1 yr old havanese growls and snaps. Help! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 1 yr old havanese growls and snaps. Help!

Our male, neutered, Havanese just turned one. A few months back, when we would remove him from our daughter's bed to put him in his crate for the night, he began to growl at us. At first we thought it was cute—as though he just wanted to sleep in our daughter's bed and he was simply protesting (she's 14 and he ADORES her).

Lately, he's become much more aggressive and viciously snaps at us as we try and pick him up to remove him from her bed.

There are no other times that he acts this way.

What should we do?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 10:50 PM
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Welcome

You've come to the right place, there are so many knowledgeable hav owners here. Unfortuantely, I'm a new dog owner so definitely no expert. I wonder though, does your dog like his crate or go in it any other time than bedtime? Also, where is the crate located? Is it in your daughter's room?

I'm working on crate training our one year old rescue, who may or may not be a hav but definitely has a lot of the traits. Coincidentally, he has bonded with my 13 year old daughter and sleeps in her room at night. He dislikes his crate so I wouldn't dream of trying to get him to sleep in it. We are slowly trying to get him to spend time in it voluntarily, and praising him and giving treats whenever he goes in. At home, he rarely goes in it but in the car he is actually starting to prefer it.

There are definitely people here who have trained their havs to sleep in crates, and to love their crates in general so it can be done!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 11:53 PM
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I would say he should not be on the bed until he learns that he is not in charge. Hav's are wonderful but that aggressive behavior should not be allowed in any dog. He could bite someone and that would be a real problem. May be take him to obedience for refresher course.

Linda & Sasha
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Scrappy -- Good luck with your dog. Cute pic!

Sashamom -- I did some research online and I think you're right about not letting him on the bed until he learns that he's not the "alpha". I'm hoping to get some more folks chiming in—but it sounds like its very much reminding him who the alpha is in the family. Not just with the bed but other interactions as well.

Thanks!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 09:03 AM
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I've never had that problem with any of mine so I'll let others give you their expertise. I have read in the past though that people flip them over on their back. Do you think the problem might be the crate? Could he have any fear attached to it or any negative experience?

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 09:48 AM
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I agree, at this point it's not appropriate for him to be on the bed.

Most likely, he is guarding your daughter (leave her alone, I love her, she and all of her attention are mine!). I got Clover when I was 12 and he sure did the same thing with me.

For now, you or your daughter should put him in his crate when she goes to bed. Teach him a command (I use "Get in your house") to walk voluntarily into the kennel. You can teach this by tossing treats into the kennel and giving the command as he chases it in. At first, just let him walk right back out, and then slowly start closing the door - for a second, for a minute, for five minutes, until he gets it.

Also teach that furniture is a privileged, not a right. If they can jump up on the furniture, fine, but teach "Off" - which means jump off the furniture because I asked you to. Attach a leash, and guide him off the furniture with it to teach this command. Reward him for getting to the floor.

Also teach him sit, down, and other commands. Make him do something for every treat, every pet, and every meal for every single person in the family.

Dogs want a consistent, trustworthy, and benevolent leader (don't we all). If you calmly but firmly ask for his respect, you will earn it.

Once he learns "Off" and "House" very, very, VERY reliably, you can start letting him lie on the bed again. Then he will respect and listen to you when you go in at night and tell him to get off the bed and into his crate. If he still growls, he loses this privilege.

If you don't feel that you can teach these on your own, please enlist a qualified dog trainer. This is something you don't want to go further! Good luck!

~Kat, Clover, CDX RN NA NAJ, & AKC/UKC Ch. William


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 09:51 AM
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No doubt Dave and others will give you some good advice.

I'm sure that you will be told not to let the dog on the bed for the time being.
This problem can be handled, I'm sure. Your dog sounds very sweet. He just doesn't want to be disturbed while he's sleeping.

One of my dogs, Finnegan sleeps on the bed in the evening and when we take him off to put him in the crate, he's fine with it. But he came to us crate trained.

We have three and one sleeps on the bed and the 2 others sleep in the crate.
Cali actually jumps off the bed and into the crate about the time the news comes on tv LOL.

Nan
Chico, Cali, and Finnegan
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 09:59 AM
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I've got a weird opposite problem. When Gryff is in his crate or under our bed, he growls at us when we try to pick him up to put him ON our bed! He loves being comfy and just doesn't like being messed with. Once he's on the bed though, he stays right between our heads all night long. He is such a good cuddle.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 11:36 AM
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I have had this problem with schnauzers--they are a very dominant breed. But I just firmly picked them up and put them where I wanted them with a firm no or sit or whatever. They soon learned that I was pack leader and not to be messed with. I may have gotten bitten a time or two--but not three times. Little dogs can't hurt you very bad, so just pick him up, by the scruff of the neck if he is little and put him on the floor and say whatever word you want to reinforce. Whatever you do, don't act afraid or jerk you hand back.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-17-2010, 11:57 AM
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Welcome Andy. This sounds like a typical resource guarding issue. He is guarding his space. R.G. is typical and natural for dogs. They can guard food ,toys space and even humans. Being this is done only in the bedroom situation it seems to be a spacial thing.
The most common locations to guard are the dog’s sleeping area, which could be their bed or crate, you’re bed or the sofa. When dealing with location guarding the level of severity depends on the value of the resource and who is approaching. For example, a dog may allow a child to approach but not an adult, or the other way around.

The goal here is to make your dog feel that your approach is a good thing. Start by offering your dog high value treats while in these locations, and then start to lure him from the location. Keep practicing this over a number of sessions , change the angle of your approach, the intervals and the person who does the exercise. Over time your dog will learn that good things always happen when people come near.

Teach your dog the OFF cue. If he is guarding the bed teach him to jump off of it on cue. Get him up on a low set of stairs by patting them or luring him with a treat. Don’t give the treat yet (we want to reward for getting off, not jumping on surfaces). Say “off” and lure him onto the floor. Reward and praise him for getting off the stairs and having four feet on the floor. Then practice this with the bed. To get a good understanding of resource guarding ,here is a great article . But do take this serious. He is warning you with growls and air snaps now, but this can lead to more serious bites down the road. Here's the article by Jean Donaldson. She also has a book out on this topic called "Mine" http://www.4pawsu.com/Donaldson.pdf Just another thing. Remember NEVER PUNISH A GROWL , here's why http://books.google.ca/books?id=FNyY...20dogs&f=false
And like Karen mentioned , if you are not comfortable with this , please seek professional help.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild

Last edited by davetgabby; 10-17-2010 at 12:29 PM.
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