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Canine Behavior/aggressive mini goldendoodle


My husband and I got our mini Goldendoodle at 8 weeks old, she just turned 1 years old (25 lbs). Several months ago she started showing aggressive behavior, first it was with her food. She would growl and bite us if we came near her while she was eating, and has bit both my husband and I. We had a trainer come to our home and we tried everything! She also will take tissue out of a trash can or anything she can grab and run with and will not release it, she will try to to eat it and swallow it, and will growl. We tried teaching her the 'leave it' command with treats, she'll do almost anything for treats. She will still eat the tissue and come running for the treat, and if it's an object she can't eat, she will leave it only for a high value treat. She is better with her food now, since we used clicker training with high value treats when we are around her, to the point where she won't eat her regular food and is waiting for the better high value treats. We leave the food bowl and she occasionally goes to it and eats when she is desperately hungry. But now she growls sometimes when we pet her, or when give her commands she does not want to obey. She will come wagging her tail and get on her back for a belly rub, and sometimes in the middle of rubbbing her belly she will start growling and will want to attack. We have her on a leash at home so we can grab her when she get's in this mode, so she hasn't bit us again but she could do some real damage! She also is possesive of her crate, and will attack us when we try to get her in there, so now we can't even put her in her crate. We left her with a trainer for 2 weeks in August and we did see some progress, but when he came to the home, even he was getting growled at and she bit him when dealing with her food. He thinks she is possesive and needs a behavorist. We exercise her daily, and try to take her out and about as much as possible and work on training every day with her. We are expecting a baby in March and are desperate for a miracle, because we will have to give her away is she does not change, and we love her too much. She is an angel 90% of the time, a little devil otherwise. We are taking her to yet another behaviorist/trainer this week.

Another thing is she has an inverted vulva so our Vet told us to wait to do surgery and spay her after her first heat cycle, she is currently going through her heat cycle -
Our Vet said this shouldn't affect her behavior, so I don't know if there is something mentally unstable with her, and this is just her personality.

We tried everything out there, several trainers... we're going nuts! We're using NILIF, and work on this everyday with her. She is still showing aggression, and we think it is fear aggression and possesiveness. We are heart broken to think we may have to give her away, but we can not have her near our baby in March. I hope someone can help us??

It sounds like territory aggression is what you have going on. I'm not sure what different things you have tried, but I would recommend what I call "earn and reward." That basically means that she HAS to earn whatever attention she will get, including feeding, treats, walks, basic attention- you name it. And unless she obeys the command, she does not get her reward. This maintains your status as alpha as well as teaches her appropriate behavior and confidence as well.

Unfortunately, you have a mix that takes an abundance of socializing and training. And it does scare me that she is this way since you are expecting. The downfall is and worse case scenario, if you eneded up having to rehome, she would be a huge liability and unadoptable.

Keep me posted as I want to make sure we follow-up on this.  

Canine Behavior

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Melissa Burg, RVT/Behavior Consultant


I have experience with multiple obedience issues, including anxiety, different types of aggression, introductions to a new pet and basic obedience situations, such as housebreaking, excessive leash pulling and excessive barking. There are several approaches to each behavior issue, depending on the animal's environment, as well as the breed, sex and age. I can also help you decide whether the problem sounds medical or behavioral.


I recently graduated with a Veterinary Technician degree with an emphasis in behavior and obedience training. I spent 5 years working in animal shelters where I trained shelter dogs in basic obedience and corrected behavior issues and educated adopting owners how to continue the training at home.

"Pawfect Pets;" a weekly column on canine and feline health and behavior tips.

Associate's Degree in Veterinary Technology from Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa.

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