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8 week old Rottweiler food and toy possessiveness

June 28th, 2009, 10:23 AM
My daughter's bf just got an 8 week old Rottweiler and the little fella is cute as a button! However, the beggar growls when he's resting, has a toy or is eating. When I went to visit and he growled at me, I held his muzzle looking him in the eye and I firmly told him "No!" and let him yelp a bit (I wasn't hurting him at all) and then I released him. He calmed down immediately and I rewarded him. He was nice to me after that. But now after reading all everyone's unique and reasonable-sounding advice, I feel I might have been wrong in my method. Is staring in a puppy's eyes wrong? My two dogs are very well behaved and I only had to use that sort of method a few times when they were the same age. Having said all that however, my daughter's bf is new to the doggy world and I wouldn't want to misguide him. I've already suggested he enrols the puppy in training course, which he has and the pup "Ruffles" will start at 3 mths old and he has already booked a first appointment at the vet.
However answers to my questions would so much be appreciated!
Great forum btw
Dani :dog:

June 28th, 2009, 10:40 AM
Rotties can be "chatty". What sounds like a growl can be "talking". Now, I am not saying that your puppy isn't growling - just that it could be something else.

I am not going to say whether your method of stopping his growling at you was right or wrong. Generally speaking, staring an unfamiliar, adult dog can be dangerous. But you are dealing with a young puppy. He doesn't need to challenge you for the alpha position - you ARE the alpha.

Thank you for pointing your daughter's BF in the right direction. Classes will be invaluable.

June 28th, 2009, 02:50 PM
I would try steering them in the direction of NILF ("Nothing in Life is Free") Training. It's something that can be worked into their everyday routine and used in conjunction with standard obedience.

This will teach the dog right from the start that the humans are in charge and he is not. He'll learn he has to "work" to get all the good stuff: walks, toys. food, attention, etc. Teaching him now at such a young age to sit and wait for his meals until he is told they are "free' or doing a patient sit-stay at the door before it opens to go for a walk will teach him he can't just do whatever he pleases and will instill respect. Obviously his "jobs" will be pretty basic now, but can become more challenging as he gets older. Then, any visitors such as yourself can teach him the same rules apply with you as well.

Here's a good link explaining how to do it: