Dog Behavior: Jealous Dog versus Possessive Dog

August 1, 2012

By Linda Cole

It’s not always easy to determine if your dog is acting out because he’s trying to protect you or is a jealous or possessive dog. Sometimes it could be all three, but there is a difference between the behaviors. Just because a dog is jealous doesn’t necessarily mean he’s possessive or protective. Your job is to figure out what’s bothering him before you can address his behavior.

A possessive dog is trying to dominate and control. He may claim his toys, food bowl, sleeping area or owner as his own. Other dogs, cats and humans can be as risk from a dog that feels he has to protect his things. An adult or child that accidentally gets too close to a toy may be bitten. Two dogs may get into a fight over food if a possessive dog thinks the other dog is too close. He may even growl at you if you approach his food bowl, whether it’s empty or full. The possessive dog sees a threat, but unlike a protective dog doing his job, possessive behavior keeps a dog on high alert and he won’t back down, even though there’s no real threat.New Ad Sidebar - no bag 2

When a dog showing possessive behavior growls, snaps, whines or attacks another pet or person, he’s telling you he feels insecure, confused, and has a lack of confidence. He’s always on guard and stressed out. And when people tease a stressed out, insecure dog, he uses aggression to protect himself because in his mind, his owner isn’t protecting him. He’s afraid someone or another dog will take something he cherishes. Aggression is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. Anytime your dog is showing aggression, have your vet check him out to make sure there’s no medical issue bothering him. You may need the help of an animal behaviorist to deal with a possessive dog’s aggression.

The jealous dog sees other people or pets as a rival for your attention and love. He tries to force himself in between you and someone else or another pet. He may challenge a spouse when they try to snuggle next to you on the couch or in bed. A jealous dog may attack another pet that gets too close to you. He’ll try to push another pet away so he can get your attention. He’s afraid of losing your love and attention.

If you need to change an unwanted behavior, only reward your dog for acting in a way you expect him to act. When your dog tries to come between you and another person, simply ignore his behavior. If you’re sitting on the couch when he’s trying to get between you, stand up. Don’t say anything, don’t touch him, and don’t look at him – just stand up. Affection is something you give to your dog on your terms, not his. By ignoring his behavior, you’re teaching him his behavior is not acceptable and he won’t get your attention until he’s calm with all four feet on the floor. Using your body language is the best way to teach him because dogs are experts at reading even our body language.

A protective dog is showing a natural behavior when he reacts in an aggressive way if he feels you’re in danger. Some dog breeds were specifically bred to guard their family and home. Don’t interpret a dog being protective as jealous or possessive. He focuses in on another dog, person or situation that requires his full attention. When he determines there’s no threat, he relaxes and backs down from alert mode. Protecting his pack is one of his main duties.

Jealous or possessive behavior can be changed once you know why your dog is acting a certain way. Both behaviors can turn into aggression if they’re not addressed and corrected. Change is not in a dog’s vocabulary and they prefer nothing changes in their lives. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works, so we need to understand that a move to a new home, a new baby, a new roommate or new pets in a dog’s life may affect him.

It’s important to keep your dog socialized with new people, other dogs and cats, and give him an opportunity to experience new things. Make sure he has plenty of exercise and stimulation to keep his body and mind healthy. It’s important to be your dog’s leader and maintain a daily routine. The routine you establish with him gives your dog a sense of security when he knows what to expect throughout the day, e.g., when he will eat, go outside for potty breaks, walks and playtime. However, a spontaneous walk or playtime is always welcomed, and grabbing some CANIDAE dog treats for a training session helps him learn what you expect from him, teaches him good manners, and helps you keep him under control.

Photo by AnnieCatBlue

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Pet Foods.

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  1. bethan hulbert says:

    my boyfriend about 4 months ago brought staff cross rottie hes only 2 so technically still a baby he is lovely very sappy and just loves attention from kids and espically my boyfriend his owner but he gets very jealous of me when i try to kiss my boyfriend hug him cuddle etc etc its not aggressive he just of get’s between us at all costs and when he doesn’t get in between us he just stares at me like what are you doing to my owner and i was just wondering why its happens and if there was anything to do to stop it

  2. Robert Leithiser says:

    We have a 3 year old male American Akita mix Hachi we got from the shelter 7 months ago and got him a 1 year old female companion Nikki about 3 months ago also from shelter that is a black lab/doberman mix. The dogs get a long well except that Nikki loves to play ball but Hachi doesn’t play ball, she likes tug of war. Nikki has a ball in her mouth all the time but we can’t play ball with her because Hachi takes off after Nikki to play fight with her, but I notice he’s more aggressive when that happens than usual. Any suggestions? Thank you.

  3. Ali says:

    I have a bull terrier, and for a last couple of days, he is showing aggression over food, before also he shows but not like this, what could be the issue bcoz health wise he is fine. He has a separate room and gets food 2 times a day.and goes out forna walk afyer every 2 to 3 days, i would like to know of the reason could be a mating season for dogs as he might smell something??????

    1. Ej says:

      He might have emotional or psychological issues if he is kept in a separate room and not exercised properly. These dogs are very active and intelligent they need to be around people all the time and interact with other animals. If you take your dog for a walk every 2-3 days I’m not surprised he is loosing his mind. I really hope you just made a spelling mistake, otherwise it’s cruelty.

  4. Alexis says:

    I have an eleven year old dachshund and a two year old mix breed who I purchased/saved from someone who was mean and neglectful towards him as a puppy. He’s seemed to become more jealous as he’s gotten older. When Skooter (my dachshund) is near me Mars (my mixed) comes in the middle. When my ex and I were together Mars would lay in the middle and always seems to want my attention to solely be on him. In public, he lashes at other dogs and doesn’t like them. He’s never been aggressive with Skooter, he always been fine with him (other than coming between us for attention) until a day ago. He’s been growling at him and a fight did occur. A loud noise stopped them, it wasn’t a fight that seemed utterly dangerous, but I could be wrong. Anyways, after it was said and done Mars continued to stare at Skooter and growl. I had him get off the bed and he went by my bedroom door, at least five or six feet away, and still continued to stare and growl. There is another dog in the house, Pistol (also a dachshund), but he is not my dog- he’s my little brothers. Mars never battles Pistol for my attention (not that he gives me much anyways) and is best friends with Pistol. Is this a sign of jealousy over possession? After reading the above article, I believe Skooter demonstrates a sign of possession, but the most aggressive he’s ever been is trying to force his kisses on me. He literally jumps on me and tries to force me down, but he’s never attacked Mars or Pistol or anyone for that matter. I just need/want some input because I’m feeling highly stressed out now for not knowing what’s going on or what to do. I feel stressed because I’m not educated enough. Any advice/tips/help would mean the most to me. I love them too much to ever part with them or them to have to part with me since I’m “momma”. It’s just not an option until I’ve done everything I can do.

  5. Amanda Edmunds says:

    I have a rescue Cocker Spaniel has him when he was 3 he’s 4 now. He is obedient and gets on ok with our Schnauzer but I cannot get him to stop crying/barking in the early mornings, he is fine when I leave him a few hours a day, just sleeps (I have a camera on him) but he can wake as early as 3.30am Tried leaving him but he will bark and cry for 5+ hours, tried adaptil etc.

