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What is the best approach to correcting a terrier who insists on "protecting me" from my husband?

asked 2019-02-28 01:32:14 -0500

What is the best approach to correcting a terrier who insists on "protecting me" when I'm in certain rooms of the house and my husband walks in? The family room and living room and kitchen are "common ground". The bedroom, bathroom and the loft upstairs, he growls and gets louder as my husband approaches me. I believe he has the potential to bite. At this time, I have been correcting him and sending him out of the room as my husband approaches. Is this the correct way to proceed? Just making sure I'm handling this right. I want to nip this in the bud. I'm concerned about this behavior. Thank you.

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After having this problem with my Basenji, the breeder said my husband needed to form a bond with the dog. He began to get down in floor play with her and give her special treats. It took a couple of weeks of doing this a couple times a day until the relationship was formed. No more bsd behavior.

Wilma M.'s profile imageWilma M. ( 2019-03-27 21:39:12 -0500 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2019-03-04 03:50:30 -0500

This is how I would approach this issue:

To start with, I would not allow the dog in the bedroom, bathroom, loft, and other areas where the aggressive behavior occurs. After a while, the dog can enter those areas upon invitation only. Reward him with something that you know he really values when he acts in a desirable manner (i.e. shows no aggression toward your husband). The reward can be a treat, attention, or his favorite toy, for example.

As soon as he exhibits aggressive behavior toward your husband, you walk out of the room and ignore the dog completely. Return only after he stops the aggressive behavior. After a few rounds of this he will likely understand that bad behavior will result in you, not your husband, leaving. In other words, he will not get the outcome he is hoping for, but rather the opposite.

If you are not already, I strongly recommend to have him work for all valuable resources - food, toys, playtime, and anything else he enjoys. Reward him with these only when he is behaving well. Have him sit for his meals, when handing him a toy, and any other time when he wants something. Once he sits give him his food/toy/attention/treat along with verbal praise.

Once he realizes that he can get what he wants by following the rules he will look to you for guidance in most situations, knowing that by playing by the rules he will get what he wants (most of the time).

I hope this answer gave you some ideas on how to deal with this issue. If you feel like nothing is working it's always a good idea to consult with a trainer.

Good luck!

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I agree do not allow the dog between you and your husband, if he nips I would tap him on the nose and say no...sometimes depending on the behavior treats from your husband when the dog behaves will help him have a positive reaction with your husband as well.

Tammie W.'s profile imageTammie W. ( 2019-03-28 22:36:45 -0500 )edit
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answered 2019-03-08 17:38:02 -0500

The dog thinks it's the boss. Learn dog psychology. This way you can communicate with the dog under any circumstances. You would be amazed at the things that will show the dog that they do not need to be the one to control the situation. So many people think of them as human and treat them as such. This is what causing the behavioral problems. Things such as having control over the food, not letting them out the door ahead of you and basic rules boundaries and limitations will relieve the dog of the indication that they have to be incontrol of the situation. Dog's only take a leadership position out of stress because there is no clear leader in the pack.

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