Why Some Dogs Become Protective of Owners

Updated on March 2, 2016
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Is Your Dog Dangerously Overprotective?

When somebody attempts to say hello or give you a hug and your dog inserts himself in between, growling and snarling in the most threatening way, this can be a real problem. A protective stance can be a blessing in an emergency situation, but surely isn't when the dog attempts to protect its owner from people who are not doing anything wrong.

Excessive protectiveness is a dangerous situation. Some dogs resort to aggressive behaviors in order to prevent strangers or even family members from getting too close to their owners. These dogs are a big liability because they may even feel compelled to bite. Worse of all, these dogs attack unprovoked. In other words, these dogs will attack without good reason (from a human perspective, that is).

But why does a dog feel compelled to attack in such a viscious way? And why does it overreact to something benign, like a hug or handshake? There can be a variety of reasons why dogs resort to behave this way.

Source

Reasons Why Dogs May Become Over-Protective of Their Owner

Sometimes owners train their dogs to become protective without realizing it. They only notice the gravity of the problem, but fail to notice how they contribute.

Dogs who have developed a strong bond with their owners will likely live their lives in comfort and happiness. These dogs know that the owner will protect them from harm and ensure their well being because a history of trust has established that fact. These dogs will trust their owner, looking up to him/her for guidance and direction. However, if the owner fails to provide a certain level of guidance and that safety net of reassurance is never formed, some dogs may feel compelled to take a defensive stance. The underlying causes for what we perceive as "protectiveness" may stem from fear and insecurity.

At first, the owner may think it is funny, or even reward it. A stranger comes near the owner to talk, and the dog will growl. The stranger will stop in his tracks and leave. The growling has been rewarded by the stranger leaving. So a week later, another stranger approaches the owner and the dog starts growling again. This stranger is not intimidated by the growl and continues getting close, and the dog becomes more aggressive to send him away. He growls, lifting his teeth and showing his pearly whites. The stranger goes away. The dog has now learned that he must act more aggressively to send strangers away, and a new behavior has been learned. This soon becomes a bad habit and the owner has given up and decided that it is just a ''trait.''

Some owners actually tell others, with pride, ''my dog is very protective of me.'' They feel that because their dog protects them, it proves that the dog loves them. However, they are missing something crucial: Their dog is insecure, unpredictable, and will react negatively when people don't expect it.

All dogs need to be socialized from an early age and must learn to accept strangers in their property and near their owners. Allowing them to be over-protective may turn them into a big liability.

  • Often, dogs may also become protective of children. While this trait may not really appear as a defect, it becomes so if the dog becomes protective when it's not necessary. These dogs may resort to growling and biting even when people with good intentions come close.
  • At times, dogs become protective when owners are sick or frail.
  • I have seen some dogs became suddenly protective when the owner got pregnant. These dogs will stick near their pregnant owner and even block people from coming too close.

Whichever the scenario is, a dog should not be encouraged to become over-protective of its owner as this may translate into aggression and even biting. Even dogs sent to protection training are taught to clearly understand the difference between a real threat and something that is not harmful. These well-trained dogs will not aggress if a friend comes over and hugs you. Protection dogs trained by pros are often excellent with kids. Indeed, protection dogs must have a sound temperament in order to excel. Training a weak-nerved dog to be protective is an accident waiting to happen.

Questions & Answers

  • When my dog Duke barks (toy poodle, male, unfixed) my dog Kya (toy poodle, female, fixed) attacks him but only for a couple of seconds, and he walks away growling. What does this mean?

    It sounds like a form of re-directed aggression. When two dogs are very aroused from something (e.g., person walking by the fence) all this excitement/arousal energy accumulates, and one dog may redirect on the other.

  • My dog hates people and the world. What do I do?

    You help your dog change his negative mindset and view of the world. What if every time your dog meets somebody he doesn't like you feed your dog some high-value food like roasted chicken? Day after day he should start likely those people more and more. Dogs are pretty simplistic beings that form negative and positive associations. Unlike people though, they do not hold "grudges" or act out of vengeance.

    Instead if they 'hate" people it's often a matter of people causing them to feel fearful or intimidated by them. This may be due to lack of socialization, a fearful predisposition or negative experiences (which may stem from things as innocent as the dog getting startled by people moving fast, coughing, sneezing or laughing loud).

  • My shepherd is all of a sudden biting people for no reason! He is nine years old and has always been a sweetheart. He is my daughter's dog, and I am watching him for a week. Why would he do this all of a sudden? I also have my period at this time. He is a neutered male, but would this have anything to do with it?

    I doubt it has to do with your period. I am more inclined to think that he is nervous about being out of his comfort zone and in a place with different people, sights, sounds, and smells. Dogs don't always do well with changes, and they may feel stressed. Some dogs are more sensitive to changes, and when they feel stressed, they are more likely to bite. Please be very careful. It may help to keep him confined in a quiet area and not let him be around people he is not comfortable around for the time being. Another possibility is that he is acting protective towards you. Regardless, make safety your top priority.

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    • profile image

      Mia Doherty 

      3 weeks ago

      My 4 year old golden retriever is the biggest sweetheart you'd ever meet. All of a sudden he began to act aggressively towards strangers, biting, barking, growling etc. He is still the most placid dog around my family, but if he gets a whiff of a stranger he won't hesitate biting them.

    • profile image

      Jennifer 

      5 weeks ago

      My two year old German Shepherd is suddenly attacking my cousin when she is sitting down and gets up to leave the room or when she walks into the room, he has done this to other family members but has since stopped and now focus is on my cousin I don’t know what to do please help:

    • profile image

      Shepard lover 

      3 months ago

      My dog has for the past week or so not left my side. I tried to make her bed comfy today and closed her area off and she did everything to get to me. If im in another room she must be with me either eyes view or next to me. If i tap tummy to jump up she wont and will sit. When on couch she will put her head at my tummy and smell my belly. Please can anyone help me or suggest anything.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      5 months ago from USA

      You can try using a behavior modifaction plan using desensitization and counterconditioning with the help of a trainer.

