How to Stop a Dog From Growling Over Possessions

Growling over possessions is a natural canine instinct.
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Growling to protect his food or favorite toy is your dog’s way of telling people or other animals to back off. While it comes naturally to dogs as a form of aggressive communication, teaching your dog not to growl over possessions is an important part of the obedience training process.

Train Your Dog to Stop Growling

Step 1

Make training fun. Play a game with your dog that will entertain him while teaching him not to growl over possessions. Start by sitting on the floor holding a squeaky toy in one hand and tasty treats in the other.

Step 2

Engage your dog in the game. Squeeze the squeaky toy to get your dog’s attention then toss it a short distance away but still within your reach. Once the toy is on the ground, encourage your dog to pounce on it.

Step 3

Trade the squeaky toy for a tasty treat. As soon as your dog pounces on the toy, grab a hold of it with one hand and entice him to let it go by offering him a treat with the other hand. If he growls or refuses to let go of the toy, dangle the treat in front of his nose until he releases the toy and takes the treat.

Step 4

Praise your pooch for letting go of the toy. Once he stops growling and releases the toy, give him the treat while saying “thank you,” “good boy,” or any other verbal cue that praises him for a job well done.

Step 5

Practice makes perfect. For best results, practice playing the retrieval game with your dog at least a few times each day in five-minute intervals. Gradually increase the distance that you toss the toy and repeat each step consistently.

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