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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I really was torn about posting this, but I really would like some input on this issue.

A few days ago, I visited my friend, her mother has Massimo’s sister from his litter and his sister from another litter, she thought she would bring her dogs to visit with mine. While we were there, when Angel (his litter mate) or Mira came to me to be pet, Massimo would get all jealous and growl, he’d even use his mouth to take my hand off them. When he did that I would say "Massimo, what's wrong with you" or "Massimo, No" He never hurt me or them at any point in our 2 hour visit. Every time one of them would walk up to HIM when he wasn't near me he was fine. They even ran around playing. And Angel is more of the dominant type, she jumped on him and chased him around and he was fine. However, when he was sitting on me, he would growl at them when they tried getting on my lap. Otherwise he acted normal.

I posted a while back about Massimo growling at my husband. He has since stopped that. What has started since the visit with his sisters, is he’s been growling at my kids when they try to pet him while he’s on ME. This was really strange to me. I would give him a stern “Massimo, NO” and he would look like I tried to BEAT him or something. I would do that every time he would growl at my kids. He started to shake when he growled- like he knew it was wrong but he did it anyway. He wouldn’t look at me, only straight ahead, growl and shake. My husband pet him while he was on me and he was fine about it. We did an experiment. I gave Massimo to him, I left the room and the kids pet him. He did NOT growl. But as soon as he let go of him, Massimo would run to follow me. He’d get all excited and do his “pick me up” dance. I didn’t pick him up. When I sat down he got on my lap and I told the kids to pet him, and he growled again! I don’t know what has happened in the past few days, but he usually great with my kids. He loves to play with them (actually as I type this he’s running around chasing the kids, when they sit down he jumps on them and licks their faces!)

I’m just looking for away to get my love bug back with some NICE advice.

Thanks.
 

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My Lacey does this to my cat, Spoozie. She will chase, bark and growl at him if he comes near me and she wants the attention. I now just look at her, tell her he was the baby first and pick him up and give him lots of attention. Lacey is very attached to me, and by that I should have named her "Velcro strip" instead of Lacey. She is a very lovable little dog but she has decided she wants to be the number one baby in my family. I just tell her no. I don't know if this is helpful to you in anyway but I thought I would post so you would know you are not alone. Spoozie might be a cat to many people, but to me he is my child. Good Luck.
 

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I would suggest you try allowing your kids to sit on or near your lap and keep Massimo on the floor and see what he does.
He sounds like Scooby when he is on hubby's lap, if I go too close to hubby sometimes he does the very same thing. I would be more inclined to think there is some jealousy going on and he needs to be taught that the kids are ok and that you are going to fuss with the kids no matter how he reacts. Maybe you should sit on a sofa with the kids first and then allow Massimo to join in and see how he is with that. You need to break the jealousy or possessivness before it becomes a real porblem as when he gets older he may turn to biting the children when they approach you while he is on your lap or anywhere for that matter. He needs to be shown that the children belong near you as much as he does. I wouldn't think he would be protecting you from your kids as there is no danger and dogs are good at sensing when there is a threat. Normal interaction between family members should not be taken as a threat.
 

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He is exhibiting alph behavior and trying to "protect" you/ First he needs to quickly learn that growling at your children is not appropriate or it could quickly esclate to nipping. There is a book, The dog Listener, that address' this behavior. I don't agree with all her techniques but she has some valid points. I'm at work and can't remember the author. I'll try to remember to e-mail it to you when I get home.

Maybe you should try some "timeout" when he does that. You don't want to have it escalate into more aggresssive behavior.
 

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How does Massimo act when you hug your hubby or kids? It sounds like he's protecting you. Peanut did that for a while with my bf. It just seemed like Peanut was overly protective and that he thought everything was a threat to me. Still when someone on the sidewalk is walking fast or jogging behind me Peanut freaks out but as soon as they pass us, he's fine. But now I'm just rambling.

Maybe can you try to pick up your kids (sorry I have no idea how old your kids are) or have one of them sit on your lap and have your hubby hold Massimo and get close to you and your kids while you all talk really sweet and praise Massimo. Or maybe while your kids are near you give them little treats to give to Massimo?

What I made my bf do was take a part in our training and feeding times. That way Peanut saw that my bf had authority too. He just practiced tricks and made Peanut do a trick before he put down the food bowl.
 

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Originally posted by Carrie@Jul 20 2005, 01:49 PM
Ok, I really was torn about posting this, but I really would like some input on this issue. 

A few days ago, I visited my friend, her mother has Massimo’s sister from his litter and his sister from another litter, she thought she would bring her dogs to visit with mine. While we were there, when Angel (his litter mate) or Mira came to me to be pet, Massimo would get all jealous and growl, he’d even use his mouth to take my hand off them.  When he did that I would say "Massimo, what's wrong with you" or "Massimo, No" He never hurt me or them at any point in our 2 hour visit.  Every time one of them would walk up to HIM when he wasn't near me he was fine.  They even ran around playing.  And Angel is more of the dominant type, she jumped on him and chased him around and he was fine.  However, when he was sitting on me, he would growl at them when they tried getting on my lap.  Otherwise he acted normal.   

I posted a while back about Massimo growling at my husband.  He has since stopped that.  What has started since the visit with his sisters, is he’s been growling at my kids when they try to pet him while he’s on ME.  This was really strange to me.  I would give him a stern “Massimo, NO” and he would look like I tried to BEAT him or something.  I would do that every time he would growl at my kids.  He started to shake when he growled- like he knew it was wrong but he did it anyway. He wouldn’t look at me, only straight ahead, growl and shake.  My husband pet him while he was on me and he was fine about it.  We did an experiment.  I gave Massimo to him, I left the room and the kids pet him.  He did NOT growl.  But as soon as he let go of him, Massimo would run to follow me.  He’d get all excited and do his “pick me up” dance.  I didn’t pick him up.  When I sat down he got on my lap and I told the kids to pet him, and he growled again!  I don’t know what has happened in the past few days, but he usually great with my kids.  He loves to play with them (actually as I type this he’s running around chasing the kids, when they sit down he jumps on them and licks their faces!) 

I’m just looking for away to get my love bug back with some NICE advice. 

Thanks.
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I don't know the best approach for this, and don't be offended by my comparison, but my sheltie had a bit of jealousy when Dixie came home with us. He is the type of dog that follows me everwhere, all day long, and now Dixie is there too. Anyway the way i handled it was to have the three of us sit together and share Dixie's puppy kibble. Worked like a charm. Her food is very different and he knows it it hers [his is low fat and much less exciting I guess] I would try to have the children give him special treats for allowing contact on your lap. it might just start out as them feeding goodies while you hold and then work up to petting. Just a novice guess. Good luck.
 

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If I were in your situation, I would get a trainer who has experience with small breeds and have him/her come to your home to see the interactions, etc. This seems like a serious problem and if not handled quickly and correctly could end up getting worse.

Dogs that are aggressive aren't necessarily that way all the time. Certain things set them off. You need a reliable dog.. not one that could end up biting someone....

I think it is normal for him to growl at another dog. He is asserting himself as their alpha and better that he gives them a warning growl that bite first. It is when he growls at people that things can get dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have contacted a trainer and just by the questions she asked, she determined it "puberty". That around age 2 they decide to assert themselves as alpha. He seems to think I'm HIS and that he needs to protect his rights to me. The situation will be assessed further and she gave me exercises to do in the mean time.

Thank you all for your replies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Originally posted by okw+Jul 24 2005, 03:33 PM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Carrie
@Jul 20 2005, 03:24 PM
I have contacted a trainer and just by the questions she asked, she determined it "puberty".  That around age 2 they decide to assert themselves as alpha.  He seems to think I'm HIS and that he needs to protect his rights to me.  The situation will be assessed further and she gave me exercises to do in the mean time.

Thank you all for your replies. 

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Did you try contacting a behaviorist? I don't think around 2 is puberty...its more like reaching social maturity (which is their permanent personality). I don't think growling is appropriate but it is a warning and could proceed to biting. I don't know - I am not a dog trainer (just owner of a dog with some behavior issues). Try asking JMM!!!
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Don't need any more advice, thanks. Everything's better. He needed to be put in his place.

Thanks.
 
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