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Sudden Possessive Behaviour

  1. #1

    Sudden Possessive Behaviour

    Hello, I have a 1.5 year old Springer Spaniel pup named Campbell, in general he is a very good dog and is extremely lovable, affectionate, etc. But recently we have noticed a bit of aggression/possessive behaviour.. It is not food, toy or location aggression, but very random items. Empty toilet paper rolls out of the garbage, dirty sock from the basket, a stick at the park.

    He goes into this sort of trance and zones right out, it's like he forgets who me and my husband are and immediately growls if we have to try and get it from him, and has even snapped a couple of times. Today, at the dog park, he freaked on another dog (one he knows and normally plays great with). I have no idea where to even begin with this, he is normally so obidient. I cannot have this keep happening, please help! ☹️☹️

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    New Hampshire
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    7,017
    has he learned the drop it and leave it command? You teach the drop it command by saying drop it, take it away from him then give it back. If he thinks he'll get it back he may be more inclined to let you have it.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    USA
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    Hi Campbell's Mom, welcome! I take it you had Campbell since he was a young pup? Since this behavior is recent, I'm wondering in there's been some head trauma or injury to him, perhaps causing a mild stroke of sorts. I'd take him to the vet if it were my dog, and have them check him out, sometimes they can identify a problem just by eye examination with a light.

    One of my old dogs in the past had some issues, and the vet said it was Vestibular disease, in his case is was a balance thing and problem walking....but it's a start to know what might be causing such behavior.

    Have you noticed any other difference in his daily or nightly activity or behavior, like more restless, sleeping in strange areas, tripping or walking funny, not hearing well?

  4. #4
    Yes! He is fully trained, we have used "leave it" since the beginning and will treat/replace with toy. This method does not work when he is in this state. Jaw clamps, eyes glaze over, it's like he doesn't even hear us. Unfortunately, I wish this was a simple "my dog just won't drop it" scenario but it isn't.

  5. #5
    I don't think it is any sort of trauma, other than these few random occurences he is 100% his normal goofy self. Eating more than fine, sleeps like a rock, runs like a bear is chasing him, hearing and vision are fine, northing out of ordinary, and yes we have had him since 8 weeks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    That is strange, for him to become this way so suddenly. What do you do when he takes something in the house and growls at you when you try to take it from him? Have you been able to take anything away from him, or does he get to keep it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    29
    Maybe bringing him to vet will help. If you say that he is 100% normal, then why does he acts like that? Alpha is right, that is very strange.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    31
    Yeah I agree with Justine. He needs to be checked by his vet to find out what's going on with him. We might think that he's perfectly fine physically but maybe not. If the vet says that he's fine then maybe there's a psychological issue.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha1 View Post
    That is strange, for him to become this way so suddenly. What do you do when he takes something in the house and growls at you when you try to take it from him? Have you been able to take anything away from him, or does he get to keep it?
    He absolutely does not get to keep it. Normally when he isn't in this mood he just drops it right away and we give him a toy. He likes to get into things so this happens at least once a day.

    But when he is being possessive at first I tried verbal commands but he wasn't listening, I then will go to try and get it from him and he growls. My husband has persisted and tried to open his jaw but he attacks. Northing major, he isn't going at his neck or anything but he snarls and lunges forward. It has only happened a few times within the past month so this is why I am asking what I should do, in terms of training or if anyone has experienced something similar with their dog.

    For everyone saying to take him to the vet, thank you for your suggestions but I know my dog, he is not sick, it is behavioural. I am in the health field myself and have a close relationship with my vet. I have spoken with her about this when it happened the first time (a few weeks ago), cause that was my initial thoughts as well. After going over it with her we ruled that out, but thank you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    USA
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    I haven't had a similar experience, but I always like to know how to handle things if they do come up. I understand it's not a medical problem, but like you that was my initial thought, since it was sudden. Have to tried a trade off with a treat, like if he has a sock or something else from the trash, and you approached him with a small piece of American cheese, would he give the item to you or drop it to get the treat? Good he's not going for the neck or anything.

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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