Aggressive 1yr old beagle mix puppy

by Stacia
(Sierra Foothills, California)

I have two beagle mix female puppies a little over a year old we think and sisters. The vet says they are beagle and king charles mix. We have had them for 9 months and prior to that they were with my parents in a multi dog home for 5 months. They were found wondering in the country and they were very fearful and nervous of their surroundings. We think they were only 1-2 months when found. When we took them in they took to my two children ages 10 and 14yrs old very well. Sleeping with them and following them everywhere. They took a while to house train but are doing well. They are rarely left alone and when they are they are crated as to not destroy my home out of nervousness. They are very nervous still with new people and we are working on it. Most recently in the last month or so they have become very protective of me. When I was playing with my son he came to hug me and Lilly one female lunged at his face growling with her mouth open, her nose hit his forehead. No bite but scary none the less. The next time my husband leaned down to kiss me and she lunged for his hand in the same manner. Last night we had company over who had small children ages 2 and 4yrs old. Knowing their nervousness we put them in their crate until everyone was in the house and settled. The children had gone to the crate to introduce themselves and the pups ignored them. I let them out 30-45 minutes into the visit and they barked and were fearful but otherwise ok. After going out for bathroom break they came in and sat with me on the couch. They were no longer barking so I thought I would leave them out and watch them. They were not shaking or showing any signs of fear. The 2yr old walked calmly up to my daughter who was sitting next to me to be picked up and the same pup lunged at her. We corrected this behavior with a swat on the nose (to get her attention) and a no bad girl reprimand. I was apologizing to the parent when they both did it again. I put them promptly into the crate and thats where they remained again until the next potty break. After the next potty break (i made sure the children were downstairs and not near the dogs) I came in and before crating them led them to their water dish and while answering a question the little boy came in pushing a truck and the one dog lunged at him. I instructed him out of the room and placed the pups in the crate again. I have never dealt with this situation and dont know what to do. How do I fix this? None of the situations have anything in common other than me. What am I doing wrong? Please help.

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Nothing In Life Is Free
by: Adam G. Katz

Employ the "Nothing In Life Is Free" approach, so that your dog starts to view you as the "pack leader." If your dog doesn't see you as the leader, then your corrections will be meaningless. So, if you're doing subtle things (inadvertently) to undermine your leadership role around the house-- it will be counter-productive.

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