Most people are shocked to hear that my 5yo Jk Russell has developed an aggressive streak. Adopted at 1yo, she was immensely timid. She was the submissive baby in a home with 7 dogs, and the owner thought she would be better in a one-dog only home. When we take her for walks, she would run behind us if another dog tried to greet her. She was never afraid of people. She has always liked everyone, greets everyone, and today...the same.
FFwd 5 yrs..She has always been allowed on specific pieces of furniture since we have had her. She is allowed on the FR sofa, and allowed to sit on hubby's lap when he sits in his chair. She has now started growling at hubby if he comes near her when she is on the sofa. She has raised her lip at me if I go near hubby's chair when she is sitting on his lap, but only once or twice. She has now started to growl at hubby if he even looks at her when she is on the sofa. If he approaches the sofa, she becomes more intense and has lunged at him with a vicious bark and growl. This behavior only surfaces after 9pm at night. At 6pm or 7pm, she is just as sweet as always. She knows several commands, and listens well.
She receives canned food in the am, and dry food in the pm. If either of us go near her when she has her canned food, she will growl. Hubby usually feeds her. If either of us puts food in her bowl and tells her to wait, she waits patiently until she is told, "OK". I have had her wait 10 minutes and she sits and stays as directed. Once given the OK, she growls if either of us go near her.
Hubby is cooperating, for one day so far, with my plan, but he thinks it is counterproductive to the goal. I decided she should no longer be able to get on the sofa at all, when we are around, or not. She has always had the one end of the sofa as "her" spot. My husband thinks that she will not understand or make a connection between her behavior and the permanent removal of her right to be on the sofa. She does have 2 dog beds. 1 in hubby's home office and one in the fam room. Hubby thinks she should be able to have her place on the sofa and be forced to get down if she growls. We tried this, and she was commanded down 6x in one evening, she got angrier, and my nerves were on edge. I felt this was escalating the problem. Yesterday, I blocked her access to the sofa. By day, she looked at the obstacles that prevented her access. By evening, she was obviously puzzled. She cried a bit. I played with her on the floor, gave her treats, and went back to the sofa without her. Neither was she allowed to get on hubby's lap while he sat in his chair.
We saw no growling or raised lip last night. I believe that she needs to adjust to her place on the floor and in her dog bed. Hubby wants his "baby" to sleep on his lap, and he thinks it is mean to take away her 5 yr habit of sleeping on the end of the sofa. I am afraid the territorial nature will escalate further and the answer is to deny her access. I expect more crying tonight. I know hubby will want to give in. He thinks she is only distressed by the restriction. He wants to let her on the sofa tonight and make her get down as soon as she growls and repeat 20x if necessary. I think his method increases agression. I think my plan sends a message that she is not in charge and establishes her place within the family.
Help.....her crying to get on the sofa will start in an hour. Hubby will plead with me to let her on the sofa. While she has shown raised lip and snarl at me, the aggression toward hubby has been 30x greater and more frequent. He feeds her, walks her, they go in the car together. It's very strange.
Help...dusk is coming...and darling becomes a night B.