    • profile image

      Dawn Johnson 

      5 months ago

      My dog was sweet when got him. When on a walk he is on alert all the time. He will bark even attack people if they move when we're talking. He does not trust people, but when he gets to know you he is a love. What can I do to get him to like people & not be on guard all the time. Where I go he goes room to room. He's not happy and am scared he will bite. Even when neighbors try to work with me he wants no part. What to do..

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      6 months ago from USA

      The best way to allow them to relax is to separate them. Install a baby gate and put some mesh so that they cannot hurt each other through the gate. Clomicalm is relaxing product that releases synthetic pheromones and may help at times.

    • profile image

      Andy 

      6 months ago

      My 3 year old German Shepard has started growing at my wife when she leaves for work in the morning. He stands in front of our sons room while doing this. Also if I am down playing with him and she comes near he growls at her. Any other time he plays with her.

    • Frosty022 profile image

      Frosty022 

      6 months ago

      Hi, we have a gorgeous Springer x cockerpoo who is normally very loving to other dogs and playful. Since my wife has been in her 2nd trimester our dog and my fathers dog (who we have always looked after alot) have started really fighting. Neither seem injured when we break it up but its very loud and aggressive. The whole atmosphere changes before they fight and it doesn't appear to be over anything! The only difference is the baby. Do you have any advice to calm and reassure them both? Our dog has also started misbehaving, running out of the house (used to just potter around the door) and look super sulky as well.

    • profile image

      Veronica 

      6 months ago

      I have a pocket pitbull that hits on nearly every bullet point of your aggressive signs listing. He was not socialized early on and neglected. I took him on at about 1-year-old. He is adorable and still looks like a puppy, so everyone that comes across him attempts to interact, but when this happens he growls. I’ve advised friends and family members to ignore him completely when they come over and that seems to work. However, my intoxicated roommate would not leave him alone and he bit her when I was not in the room. I advised her to leave him alone when hearing his warnings, but she did not comply. Months later, my brother was warned similarly. He too has been drinking heavily and was not complying to several warnings, bent down, and was bit in the face. Neither incidents were reported due to the humans’ admissions to non-compliance; however, I’m very concerned and have had to recently move to a home where there is another dog. We keep them separated, but started walking them together to attempt socializing. (Both are intact males; the other dog is a large tolerant adult chocolate lab). The 2 other adult residents are slowly earning my dog’s trust w/ treats and games of fetch. (Originally, I was told I couldn’t keep my dog at the new residence due to his behavioral issues and history, but this would have been a death sentence due.) What can I do to help my dog?

    • profile image

      Kennedy 

      7 months ago

      I have a 2 y/o German Shepherd that I rescued 4 months ago. She has started to be aggressive toward a new dog that moved in (a week ago) whenever I'm around. She seems to do fine with the other dog when I'm gone though. Any advice on how to deal with this is greatly appreciated.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      7 months ago from USA

      Jennifer, are the other people in the home family members or strangers?

    • profile image

      jennifer 

      7 months ago

      i have a English setter mix he just turned 2 and I had to leave for about a month and when I got back he started to be aggressive with the other people in the home how can I stop him I have tried everything I can think of please help

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      Rick 

      8 months ago

      I have 3 bichon friese the oldest guards me against my wife. She is home all day and cuddles with her and is so good. But when I come home turns on her when she gets close and up at night as he sleeps under the bed with 1 eye open and attacks her. Please help with some guides on how to canke his behavior. He is 3 years old the others are 2 and 7 months

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      Ruka 

      9 months ago

      Any advice on how to correct this problem?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      9 months ago from USA

      Luis, you should let your room mate know that this behavior concerns you and that it's not good for the dog to rehearse this problem behavior.

    • profile image

      Luis 

      9 months ago

      My roommate's dog tries to attack me every time I approach her owner. For example, then I go downstairs on my way to the kitchen and her owner is sitting at the table. However, she knows that I am not a stranger and when her owner is not there she just ignores me. How can I let my roommate about this without making her feel offended?

    • profile image

      Britt 

      9 months ago

      I adopted a 3 year old american eskimo, he was akc registered and very beautiful, he was EXTREMELY protective of me right off the bat, I'm not sure if he had a bad past but one time my ex husband tossed me the remote and the dog thought he hurt me so he instantly attached him and bit him, then another time my ex and i were arguing and my ex shoved me, and he again attacked him, was very untrusting to new people that entered the house until being there for a while to know it's okay, i was forced to give him up to someone else which was an old lady because he kept attacking my ex when he felt as though he was hurting me, never had a dog love me so much and i was sad to give him up.

    • profile image

      Ginger 

      9 months ago

      I volunteer at a shelter by walking dogs. A dog there is very thin, and I have been giving him boiled chicken while we are out on our 30-min walk. I walk him 2-3 times weekly for several months now. Lately if anyone he doesn't recognize walks near us he lunges, and has bitten three times! He doesn't do this if any other volunteer walks him, just me. Help!

    • profile image

      Christy 

      10 months ago

      I just rescued a 1 year old healer mix. She is very frightened of new people, barks and hides behind me. Now I have had her for three weeks and she barks uncontrollably at new people and tries to nip at their hands like she is protecting me. I am not sure what to do, she is absolutely the best dog in the world except for this. My dad was over a couple of days ago and he hugged me and she tried to bite him, scarey

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      11 months ago from USA

      Julie, you can have your dog the way you want, but just because your dog is on leash, doesn't mean people are safe. Dog attacking behavior may escalate from a lunge to a bite. Your dog may decide to bite a person one day and that can cost an arm and leg in medical bills and you can even lose your dog. The other day my mom was bitten by a dog on leash, it happened really fast and the owner had no time to pull the dog away to prevent it from happening. Actually, when she did intervene and pulled the dog away, the skin on my mom's finger was torn more as the dog didn't let go.

    • profile image

      Julie 

      11 months ago

      I have an akita who is very protective , I feel safe with her & would not want to change her.she loves family and friends but if anyone else comes near uninvited or who she senses is strange she will go to attack, she is always on the lead so can't bite.

      what's wrong with that????

      I wanted a guard dog!!

