Hi, have some questions about the way a friend's Bouvier's been acting; about every other time i go and visit, the dog "picks a fight" with me.

The dog can be confrontational. It took her a while to get used to me as a guest. If she sees me walking around from a distance or can only hear me, she growls. Lately if she sees me up close or smells me, its OK. The dog is probably nearsighted and doesnt know the sound of my walk.
One time i walked out of the room for a few minutes, came back with a drink, and the damn thing starts barking and snarling at me, wouldnt let me pass.
Another time she had just fed the dog and we were on the other side of the room, talking about something. Im not paying any attention to the dog or the food, and i feel this weird nudge on my hand. Not a bite, just like she ran at me with her mouth open. My friend tells the dog "no", then the dog goes and does it again.
She walks out of the room. The dog looks at me, picks up some of the food in her mouth, to make sure im watching and let me know its her food, which was kind of comical. The dog went back to eating and tolerated me being in the room.
My friend walks back in, now the dog is between us, and the beast starts barking and growling at me again.
I think its a dominance thing with that dog, what with the staring and being possessive over food. She thinks the dog is jealous of us, and she thinks in general the dog is suspicious of men.

Im looking for suggestions, because the dog should not be "starting" with someone once theyre already a welcome guest in the house.
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I think its a dominance thing with that dog, what with the staring and being possessive over food. She thinks the dog is jealous of us, and she thinks in general the dog is suspicious of men. Im looking for suggestions

1. Convince your friend that she's part of the problem (and probablythe biggest part), and that she needs to seek in-person PROFESSIONAL help (perhaps including a trip to the vet), ASAP.
or
2. Seek a new friend altogether; someone who is willing and able tobecome the pack LEADER, and intolerant of canine human-aggressiveness, possessiveness, etc., directed at guests, etc.
or
3. Carefully read the fine print in your health-insurance policy.

Handsome Jack Morrison
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Hi, have some questions about the way a friend's Bouvier's been acting; about every other time i go and visit, ... for suggestions, because the dog should not be "starting" with someone once theyre already a welcome guest in the house.

Looks to me like your friend's Bouvier is being protective. You're the interloper and always will be; I seriously doubt if the dog will "calm down."
Your friend might try obedience training. Others who are more experienced than I am might disagree with me here - I think it's doubtful that the Bouv is going to get over his guarding and suspicious nature, and the best thing to do might be for her to crate him when she has company.

flick 100785
Looks to me like your friend's Bouvier is being protective. You're the interloper and always will be; I seriously doubt ... and suspicious nature, and the best thing to do might be for her to crate him when she has company.[/nq]Actually, the bouvs I have known have been very accepting of accepted people although they are very protective when there are strangers around. If this is a badly bred or otherwise bad example of a bouv, it could be a situation where the dog just isn't going to get over being suspicious and possessive even if the human accepts the visitor. I don't know if that is the case or not. But if it is a good bouv, it may well just be a case of the human not giving the bouv enough guidance as to who is acceptable and who is not as well as how to treat those who are acceptable.

Bouvs are strong-willed dogs, bred to make decisions on their own and plenty willing to do so if their humans don't step up to the plate. I would start with the owner of the dog stepping up to the plate by taking control of the dog and the situation. Crating the dog when she has company is fine if the dog doesn't take her cues as to how to treat the company, but not because the dog can't get over its nature, but because the dog needs to learn that it can either behave with various people as the owner dictates or it can be out of the picture when welcome visitors are at the house.

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
Actually, the bouvs I have known have been very accepting of accepted people although they are very protective when there ... people as the owner dictates or it can be out of the picture when welcome visitors are at the house.

Yes, I agree with everything you've said. I've had a couple dogs (Shar Peis) that were very protective of family members, though not actively aggressive, and it was sometimes best to crate 'em when there were visitors.

At this stage, I'd crate the Bouv when visitors came. And I'd obedience train. If the Bouv isn't spayed/neutered, I'd do that, too.

flick 100785
...But if it is a good bouv, it may well just be a case of the human not giving the ... make decisions on their own and plenty willing to do so if their humans don't step up to the plate...

Any health issues aside, I don't think there could be a more likely problem, or solution. Paula, you really expressed that well.

The most important thing I've learned at the shelter is that it isn't always what's been done to a dog that makes it the way it is. All too often, its a matter of what has Not been done to (or for) the dog.
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