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I have a one year old neutered pomeranian. He has quite an aggression problem. Recently, he's been growling and snapping whenever he sees feet. He would actually bite it if he could reach it. Sometimes he warns us by walking slowly into his dog house and growl in there. This has been such a huge problem for my family because we now can't rest our feet on the couch or extend it without my dog getting mad. We scold him but it just makes the situation worst. He would growl back at us.


What can we do about this?
 

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Something has triggered this. What?

Maybe someone has teased him with feet? Kicked him?

Or if he is really constantly growling it might be that he is in pain and you should go see a vet.

Scolding doesn`t work as you have figured out. You need to address the cause for his behavior .. if he is not in pain/medical and if he is just not crazy (happens in animal kingdom too) then he is doing it probably out of fear. What is he afraid of?
 

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Did someone step his foot on him in past time? Maybe he became traumatic with your feet.

You look for what can stop him growling. e.g: give food or toy to him.
 

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Did someone step his foot on him in past time? Maybe he became traumatic with your feet.

You look for what can stop him growling. e.g: give food or toy to him.
What a poor thing to suggest - dog growls so you reward with a toy or tidbit?

That is rewarding the behaviour you do not want.

this dog needs training, the fact that it is a small animal often leads to owners treating it as if it were a baby and not a dog and if they correct it then it will not love them anymore.

I do not care what started the feet fetish it has to be stopped and stopped immediately.

I would lie on the sofa with my feet up and then invite the dog to join me, the moment it started to show interest in my feet, which would be moving to attract hos attention, he would immediately be put down and made to keep away from any furniture.

He needs rules and boundaries which every family member should adhere to.

When I was a child we had a dog that got onto the sofa with me and when I moved my feet she growled meaningfully at me. Before she knew what was happening I had hooked my foot around her and sent her off the sofa with no ceremony. Guess what? She never growled at a human again.
 

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Maybe he was an ankle biter as a puppy and it's slowly progressed? If the dog isn't given boundaries or any sort of rules or discipline (little dogs are often babied) they can develop bad habits. Keep the little sucker on a leash so he can be managed better and treat when he is behaving positively around feet. Teach him a "place" and "stay" command and have him stay on a mat or bed and expose him to feet. Treat him for complying, and teach him to better control himself. Eventually, you can ease up on the control, but in the beginning stages of training, he shouldn't be allowed off leash and he shouldn't be unsupervised.
 

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I would be keeping him off the couch, right now and until you get things resolved. Don't put him in a position where he feels the need to growl.
We are all giving advice pretty much in the dark, as there is no context or history. I don't know what is going on in your home, so think about, does your dog have a comfy place where he can rest, sleep, undisturbed for considerable amounts of time. Can he go there when he needs to? Undisturbed, or safe, is from the dogs point of view, not yours.
The counter-conditioning video is a good one, but the technique will only work if you can remove the reason for hating face blowing (in the video), or in your case, feet near his face. So if you try to help your dog be okay with feet near his face (see the video) it will not work if people in your house are still teasing, scaring, kicking (even jokingly), or tripping (accidently) over your dog. He's tiny.
So it's important to know why he's growling.
Some reasons:
* pain, needs a vet visit to address the pain.
*teasing: it just takes one person doing this, poking him with feet to get a reaction,
*growling gets him what he wants (or he thinks it does): the couch is a prime comfy spot, and he likes it and doesn't want to share and he figures growling gets him more couch time.
There are probably more reasons, but thinking things through from your dogs point of view is a good exercise. Sometimes the dog needs something you have not given him (my guess, safe space), sometimes the dog has learned to behave that way because (from the dog's point of view) it gets him something he wants (a really nice place to sleep).
Various answers are addressing different scenarios.
If your dog is not being teased or bothered or anything bad, sometimes it's just easier not to allow them on the couch at all but you will need to find peaceful ways to do that.
 
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What a poor thing to suggest - dog growls so you reward with a toy or tidbit?

That is rewarding the behaviour you do not want.

this dog needs training, the fact that it is a small animal often leads to owners treating it as if it were a baby and not a dog and if they correct it then it will not love them anymore.

I do not care what started the feet fetish it has to be stopped and stopped immediately.

I would lie on the sofa with my feet up and then invite the dog to join me, the moment it started to show interest in my feet, which would be moving to attract hos attention, he would immediately be put down and made to keep away from any furniture.

He needs rules and boundaries which every family member should adhere to.

When I was a child we had a dog that got onto the sofa with me and when I moved my feet she growled meaningfully at me. Before she knew what was happening I had hooked my foot around her and sent her off the sofa with no ceremony. Guess what? She never growled at a human again.
You are right.

But...

My point is not rewarding him for his bad behavior. However, there needs effort to stop him growling.

You have a good solution about this.
 

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I am getting on in years, I was brought up knowing that if I misbehaved I would get a smacked bottom. Rules and boundaries were laid down and we learned to adhere to them.

I have worked all my life with animals, specialising with the 'problem' animals and I too lay down the rules and boundaries. They appreciate it, they know where they stand and become far more secure.

Corrections should be firm amd fair. I do not advocate beating any animal or human but the odd spank with the flat of the hand, timed right, does no harm.

I have a rescue English Pointer that came to me with many issues, no recall, food aggressive, pulled like a team of huskies on a leash and separation issues.

These are all past, with the food issue every time he was fed I would take the food away from him, it took him all of three days to realise that if he gave me his food the sooner he could eat it. With the recall he wanted to make it a game of catch me if you can, I don't play this game so I got into my car and drove off (safe place) when walking and I have miles where they can free run, I would call him back and he did get a tidbit without being caught. His recall is 100% he walks, even on open ground where he can free run, to heel amd I can leave him alone with no problems. I believe I can do the latter because he is secure with me, he knows the rules and for life to be good is prepared to adhere to them.
 
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