      Rather that than dog that trusts strangers

    • profile image

      Rosemarie 

      12 months ago

      I took a four year old Chihuahua from a human center..The dog is very loving and gental with me..but will not let anyone get close to me..I have had her for four months..and she will bit if my family tries to get close..How can I help her?

    • profile image

      Catherine 

      13 months ago

      Hi, I have a miniature schnauzer who doesn't seem to turn aggressive but constantly barks whenever he sees people or other animals. This seems to be worse when he is with me compared to when he is by himself. I believe this is due to lack of socialization as a puppy and have paid a lot of trainers to help him but nothing has helped. One thing I noticed is he does seem to like people once he is introduced to them and has gotten to see them more than once. Any advice or referrals would be greatly appreciated!

    • profile image

      Ivori 

      13 months ago

      I have 3 dogs my first male is 2 years old he growls at my other male that try's to get near me.how can I stop that?

    • profile image

      Courtney 

      16 months ago

      Hi Adrienne,

      I have a 2 yr old Malchi that I've had since he was 4 months. He's always been the sweetest thing and anyone could pet him. We live in a big building in Manhattan and have a big group of friends with dogs, so he's grown up being very social.

      In the last 6 months he's begun to show aggressive behavior to strangers, people walking by, new friends, my family and even other dogs. But NOT to the people that he's known for a while. It's gotten to the point where he becomes vicious and bites... I keep a close hold of his leash, so I'm the one that gets bitten!! His nickname has become Cujo.

      After reading your article, I'm sure I encouraged this behavior without knowing it... I work from home and he sits by me all day long and follows me if I go into another room. When I leave he lays by the door waiting for me - even if his "best dog friend" is over. It's really sad. Especially since he's really good otherwise - he doesn't chew things (other than his toys) and never potties anywhere except his potty pad (and only when he's home alone).

      I'm really at a loss and don't know how to break him of this... hopefully he's still young enough that with the correct discipline I can get my sweet little boy back!!

      Any suggestions or referrals to other articles or professionals in Manhattan would be most appreciated.

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      Desiree 

      16 months ago

      My friends yorkie is only agressive toward me when his owner is present, I love I'm the home and I'm getting concerned her been actually biting me now, he's a totally loveable dog when she's not home. It's gotten worse since I moved out of the bedroom on the main floor and into their basement apartment, he only does it when I'm leaving not when I'm entering, I'm very hurt and concerned. She doesn't discipline him and had alot of negative energy, is he sending this or knows mom will allow him to misbehave?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      17 months ago from USA

      Caroline, please have a force-free trainer help you out in person. Sounds like a dangerous situation and someone may get hurt. In the meanwhile, keep your dog in a room or somewhere where she is prevented from rehearsing the behavior.

    • profile image

      Caroline Laramie 

      17 months ago

      I have a Great Pyranese when as soon as a person who comes to our house turns their back, she snaps to bite them. she has missed twice now and she will not let them leave in their car. She blocks their ability to leave. We live in the country and she has an underground fence with 3 acres to run. I am so scared she will bite someone.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      18 months ago from USA

      Sbf, yes, while you wait to see your behaviorist, use management. In other words, do as much as you can to prevent your husky mix from rehearsing the problem behavior. This often means keeping him in a separate area, especially when there are situations that you know can trigger his behavior (children around,etc). You should set up a baby gate area for him. The more he rehearses the problem behaviors, the more they put roots and more difficult they become to eradicate. Not to mention, the risks for the behavior to escalate.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      18 months ago from USA

      Katherine, you should keep your Rottie away (like in another room) when you give Dragon his meds. It's important to prevent rehearsal of problem behaviors. The more the behavior is rehearsed, the more it put roots and you need to be undisturbed when giving dragon his meds! Alternatively,( if you have help, like a family member and want to work on the issue) have your helper hold your Rottie on leash at a safe distance where he can see you are giving pills but from where he doesn't get too upset about it and every time Dragon get his meds, your Rottie gets several small pieces of high value treats in a row with lots of praise for being good boy. You want to teach your Rottie that great things happen when Dragon gets his meds!. Once dragon gets all his meds, then all the good treats are gone and all the fun ends. Please make safety your top priority, and for correct implementation and safety, you should have a behavior professional assist you in behavior modification. I hope this helps!

    • profile image

      Katherine Watson 

      18 months ago

      Hi there please help!

      I have a beagle (nearly 9) and a Rottweiler (14 months old). 2 weeks ago I found out my beagle has cancer and that it could be weeks or months before he need to go to sleep before that pain gets to much.

      Over the past few days dragon (beagle) has been getting worse and we are seeing if the new meds might help. But during this time our Rottweiler pup has be come over protective of dragon. Is there anything I can do? And is this normal she nudes me out the way when I’m giving dragon his meds.?

    • profile image

      sbf 

      18 months ago

      We have a one year old husky mix who has been around very small children since we got him at 8 weeks old. He is well socialized with dogs, people, and has never had any noticeable aggression issues. However in the last month, he seems to be incredibly protective of my husband (even though I'm the pregnant one). He recently was aggressive towards our small niece and nephew when they were playing with my husband. With us bring a new baby into the family soon, I am incredibly worried about this behavior. We know we should bring a behaviorist in immediately, but is there any advice we can start doing to limit this while we get someone to come in and help?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      18 months ago from USA

      Mackenzie, if your dog seems like he has intent to bite, it would be best to have a force-free behavior consultant walk you through behavior modification. In my experience, it's best to err on the side of caution and allow him to make positive association with everyone. I had one person train the dog to be protective and the day he had a stroke EMT couldn't come in because of his dog guarding him fiercely. It's better to invest in a security system and alarm system than leave the responsibility to our dogs. There are too many liabilities involved.

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      Makenzie 

      19 months ago

      My husband and I were robbed last year and it was absolutely devastating. Shortly after that, we got a great dane puppy. Anytime he would bark at someone outside I would tell him "good boy" and give him a treat. I made the mistake of thinking this would teach him that strangers are not allowed to come in, but he thinks NO ONE is allowed to come in, especially men. It takes several times of someone coming over for him to have a positive association with them. He is VERY obedient and listens to me when I tell him to sit, lay down, or stay in the presence of a stranger in the house. But he still tries to bite them. I'm extremely worried because of his size and he will not hesitate to bite. Any suggestions on how to get him to tell the difference between friend and foe? Or would it be better to teach him that everyone is a friend? Thanks!!!

