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Dr. Marcia
Dr. Marcia, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 577
Experience:  companion animal medicine and surgery for 15 years
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My dog just growled at me and snapped when I tried to take

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My dog just growled at me and snapped when I tried to take a bone from him. This is the first time I have ever seen this behavior. What should I do about this type of behavior. I told him "bad dog" right after he did it.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Marcia replied 5 years ago.
Hello,Customer and thank you so much for your question.

I am sure this was alarming, to have your dog growl and snap, especially if he has not done this before. It sounds like you did not get hurt and I am very glad about that.

What you are seeing is certainly within the range of "normal" defensive/protective behaviors in dog. In some dogs, certain stimuli will get this strong "defense drive" going. And, it can develop at any time, so even a dog who has never had an issue of protecting a bone may develop this behavior.   Dogs are "hard wired" with all kinds of insticts and drives and sometimes these can seem to pop up out of nowhere!
The good news is, this is a very specific behavior that you saw today, and can be avoided, simply by not providing the opportunity. I would advise no more bones, after what you saw today. If it stimulates aggressive behavior, it is just not worth it. If he does get a hold of a bone, leave him alone and do not bother him. If there are children around, make sure they are no where near him. But I would get rid of all bones and avoid the issue altogether.   Telling him "bad dog" probably didn't mean much to him, and again, avoidance is the key in this kind of issue.
I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if I can further assist.   Thank you, XXXXX
Dr. Marcia, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 577
Experience: companion animal medicine and surgery for 15 years
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