  6. Lisa says:

    I have a 6yr old border collie that chews blankets he is not supposed to (my sons bedspread in the room where they both sleep) when my kids have friends over. I’ve replaced it 4 times and I’m done! What can I do? Often we find the damage after the Friend has gone home so discipline doesn’t work because he doesn’t know ‘no’ if he’s not doing the behavior- because he’s a dog. HELP!

  7. Marilyn Thompson says:

    It is not jealously, pure aggressive behavior. The dog is his size and pretty and fluffy, my fur baby is a precious Maltese. Never before this has happened. He attached this mild non-aggressive dog.

  8. shirley irwin says:

    Okay what to do when a new 7 month old ckcs is on your lap and growls,at your other dog if tgey jump up on my lap too after 3 growls then snapped at her . Then my 1 year old bany came over to me and the 7 month old growled at him ,but he does not do this when in my kitchen or walking around

  9. Allison says:

    Love this article thank you

  10. freda jayne roberts says:

    I have a rescue dog about 3 years old. She is called tilly a cross breed. We have had her for 18 months now. But she has bitten me a few times. When I go out of the room for example and returned she has flew at me and bite my leg and ankle. And other behaviour like biting when u stand up when sitting next to her has ended in her biting my arm etc. I am not sure why she does it a friend said it could be she is possesive of you. She never bites my partner at all.

  11. Deb says:

    Have a 2 year old Aktia Kuma get jealous when are cat gets on are bed when she is on the bed what can I do to Stop it

  12. Terri says:

    My 18 month old is 1/2 way through her 2nd heat, I’m really worried because she’s not ate for 2 days. I’ve tried to tempt her with puppy goodies, but she’s not interested. Is it normal for her too be off her food? Thank you for your time x

  13. Barb says:

    My 3yr old male German Shepherd was at the park. A man and little boy came to the park. When they threw a frisbee Max ran to it and stepped on it breaking the toy. Ilater the booty threw a basketball Max chased the ball. When it stopped the man and child went to pick it up, when the man bent to get the ball Max tried to take it the man pushed Max away then the child started screaming and the man fanned his hands at Max as if to push him away. He says the child is really scared of dogs. When he grabbed the child, the child still screaming, he again pushed Max away that’s when Max bite him. He says Max tried to bite the child the bite did not break the skin. I spoke to Max to stop to make a long story short the man tried to take the ball from Max so did the child then Max acted strange I’ve never seen this before, the child was screaming crying the man was pushing Max away help is my buddy an aggressive dog???

  14. Debra says:


    I totally understand what your saying to do when a dog is jealous of you; however, my dog is over the top. If one of my cats or my new puppy comes in my lap he goes ballistic. He starts leaping trying to get into my lap. if I reach down to get his leash he will try to bite my hand. I have to use my feet to keep him away and it does not stop untill the animal is on the ground. When the animal is on the ground he will chase it unless I have a hold of his leash. I believe if he got a hold of my cat or my puppy he would kill it. This dog is Maltese/Eskimo mix. I have only had him for like 3 weeks. He is seven months old and I am his thrid owner. The lady I got him from suspected he was not treated very well in his first home. I cannot let him harm my other animals. He will even bite me –my hand or my legs. I believe all these homes is causing him to act this way. Please tell me what to do. Train in a way that is safe for the animal I am holding and myself.

  15. LaVerne Kirton says:

    Just taken on a foster small 5 year old terrier cross. Fiesty/Bossy/Growly/Snappy. Has attached himself big time to husband and tolerates me! Was sterilised a couple of weeks ago. Happy to go for walks with our other dog (Female Min Pin 10 years old) and obeys commands ie: “Waiting” “To Me” . He continually growls and goes for our other Foster who is 15 years Cross Maltese and Blind. He comes for snuggles with me but prefers to be constantly with other half to the point of obsession/possessiveness. Not sure what his background was. Don’t want to give up on him so any ideas on how to proceed would be appreciated. Up to now has just been 5 mins ‘time out’ shut in the laundry room. He does know he has been ‘naughty’ and comes to make amends.

  16. Mars says:

    Loves the info provided here, I need more specific help. I adopted a 2yr old Italian greyhound chihuahua mix a year and half ago and besides occasional marking and fence fighting (more like playing, running back and forth excitedly) with the neighbor dog he is exceptionally well behaved, kennel trained and knows his basic commands very well. We have boundaries for him, he is confined to certain areas of the house(due to previous marking) and isn’t allowed on the couch(would literally vault couch and pounce on our heads while laying down), and isn’t allowed to jump on laps without permission. We always go to his level and get on the floor and lay down and cuddle him.

    I know when I adopted him he had gone through 3 different families before he came to us(not fosters, adoptive) the first was a young couple who had a baby and gave him back for “jumping on the baby” the 2nd family had kids and I believe he was scared of them and may have bit. He is protective of his belongings namely his food bowl, and some toys. We have worked on it, he’s never growled or bared his teeth with me but has tried with my husband(which stopped). When he was new in our family and we’d had family members over he had tried to nip and chase them away when they were too close to his items or would pet him but get scared and try to nip. He’s much better now and lets any adult pet him and play with him and his toys but not near his food.

    I have a few problems now, He seems to dislike some(not all)young children. We had our 8 year old nephew over with some family after the birth of our baby(the boy wasn’t acting crazy or talking loud he was very quiet and sitting still) and out of nowhere my dog lunged, and chased while trying to nip the boy if he’d even try to move a muscle. But! With my 10yr old niece he was content to have her pet him and call him over. I don’t know if something happened when they were once at my house while I was gone and the kids were unmonitored with my dog(I was upset when I found out this had happened) when I got home later he started to submissive pee when I greeted him. So now fast forward to bringing a baby into the picture, we set clear boundaries, no jumping, no approaching unless invited. He enjoys smelling her, will lay next to our feet when we had her in our arms, now she’s 6 months and becoming mobile, she has always been fascinated with him but has never tried to “get or touch that little fur bro”, he loves when we control her hand to pet him he seeks her attention but knows not to approach unless we encourage him to, he will lean his back up against her side(we are always holding her on the floor during these interactions. But it seems lately we’ve had a regression with him marking entry ways to the family room(where we spend most of our time as a unit, baby’s playpen. I’m not sure if he’s feeling threatened, territorial or insecure. So many factors but my main concern is whether when she’s older if he’ll differentiate between children who are in his pack and children who are not in his pack. He’s well loved and has a routine and we know his past has been shakey and he’s insecure at times, can you give me some advice? Thanks!

  17. Everlena Hemingway says:

    I am mom to a 29 year old autistic man. My dog is a daschound. She is young. Lately, when she sees me and my son interacting together or sitting together, she tries to sit in my lap and will move from where she is sitting to be close to me. She will try to Lucknow kiss me, which i don’t care for, then she is down casted. She has been refusing to eat lately, and not following my commands. I try to let her be free with other family members, and allow them to let her. She cannot take the place of my son, but she thinks she owns me. Some guidance would help me here, as she insists on pushing on between us.

  18. My friend has very thin skin and he does break the skin when he nips at her. Is there something I can put on his mouth to keep from biting her when she comes over

  19. Javel says:

    My wife brought home a stray that she found at her job. She seems to go crazy and try to like me or bother me only when my sits next to me in her chair but leaves me alone when she is gone. Why does she do that.

  20. Amber says:

    I have a golden retriever. My dog is very affectionate towards people! Jumps and rolls on her back cause she’s so excited (which I tend to change soon “the jumping”) she is 1 year and 3 months. Very sweet girl. But when it comes to a dog acting like their going to attack me with bitting and such, she becomes more protective. Like she can’t help it since that another dog is being alittle aggressive. When I leave to go to work, she’s in the care of my roomate, she tends to stay by the door until I get home. When I ge home she’s all over the place! Which I love cause it makes me feel loved. When I’m in bed, I realize, she has to be able to see me at all times. When I cover my face with my blanket and can’t see me, she is up trying to get the cover of my face. She gives me a couple of licks to my face and goes back to her bed. I’ll cover my face again… and she does the same. If a golden ratriever isn’t protective… then i don’t know who your kidding. She is pure breed with papers. So she’s not mixed but very protective of my against other dogs when they seem aggressive towards me and I’ve been talking her to the dog park since she was 10 months old (cause I was to scared to take her earlier with all the sickness and such). She’s very subbmissive when dogs aren’t all over me…. so who said a golden ratriever couldn’t be protective. 🙂

  21. My dog goes after my boyfriend when he gets near me. This is something he started doing months ago. Is there a reason he does this and what can I do to make him stop.?

  22. Susan Miner says:

    When my husband comes to bed and tries to move the dog she lashes out at him. She’s new to the family. We don’t know why she’s doing that because she really loves him. Only until it’s time for him to get in bed. Any suggestions?

  23. I have a 6yr old spanial mix, I got him 4yrs ago from shelter, he is very attached to me and follows me everywhere he is jealous of my cat and growls and has gone for him before! But my worse problem is when I walk him and he sees other dogs he growls and barks at them and has a look on his face like he really wants to attack them! When somebody calls him to them he cowers and walks very slowly over to them like he is gonna be hit or something! He’s not aggressive towards people but just so meen around other animals! He has never had a fight but if another dog made the first move then I’m sure he would fight! He doesnt get excited about snacks so i cant even reward him! He also whines and pushes his food a round bowl like he’s trying to bury it! Then carrys a few pieces to the rug and eats them! I want to take him to my son’s with me but as my son has a lovely lab, I’m afraid my dog will be aggressive toward him! Is there anyway I can stop this behavior?

    1. Onna Keys says:

      How do I get my 12 year old chiweenie to accept this new 8 week old Chorkie… my empty nest baby is an emotional wreck and won’t even sleep or be near me and the new puppy after day 4 🙁

  24. Kimberly says:

    Wow, this really gave me some insight into my dog’s beahvior! From the descripitions you’ve listed, I think mine to possive AND jealous of me! Its so strange, I NEVER heard of a dog being posessive over his owner! I am just happy now that I understand where his anxious and clingy behavior is stemming from. I have started a training regimine a week ago to instill self confidence in him, and it is turning out great! Now I can walk around the house freely without him following me obsessively. Not only is he not worried about being by my side 24/7 but he is now comfortable on his own.

  25. Veronica Ivey says:

    Thank you very much, I think I understand her better now

  26. Ben says:

    My dog is 6 months old ,playful friendly ,he barks at a familiar person before tje incident he was playing with my dog . Few days back i was close with them and was playing with some children . My dog gets friendly with them but at the same time attacks them .i am confused with the behaviour.Today morning he passed blood in stools 2 drops and cries during defecation .pls help me out

  27. Brandi says:

    My dog is 6months old
    Me and my boyfriend can’t be in same room because he will attack him
    But if he is alone or if I’m alone he is okay

  28. Sylvie says:

    My 10 month old Goldendoodle LOVES people and animals and when we go on walks he will pull towards people and when I stop him and talk to these people he jumps at me and bites my arm and barks…. like saying no I want to play with them NOT you.

  29. Robyn says:

    I have 2 male Dobermans. The are 4 & 5 years old. They have been fine for the last 4 years. Recently fighting has started. The Older dog shakes when he sees his brother. The older dog is the alpha. His whole body shakes. When the dogs meet at the stairway there is growling and fights. If I go to the let dogs outside and if they are both at the back door a fight will start. I brought them to the dog park and they get along just fine there. But when we get home its back to square 1. I need help. Reading the article about the jealous/possessive dog seems like my older dog.

  30. Emily lopez says:

    Have a rescue dog for about a year,very hyper,now have another dog in house,the older one wants to attack him it seems,barks very nervous! Makes life miserable! Help!

    1. Kimberly says:

      Maybe the older one doesnt have patience for a hyperactive pup.

  31. Ivy Eschert says:

    Hi I really need help I have a two-year-old Rottweiler mix and I have a 4 pound Pomeranian Shih Tzu mix my larger dog has gotten very possessive over everything and attacked my 4 pound today my four pounder now doesn’t want to come out from underneath the bed she is scared to death She doesn’t want to come near me but she’s always near me and she won’t come off of the bed what can I do

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hi I could use a little help. I have a 3 yr old dog (just turned 3) he was raised with other dogs, cats, new people, kids, rabbits, and 4-h pigs. When I’m around he is behaved listens on the spot but if I leave and he gets locked up he has a run in the back room that’s 9 ft long bye 3 foot wide he weighs 65lbs. Well when I leave he becomes aggressive to the other pets like he is trying to kill them. But as soon as I come home he is fine and letting the cats cuddle with him on the sofa and give him kisses. I can not figure this out please help.

  33. Julie Bounds says:

    Hi…I have very jealous 6 yr pomarain mix Blake….normally not really a problem. As he tends to just ignore other people and animals..even the other 3large dogs that stay outside..on my ranch..he’s ok question?? I have rescued very small female puppy… Approximately 7 to 8 weeks old… Needless to say Blake is very unhappy and depressed…he will growl and snap..when puppy gets close…mostly Blake will just stay in the bedroom and wants nothing to do with me…Will a jealous dog ever accept new puppy ?

    1. Sarah says:

      Julie, he will but you need to work with him and only reward good behavior.

    2. Kimberly says:

      I dont think he’s jealous. He just doesnt want to be bothered by a rambunctious puppy!

  34. Annette Olsson says:

    My girl is 7 and when I kept one of her puppies to be a friend/companion the 7 year old has become so aggressive, literally attaches her daughter in vicious combat! Happens anytime!! She is this way to other dogs even when I’m not around! My girls are Morkies and weigh 6 lbs

  35. Morry says:

    My cocker spaniel and poodle mix (spell check keeps me from spelling the name) is very protective of me at night. He plants himself next to me and won’t let others near me. If he is laying on his pillow in the room and someone gets near me he will run over to protect me. What do I do?

  36. Vernon Caruthers says:

    When I sit on the commode my Yorkie barks and growls especially when I have to clean myself. Help

  37. Lala Rowe says:

    I have two male dogs that are four years old . They are four months apart in age. On and off they would get into fights until each got neutered and there was no fighting for two and a half years. Now they have had two fights in the last two months. It is when they are around me. I am the trigger . I used to see when they were aggravated and that was how we got to a point of peace in our home. Now there is no warning . The smaller of the two usually starts the fight and gets hurt by the bigger one. Any suggestions?? Please.