    • profile image

      Donna 

      19 months ago

      My 12 yr old dog has just recentley become "protective" to me. If he hears me yell out from a stumped toes, hot water from the sink etc. He runs to me and places himself close with a side stand. Nothing new has happen in our home, or lives. Im confused.

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      Janie Carpenter 

      19 months ago

      I need help I have a yorkey Schnauzer mix tha a friend rescued from a breeder. The friend had him for about a week before I got him he is 9 months old recently neuthered. I take him to work everyday trying to get him socialized as he has not been around people. Main problem he tries to bite. My husband will hand feed him treats and few minutes later as my husband turns his back to leave the room the dog tries to bite the back of his leg, no growl warning just a bite. This has happened three times with my husband and 1 time with a man at work. How can I help this dog change this behavior? I am not going to be able to keep him if this can't be fixed and I won't be able to rehome him if he bites and I hate to think about having him put down. Please can you help?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      19 months ago from USA

      Yes, because staying on the lap allows your dog to rehearse the problem behavior, and the more it is rehearsed, the more roots the behavior puts. You will have to find though a behavior professional to help walk through this problem, there are chances the behavior will eventually start occurring as well when off your lap.

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      Debra Burris 

      19 months ago

      I adopted a 2 yr old pit bull he has been very close to ME from day one. My son and daughter live with me, when he is on my lap, nobody can get near me at all or he will bite them. Should I not let him on my lap????

    • profile image

      Karen 

      20 months ago

      One night a few weeks ago my dog slept under the bed instead of in his own bed and basically since then he has started going for my partner at night when my partner goes into the bedroom. I don't know why this has started but it's not a good situation. Any suggestions?

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      Karen haymond 

      21 months ago

      I adopted a 6 month old terrier mix found on the streets by a vet tech. The Vetranairian took the pup in her office, cared for her posted her pic on line and I fell in love. It took some time she was aggressive but soon became a great family member. I have 2 parrots she is fine with, they are always out of their cages. She plays with my grandson. Several family members are in and out and she was fine. But always with me, im retired. Several weeks ago she is aggressive when we sit in my chair and family comes over even my grandson she loves. I take to one of my sons homes, she plays with his dogs is fine, but she sits on his couch with me and she's aggressive when someone walks or comes upon to me including one of my sound dogs a boxer. When back on the floor she's fine with Astro or anyone else. She also used to love to go with me in the car. Get excited to see her harness. Now she run and shakes and doesn't want any part of it . Im very concerned and need to correct it. I am afraid she will bite its come very close. Appreciate any help you can give

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      21 months ago from USA

      Dog owner, I am sorry you feel this way, meaning that you are so on guard and think we live in such a dangerous world. I hope your dog doesn't feed too much off your anxiety/insecurities toward strangers. We had a case once of a dog owner who had a dog that was protective and wouldn't let the EMTs in the home to provide emergency assistance. The owner had a heart problem and he had to call his son to keep the dog away which made him lose precious minutes.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      21 months ago from USA

      Kerstin, this article is about "why" not about "how to." If you have any questions, I can provide some tips, please consider though that solving dog behavior problems is not as easy as to fix a faucet, so writing a "how to" guide on this topic would be inappropriate considering all the variable involved. If you read through the comments you may find some general guidelines, but you definitely need the aid of a professional to guide you through in person.

    • profile image

      Kerstin 

      21 months ago

      Who writes an article about a problem behavior, but then doesnt have a section on how to stop it? If I wanted parroted information, I would have just went to wikipedia. Thanks though. Now I have to find the second half, more important, part of the problem.

    • profile image

      Latisha 

      21 months ago

      My boyfriend just got a puppy 2 weeks ago, bringing her into our new 5 month relationship. We disagree about her sleeping in our bed and I have noticed over the last week she growls n barks at me more. Is this because she senses our disagreeing?

    • profile image

      dog owner 

      22 months ago

      Who ever wrote this article is an idiot.It is in a dogs nature to protect their alpha.It is your responsibility to teach them to stand down when told to.I would rather my dog be lery of any stranger as I am. If it be a family member then that is a problem and proper training is required. Dogs don't have insecurity issues unless abused. If well loved and treated right they will be protective. I would rather my dog be on gaurd than just not when someone with bad motives comes along. Remember we live in sometimes a dangerous world.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      22 months ago from USA

      Lorene, please have a veterinary behaviorist help you out. Your dog is not safe and obedience training will not do much at this point, you need behavior modification.

    • profile image

      Lorene 

      22 months ago

      I was doing research on over protective dogs and came across this article. Over protectiveness is a trait of my dog towards me and is a cause for real concern. I think he needs obedience training. He allows no one to come near me especially in my room and now he can no longer stay in my room because he starts to growl if anyone comes into my room when I am in there. He has bitten my parents already. The incident with my mom was traumatising because he bit her 4 times in diffeent places and there was blood everywhere that I had to rush her to the health centre, she was in shock. The odd thing is, he is very friendly to family members outdoors at the yard and even inside in other parts of the house. But as long as I am anywhere about, he is overly protective

    • profile image

      Ashley 

      22 months ago

      I'm in Home Health Care and one of my clients have an over protective dog. I cant do what I need to do for her unless he's locked up in a room or outside. If I get too close to her or anything that belongs to him he growls and snaps at me.she always says "He's not going yo bite you" but she doesn't understand that that dog have a bond with her, not me. But I need a job! Lol

    • profile image

      For Teresa 

      23 months ago

      Vet check is in order when a dog becomes protective out of the blue. Perhaps he's not feeling well. Other reason may be he got scared or startled by somebody and wants more space.

