Hello,
I have an 8 month old Rat Terrier/Sheltie that we have been allowing to sleep with us. Lately, he has taken to
growling and nipping my husband when he comes to bed. The dog usually will be sleeping in my husband's spot,
and when my husband moves him, he will growl and nip his hand. The dog has also done this to him when he has
tried to take objects from his mouth.
I have a couple of questions:
First, what is the general opinion about allowing dogs to sleep with their owners? Is this alright to do? Also, how should
my husband react to the dog's growling and nipping? Should the dog be scolded, ignored, etc?
Lastly, how can we get this behavior to stop?
Thanks in advance for your reponses.
Hello, I have an 8 month old Rat Terrier/Sheltie that we have been allowing to sleep with us. Lately, he ... dog be scolded, ignored, etc? Lastly, how can we get this behavior to stop? Thanks in advance for your reponses.

If you like sleeping with your dog, then I think there is nothing wrong with it. However it should be up to you if the dog gets to sleep with you. It doesn't matter how used he is to sleeping in your bed, if you tell him to get off it he should leave.
To me ( I am no expert) it sounds as if your dog feels like he is above your husband in the pack - he has the right to tell your husband to get lost and leave the warm cosy spot to him. It could be a good idea to read some books, maybe get a trainer before the dog gets much older. Life will be easier for you and the dog if he knows his place.It is really hard to say exaclty what you should do. I like the more subtle ways of showing a dog his place, like: Making the dog move out of your way. If the dog is lying on the floor, you shuffle through him, you don't go around him. If you don't think the dog will get snappy you push him/tell him to get off the sofa and sit where he just layed.

You ask the dog to do something before he gets his food - sit, lie down, whatever. You don't play with the dog when he wants to play, you wait a few minutes so he doesn't think he is in charge. Same thing with cuddling, if he wants to get his belly scratched, you can wait a couple of minutes and make it seem like it was your idea.
If my dog would growl or nip in bed he would have to get off the bed. I would probably ask him to get back up again after a while, but just to show the dog how I feel about his behaviour he would have to leave. You could help making your husbands position stronger by making the dog see that you agree with your husband. If the dog doesn't do what your husband says, then you tell him to do it. After a while he might not wait for you to reinforce your husbands commands.
I think the things I have written shouldn't be harmful, but use your common sense if you want to try them.
Rosa
I agree with Rosa completely. The dog has to understand that your husband is higher in the pack. The two of you must reinforce each others' commands. -It's amazing how much like children dogs can be (dividing parents I mean).
First, what is the general opinion about allowing dogs to sleep with their owners? Is this alright to do?

Moogli has slept with us from the point in time which he was reliable enough to not go to the bathroom on the bed at night. Except for his habits of sleeping between us and stealing the covers, we do not have any problems with it.
Also, how should my husband react to the dog's growling and nipping? Should the dog be scolded, ignored, etc? Lastly, how can we get this behavior to stop?

I would strongly suggest that you see a professional trainer about this.

Marcel
My opinion would be to hire a professional trainer. It's well worth the cost, as long as all family members participate and reinforce the professional's advice. A good trainer will incorporate what he/she learns about your family and your dog into their recommendation.

Asking for advice here is akin to having a car problem and asking how to fix it online- you might get some useful information, but it won't be specifically tailored to your individual situation. (That being said, this is still a great resource vis-a-vis dog behavior)
Yup, call a trainer. However I will venture a solution here. You seem to be the leader in the dog's mind, so you need to tell the dog that your husband is higher in the pack don't let the two of them fight it out. If he growls at your husband tell the dog to get off the bed and don't let him back up he sleeps on the floor when he growls.
Your husband also needs to do some training with him, have the two of them go to obedience classes together.

Kristen and
Kali CDX, CGC, TDIA, TT
www.kristenandkali.com
Hello, I have an 8 month old Rat Terrier/Sheltie that we have been allowing to sleep with us. Lately, he ... questions: First, what is the general opinion about allowing dogs to sleep with their owners? Is this alright to do?

It's okay as long as the dog isn't trying to take over the household, and it sounds like yours is.
Also, how should my husband react to the dog's growling and nipping? Should the dog be scolded, ignored, etc? Lastly, how can we get this behavior to stop?

The answer to both questions can be found here:
http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library/alpha.htm

Words to live by!
Hope this helps!
Tracy