video is funny to watch. her tails wagging and she dus want to play but thinks that she wants her toy too lol.

Cookie and I went away to my aunties and when we got back my parents had pulled the frontroom apart to redecorate so we were going to start re-training her but for 3 weeks after we had got back cookie was still acting wierd. i think due to all that she has been through she doesn't like change. she stresses out if you move the sofa or something small like that. we were waiting until she had returned to her normal self before we started to tackle her possessional problem...but then she is now ill again. I want to sort out her leg, heart and weight before her possessional issues. She hasn't been possessional since when i posted which is a positive thing, the only time was when my aunty gave cookie her first pigs ear and she got all excited but it was too large for her to eat so she started to get possessional with it.