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Sounds like he may be Resource Guarding his sleeping location.

Read this all the way through, and see if it fits. You can do much with training to help this issue go away. Follow the protocols suggested in that thread.

You can also teach him an "off" cue to get down from things. Do this in a positive way, with a food reward. Once he is good at that, then you have a way to dislodge him from places without getting into a battle with him.

Beyond that, the best thing you can do when he is grouchy, is not to try to "console" him (which he is not going to understand as such, but rather will take as more intrusion), but rather just leave him alone. The growls and so forth are him telling you very clearly he wants to be left in peace. If you persist, he feels his only recourse is to bite.
 

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Sorry, I wouldn't be letting him on the furniture then, ever. My dogs know if they guard it they lose it. Biting isn't something I'm ever willing to comrpomise on.
Have you ever had a dog with RG issues?

My dog Josey had so many different things he had RG issues around, I would not have been able to feed him or let him have access to anything, if I took the stand you suggest. I might as well have given up on the dog. With the right training this issue really is resolvable. At this point, one would not even know my dog used to have a problem.


Understand this is largely a genetic predisposition, and the dog is more or less on "auto-pilot" when this happens. Biting happens when humans don't understand what is going on in the dog's "reptile" brain. Getting upset with the dog in any way, actually makes the whole thing worse.

Yes, I think it would be a good idea to not allow the dog on furniture until this is sorted out if that is possible with the little guy, although the owner may find that if the dog is very used to being on the furniture, doing battle over that matter, may actually activate the RG behavior and exacerbate the problem.
 
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I have a great pyrenees. Of course I've got a dog with RG issues. He's not allowed on the furniture. If my GP bit me there would be more than blood happening, I'd be missing a limb.
Well then you've seen that reptile brain in action then! ;)

Have you worked on the issue using any of the methods in the sticky link, or do you simply deny the dog access to what ever he guards?
 

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Genetic? As in, some breeds are more prone to RG than others? Is that what you mean? "Reptile" kind of hits me wrong, lol.... ? Reptile when talking about a dog? What am I missing here ? :)

IMHO, I will say denial of the bed is the way to go here.
"Reptile brain" is a common term among biologists to indicate the inner parts of the brain that are concerned primarily with survival. It operates at the subconscious level. This is as opposed to the next layer out, the mammalian part and the "frontal lobes" that have more reasoning skills.

All of us have all these layers. Your "reptile brain" is what gets triggered when approached by a mugger. It helps you react appropriately: fight or flight, to survive. RG is very much something that happens at this level of consciousness.... that is without much "reasoning" involved. Incidentally, the "reptile brain" is also where most of your emotional life is located.

If you've seen a dog in full RG mode, he appears to think his very survival is at stake over his toy or food bowl. Of course long ago, that was the case, as a bit of bone or a food source could indeed be the difference between life and death.


That explained, I have no trouble with restricting access to the bed, as I stated with Furbaby. So long as that can be accomplished without activating the RG issue in the first place, that is easy. For example closing the door. (If you read Crio's sticky, you will see this is recommended.)

In the long run, I find it is much nicer to "re-train the reptile brain" not to feel threatened in these situations. So for example, my boy Josey, who used to get quite agitated if I approached him while eating, now welcomes me as I've reconditioned his brain to know that only good things happen when I approach at meal times.

The OP can easily create the same sort of pleasant associations with the pom with regard to her approach to the dog whilst he is on the bed. It just takes consistent repetition of pairing the stimulus with something pleasant, to change the emotional response.
 
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