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Delilah plays great with the kids and vice versa. But here of lates, when ever I sit down in my favorite chair to relax. Of course here comes Delilah wanting to sit and lay with me. If anyone comes near me or her, she starts snapping and even letting out a little growl. I do not like this at all! It is unacceptable behavior and I don't want her to think it is ever ok to bite/snap or growl at the children or anyone for that matter. How do I make it clear that she can not do this?:unsure:

I wanted a velcro dog, but be careful what you wish for right?
 

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Delilah plays great with the kids and vice versa. But here of lates, when ever I sit down in my favorite chair to relax. Of course here comes Delilah wanting to sit and lay with me. If anyone comes near me or her, she starts snapping and even letting out a little growl. I do not like this at all! It is unacceptable behavior and I don't want her to think it is ever ok to bite/snap or growl at the children or anyone for that matter. How do I make it clear that she can not do this?:unsure:

I wanted a velcro dog, but be careful what you wish for right?
Hi Laura,
I am sorry that you are experiencing that with your sweetie, Delilah.
It must be upsetting for you.

I know one book that is sometimes recommended here is "Mine" by Jean Donaldson. I haven't read it yet, but it is supposed to cover issues such as resource guarding. If that is determined to be the case, by the more knowledgable members here. I know you'll get some great advice here.

I know was I a little hard headed when you first signed up, about the whole "Maltese & young kids" scenario. And I do sincerely apologize if I hurt your feelings, that wasn't my intention. Some breeds are just "easier" with kids than others.

But I know you are very dedicated and have a lot of resources at your hands. So I do hope the best for you, Delilah & your family.

Maybe with the right trainer, you can nip this in the bud, and everything can work out okay. I am wishing the best for you.
 

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Thanks Jilly!

I am wondering is it because I am her primary care giver/taker? And that she sees the need to protect me? The way she does it, is almost like she is playing, she is wagging her tail at the same time and she isn't biting. I just don't want to let it get that far. The kids think it's funny and cute and they think she is playing with them. I don't want it to escalate into something more. KWIM?

She does start advanced obedience training on June 14th. We signed up for the lifetime program, which covers all training that she will ever need, agility and one on one private training. So I will definately ask Marlene about it when she starts classes.
 

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I would never assume that a wagging tail equates to being friendly or playing. She's probably trying to protect you or getting territorial over you, but I think a one on one specialist/trainer would help a lot.

Bisou did the same thing that Delilah is doing..and that's what I did, got a one on one trainer for her..for this sort of behavior. Bisou got to the point that she would actually try to go for the ankle of whomever was approaching me..and always with a wagging tail- but she was never playing around nor being freindly. Our trainer said never to look at the tail and think she's playing or being nice because it's wagging..that's never an indication of that.
 

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Thanks Jilly!

I am wondering is it because I am her primary care giver/taker? And that she sees the need to protect me? The way she does it, is almost like she is playing, she is wagging her tail at the same time and she isn't biting. I just don't want to let it get that far. The kids think it's funny and cute and they think she is playing with them. I don't want it to escalate into something more. KWIM?

She does start advanced obedience training on June 14th. We signed up for the lifetime program, which covers all training that she will ever need, agility and one on one private training. So I will definately ask Marlene about it when she starts classes.
Dogs can guard many things, food or toys, anything that they view as valuable.
She probably sees you as very valuable to her survival
and is guarding you.
Maybe she perceives the children at times as rivals for your affection.
The tail wagging is not always playful, as there are different ways that dogs can wag their tails.
Children can unfortunately misinterpret this signal.

Sounds like you've signed up for a great class, and I'm sure the one on one will help with this.
If Delilah feels that the children are below her in pack ranking, the trainer could help you change that.
She will no doubt have lots of helpful ideas for you.

But in the meantime, here is my humble two cents:
Maybe in your walks with Delilah, you can make sure she is last.
Walk next to the kids, with Delilah on lead following behind you and them.
Try to make sure she is last to be fed, if possible.

If she is growling or snapping at your kids ever, it would be best if their young friends weren't up too close with her, until you can be sure what is going on with her.
 

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I just read your post, Andrea.
Some great advice there, too.
That is wonderful that your trainer was so good with helping Bisou.
 

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wow i am sorry to hear that. She is so possessive of you! I agree with getting a trainer..this is something that needs to be fixed right away before someone gets hurt. =/
 

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Yes, this is an example of resource guarding. You are her resource. If you are holding her and she starts to snap/growl immediately place her on the ground. You really don't have to say anything. She will see that whenever she starts to guard she is placed where she doesn't want to be. I would recommend getting the book "Mine". She covers how to progress through the process step by step. It's a very small book and easy to follow (I think).

You can start having the kids feed her, give her treats, etc... This will increase their value to her.

As for tail wagging: a wagging tail does not equal a happy or friendly dog! A lot of dogs will wag their tail for other reasons, including when they are about to react. It is the other body language that means more. Here's Patricia McConnell's recent blog on Tail Wags: Tail Wags Translated

When choosing a trainer you want one that uses positive reinforcement. For aggression/resource guarding you do not want to use any aggression back it will just escalate the situation and prove to her she had a reason to be guarding.
 

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I am sorry Delilah is acting that way Laura. Everyone here has given so much good advice, I really don't have anything more to add. I know the classes will be good for her...I just signed up Terra for puppy classes starting next Tuesday. :)
 

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Yes, this is an example of resource guarding. You are her resource. If you are holding her and she starts to snap/growl immediately place her on the ground. You really don't have to say anything. She will see that whenever she starts to guard she is placed where she doesn't want to be. I would recommend getting the book "Mine". She covers how to progress through the process step by step. It's a very small book and easy to follow (I think).

You can start having the kids feed her, give her treats, etc... This will increase their value to her.

As for tail wagging: a wagging tail does not equal a happy or friendly dog! A lot of dogs will wag their tail for other reasons, including when they are about to react. It is the other body language that means more. Here's Patricia McConnell's recent blog on Tail Wags: Tail Wags Translated

When choosing a trainer you want one that uses positive reinforcement. For aggression/resource guarding you do not want to use any aggression back it will just escalate the situation and prove to her she had a reason to be guarding.
Mandy said what I was going to say, even better than I could have said it.

As soon as she starts that, put her down. DO NOT let her think she has succeeded in getting what she wants.

Also, the lifetime training thing sounds cool, but I would encourage you to remember that sometimes trying out training at other places can help you get a perspective you may not find when you stay with one program for "life."

Cadeau has been to 3 different training places for Conformation, and 4 different ones (with more likely) for his Obedience.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks all, Yes, I have been putting her on the floor when she does that and just ignoring her. I tell the kids to do the same thing, ignore her and don't react.

Carina, unfortunately Jae-Mars is the only place here, locally that has the type of training. The lady that owns it, use to be a show judge and all the instructors are either show or retired show breeders, etc. There are some others, but they are mainly for large breeds, like the German Shepherd Dog.

But, of course I am always open for other places!! So if anyone knows of any place close to me- Augusta, GA area. Then by all means let me know!! I don't want to go to far though from home, mainly because of the kids. But Columbia, SC would be an alright drive.
 

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Thanks Carina!

I'm going to check it out!! :)
 
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