    • profile image

      Teresa 

      23 months ago

      This was somewhat helpful but not really. I've had my dog since he was six weeks old. I've never trained him to protect. He's will be six in February and here recently he has been snapping at people for no reason. Other than maybe being in his space. I don't know if it's because he gets bad vibes or if it's because he's getting older. I would like to know why he's doing this since he's just now starting this rabbit and what I should do about it

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      23 months ago from USA

      Lindsay, Dog's don't seem to fully understand kissing and hugging, perhaps your dog feels like he is doing something harmful to you. You can try tossing treats her way every time your husband kisses and hugs you, so your dog gets the message that's it's OK and good things happen instead. Since you mention your dog has already bitten him, your bet is to find a dog trainer/behavior consultant who uses positive training methods.

    • profile image

      Lindsay from USA 

      2 years ago

      I just got a new dog that's a Chihuahua and she's old but if my husband trys to get close to me or kiss or hug me then she grows at him and trys to bite him but she's already bit him and I don't understand why she's doing that I just got her and she loves me she always has to be my my side and follows me everywhere I go and has to be next to me at all times I don't understand why?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      It may seem unpredictable, but there must be something very subtle going on. Does it happen when your husband comes near you or you go near him? Does your husband make your dog hyper? Do you move your hands more when you talk to him? Is when you talk to your husband? What do you do when your dog does this? While we many never know the exact reason, try to keep a treat pouch handy clipped on your belt and redirect your dog to "go catch" several treats you toss to the ground at the very first sign of this behavior. Then after a while, implement a sit before you toss the treats. The goal is to implement a behavior that is incompatible with the one your dog is rehearsing. Your dog can't be jumping up at your face, when he is catching treats you toss to the floor or sits before you toss them. Make sure you catch the behavior before it happens and redirect it promptly, so as soon as you see her coming close to you, be ready with tossing the treats. If things get out of hand though and you think your dog may bite, please consult with a trainer/behavior consultant.

    • Jeanne Carrather profile image

      Jeanne Carrather 

      2 years ago

      My husband and I adopted a German Shepherd mix from a shelter about 3 months ago...she is now around 9 months old. She was fine at first but now she "attacks" me by running up at my face like she is going to bite my eye or mouth. It's unpredictable and doesn't seem to be predicated by any kind of activity. She only does it when we are both present. He was away for a week and she never did it then. Why would she do this to me? She also barks at strangers.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Yes, many dogs can be this way. Their home is where they feel safe and secure and there's often a fear component when dogs act territorial at home. Here's a read for you: https://hubpages.com/animals/Why-is-My-Dog-Territo...

    • profile image

      James 

      2 years ago

      I have an australian shepherd who only becomes protective when people come to the house. I take him on two walks a day and has never barked or growled at anyone. Is there any reason he only shows this behavior at the house? Are there any recommendations on how to handle this problem?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Chasing cats would be another topic, which I already covered if you do a search.

    • profile image

      Ella 

      2 years ago

      Helped me with little information. Not much to collect. Maybe you could add in why the chase cats around sometimes

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Sounds like fear-based behavior. Not totally abnormal as many dogs are fearful, but shouldn't occur and can be prevented by extensive socialization.

    • profile image

      Luz 

      2 years ago

      I have notice on my one year old puppy when we walk on the street if he see a homeless he starts to growl at them and if we walk by he see a black bag he growls at that too is that normal or not or he be coming over protected to protect me of bad people I want to know what can't I do

    • profile image

      katie 

      2 years ago

      my puppy a 6 month Staffordshire Bull terrier has always been good with people , but the other day a woman came close to me and was looking at the dog and my dogs hairs went up and he lowered his head. yesterday I was walking him on his morning walk and as I stood outside the house a man approached and put his hand out to stroke my dog , my dog again lowered his head and gave off a low growl I was very shocked. His not like this with everyone some people he jumps all over and licks. when people come into my house he brings his toys .His meet lots of people since being little so don't know why he would behave like this , the man was delighted to see my dog and it was abit embrassing that he growled . Is this a bad sign at his age .

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      The shock from the underground fencing/collar may be causing stress and the formation of negative associations with anything he sees when he receives shock. It's likely a contributing problem,. I would suggest looking up Leslie McDevitt's LAT and employing a force-free trainer to help you out.

    • profile image

      Jessica 

      2 years ago

      I have a 3 year old black lab. He is fenced in with underground fencing and a collar. He barks if anyone walks by. He barks if anyone comes in the yard. He has growled at my youngest daughter who is 1 year old when she lays by him, pets him, he ran out of the yard last week after 2 adults that were on a walk with there 4 large dogs. He went after the biggest dog they had. Tonight on a walk a young boy came up to him to pet him and he started barking and I'm not sure if he tried to nip at him or not. I grabbed him before he could touch him. People are afraid of him. What do I do? I don't think I'll ever trust him again and am afraid of my kids getting bite or someone else getting bite. What do I do?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Has your dog always been this way? At 10, the growling can be due to the fact that she's older and unable to move away as she used to, it could be also be she has a medical issue such as low thyroid levels or pain. At that age, most dogs want a calm, quiet environment and boisterous play either from a child or a young puppy, stresses them out. She may be trying to stop the play when it gets too rambunctious or may not understand the rough play and think the children are fighting. For safety and to reduce stress and not set her to fail, keep separated. If you are worried about just one instance, play it safe by keeping the dog in another area. You can never play it too safe, so maybe lock the door too and crate your dog in the closed room ( if your dog is crate trained) with a stuffed Kong for the time being. There are too many stories of dogs who get stressed by children and bite or children who manage to open the door where the dog is enclosed and get hurt.

    • profile image

      Matthew Ryan 

      2 years ago

      My 10 year old mastiff will growl at other children when our daughter is in the same room and if there is any rough playing she'll become aggressive towards them. Just today one of our daughters friends was trying to run around my girlfriend with the dog on the leash by my side and she nipped at the child. We've tried to keep her isolated when children come over but I'm worried about just one instance. Any recommendations would be helpful.

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      2 years ago

      I own an 11mnth old Rottweiler and he has become quite protective of me. When we go for a walk he will growl and bark and jump toward people walking toward us that are at a distance away. He dosnt do this to anyone that comes to pat him. He's very gentle and a sweet boy. He dosnt act like this with my husband.

      He's very protective of the house aswell. Also of passers by. I think when we go walking it may have to do why he barks at people from a distance.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Songbird, here are a few hubs that may be helpful:

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Dog-Behavior-How-to-St...

      https://hubpages.com/animals/Dog-Behavior-How-to-S...