  38. Dawn says:

    we have a 10month old english bulldog, she is very sweet, except to my female schnauzer, appears to be more jealously but she has started attacking her. We have yelled trying to make her see we are not happy, made it worse, time outs. It only happens if we are there, I have watched them outside and she doesn’t mess with her. If I can’t correct the behavior, I will have to get rid of her before she really hurts the schnauzer.

  39. Karen O'Brien says:

    We rescued a young adult chihuahua. She is good most of the time. But anytime she burrows under blanket you accidentally bump her she is aggressive. She won’t stop nipping at are german Shepard. We think she was severely teased or abused. How do we help her feel more secure. Not always on edge. Otherwise she has cute personality and is sweet.

    1. Kate says:

      This sounds like a typical chihuahua. Most of them burrow and that is their space. Do you find she is doing this when you are near? They tend to claim someone. Nipping at the German Shepard is just her trying to become the alpha. Chihuahuas nip. They nip at other chi’s and small dogs, big dogs and some are nippier than others. Usually the loudest is the weaker, so she may have been the weaker of her old pack and is now trying to find a “useful purpose.” By being vocal or just plain establishing her comfort zones around the larger dog. From her angle, the dog just standing there is intimidating due to the size difference. Your poor shepard probably doesn’t know what the heck to do now that he is sharing his world with this little tyrant. I say this in a loving way. I have 3 chi’s, one chorkie and maltese, maltiese/chihuahua, too. The biggest behavior to look out for is more aggression centered around you or another person. If the behavior is happening around you or another “claimed” individual the best thing to do is just get up and not allow the dog to stay close too long to the point of “possession.” Not to also compromise the love given to the bigger dog to make the smaller dog feel better. That just reinforces her aggression. Anyway, good luck. Chis are wonderful pets! Loyal and loving, but a wonderful handful!!

  40. Stanleyrose says:

    My t year old golden retriever plays with my four grand kids but he won’t have anything to do with the 5 year old

  41. Mattie Carlin says:

    I still can’t get my adopted Pomeranian to eat her food without watching my min pin and growling at her. When the min pin is finished, she comes near the Poms bowl to see if there is a crumb left. But in the meantime the Poms hasn’t eaten a thing. She has been watching the min pin eat and when she’s done the pom will eat. But the fight starts when the min pin comes to see the Poms bowl
    It’s almost as if the Pom is saying. I will save mime and eat it very slowly in front of you. And if you come anywhere near me I will attack you. This goes on until I have to sit down until the Pom is finished and keep the min pin from coming near the Pom.
    Meanwhile the Pom is looking for the min pin to see where she is and Pom growls and snaps and walks away from her food, then watches the min pin. If min pin goes near it , Poms comes snarling back to the food bowl and eats a bite or two, keeping her eyes on min pin. Then it starts all over again. I have tried feeding in different rooms, but the Poms just waits for min pin to finish, and wants min pin to make a try for her food. This is so stressful on me, I feed them twice a day and I dread feeding time, because they have come to actual rough vicious fights between them. They also fight over me too. Or rather my lap.

  42. I have a part Pitbull part basset hound and he only growls at my boyfriend when he’s at home he doesn’t growl at anybody else in the house is a very aggressive growl but he shaking when he growls I don’t know what to do I’ve been working with him for a while now to get him to stop doing this I need help or else my boyfriend says he has to go.

    1. Casey says:

      Dump your boyfriend instead. I would abandon an animal like that.

    2. Theresa says:

      Dump the boyfriend.

  43. Bea Soto says:

    I have a deer head Chihuahua and I got her when she was 8 months old from somebody that wasn’t able to have animals with them and she has been aggressive towards other people and animals when she’s around me and I just don’t know what to do anymore I have cats can I have to keep them in there Safe Haven houses so they don’t get hurt or the dog doesn’t get hurt I just don’t know what to do no more I can’t afford dog training so is there anybody out there that can help me get me some advice what I can do I love her and I don’t want to get rid of her but I just don’t know what to do anymore with her in my other dog is starting to follow in her footsteps because she was raised by all my cats and now she’s being aggressive towards the only because she sees the my deer head Chihuahua do it so anybody have any advice or somewhere where I could take her that doesn’t cost too much money to train her for her aggressiveness and her over possessiveness

  44. sue bayley says:

    We have a 5 year old female English Blue Staffy. Absolute beautiful dog. Twice this week a friendly neighbours dog has got out and come to visit. The two dogs were playing in the yard for over 1 hour, both very friendly towards each other. I went down to see how they were going and as i went to walk towards them, my staff just turned and attacked the other dog for no reason at all. She did this on both days. Never has she been aggressive towards another dog before. I am very concerned. Why would she be doing this?

  45. gale melton says:

    My dog is 5 years old. He has been around my cats (female cats) since
    he was given to me as a puppy. My grandson last year got his girlfriend a male kitten. The kitten is a year old now. My dog, does not want any of the cats coming around our bed, and if they should walk by in the middle of the night, he goes into a rage. He also will jump on the cats.
    I have ignored him, he loves to play fetch, and when he acts out like this I refuse to throw his toy, and I also, don’t talk to him. I don’t know what to do, I love all my animals, and have also gotten attached to the newest one that lives in my house.

  46. Hi
    All of my life/ til now, I have loved dogs, been drawn to them, and vice versa. However, this past month, one Bullador I quietly passed, burned an took a chunk out of my left calf; another small fluffy white dog barked visciously and aggressively at me from a half-block away; and yesterday a large blk ‘n’ white Huskie/Border Collie barked visciously and aggressively at me from across the street!? I am now petrified. Do they SMELL something, see something? I live in a dog bldg., have walked this city day and evening carrying bags or not, any season of the year, wearing any color, layers or light clothing, same body, same hair, am not ill, etc. What makes them bark NOW?

    1. Diane says:

      Hello, I have a 2 yr old beagle/terrier. She was the perfect dog. She was house trained very easily by my other dog,a shihpoo. My shihpoo was ran over and killed so my beagle/terrier was alone for about a year. Now she is a female. Just recently we acquired a male shihpoo so she would have someone to play with. The problem is, with the beagle/terrier, she will let you pet her for a little bit, then start whining and start snapping at you. I am worried she is going to hurt someone. Please help, what do I do??? Thank you

  47. Victoria says:

    In my cousins neighborhood there is a big dog named candy and a little dog named coffee. When someone calls coffee, candy goes over to coffee grabs her by the neck aggressively and shakes her. Coffee squeals in pain and candy just keeps on doing it.

    1. squarto says:

      Id be outraged and i would punish the big dog quickly and firmly. , that dog needs training or keep away from he litle one! What is wrong with you? That is cruel to the little one!!!

  48. Cynthia says:

    Every night lately my dog barks, nips and growls for attention. He thinks it’s fun. I have tried everything I have read to stop him. Ignore him, tap his nose his rear, newspaper, time out etc. etc and he does it until I finally go to bed to get away from him.
    I work at home outside. He knows our routine and generally this only
    happens at night when it used to be “our couch time”. Now it’s aggrevation time. Help.

  49. Eva lacks says:

    Dog is fine until my helper tries sometimes to take him to potty,if,dog doesn^the want to leave me,then he
    Will growl & bite him. What can I do?

