my puppy growls surrounded by play and beside his food. Does this connote hes a bully? ?
I always just thought of my 14 week old border collie puppy as live. I take him to a puppy class and although he is the fastest learner out of the bunch he also has the most heartiness. He needs to wrestle with the other dogs and he growls in play. The trainer in attendance told me it was completely normal but one of the owners confronted me saying that he be a predatory animal and territorial and it was a common characteristic within border collies. I really thought I knew the breed and really don't agree, but the accusation really got to me. He does growl at other dogs when they come to his food bowl. He is the solitary dog in our home so hes not use to it but I'm just hoping hes not going to be approaching this when hes older. II wanted to get another dog surrounded by the future. Any help would be appreciated.
Border Collies do enjoy a higher prey drive. It was bred into them cause hello, they be bred to herd sheep. But a soft bite was also bred into them so they could nip at the wayward sheep and hold them in line. So it's rare that a nip from a Border would in actuality HURT another dog. I would keep an eye on the pup to make sure that he doesn't start "herding" the other dogs! But whether the trainer isn't worried then i personally wouldn't be worried either.
As for growling around the food bowl, that IS a problem. It's call resource guarding or food aggression. I would talk to your trainer about this: it can easily surpass from growling at dogs to growling at humans and if a child or someone unknowingly reach in the bowl to put more food it... the dog may bite. I would also keep hold of an eye on other resources like toys and see if the same item happens.
It is vital that you, as the owner, be the pacesetter in your dog's social group. Dogs communicate dominance with attitudes expressed through posture, vocalization, and body position. Use your dog's language to set up yourself as leader, such as speak with a commanding voice, stand tall, spawn eye contact, and enforce your authority with appropriate training. Do not allow a dominant dog to sleep with you on the bed; sleeping on the same plane as the leader confers status and is a signal to the dog that he is your equal.
It is very of use that you are already attending puppy classes. Keep with it as they will also teach you ways to make your puppy realize that you are the pack captain.
Puppies are naturally playful. When they're less than 3 weeks old, they will switch on biting, pulling ears and tails, and growling. Food aggression is somewhat normal for lone dogs. You should do hand feed. A small bit at first, only allow him to lick it out of your hand. When that is gone, try beside a little more. Keep doing this, and maybe after a week of doing it, put a little within the bowl and stick you hand in the bowl while he is eating. If you are going to draw from another dog, you should introduce them through a fence, or something. That way, he doesn't hurt the other dog, or the other dog doesn't hurt him. Keep taking him to puppy classes, although you may want to take him to full-size dog classes, if he is too rough with the pups. Do not take what that other soul said to heart, they were just worried about their puppy. Listen to the trainer.