Collie x Springer aggressively guarding her bed!

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Collie x Springer aggressively guarding her bed!

Post by Diana_Kyte1 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:23 am

I have a 9 month old Collie x Springer rescue dog, I have had her for 4 months now and had a lot of problems - most have been sorted. The only major problem left is that she aggressively guards her bed at night.

When she is tired she gets very moody and if she is lying down you can rarely go near her without her growling - that I can cope with but if she is in another room and I enter the kitchen and move her bed for whatever reason, she knows and comes bounding into the kitchen snapping and snarling. Its very scary as she is a big dog.

This only happens at night - during the day, I can move her bed around and she is fine.

Any advice?

UPDATE - AS REQUESTED - Just me and my boyf live in the house, we live in a very rural area so she loves to go for long walks in the fields where she can be let off the lead to have a good run around.

We work full time so Mon-Fri she is alone in the house, but I don't work too far away so go back home in my lunch hour to see her. She gets fed 3 times a day (dried food with a bit of cut up cooked chicken), she has loads of treats and toys (try to get her new toys every month), she has a lot of energy and runs around the house at full speed throwing her teds around!

She is very food oriented and is trained to sit, paw and wait for treats which she is very good at. She used to be all over us when we sat down to eat at the table and bite us if we told her to get down - but this has now stopped with training.

The main problem we had was the biting and tantrums, she would jump all over us and bite our hands and arms and snap at our face for no reason - if we told her no and tried to get her off us she would have almost like a tantrum and bite us even more! it got so bad that we didn't know what to do and thought we would have to take her back - which really would have been a last resort! It was actually watching an episode of "It's me or the dog" that taught us what to do in this situation - we started calmly putting her on the lead (while biting us) and took her out of the room and into another and shut the door behind her to calm down - it took a few times but she started to learn and now she very rarely does it.

We have a cat (which we had before her) but they do not get on so we try to keep them separate, the cat is mainly outside but sleeps upstairs with us so the dog sleeps downstairs, she has 2 big dog beds and the settee that she can sleep on.

As I say, the only problem with her guarding her beds is at night - when she is tired she is very grumpy and we can't even go near her without her growling at us.
Last edited by Diana_Kyte1 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Joined:Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location:Dorset, UK

Re: Collie x Springer aggressively guarding her bed!

Post by JudyN » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:00 am

I'm not an expert, but these are my thoughts...

Four months isn't a long time at all, and it sounds as if she's not had a good start in life so has a lot to get over. She's also still very young. For the time being, could you simply avoid moving her bed at times when she is likely to guard it? Failing that, if you know you need to move her bed, close the door to the room she's in or put a stairgate across it. She might decide that as she can't do anything about it, it's not worth worrying about. And at least it means you can be more relaxed.

So the experts can help more, could you please give a detailed run-down of her daily routine, including walks, play, training, meals, where she sleeps, and so on? Who else lives in your household, and do you have any other pets? What does she like, and what doesn't she like? (Toys, games, walks, other dogs, being petted, praise, treats...) Also, could you list the issues she has had and how you've dealt with them? If we can spot any other sources of anxiety/stress for her we might be able to suggest ways of reducing her stress in general which will enable her to deal with bed-moving more easily.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Re: Collie x Springer aggressively guarding her bed!

Post by Nettle » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:10 am

While we wait for your update, it is very important for her general security that her bed is somewhere where it does not have to be moved. And she should have a bed in every room where she is allowed to go. Their beds are very important to dogs, and if those beds are being constantly moved it makes them really insecure.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog


Joined:Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:05 am

Re: Collie x Springer aggressively guarding her bed!

Post by Diana_Kyte1 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:35 am

I have updated

Joined:Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:05 am

Re: Collie x Springer aggressively guarding her bed!

Post by katej215 » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:44 pm

Hi, we have a rescue dog, who has also been very guardy with his bed and space generally when resting. Couldn't agree more with Nettle, find a solution so you don't have to keep moving his bed, you need to try and manage situations as much as possible to avoid conflict, as conflict only increases a dog's stress levels and ultimately makes things worse. This is not avoiding the problem, this will allow stress levels to come down and allow space for the dog to start to trust I'm learning, this really takes times with rescue dogs.
Also think about your own body language when you are walking past the bed, turn your body and head away, avoid eye contact, this will help communicate to your dog that you are not a threat.
Once you are further down the line (I think it's too early just now), but once he is not reacting and is less tense you can start to toss treats towards him , not saying anything and keeping your body turned away which will in time start to teach him that you being around when he is resting is ok, but this will take time. We are 9 months in with our dog, and I can now, when he is in his bed awake and watching me, quietly go over and hand feed him a treat, but this has taken a lot of work ...and all dogs are different! However sounds like you have made progress with him in other areas.

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