BJ has started object guarding. It began when the GSD puppy stayed with us a few months ago and continues on with the border collie puppy that visits. He has also started growling occasionally at us when he has something that we want back. I am working on "drop it" and/or "trade"and he does pretty well, but my daughter tried to get an oven mitt the other day just by taking it and he nipped her - didn't break the skin though. I am working my way through Jean Donaldson's books (I started with "Culture Clash" but quickly moved to "Mine") and understand that a version of "trade" is the way to go.
My question is how do you stop his reaction to another dog when they get to close to something he feels is his? His reaction is to growl and make a small lunge. It usually happens over a toy but sometimes it is from standing too close to me. So far it hasn't escalated beyond that point, but the border collie is to the point of "talking back" when BJ growls. My solution so far is to remove whatever toy it happens to be and if I am fast enough I spray BJ in the face with a water bottle and that stops him.
Any suggestions? Am I doing it right so far or not?
Rusty, Blaze & Buster Brown
BJ - 3/9/2007 - 2/6/12 - miss you everyday
Boomer - ? - 3/15/12 - always in my heart
I would definitely look for professional help because this type of behavior can be the start of a bigger problem (the dog trying to dominate the rest of the family). The fact that he already nipped your daugther as a threat is enough worry because the next time he could actually bite her.
From what I know part of the training involves taking the toys away and working with the dog so that he understands that YOU are the toy owner and the one who controls access to the toys.
With other dogs I would remove the toys when they are present to avoid them becoming the object of the fight