    1. Annette Olsson says:

      My girl is 7 and when I kept one of her puppies to be a friend/companion the 7 year old has become so aggressive, literally attaches her daughter in vicious combat! Happens anytime!! She is this way to other dogs even when I’m not around! My girls are Morkies and weigh 6 lbs

  50. i have a 21month old yorkie – pappalion female when i first got her i became ill & could not take care of her full time, my husband had to do a lot for her as i had vision problems at night , this has caused my puppy to hate me, she only likes me to feed her, play with her ,even though i took her care over afyer my vision got better (6 weeks) now the older she gets she hates me, except for when she wants attention under her terms, i am considering get rid of her or putting her down

  51. Brenda Kiser says:

    I took in a dog that people didn’t want she never got any attention stay chained up outside and no dog house since I took her in she bit the ear of my collie and barks and growls at my family I took her to the vet had all her shots and now she’s scratching and she has skin problem so now I sign her up for classes at pet smart hes really a sweet dog and I’m getting attached I don’t know what to do I don’t want to have to get rid of him

    1. Andrea says:

      I hear ya, I just took in an abused dog as well a few weeks ago. She is very sweet. However she snips at my son. He pets her and she tries to bite his hand and snipped at his face today. He is kind to her and I didn’t understand why she behaved like this until I figured out she is jealous. She has attached herself to me and is jealous of my son. She also gets jealous when I pay attention to the cats but she is afraid of them lol. I got angry when she hurt my son, but I will be patient and teach her that that behavior is not ok and that she will have to get used to life with us. I hope your situation works out, your dog sounds possessive of you.

      1. Kathy says:

        Really Andrea your dog is more important than your son?!? There are to many good dogs out there it is not fair to your son to get bit all the time because his own mother doesn’t want to give up on a aggressive dog. I bet if the dog was biting you all the time it wouldn’t even be in your house, you should be reported for child abuse.

    2. Angels4paws says:

      Since she never had any attention or love before in her life, it makes sense that she’s very scared she’s going to lose what she treasures so much. Therefore she feels she needs to keep everyone else away to earn all your attention and love. Hopefully the training classes will help. Best of luck to you, and please don’t give up. You are the only chance she has at life.

  52. Meryl says:

    Thank you for clarifying the difference between possessive, jealous and protective. I was thinking my dog was possessive but now I see he is jealous sometimes, and protective. And thank you for the explicit instructions, I now know what to do because I better understand what my dog is thinking.

  53. Ally says:

    Sadly, this descibes our 6 year old male dog Boo perfectly and he has been insecure since birth. He is very attached to my husband and tries to dominate anyone else by showing his teeth, growling or barking when I hug my husband. We have a new almost 2 year old female service dog Bindy that is very calm and submissive, however Boo is now even more jealous aggressive to humans and shows a lot of anxiety. I include him in Bindys daily training, he gets everything before her and he has special alone time with us. maybe a vet visit would be helpful. We have tried much of your suggestions. If you have any more ideas we would appreciate it. We love Boo, however he is making it very unpleasant to be with him. Thank you!

  54. Meg says:

    My son has a 14week collie pup , when I visit and my son is not in the room she will bite at my clothing and sometimes of I sit down waiting for my son she will jump up on me bite at my clothing and my hair. Help please

    1. Angels4paws says:

      That sounds like a very typical puppy.

  55. DeeDee says:

    I have 2 male pugs and female shitzu and a female female French bull dog. One pug is teapots and protective of the shitzu. Barks and cries and aggressive. When people come or go. He cries. How do I ignore him??

  56. Wanda says:

    My 2 year old dog who is a Yorkie won’t let anyone near my kitten. He keeps licking the kitten. We have 3 other kittens who are bigger. He growls and won’t let the kids near the kitten. Why?

  57. Ricki says:

    Help I have a 4 yr old chawaua and she is very possessive over me. She lays under the blanket in my chair and growls at my lab/ blue healer mix who is almost 12. Evert time my lab scatches, or gets up to get water or go out side the chawaua growls and tries to bite her. They were raised together since birth and it seems to get worse. My lab is old and not real healthy but the other day she went after the chawaua and did bite her (she didn’t hurt her though) I’m afraid one day it’s going to go to far. Please help my possessive growling, snapping, biting chawaua

  58. K. C. says:

    Do these guidelines apply to all genders of dogs? The article is written with exclusively male pronouns, so is this just male dog behavior?

  59. Kim says:

    My boyfriend and I spar in the living room (fake fighting). My dog jumps up on me every time. I can’t tell if he is protecting one of us. He does not appear to want to play. Thoughts?

  60. Andrew Jones says:

    I am having a serious problem at my home right now. We have a yorkiepoo and a goldendoodle. The yorkiepoo is 7 years old and the goldendoodle is 2 years old. For the past month, the goldendoodle out of nowhere will attack the yorkiepoo and it gets very nasty. Its actually very scary because if we wouldn’t be there, the goldendoodle would probably kill the yorkiepoo. I don’t know what is triggering this but I need some help. My mom is scared that the goldendoodle is going to kill the yorkiepoo. It happened again today. The little one cried and now he can’t walk right.

    1. squarto says:

      Get rid of the goldendoodle, immediately! Or find a good home for the little one. All the bad owners here really make me angry! Who would let their CHILD be threatened by a dog a allow a big dog to hurt a little one? There is NO EXCUSE for allowing this. These dogs should not be bred and if you can’t afford the training, or keep them away from the other dog 100% of the time you must get rid of them.

    2. Linda says:

      If it’s a sudden behavior change with no reason you can see, I’d take the goldendoodle to the vet. There may be an underlying cause. In either case start a strict training regime. Crating it when you are not at home and maybe try tethering it for a while (tie it to a leash and to you so it has to obey). Just because you want to try and help him not immediately get rid of him does NOT make you a bad owner. You can’t let it continue, but try to fix the problem.

    3. Nita Anderson says:

      Go to a Pet Store of your choice and purchased The Pet Corrector!! It is an orange can that looks like a med skinny hair spray can…..and when you push down on the spray, out comes air and boy do they ever stop doing what they are doing!!! I have it when I go to the doggy park just in case they’re squabbles. The air reminds them of hissing ,(snakes) believe me, any behavior will stop with this. My dogs see the orange can now and they know they better behave. Cost is about $25 -35 depending on the size!!

  61. rachel says:

    I just had a question or two about some behavior. So we have two lab pit mixes that are 7 months and sisters. They are finishing basic training (we got them at about six months) and they are really sweet. The older one seems to get snippy/mouthy with the other one when they get a new toy like she tries to take both and she barks and grabs/snaps at her sister. It used to happen when we fed them but now it doesn’t sense we set “rules” sit stay after finishing; but she has also done it on some random occasions that we don’t know why. I was just wondering if she is just showing dominance and if we should put them in the crate to introduce new toys (no time soon). I also have a question about meeting new dogs. The more dominant one seems to be protective when they meet a dog together she just starts to bark a lot while the other one is fine, but when she is alone she is fine meeting other dogs is there a way to change this, it is the same with playing. Separate they are fine, together its a lot (not aggressive) just need to keep an eye on I guess. Is there a way to change these behaviors- when we got them about 2 months ago is when we started to introduce them to dogs (first time really- they were crated full time almost before that)- they are still getting adjusted I guess, but they are big cuddle bugs.

