Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

My pup is 14 wks old and he occationally growls at my kids.  They're 4 and 5 and behave as normal for their age.  The pup does it when he's being possessive of certain toys or bully sticks.  Should I be worried and whats the best way to correct his behavior?  I'm working to teach the kids to respect the dogs space as well but at the same time they are above him in the pecking order and he should never growl at them.  

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Puppy and child are darling.  Please don't let the puppy be picked up by just his shoulders, it could really end up getting hurt.

If puppy growls about certain toys or bully sticks pick them up and take them away.  Let him have those only in his crate or pen where the children cannot bother him and therefore where he cannot growl.  Both puppy and children should have "safe places" where only they and you can go.  It worked for me with a crate for the dog and the kids bedrooms with the door closed. As kids and puppy get older the kids can decide if bedroom remains their safe place.  Crate should always remain puppy's safe place.  For at least the first year and better two kids and dogs should always be in your sight line when they are together.  This makes it crowded in the kitchen or bathroom sometimes but it protects everyone.

 Thank you for the insight.   No worries my kids have never hurt the puppy and they aren't allowed to pick him up on their own. It's been 10 years since we've had a puppy and the kids have never been around a pup.   Our last dog was a female Doberman and she was amazing with the kids.   They crawled all over her and she never seemed to be bothered.  The puppy is a learning experience for them for sure!  

I like the idea of their rooms being their safe place,  I'll have to implement that but it may be difficult to keep him out if i go in.   The pup is glued to me most of the time.   He's like my shadow.   

He sleeps in his crate no problem at night but if I give him a bully stick in his crate during the day he won't touch it.  As soon as I get home and let him out he will get the bully stick and chew on it outside on the kennel.  It's kinda strange...

Hopefully when or wherever he has his bully stick, you are right there to supervise. Good that you're reaching out and asking questions. It sure does take a village. Mine are 11 1/2 and 8 now and the 11 1/2 year old girl was my first dog and I nailed it with her because I had all the time in the world. I slacked up a bit on the younger she is a peach of a Doodle. And I had tons of people who mentored me through raising the girls. Yarra is the brown girl and Yindi is the cream girl.


The puppy is always with me or my husband and if not he's in the kennel.  I've raised several dogs in my lifetime but he is the first one I've had with kids.  He plays fine with the kids but gets possessive of certain items which I will take away.  In my opinion he views the kids as his litter mates so I've been having them do feedings and help with bathrooms breaks and treats so he views them differently.  I'm confident he'll be fine but just looking for advise from someone whos had a pup go through something similar and grow out of it.  I want to train him to be a therapy dog but when he growls on occation it makes me think he may not be a good fit.

Wow, looks alot like my Teddy !!!  LOL

Haha that's funny!  We almost named him Teddy also.  We even took a vote on Facebook but Fozzy won.  :)

BTW, Teddy growls with food when he is hungry or if he REALLY wants it.  Like last night, I gave him an Earth Animal Pork chew.  He was eating it in his pillow bed and I wanted him to eat it on a mattress I have for him to eat on (sort of like a place mat).  I tried to get the chew from him....he GROWLED really loud unlike when he has an inedible chew bone or a piece of paper he shouldn't have in his mouth.  His head made a fast-jereking motion too with the loud growl.  He wouldn't even let me pick him up WITH the chew, he was afraid I was going to separate it from him.

I didn't force the issue and let him finish it in his pillow bed.

I would advise that until you get proper training advise on this issue you refrain from giving him any  treats at all.  If you take this issue to the training group here you will get a clear idea of how to proceed as this needs to be nipped in the bud using positive training methods as soon as possible.

The puppy does not look happy in that picture--I think you have to do your homework and start over again before this escalates! I don't agree with the safe place idea although it will help you in the short-term. Certainly if he is getting a treat, and growls, then put him in a crate in a quiet room--but eventually, he will start taking things into the crate and growling when anyone tries to get those things back--this can be very bad indeed.

Instead, everything should be a "trade" and you should start it and eventually the kids will be able to do it too when the dog is more mature and reliably trained. If he has a bully stick, wait five minutes and then offer him something with a high value--like a kong with peanut butter and say "drop it" and thentake the bully stick away when he takes the kong...this can be done with his dinner bowl as well--have a good treat in your hand that he can smell, take the dinner bowl, add the good item and then give the dinner bowl back...the idea is that "trading" and "dropping it" earns him a reward. If this is done many many times and he starts to drop things the minute you ask him to, than the kids can become part of the training. 

NEVER allow them to chase him for something he has that they want or try to pull that item out of his mouth--this can lead to aggressive behavior. 

Good luck!



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