My 8 month old Rottie growls at me when I try and take his toy away. What should I do?
I have an 8 month old rottie. He is a good dog, however, I have some problems making him give me something (anything) he has stolen from me. He just looks up at me and curls his upper lip. I don't think he wants to bite or harm me, he is usually a very gentle dog. I can put my fingers in his food bowl, and even put my hands in his mouth, however, when he takes something he will not give it back. What do I do?
What you are seeing is one of the first stages of dominance. This needs to be stopped now when the dog is young rather than allowing him to mature and the problem to grow, (which it will).
The reason you need to be so concerned at 8 months is that you have a window of opportunity to deal with dominance. At 8 months this dog is just a puppy. He does not have the maturity to be a serious threat to you, 5 or 6 months from now this will be a different situation.
Growling at you over his toy is his way of beginning to challenge his position in you pack order. He needs to learn that this is totally unacceptable. How you handle this depends on your size, his size and your skill as a handler.
If it were me I would have the dog wear a prong collar with a drag line (we sell these) . When the dog growled I would take the drag line and give a firm POP on the lead. The dog would learn very quickly that any form of aggression will be quickly dealt with.
The reaction from the dog needs to be avoidance not aggression or more growling. If the dog growls when you correct him the correction needs to be harder.
A prong collar on an 8 month old dog is going to solve the problem.
You had also better put some good obedience training into this dog right now. Get my 4 hour DVD titled Basic Dog Obedience. This training will also help establish you as the pack leader and boss.
And finally - read the article I wrote titled DEALING WITH THE DOMINANT DOG. There may be more things you are doing wrong in this dogs life that are causing it to act like this.