I have a lab/pit mix, three years old. Within the last year she has been unfriendly to the kids in the house. The kids are 17,18,19 and 9. she doesn't bit but snarls and walks away. This is unusual for how she was at the beginning. A year ago Christimas we bought her a chew toy black monkey and she carried it and protected it like it was her own. Does anyone have suggestions. She is a sweet dog and i would hate to get rid of her.
She is object possessive if she growls over toys. Any dog snarling at a child is a danger. Even if she has not bitten yet, snarling is a prelude to a bite. basically the dog is warning you and if you don't listen you WILL get bit. It would not be a good idea to rehome her. I rarely reccomend this cuz I hate it, but this dog would be an ideal candidate for euthanasia, if you can't find a dog behavioralist who can help reform her. Snarling at a child is never allowed. A dog with this tendency can be a very big liability-If she bites a visitor's child you could be sued. A dog cannot be "sweet" and at the same time be "unfriendly and snarl at the kids." I've seen this so much in the past couple years, and all it means is that the dog's owner is blinding themselves to the seriousness of the problem. I'm sorry I couldn't be more help,this post wasn't meant as an attack.I was just being honest
Doxielover, I wouldn't really consider a 17, 18 and 19 year old to be a "child". The 9 year old, yes. I can't help but wonder if the older ones especially may have started teasing or something. This often starts out being "funny" but unfortunately can escalate into a dangerous situation. Without more info it is really hard to say whether it is the kids who are at fault or the dog, but if the dog has become a danger it likely won't make any difference whose fault it is...the dog will end up paying.
I wasn't really talking about the 17 year old, but you ARE right about that. At that age they're young adults. But you still can't allow any kind of snarling. It's different than a growl. Snarling is an impending attack. I think maybe the OP meant to say "growl" as in a warning, "leave me alone" growl. That would be understandable-shouldn't be allowed, but is understandable. My previous post was based on if the dog was truly "snarling." I still reccomend a behaviorist as object guarding is best dealt with by someone who knows what they're doing.
And even if the dog bites an adult they would be held liable and be in massive trouble. Yes, there really does need to be more Info. I was going based off what OP said. Can you post more info so we can help you better, OP?
A false pregnancy could be part of the problem if the dog isn't spayed. I would start with a trip to the vet for a complete blood work up including thyroid function to find out if this behavior is health related. If everything is good health wise then basic obedience lessons and advice from an animal behaviorest is my next recommendation. If this issue can't be resolved then you should have the dog put down , not pass the problem along to another family.
Yes, you're right. A vet visit should be the first thing done. As for training, a good trainer would not accept any dog that bites for training until it had been evaluated by a competent behavioralist.