      Also, you may want to read the book "Cautious canine" by Patricia McConnell

    • profile image

      Songbird 

      2 years ago

      I have Chiwini I rescued when he was six months old. He was left outside, a resident found him, he was playing with her dog and he came out and she took him home for the weekend. She brought him in to my office and I fell in love with him. I made sure he had his shots and was neutered. I noticed on the drive home he growled while we were stopped at the light at people in the crosswalk. He was never aggressive to my roommate so I didn't think anything about it. He doesn't like strangers, he doesn't actually bite visitors but he does launch towards them, barking and with his mouth open kinda playfully bites at them with no teeth. Its a playful nip, however, if a service person is there to work on the house and is a male he will bite there pants legs. Trying to help him be more secure in his environment. He is good with cats and other dogs...not children. How do I help him?

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello Chelsea,

      If your dog barks in the car and at home, it sounds like an issue of territoriality/fear. Here are some hubs about the issue, with some behavior modification tips, but for safety, I would recommends doing these exercises along with a force-free professional.

      For home, try my video "look at that and then come back" as outlined in article below

      https://hubpages.com/animals/Why-is-My-Dog-Territo...

      For the car:

      https://hubpages.com/animals/Dog-Behavior-How-to-S...

      Hope this helps!

    • profile image

      Chelsea 

      2 years ago

      I came across your article when looking for a solution for my over protective dog. I have a 2 year old German Shepherd that is very protective. To the point that when we travel she will bark at anyone that is around us while walking or even in the car. At home she will bark and growl at anyone who approaches the door. When new people come we have to go through an introduction, me holding her while they sit down and offer her a treat. After this she acts like she does around everyone else. I dropped her off at a vet clinic to get her fixed, while I was there she would bark and growl at everyone around. After I left they said she was very laid back and enjoyed everyone there. I will be moving into an apartment in a few months and want to correct this behavior so as to not have any issues. What is your suggestions?

    • profile image

      Darlene 

      2 years ago

      I like that my dog protects me. She is very much aware of who I trust and who I don't trust. I have never given her instructions to be this way but she surly is aware. She knows who I trust and who I don't. My husband's friend is very shiftyand the dog does not trust him now the man wwon't come into the house and I very much like it that way and so does my husband I feel see sences something that we don't. She was adopted from another family who had children and was a very spoiled dog. She was never aggressive toward anyone until she came to live with us. It seems she knows who istrust worthy and who is not... I also put her in her crate time out when someone new comes to visit. I ddon't set my dog up to fail.

    • profile image

      nacydogs 

      2 years ago

      my dog once protected me!! there were three dogs that came running to attack me and my dog (german shepherd) chased them all away, since my dog is way stronger since they were labs! also once there was a boxer that once came to me and my dog and the boxer started fighting i didnt know who one that fight but the dogs owner came and took the dog away and i took my dog away so everything was fine! if u want your dog to love you and protect you, you have to show that your his owner and love him and feed him, however not every dog portects there owner but if the dog really loves you he will potect u! no matter how big or small he is!i did here somewhere that dogs will let them self be killed to save you!

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      3 years ago from USA

      Ideally, you should consult with a professional who can guide you through behavior modification for safety and correct implementation. The process should be gradual and slow. A helpful approach is the open/bar/closed bar method, basically it consists of tossing a little high-value treat every time you move towards the bed or have your wife hand-feed the treat to your dog as you move closer. Then move away from bed, no more treats. The take home message is that your approach makes good things happen. Approach bed, means treats, away from bed, no more treats. Treats arrive only when you come close. When you finally get into bed, toss a higher value treat or a longer lasting one, like a cookie, for more on the correct implementation of this method read open bar/closed bar. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Dog-Behavior-Modificat...

    • profile image

      scott 

      3 years ago

      Our little mixed breed has started of late growling ànd barking if I go to my wife's bed.Its like he is her guardian. Only at night. What would you advise?

    • Krista Muzer profile image

      Krista Muzer 

      3 years ago

      I have a miniature Yorkshire terrier who was the runt of the litter. My boyfriend and I bought him from the owner when he was 9 weeks old and we have house trained him, sent him to obedience school and he is strictly an indoor dog. Lately he has been snarling, growling, and been very aggressive to my boyfriend with whom I live. It's almost like he doesn't want my boyfriend to come near me, so he is protecting me even though both of us live in the house and take care of him. I am wondering what we can do to resolve this problem. If anyone has any ideas or comments, please feel free to share them with me. I think my boyfriends feelings are very hurt because it was his idea to buy Peanut in the first place and now Peanut has turned on him, in a sense. Help!

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      3 years ago from USA

      If they weren't aggressive in any way they were probably curious to meet you or hoping your would feed them so food..

    • profile image

      Jazmin 

      3 years ago

      Hi my name Jazmin I wanna ask this question what happened to me way back I was walk by myself in the street and all suddenly two stranger dogs were following me they don't hurt me and they don't bit but why they following what does it mean

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      3 years ago from USA

      I really cannot tell if this will go away or not. Behavior like this may put roots if rehearsed for a long time enough and may or may not continue. I can see it possible for a dog to also become protective over the child once born. What I would recommend doing, is getting the help of a behavior professional familiar with counterconditioning. He or she should instruct you on how to create positive associations with people coming near. Usually, this encompasses keeping the dog under threshold at all times and having you feed tasty foods when people come near gradually, working in a systematic way. The aid of s professional will help keep every body safe and assure correct implementation of behavior modification. Best wishes!

