View Full Version : Possessive behavior

1st August 2007, 03:56 PM
Abbey's been acting really possessive when she's on my lap and another dog comes over---she'll growl at them and kinda lunge.

We often have our friends over with their dogs for play dates in our backyard, and this is where it usually happens; when I'm sitting on the patio holding her. It happened a few times at the dog park as well, when we were sitting on one of the benches.

Last weekend, she was on my lap and a friend's child came over to pet her. Given she's afraid of kids, I offered the kid a bit of cheese to give to Abbey. Before I could do so though, I noticed Abbey was tensing up. Once the cheese was offered, she relaxed. During the few seconds before I had the cheese to give the kid, I was totally freaked out that Abbey was going to growl at her like she has been with other dogs.

I don't know if it's a jealous thing or a possessive thing, but when she does, it, I tell her no in a firm voice and then put her on the ground. She whines and tries to get back up, but I don't let her. Anything else I should be doing?? This is just not acceptable behavior, especially if she's going to start it with kids/people.

1st August 2007, 05:31 PM
It does sound like possessive/guarding behavior. Putting her down on the floor and ignoring her when she misbehaves is what I would do (she loses what she she most wants -- you). I would put her down the minute I noticed her getting tense, though. Don't wait for a growl.

You could also set up some training sessions so that she's especially exposed to instances of people and dogs coming toward you. Reward her when she allows it; put her down when she gets tense.

Friends and their dogs can help you with the special training sessions.

1st August 2007, 05:35 PM
There is a possibility she sensed your own tension about the child & became tense herself!

But I agree with putting her on the floor.

Scouty girl
1st August 2007, 06:47 PM
Sounds to me as if you are doing everything correctly. Just keep doing it. The suggestion about the training session, having people walk up to you, sounds like great idea.

Cathy T
2nd August 2007, 12:05 AM
Sounds to me like you are doing just the right thing. As soon as she shows that behvior...off your lap and onto the floor. She'll soon see that the result of her behavior is not what she wants.

2nd August 2007, 12:12 AM
I hope she gets it and that it doesn't get worse. I've planned a play date for Friday evening. I'll let her sit on my lap and then treat her when the other dogs come to check her out. I'm worried that she may go into a total frenzy though thinking that the other dogs are going to get her treats.
We'll see what happens. :xfngr:

Thanks everyone :)