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KingstonsMom
15th April 2008, 03:10 PM
Kingston, my normally sweet-natured furball of love, has started being mean to other dogs at the park. As an "only child," I'm afraid he's been a bit spoiled and is very bad about sharing his toys. For example, if he's playing with a toy I'll pick up a different toy and pretend I'm chewing on it. He immediately jumps up and takes it away from me. He will do this over and over with any toy of his that I pick up. I admit, we've made a bit of a game out of it because it's "cute," but now his behavior has turned aggressive with other dogs who come near his toys.

We always take his ball to the dog park so he can play fetch. If another dog comes too close, Kingston gets very protective of his toy by showing his teeth and growling. The other day he even lunged at a dog to get him to go away. He's never bitten, and I don't think that's his intent but it's embarassing for me when my dog is being mean to another owner's dog. I also don't want him to growl at the wrong dog and end up getting hurt.

How concerned should I be about this?

JudyG
15th April 2008, 04:37 PM
It might be a good idea to take him along to a socialization class or organize some doggie friends to get together so that your little one can get used to other dogs & sharing.

KingstonsMom
15th April 2008, 04:59 PM
That's the thing. He's with dogs all the time. He goes to daycare twice a week and he behaves perfectly. It seems like he's only bad when I'm around.

JudyG
15th April 2008, 05:12 PM
That is strange! I wonder if it could be a jealousy thing? if he only does it when you're around that could be a possibility I suppose, he maybe doesn't want any other dog to share you?? I'm only guessing here, I'm sure there will be some experts on this site who may have some answers for you. Judy x

Karlin
15th April 2008, 11:34 PM
I'd be cautious about the game as it sounds like it is turning into full on guarding behaviour which can worsen. I'd maybe talk to a trainer if you are doing a class.

Also I'd eliminate the opportunity for the bad behaviour by simply not bringing toys to dog parks so that there isn't anything for him to guard. Save the ball for around your own home or somewhere that other dogs don;t congregate. If any of mine act like that the toy is immediately put away and they get a 'too bad!' which is the phrase I use to signify their behaviour just lost them a privilege.

On www.deesdogs.com there's a good article on working on guarding behaviour in her training section.

KingstonsMom
16th April 2008, 02:22 PM
Thank you Karlin!