  62. Michelle Lowder says:

    Can I get your thoughts? I’ve had my dog, Charlie, for about 7 years. Prior to moving in with my fiance, it was just the two of us. Now it’s the two of us, my fiance, another dog, and some cats. He barks and growls every time my fiance comes home and give me a kiss and growls any time my fiance or his dog get close to me when we’re laying down in bed. He plays with his dog just fine. It’s just when they get too close for me.

  63. Jennifer says:

    I’m having issues with my year and a half old Rottie. I was advised to fix him and have but he seems to have jealous and possessive behavior – he’s very Alpha. He is great to my little boy- will get down and play with him no issue. But when it comes to me he stands up and fights me when I try to even touch his collar (as he’s suddenly taken to jumping off the deck and taking off to the neighbors yard) – I try to snap a lead on his pinch collar to walk him to and from the fenced yard now due to the escape incidents and when I try to snap the lead on he stands up and fights me. I’m all bruised and scratched and luckily he’s not biting but I’m fearful now. I’m not a large woman and he’s very big. He’s hurt me pretty bad on several occasions. If I’m petting him and I stop his ears are down and I know that is a sign he will stand up on me then as well – he gets between me and my boyfriend if he even comes near me (he’s recently moved in and is a very large man) but he’s even tried standing up and fighting him when he tries to snap the lead on him or grab his collar. He’s very aggressive about the collar and I have no idea why. I’ve had him since he was six weeks he’s always been well cared for and socialized never mistreated. I’m so frustrated and confused about what I need to do.

  64. Marconnier says:

    My dog is kind of jealous, or needy
    For instance when I take my baby girl (2yo) to the children’s playground, I also take Panda (1yo dog, male). When she has learned something new like climbing the slide he’s going to do the same thing, and sometimes it’s kind of impressive: he crossed the rope bridge!!
    If I’m talking with someone for too longor if he heard his name in the conversation, he start to bark shaking his tail and jumping around to get our attention. Sometime when we eat, one of his toys sort of fly through the room and land in my plate (I don’t know how he learned to do that). Also, when I tie my baby shoelaces he comes inbetween us to lick us both separating us, he does that too when my husband and I kiss. He follows me everywhere, sometime he awaits me behind the toilets (but he does love stinky stuff like feet or armpit following exercise) I open the door and see his black nose and his eyes saying “I know what you did”
    BUT, the second he sees his dog friend (Google), he forget we even exist.

  65. Teresa Rowan says:

    My dog gizmo pees on me or my other dog taco every time hold him if I’m not holding him my dog gizmo is fine what could this be

  66. Julie says:

    My she has a dog he growls and tries to bite if he in a bedroom with anyone, it doesn’t mater who enters or if it day or night or who in the bedroom.
    But only in the bedroom.. Me I think he shouldn’t be in the bedroom at all… What do you think…

  67. My 5 dog bark when my boyfriend has walked in from work. Or if he’s in the kitchen and comes out they all bark and I have to scream everyday and it unpleasant. I want them to stop

  68. D. Peterson says:

    Okay, so my sweet Male /NewFoundland/Lab mix is almost 10 years old. The last three encounters he has had with my cousins 4 year old male lab have been bad. He starts out ok, but as my cousin’s dog follows him around, he becomes irritated and lunges at him teeth showing. He has never ever shown this before around any other animal. I know my cousin has abused his dog with his hands. And he is really needy and it is terribly sad. Can my dog sense he is been beaten? Is there some weird physiological thing going on here?

  69. Ashlyn says:

    I have a 7 year old teacup chihuahua. It’s been 6 years since I have had a “live in” significant other while I’ve had her, and she bites my current boyfriend at night. It doesn’t matter how close or far away he is and we even use separate blankets and she still bites. When I try to put her sleeping in her own bed she literally crys the whole time until we put her back in bed. If anyone knows tricks please help!

    1. squarto says:

      a muzzle.

      1. LW says:

        That is really bad advice. A chihuahua is one of the dog breeds that should never be muzzled. It is a dog breed that is brachycephalic or prone to a collasping trach.
        I wouldn’t muzzle it due to the risk pf injury or death.

  70. Mark Wagner says:

    MY wife passed away 5 months ago and have 2 dogs the small one is trying to nip at my female friend who comes to see me, keep in mind e little dog has been in control of the house until, just recently what do I do to combat this bad behavior, both dogs have been only there with me and
    now there s someone new in picture.

  71. Alyssa says:

    I’m kinda confsued on this… I’ve have a 2 year old doverman and she is most dominant with me and she knows I’m her so say “master” .. well I went to the humain society and I was lookin at this dog and we did a meet . he is a rott mix with golden retriever. he is very playful and jumpy and they got along very well and the staff said one of the best meets they had and so I adopted and shortly after we got home when ever I tried petting him she would attack him but he didn’t mind cause he is a big dog I guess. and he hasn’t but her unless it’s a playful bite lol. and it’s even then simplest touch that makes her nuts or even if my kids touch him she will get “jealous” and steel his bones or whatever. also my kids where showing me only if they would touch her and not him , she would be calm and play with him but if we touched him she just attacked him . I don’t know what to do.. I want to try a shock collar agian on my doverman but I don’t know if they would help. could someone give me some ideas?

  72. Karson says:

    Hi! I have a very serious problem with my dog. I’m afraid he isn’t going to die of old age, rather, another owner is going to put him down. My 6 year old maltese terrier, Baxter, is very attached. I can’t even get up to go to the bathroom without him following and scratching on the door. I love him a lot, but his overattachment makes him get jealous very quickly, and he’s very protective. On this topic, everything said doesn’t match what my dog does. He doesn’t start barking, or whining, he flat out loses his mind and goes bolting another dog. Just a few days a go, one of our neighbours dog got out, and was sitting in our yard. I was not aware, so I let my dog out and I almost immediatley say the other dog and regretted it. My dog bolted at it, and started barking and scratching it. I don’t know how to stop him!

  73. Gail Giddings says:

    Wow! Great article, full of helpful information that really delineates the two behavior types. In my opinion, this will be especially helpful to not just the newer dog owners, but also for those that have had many dogs. In my day, there wasn’t a lot of information out there on dog behavior, and we made a lot of mistakes. I’m so happy this is changing, thanks to people like Linda Cole.

  74. Sarah says:

    I have no idea if any of these behaviors describe my dogs, but I’m really at a loss and figured I’d share in case you have any insight. My dogs are very habituated to my husband, who works mostly from home, so they’re almost always on his schedule. He walks them three times a day and they know all of his cues, plus he basically sticks to the same schedule with them every day. They certainly remind him if not! My problem is that when my husband is gone, even just for an evening, both our male and female dogs are fairly aggressive with me. They bark at me in a way that sounds aggressive. It’s not whining, and it’s not “hey feed me” it is definitely a very, very angry bark. Even if I try to mimic my husband’s schedule they can’t seem to just chill, or it takes us a few days (if he’s gone for awhile) for them to settle down. Our female dog constantly pushes me if she wants something (namely to go outside or for a walk). I mean, she literally comes up to me and pushes me with her paw. She has bruised my thigh with her nails, so it’s not like a gentle nudge. Even when I’m in the process of getting her ready to walk (putting on her harness) she does it. The other issue is that the dogs will fight, though I guess it’s more like playing, around me, and only me (another symptom of my husband’s absence). I can’t get them to stop. They bark and go at each other. My only recourse has been to try not to react, as I’m assuming yelling back at them only heightens whatever they’re trying to express. Any ideas why they treat me this way? We have two teenage sons in the house and they don’t do it to them, it’s only me. Help! Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far 🙂