    • profile image

      Jeileenkahn 

      3 years ago

      I am pregnant, a week overdue in fact. I have a 1.5 year old Boston terrier. He has always been very friendly to all dogs and people. He came to work with me from the age of ten weeks old and we bring him to a dog play group at the park every week. He never showed any aggression toward any one or thing until a couple of months ago when he started barking and snarling at some dogs and people. Even some people and dogs he knew, but mostly strangers. I assume this is a reaction to my pregnancy but I'm wondering if it will improve when the baby arrives or is this now a permanent behavior. It makes me sad because he has always been such a love and I hate to see him fearful and aggressive towards anyone. He is still very well behaved at the park however and not aggressive at all even in play.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      I am totally of that mindset, and I am advocate of the breed and want to protect them from negative stereotyping. Those who tell me I have wasted them are those who want dogs that act as a deterrent. I think the mere presence of them is a big deterrent enough. Personally, I rather have an ADT system in place than have my dogs go out and bark at anything that moves out of the fence. When I have small dogs for board and training, the mail man is often baffled that these little ones are on attack mode versus my Rotts are there wagging their tails and acting friendly. I also give my clients print outs on my article on LAT for triggers such as the mail man. I always tell clients the story of an EMT who couldn't access the home to give aid to a person who suffered a heart attack because his dog wouldn't allow him entry.

    • poweranni profile image

      Anne Gillingham 

      4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I am not so convinced that rotties and dobies and these "macho" types of canines are the best watch dogs and that you "wasted" them.

      I think you did the right thing. Honestly it sounds to me like you did a good job with them. They really SHOULD NOT antagonize the fed-ex guy. That is how we end up with dead dogs and a lawsuit.

      Here is a brief story. The neighbor has a yorkie in the house, and a dobie in the yard.

      I walked onto their property to drop off the rent check. I opened the gate, crossed their yard, and stepped onto their porch. I slid the rent check into the mailbox. This should trigger a convulsive and salivating barking-fit from a Doberman, right?

      Who sounded off?

      The yorkie.

      Yip yip yip yip yip.

      Her yapping did not even "inspire" the Doberman to join the chorus. He watched me cross the boundary, and closed his eyes to finish his nap.

      Yet he sounds off at 3 am, when I rinse off a plate.

      Geez people . . .

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      It's always a pleasure to talk about dogs! Sounds like you did an awesome job in socializing your pups! Of course, we can't expose them to all stimuli the world has to offer. For instance, my puppies grew up in Arizona were it doesn't rain for months at a time, it therefore took some time to get them used to umbrellas once we moved to Missouri several months later. People always tell me I have two wasted guard dogs referring to my Rotties. They care less about the mail man, Fedex truck or trash trucks, because I worked hard to desensitize and countercondition them to them. They are always eager to welcome guests. However, when I am NOT home, I know they they totally change and will bark at any unusual noises because I recorded their behaviors.

    • poweranni profile image

      Anne Gillingham 

      4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thanks for your reply.

      When Dusty (the "rotterman") was a wee pup, I took her around town and introduced her to just about every kind of person out there, most types of fashion and uniforms, races, colors, professions and lifestyles, and every type of stimulation, such as wheelchairs, mopeds, strollers, etc. This was recommended on the ASPCA website. It seemed like sound advice to me.

      As a result, random people doing their "thang" don't seem to set off her hair trigger. But sometimes random situations do. I can't control for the body language or activity of some middle aged man at a dog park or for the scraping noise that the neighbor makes, as she drags something across the ground. All I can do is socialize her and try to desensitize her.

      Sometimes I think that dogs are just bored and "stir up drama" because they are bored.

      As a result of my socialization though, my dogs don't seem to "fire off" at much of anything. This has ruined them as "security dogs" but I made a choice a while back that knowing that I know nothing about training a watch dog or a protection dog, we erred on the side of "useless as a watchdog."

      When they bark at stuff that is genuinely out of place, I praise them, even if I know that the stimulus is harmless.

      Thank you for taking the time to correspond with me about my dogs. That is very kind of you.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      When I talk about "innocent" and ill intent, I mean it from a human perspective. To us the person is "innocent," from the dog that is under socialized, reactive and weak nerved'--NOT. In other words, a dog that is insecure, stressed and under-socialized may perceive normal humans and their behaviors as threatening. In early socialization in puppies, that is in puppy classes, we expose puppies to all sorts of people so to help them get familiar with them and record them in their "safe repertoire" since during that time their brains are " primed" for accepting new things. So a confident, well- socialized dog would not feel threatened by "innocent" people on wheelchairs, a child on a skate board, a man with a hat and sunglasses or a person walking with a cane or people conducting normal behaviors such as as person shaking somebody's hand. I hope this answers your question.

    • poweranni profile image

      Anne Gillingham 

      4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      How does a dog know who is "innocent" and who has ill intent? Although we think that we are generally awesome at reading character and situations, human beings notoriously SUCK at it. LOL!

      No seriously, we evaluate situations according to our prejudices, for better or for worse. And on one end of the spectrum, our lack of insight perpetuates racial, ethnic and class tensions. On the other, we can end up being killed because we misread somebody.

      If we are such poor judges of character and intentions, how on earth would our dogs "read" a situation any better?

      Just wondering ...

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      Hello poweranni, I don't see where I say an abused dog is more likely to be protective, but I do agree that acting protective can have an operant component and that the dog may find it empowering to scare off people, but as the human bully it often stems from underlying nuances of insecurity. A well-socialized and confident dog shouldn't feel the need to protect the owner from innocent people. Dogs are very interesting, like snowflakes there are no two dogs with identical personalities. There is always room for learning.

    • poweranni profile image

      Anne Gillingham 

      4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      So what you are saying ... is that a dog whose care edges into the "abused" zone is more likely to be protective than the dog who is more on the "pampered" end of the spectrum?

      I have noticed that my "rotterman" is very hit or miss with regards to what is a genuine threat. I also think that we might be misinterpreting her being "protective" with her being "bored" and wanting to stir up drama (LOL) or misreading a situation, or finding a personal threat to HER in the situation, and not me.

      I think that you are onto something, when some owners dismiss their dog's unwieldy behavior as "protective of ME" and they are proud of their dogs. Why is it always about ME? A professional protection canine is truly a sight to behold but they don't come overnight or cheap. Truth be told, some dogs find it empowering when they can intimidate people. That is the dog, playing "dog." Nothing to do with loyalty to the owner.

      When a leashed dog can make the neighbors cower, and the owner interprets this as the dog being "protective" (good dog!) what they really need to do is train the dog to not react to the lady with a push-cart full of groceries, but to sound off when there is a criminal or thug in the midst. My experience is that my dogs don't do that because they too might be afraid of them. Or they don't see some guy lurking on the side of an alley as a threat.

