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My dog Tank has somewhat recently started growling at my husband and baring his teeth. He has not tried to bite him but I fear this will happen if not quickly gotten under control. Tank typically is fine with my husband while I am not around, he displays the bad behavior when I am near. My husband will not tolerate this behavior for long. Also Tank has been marking spots in our home. He has hiked his leg on several spots and continues to do so. This started just a few months ago, that we are aware of. I have Tank (male)who is almost 4 yrs old and Rosie (female) who is almost 3 yrs old. Rosie has been spayed but Tank is not "fixed". Any suggestions?
My husband says I show way to much affection toward Tank, I will admit Tank is my buddy and I baby him and love on him a great deal. Thinking some of this may be pack and hierarchy related.

Thanks in advance.
 

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We are happy to try to help but we will need more information....

What breed is Tank?

How long have you had him?

What training and socialization has he received?

Why have you chosen not to neuter him?
 

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Thinking some of this may be pack and hierarchy related.
Sounds like you may have answered your own question. Who's the pack leader of the household?

Our dog gets a little jealous at times when I show affection to the gf. Not all the time, but he's not aggressive doing it and it's actually kind of cute. She's not a pack leader, I am, dog gets confused as to what he should or shouldn't be doing.
 

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This really isn't pack/hierarchy at all. Pack theory has been disproven in dogs.

As for the peeing in the house, he is marking. Make sure you clean were he pee's with the right cleaner to get rid of the enzymes, which are encouraging him to keep marking there. (correct me if I'm wrong), but this probably has a large part to do with him being unneutered. Intact males are more likely to spray/mark.
Is he from a breeder?
It sounds like he might be resource guarding you around your husband. What do you and or your husband do when he growls? Does he do this around your other dog too? Has anything changed or new occurred around the time he started growling?
Here's the sticky for resource guarding, it has some good information and explains it in better detail. http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/resource-guarding-causes-prevention-modification-7511/
 

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Feral dogs are millions of generations removed from domestic dogs...do you know how many thousands of years it has taken to end up with the dogs we have now?
 

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PS. Some of your problems may be helped if you have him neutered. It won't take away learned behaviour ( this will need to be modified with a programme from a professional) but will hopefully remove the competitiveness that associates with testosterone.

Unless your dog is a show winner, under a lot of different breed-specific judges, and his genes will do something spectacular to improve the breed, then using him as a stud is a less than good idea and will just potentially add to the unwanted dogs in shelters. Thinking about it when you admit to 'aggression' problems negates any possible reason to breed him. Ever.
 

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Sorry, can you explain that a little better? Even feral dogs will pack up and run together, not too far removed from full domestic.
I hope I can explain this right and not forget anything.

The pack theory was based on a very old study of captive wolves. It was a bunch of unrelated adult wolves that was put together. But this isn't how wolf packs work. A pack is made up of a breeding pair and their offspring. There is no fighting for 'alpha' or dominance. L. David Mech was the one who put out that first theory and who now takes it back. He is a well respected researcher. Also while dogs do group up they form loose groups. Not packs like wolves do. Dogs behaviors are very different than wolves, even though they are so closely related. One of my favorite saying is looking to wolves for dogs behaviors is like looking to chimps for parenting skills.
 

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I think we need to be clear here that what we are talking about is dominance hierarchy in wolves. Wolves do indeed live in packs, but more accurately family groups. The first wolf group Mech studied was in 1999 was a family group on Ellesmere Island and he saw no dominance hierarchy, and the second was a group of unrelated wolves in Yellowstone, I think around 2007 (can't be bothered to check). It was in the latter group that he saw dominance because the wolves were living in a watched stressed environment.

The wolf model is vital to understanding how dogs work and to dog training, and that understanding lies in the genetic diversity that came from wolf DNA. Wolves make their living hunting large prey animals, and they are successful because of the diversity of temperament, not dominant/submissive, but direct and indirect, because if they all took the same approach then the hunt would surely fail.

This diversity of temperament can be seen in every litter of puppies, you have the direct ones ("dominant") and the indirect ones ("submissive").
 

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I hope I can explain this right and not forget anything.

The pack theory was based on a very old study of captive wolves. It was a bunch of unrelated adult wolves that was put together. But this isn't how wolf packs work. A pack is made up of a breeding pair and their offspring. There is no fighting for 'alpha' or dominance. L. David Mech was the one who put out that first theory and who now takes it back. He is a well respected researcher. Also while dogs do group up they form loose groups. Not packs like wolves do. Dogs behaviors are very different than wolves, even though they are so closely related. One of my favorite saying is looking to wolves for dogs behaviors is like looking to chimps for parenting skills.
Well technically it was Schenkel in 1947 who came up with the idea of the dominance hierarchy in wolves being achieved through aggressive behavior after studying an artificial pack in captivity. Here's some more info: Graduate Student/Post-doctoral Fellows Openings - L. David Mech




Regardless, dogs and wolves are different animals and while they have some similarities they also have many differences. Wolf social structure is based on the fact that wolves take mates and the male helps the female raise the pups. No such thing in dogs. The males mate with a female in heat and then move on to the next one. They don't form packs or family groups in the way wolves do.
 

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Sounds to me as if Tank may be resource guarding and you are the resource. I think you'll find plenty on this site to help with this.
Possibly you also perhaps need to 'share' Tank with your husband a bit, if h is willing, so that his dependence is diluted a bit and you are slightly less important to him. I don't know if you'll find this difficult but for Tank's sake it might help.
 
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