  75. krystal daniels says:

    My pup is 2 1/2 years old. She has been potty trained sence she was 6 months (her first owners had her as an out side only dog). I had my first baby 6 months ago. For tge past week she will ONLY go potty in the babys room or door way, and not just pee but poop. Its getting worse and worse! Also she has peed on my pillow and on my husbands clothes! But every day at least 3x she will poop or pee… im at wits end… please help

    1. squarto says:

      crate her, diapers…and re potty training

  76. Mimi Gill says:

    Help please we have a 9 month old pit bull we got her when she was almost 6 months. all has been well except a few weeks ago when my husband would get ready in the morning he would try to reach on the bed to grab keys wallet cigs a lighter he does this a few times as he always forgets something most of the time im laying in the bed i wake up with him but still lay in the bed. Anyway when my husband reaches for these things she tries to bite him now. We thought maybe its his hat so we took it off nope she still does it so i said maybe she is mad ur leaving i said lets not let her out of the crate till ur ready to walk out the door so we tried that all was well except now when he gets home from work shes doing it to him. Im usually sitting in bed doing paperwork or on phone n dog is there with me he takes his keys wallet etc out to lay on bed she tries to bite him. She is growling as well when she does this we have tried correcting her its not working. Im upset because she is awesome with our 6 yr old son and she is protective of us and the house. Im the one who actually got her im the one who feeds her and puts her in her crate at night and takes her out in the morning i walk her as well to and from bus stop and take her all over woth me for car rides. My husband takes her on a car ride every sat morning just them to n he walks her at least once a day she is fine any other time with him. This growling n trying to bite only happens when im on the bed with her n when my husband trys to reach for anything even bending down to kiss me n say bye she dont like it now if i walk out into another room to kiss him she comes out with us but she ignores what we do. Im at a loss because this came out of no where n its a huge problem for my husband he wants to get rid of her which im not ok with. My husband was bragging about how shes a great dog n blah blah blah n about 4 weeks ago this started. I would like to add im a stay at home mom im the only one there with her all day so i know she is bonded to me but what happened that my husband cant touch the bed anymore? If im not here she lays in bed woth my husband n climbs up in his lap on the bed when i come home n get in bed all is fine so its confusing n frustrating. Id also like to add the family we got her from was black and we r white she dies not like white people but shes ok with us and my side immediate family. Others not so much i have been socializing her tho with ither people its going so so. The people i got her from had her living in this little crate outside no shelter from rain cold nothing she was in it all winter till we got her in Jan 2016. She was also underfed. There was no pbysical abuse as the family lives 3 house up from us i saw her everyday. Besides forgetting about her they didnt really do anything to or with her. I had to lure her into our home once they told me i could take her and since than we love her. We do not have a lot of money we live paycheck to paycheck so i dont have money to get a behavior specialist. Any thoughts or help would b appreciated. Also any questions please ask. If we can stop this one thing my husband says we will keep her because she is a great family dog. One more thing we have cats who she loves n when she sees other animals she trys to play woth them as well 90 percent of the time she only becomes aggressive if the other animal does. I can stick my hand in her food bowl while shes eating n i can take the bowl she doesnt growl or anything but if one of our cats go near her while shes eating she gets aggressive for that second than goes back to eating any other time she plays with the cats. So anything that will help please email me or comment. Thanks 🙂

    1. Molly Phillips says:

      Hi Mimi!

      It sounds like your dog has taken on the bed as a resource and is now guarding it from your husband. She may feel that when he is putting his things on the bed, they become her things, and now she is trying to take them back. Not all resource guarders guard food! The first thing you need to do IMMEDIATELY is do not let her sleep on the bed. You have to establish this as a firm boundary with her so the bed is a safe place for you and your husband. Try crating her at night or making her sleep outside of the bedroom. Do not let her on the bed during the day. To train my dog this way, I sprayed her with a water mist bottle when she would get on the bed, followed with a loud “nuh-uh” and “get down” command. This will take time, but be consistent. Don’t be alarm if she cries the first few weeks at night, too, if she is used to sleeping on the bed. Trust me, it will be worth it.

      Also, I highly recommend doing a training class at Petsmart. They often have classes as inexpensive as $100.

      Your dog sounds amazing, and remember–she needs you! If you give her to a shelter, her behavior may only worsen and she may be euthanized.

      Remember too she is just a puppy and still has much to learn. Don’t give up on her!

  77. Dawn says:

    I have a three year old Chihuahua and I really need help understanding why she does the things she does. She likes to lay on my chest and lay her face or head on my face. Munchkin also hates it when my soon to be wife loves on me, rubs or even touches me. She’ll get in the middle of us by getting on my chest and putting her face in my face, sniffing my eyes mouth and ears. Can someone plz explain why she does this to me and wat does it mean. Ik that it’s a sign of jealousy but wat can I do to stop it. Oh yea she stares in my eyes like she’s lost her bff….desperately seeking help. Ty

  78. Meghan Beebe says:

    I am also having this issue. I have a lab/pit mix (male) named clutch who is a little over a year. My husband rarely discipline’s him where as I do because I feel he is always doing something he shouldn’t be. My husband feels almost as if my dog should be allowed to perform all human behavior and i disagree. Also my husband has had the dog sleeping in the bed since he was a puppy. Now he is WAY to big and I want him OFF. I don’t know how to break this habit and when i kick him off the bed he barks and becomes aggressive like i shouldn’t be telling him what to do. My dog has NEVER bit me and knows biting is bad but when it comes to my husband I cannot even get a hug or kiss in when he walks in the door from work because my dog is so over possessive and jealous. I CANNOT touch my husband without my dog barking at us or trying to push his way in between us. My husband says the dog is just excited to see him and wants love but I feel like it is a constant battle between me and the dog. Almost sometimes like were both fighting over my husband and attention. It is almost like the dog feels he owns my husband therefore no one else can touch him because my husband is “his”. Has anyone ever had this problem? Does anyone have any advice for me. My husband is no longer supporting or calling my dog on the bed but in the middle of the night my dog constantly disobeys and tries to get on the bed. We have gotten him a bed and Ive been practicing telling him to go to his bed and telling him no when i boot his butt off the bed but every time I tell my dog something or he gets in trouble he barks and tests me to the point i toss him in his kennel. Its like he feels he does not have to listen to me whatsoever. someone please help me!!

    1. squarto says:

      the electronic anti bark collar is one idea, while you practice positive training with this dog. It WILL get worse. Your husband needs to be the one putting him in the kennel if he won’t stay in his own bed and is trying to get on yours, not you! He needs to do some behavior training with the dog too.

