View Full Version : Growling when eating treat

15th January 2009, 02:19 PM
Can you please give me advice on this, Prince is very bold when he has a chew!! He growls at anyone that comes near him when he is eating a chew, last night he actually snapped at my o/h when he went to pet him. He will not let you take it off him if he is being bold, he would rather swallow it whole that let you take it. I am so upset that he actually snapped, what if one of my neices or nephews were here and he done the same to them!!! Is it my fault for spoiling him and not giving him proper training? He is fine with his food, but for some reason when it comes to treats he is just very agressive!!! Please help!!!

15th January 2009, 03:42 PM
Work with him on "trading" when there isn't a chew involved. Practice several times a day with toys, etc until he learns the command "trade". So, if he has a toy let's say, you walk up and say "trade" (or whatever word you want to use) and trade him the toy for a premium treat (like chicken or a small piece of bacon- it has to be your BEST treat). Once he is trading regularly with you, work at trading for the chew. If he takes the goody, take the chew from him and then make him work to get it back with some obedience training.

Snapping and/or growling, in my opinion, is absolutely unacceptable. If he continues guarding his chews in this way, I would not let him have them.

15th January 2009, 03:46 PM
We start this trading exercise when they are pups. I have to be able to take ANYTHING out of their mouths at any time. I do separate my dogs when high value treats are given. It isn't worth the risk of one of them getting hurt.

15th January 2009, 04:22 PM
Thank you both, that sounds good. Prince will be 8 this year, do you think it will still work or have I left it too late?

15th January 2009, 05:28 PM
I believe you can always teach an old dog new tricks. Have you had him since he was a pup?

15th January 2009, 05:32 PM
Yes, I have had him since he was 12 weeks old. He has always been a bit protective of his treats but I just normally leave him and dont bother him when he is eating one (I guess its my own fault for not training him better) I trained him not to mind me going near his dinner, he is fine with that, but this is just unacceptable!!

15th January 2009, 05:44 PM
We say "give" for this trading behavior. I started doing it when Sasha was a pup in order to get things out of her mouth that she shouldn't have had.

Now, we can trade for anything, even a favorite treat. Of course for that, we have to use cheese, or something super-special, haha. After all, she is trading UP.:)

15th January 2009, 09:54 PM
Dr Ian Dunbar on this issue and what to do :) :


16th January 2009, 09:20 AM
thanks so much, everyone, I am going to study that attachment Karlin, thank you, hopefully this will resolve it. I think Prince is still a put put out with Lucy's arrival even though she is with us over a year!!

16th January 2009, 10:16 AM
Just remembered what I did for my previous dog who was very possessive. When she had a treat I'd walk over, touch the treat, kiss her on her head and walk away. That way she didn't associate a presence with losing her treat. If she growled I kept sitting there until she stopped.

You may not want to try that if your dog actually snaps.

Jen and Ilsa