Dog growls at partner

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Dog growls at partner

This is a discussion on Dog growls at partner within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My dog Max and I have been together 5 years. He’s a 9-10 year old JR x Corgi with prob a bit of chihuahua thrown ...

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Old 06-28-2018, 11:17 PM
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Dog growls at partner

My dog Max and I have been together 5 years. He’s a 9-10 year old JR x Corgi with prob a bit of chihuahua thrown in. My partner has cohabited with us only 2 years. But he’s dog savvy and not intimidated by Max. My dog loves my partner when I’m not home. And mostly when I am home too. But everyone now and then he’ll growl at my partner when he approaches us, if Max is in my lap. Especially in the bedroom.

I don’t want to overreact but because I don’t know what to do I think I underreact. And this upsets my partner. I’ve tried putting Max on the floor when this happens. But I hate seeing the hurt look on his face (as well as my partners!) Any suggestions as to the best way to handle it would be appreciated.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:02 AM
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I forgot to add, Max is a rescue from a dog pound, first 4-5 years of his life unknown, but initially very timid, lots of fear aggression, was on the euthanise list for biting.

Used to go for new people who tried to pat him, joggers, anyone with boots, anything with wheels (including buses, trucks, 4x4, any form of cycle)!

He’s much improved but still bad with wheels. He’s a totally adoring, somewhat clingy dog but doesn’t display any separation anxiety behaviour problems, even when he was home alone all day.

Sleeps in (not on) the bed but doesn’t display any aggression when he’s in the bed. Just when he’s on it.

So all suggestions advice welcome.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:46 AM
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First, stop anticipating his reaction on the bed. Dogs pick up on what we are feeling. If you are all "Oh no, he's going to growl at my partner, he's going to be bad." you tense up and Max senses that and, reacts to your tension. relax, be happy that your partner is coming to the bed. don't hold the dog, gently, calmly block him so that he has to stay behind you. Keep doing this but don't say his name or pet him until he relaxes and sits or looks away from your partner.

Teach him that he is to be calm when your partner comes toward him, no matter the location. He only gets affection and attention when he is calm, not for growling or reacting to your partner in anything but a calm, friendly way.
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