      I live in LA, 10 miles south of downtown, and walk my dogs at night. So yeah, there is ALWAYS SOMEBODY around, even at 4 am. It might be a good thing, actually, that my dogs DON'T generally sound off. Maybe they are smarter than I am, and know that they guy in the alley is not a threat. I haven't a clue, really.

      That is why the topic of "dogs" has me hooked. I actually find them far more mysterious than cats. I am more of a "cat person" but dogs for me are far trickier to figure out.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      More than obedience training, I would seek behavior modification with a behavior consultant. You need to find if there is a common factor as to what triggers him to react that way. Do those people have facial hair? Were they wearing hats/sunglasses? Is it mostly men/women? Were they wearing perfume or did they smell like alcohol? Sometimes it's not certain people, but more what certain people do. Did they place their face too near him? Loom over him? Made eye contact? An experienced behavior consultant can help you out changing the underlying emotions.

    • profile image

      johnniebear 

      4 years ago

      I have a 2 year old pibull male..hes always been awesome around people and always plays with dogs..i left him for the first time for 2 weeks and things didn't go to well but i think he might have picked up some bad habits during that time..I enrolled him to behaviour training etc..i notice how hes great with most people and then all of a sudden he just doesn't like a certain person....has anyone had this happen ? im hoping the obedience training will help we have had some good success with it a bit but i know im a fun loving guy who meets lots of people and hes like that too so im trying to figure out why he does that only with certain type of people..

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Wow, very interesting hub alexadry, of which I am guilty. I have 2 German Shepards which are both very protective. Neither has bitten anyone, but it's definitely something I'll have to address. Thumbs up on your hub

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      More than instilling leader/pack rules which often imply harsh techniques or having the dog ask permission to breath, I treat protective aggression by changing the dog's emotions about having other dogs or people come near them.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      Hmmmm. that's a tough one. I can't think about any studies or reliable proof about dogs being more protective than cats other than anecdotal evidence. Perhaps discuss the dog's history and talk about dogs who were selectively bred for their guardian roles, imposing looks?

    • profile image

      Averre 

      4 years ago

      Hi I'm doing a paper for a class, dogs vs. cats, I found your article and I'm trying to find some proof of dogs being more protective then cats any suggestions?

    • profile image

      AlanGibbz 

      4 years ago

      I really good article. We have had dogs (bitches) all our lives and three years ago, having two Giant Schnauzer bitches we acquired a Giant Schnauzer (male) known to have the traits and be used as a guard dog. We treated him like any other dog we had had and it became evident that he wants to protect my wife, but only when bringing in an expert and having him talk to us that the behaviour became obvious and the reasons he was acting the way he does. I have never learned so much and would totally alter the way I brought up a dog in my house in the future. When you have what you think is a well trained dog you walk with pride thinking how well you have trained it .. just imagine after having beautifully trained dogs for thirty years and then having one you cant handle ... as they say its always the owners that need training and we totally fell into that category. Unfortunately as much as we love them and think they adore us a dog is a dog and whether we like it or not there are leader/pack rules we we should adhere to i.e. not feeding them from the table, feeding them out of sight of the owner, not letting them on furniture especially the bed .. the list goes on.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      In such a severe case, I would have a behavior consultant stop over to show some counter-conditioning techniques. Basically, the dog's emotional response towards you "invading" the bed should change from not wanting you there, to wanting you there because great things happen when you approach the bed (you give high value treats) Also, it would not be a bad idea to train the dog to sleep in a doggie bed next to your bed and make it extra rewarding (like give a stuffed Kong to enjoy on it). There's nothing wrong with having a dog sleep in it's own bed. Actually, dog beds nowadays have all the bells and whistles that make them superior to the average bed for humans, and dogs sleep better as their humans aren't tossing and turning waking them up in the middle of the night... so no need to feel guilt over that!

    • profile image

      Sad 

      4 years ago

      My wifes 13 year old Chi has been pampered into thinking that it's normal to be on our bed and under our covers. So much so that we cant have sex. The dog has to be on the bed with my wife and when we tried putting her out of the room, she throws a fit and yips and yelps, slamming her body against the door and scratching. If we let he in the room she launches to my wife and doesn't let me go near. My wife puts her on the floor and tried to not let her back on the bed and the dog poops, probably out of stress. Our sex life is not non existent. We tried to have sex when the dog was asleep and the dog woke and found where we were and had to come into the room..

      I understand at this point it's my wifes responsibility but she won't do anything for fear of not giving the dog the best life it has while its alive. This of course comes at the expense of our ability to have a child.

      This has also given me anxiety to perform and now that my wife is ovulating, she wants sex on a timer which adds to the pressure.

      I think this is why men like pornography. That, or hate dogs.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      4 years ago from USA

      You should really see a behavior specialist to guide you through behavior modification for resource guarding. Here is an article on the topic: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Understanding-Dog-Reso...

    • profile image

      megan 

      4 years ago

      I hv a English mastiff n the only time she is aggressive is whn im laying in bed she growls at anyone who tries to come in, wat can I do to fix it?

    • profile image

      Karen G. 

      5 years ago

      I was at the veterinary office with my boyfriend and our dog. She's half Chihuahua and half Pomeranian. There was a big dog that came super close to me and touched me he was being friendly, but my little dog I guess felt the need to protect me and began to bark and growl. I don't know if she felt a need to protect e or what the case was but in the end I wanted to look up this type of behavior because its the first time shes ever really done it. Thanks for the posting of this article.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      5 years ago from USA

      Yes, it was mentioned how the behavior is reinforced when the person leaves, as it has an operant component. It was discussed how some dogs have a genetic predisposition to be protective. Some dogs become protective because they are insecure or feel the need to guard a resource. Others its based on fear which is why a weak-nerved dog makes a poor protection candidate. Others become protective because reinforced by the owner's approval. A dog who is protective needs to be trained an alternate behavior to the protectiveness, seek out a trainer for help on this. This article is about "why" dogs become protective, looks like you are looking for what needs to be done instead. You may find this hub more helpful: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Dog-Behavior-How-to-St...

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