  79. Megan says:

    I’m having quite an issue with a PitBull that keeps coming back to me. I keep trying to find her a home and in the past three times, she has attacked another dog, almost killing one. This is so new to me because she had never acted this way before. I just wanted to cry when I witnessed the last fight. Since the fight, she has become more aggressive towards people she lived with in my home. I seem to be the only person she never acts differently with. I cannot have a dog that continually wants to attack one of the dogs in my home repeatedly or send her to homes where other dogs live with such aggression. I’m terrified of her getting put down and if I was financially stable, I wouldn’t be searching to find her a new home as I do not own any of the other dogs myself. Just her. This switching from home to home can’t be helping her, but I can’t be okay with sending her somewhere when she is acting progressively more and more vicious. She seems to only get along with me or if children are around, she is happy. But not any other adults or animals. I need help. I can’t afford to have her trained, I can’t even afford a muzzle. The only reason she has food is because the people I live with buy it, anyway and she was already up to date on her shots. Ever since I lost my job, she has had to jump from home to home because no one will devote as much attention to her as she needs and it’s getting to the point where even when she ran away after a fight from another attempt of an owner, she was on her way to my house. I wish the sweet thing could stay. She acts like she only belongs to me, but I can’t have her. I don’t know what I can do with zero money to try to change her behavior. In all the situations, it involved another dog approaching her owners. This time, it was a dog belonging in the house walking to me and she attacked the dog. Someone please give me some advice. I’m not putting her down. She is so lovable towards me, just so weird or angry towards everyone else. She doesn’t want anyone near me.

    1. squarto says:

      Since you have no money , you could try online training, but this dog is dangerous. He should be wearing a muzzle at all times. becuase if your dog did what you said- id shoot him at best , report him and hed go to the pound as a dangerous dog. Sorry, but there is no excuse, except to stop breeding dogs that have this instinct OR keep the dog 100% safely contained and use a muzzle

    2. squarto says:

      You answered your own question. You don’t want to do anything. You can afford to be on the internet and there are many training videos and sites you could be using. But, like the dog, you have every excuse not to do anything. This dog will end up getting taken from you for biting -i just hope its not a small child that gets badly hurt. you are the most irresponsible owner I could imagine. Anyone that van afford food and vets can afford a muzzle, while training the dog to act well socially.

  80. Dana B says:

    I really need some advice for a dog I’m fostering, Winston. I’m very very nervous for him, and any advice would be greatly appreciated. He is a pit mix, which is why I’m extra nervous about anything aggressive. Winston is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met, truly. He is 6y/o and I don’t believe ever mistreated, but his owners surrendered him to the shelter and it just seems like they had no clue how to train a dog whatsoever, he seems like a puppy. But for the most part, he is a great dog, just a handful. I’ve literally only heard Winston bark a handful of times, and it’s usually just playful or he can’t wait to get his food. But today we were walking and there was another really sweet dog, owner asked if he was friendly and I said yes, they played no problem everything was fine. Even when I was petting the other dog, not Winston, no problem. So this guy starts playing with Winston and as usual Winston is just hugging him and licking, just soaking up the attention. After a few minutes, as the two of us are talking and he’s still petting Winston, his dog comes over and he’s petting the two of them at the same time. Out of nowhere, Winston barks VICIOUSLY and snaps, luckily not biting the guy but he definitely could have! I had never ever witnessed anything like this before, and honestly I didn’t think he had an aggressive bone in his body. There have been plenty of times I’ve pet other dogs and he’s played with other dogs… I haven’t seen this. The guy was incredibly patient and knowledgeable and had Winston sniff his (incredibly calm and sweet) dog to reassure him and try to correct the behavior. Cautiously, he tried the same thing again, and the vicious barking and snapping happened again. the thought of Winston being put down terrifies me, especially because he is a pit. So my question is, once you identify the aggression, HOW do you train them otherwise?? Any articles, info, or suggestions would be very much appreciated.

  81. Sam says:

    Great article! I have a year old cattle dog/retriever mix. She is sweet and non-aggressive around people, but when we bring her to the dog park she can be aggressive towards other dogs when a ball is involved. If she is playing rough with a bunch of dogs she will occasionally snap and start a real fight. Both of these behaviors happen sporadically, and its difficult to tell when good fun will head south. If anyone has any tips I would love to hear them!

  82. I have a dog thats completly disobediant ive tried to ignore him he wants his own way like walks or food and begs when me and partner eat even if he has had his own he picks up and eats other dogs feaces and now cause i ignore him he shakes when i go near him like im gonna hurt him and im not that kinda person dont know what to do vet cant advise me does anyone else have advice plz

    1. squarto says:

      positive training-read up on it.

  83. surprisedkinda says:

    I don’t like to be touched but, my dog doesn’t know that. She invades my space all the time. I let it go cause she’s a dog. However, my parent forces affection such as kissing. I hate it but, I can’t say anything cause I won’t have a place to live.

    So, as usual I’m chilling in the bed and watching chapins inferno and my parent is leaving so they come in to force some affection. I make no effort to kiss or anything. I’m frozen and my dog is on the opposite side of my parent. Im very uncomfortable as usual. He/she leans in and oh boy. She snapped. I had to pick her up and slam her on some pillows to restrain her. She literally jumped over me (10 pound dog) and played defense.

    Maybe she could sense by body language? I love this but, I had to protect my parent. I mean if I didn’t grab her. Oh boy. Weird thing is that the dog always chills with the parent over me and I’m cool with that. I gotta make sure she never sees me angry with someone. Lol it was like jam defender or something.

  84. Mollie says:

    Great article. I have a dog, Samson, who is very jealous of our other dog. If Scout comes too close or is getting too much attention, Samson will jump all over him. However, he doesn’t act this way toward anyone else (we have another dog, Sadie, and two cats) except Scout. For some reason, Scout is a threat. Anyone have any idea why that would be?

  85. Lisa Mack says:

    I have a 4 yr old greyhound/lab mix, female. She is jealous of everyone and I belong to her. She has snapped at my small grandchildren and I am unsure how to handle it. I feel she is insecure and needs to be reassured that she is my baby and we can love the grandkids together. Not working.

    1. squarto says:

      You MUST protect the grandkids first!!! This dog needs special training if you are to keep it, until then, keep it away from the grandkids unless you KNOW you can control the situation and no biting , such as a muzzle

  86. Julie says:

    My 2 year old cockapoo recently started attacking the cat when we are eating if she comes near us. I assume it’s because he thinks she is going to get something over him. Should we stand up when he does this? The last time he did it I put him in the bedroom and didn’t let him out until we were done eating. Also, this weekend he went after a golden retriever. My boyfriend was laying on the ground and the golden came over kind of standing over my boyfriend and my dog flipped starting fighting with it until the golden fought back and my 15 lb cockapoo realized he met his match. The rest of the weekend I was worried he was going to instigate another fight with the golden. How do I correct this behavior?

  87. Marie Brown says:

    I have a great very social dog, however it seems that he is a jealous dog. He plays fine with the other dogs at the dog park. Yet if a dog comes over to me and I do more than just pet his head and ignore him, or if that dog keeps standing to close to me, my dog gets jealous & starts barking at him & being aggressive toward him. I spend a lot of time withy dog everyday, & make sure that we have our own play time. I want to stop this behavior, what can I do?

  88. megan says:

    Great breakdown of the different behaviors. Reading this I guess it means my dog is a possessive dog.

  89. You guys have such excellent advice, we sure love visiting (even tho we don’t have a woofie here, it’s still good to know!)

  90. Marg says:

    I guess I have been lucky and have never had these problems. My dogs have always been good, not jealousy and not aggressive. I guess one reason is that I have always had a lot of animals so they know it won’t do them any good to be possessive.

  91. Finn says:

    Great article and identification of the three behaviors!