Possessive behaviour in dogs...

There are many reasons
Dogs can become possessive over things, people or places for many reasons. They can be physically unwell and therefore 'grumpy'.

They can be jealous of a newcomer to their home. You can spoil them so they think that they are entitled to be possessive and can do what they like.

Using some very simple rules you can help them to be less possessive. Firstly, ensure that the problem isn't caused by discomfort or pain, ask your vet if you need to.

Regaining control
It is important that you must start to become the dog's leader. Most possessive behaviour is caused by dogs thinking that they have a right to defend their property from you or anyone else. As their owner and leader you are the best person to ensure they don't think like that.

To overcome this behaviour you need to use brains rather than brawn to achieve good and permanent results. To begin with, remove all treats, toys and privileges that they get, from now on they must earn everything they want.

You must start by teaching them to sit, as a way of saying please for everything they want. You must never give into them when they demand things. You still give them the things they want but only where and when you decide to.

Plenty of play & stimulation
You will need you to give them plenty of play and attention, but YOU decide where, when and for how long. Your dog must never be allowed to start the play or attention.

If at any time they get cross or aggressive then you must stop the activity immediately and ignore them for at least 5 minutes to show your that you don't want that behaviour.

The immovable object
Dogs that won't move from a couch or car etc. can be a problem, with a bit of persuasion you can get them to move and teach them how to behave in the process.

Start by offering a distraction or treat. Opening a biscuit tin or showing them a favourite toy should work. If they won't come leave them totally on their own. After 5 minutes, try again. Eventually, they will learn that when they respond, they get a treat otherwise they get totally ignored.

Fair exchange is no robbery
You are not bribing them, you are simply telling then that if they do what you ask, they will be rewarded. You are also reinforcing that you have the power to give rewards as and when you choose.

Please don't be tempted to force or shout at them, you will only make them more determined to defend their position. Instead you must convey to them that they are losing out by not moving, and that you really couldn't care less either way.

If you have any questions or comments on any part of our work, please contact us:
Animals in Mind, Penygraig, Cwmann, Lampeter, SA48 8EZ
01570 423891 - Email Us