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Weird resource aggression. I don't know what to do!
  • My one year old Shiba mix has developed a very odd pattern of food and high priority toy/bone aggression. He allows you to touch his food, take the toys, or anything like that without any fuss at all. But, if you touch any part of him, he'll begin to growl, which leads to snapping. I don't touch him intentionally while he eats or chews on a bone, but often times he'll have a bone in his mouth and come over to be petted. I'll start petting him, and he'll growl at me. So I'll stop. If I accidentally rub my foot against him, or brush him with my leg, he'll growl or snap. Yet, I can reach down, put my hands all over the bone, take it away, give it back, and he's perfectly fine. I don't want him to be aggressive in any way, but, I'm not really sure how to fix this. It's a completely random thing. I don't want to take away his bones forever, but if this aggression doesn't stop, I'm afraid he'll only have plastic toys! Any advice is appreciated.

    Extra details: This dog is in no way aloof or cautious of being touched at any other time. He loves being right up against people of all shapes and sizes, and will paw at you until you pet him. He has never growled or snapped at being touched, unless he's eating or there is a bone in his mouth.
    Post edited by Kelseycheese at 2013-07-27 03:51:13
  • fisticuffsfisticuffs
    Posts: 148
    My german shepherd started behaving this way towards small children after one tried riding her by jumping on her from the couch, ugh. It got worse after anesthesia for a knee injury a couple years later.
    I've heard of airplane rides altering dogs' behavior as well. Something about the altitude?
    Anything change in the home recently?
  • No, not at all. Nothing significant that I can think of. There are no small children in the household, only my grandmother and myself. He hasn't been introduced to any new animals, no changes in food, no new toys, no new furniture. He is neutered, and has been since he was young... so no messy hormones.
    It's just so unlike him. I can be petting him with a bone in his mouth one minute, and he's fine. I do it again two hours later, and he growls/snaps. =/
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Does he have a sensitive area now, one that may have gotten bruised or sore? How about his eyesight? I just ask bc if he can see you and doesn't show aggression, maybe it is only happening when he can't see who is touching him.

    My foster used to growl whenever we pet her while she is sleeping, or laying in the dark. I first thought maybe her eyesight was bad, but she had it checked in March and it was okay, so I determined it to be unfamiliarity with us and who was touching her. Now we make it a point to talk to her before petting her so she is alert and knows who is petting her. Now, she just gets up and removes herself if she doesn't want to be touched.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    @Kelseycheese - Jasper is a rescue, correct? If so, perhaps something in his previous life has made him sensitive to being touched while eating or chewing on a valued object.

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride

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