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I have an Aussie Border Collie Mix (4 yo.) That I am starting to have a problem with. He is neutered and well behaved in my presence. He knows his place in the pack except for my 10 yo. son and my other 2 year old Border collie. He will Growl at them when he is lying down. It seems like a totally dominant behavior. It not usually very aggressive but it is becoming more frequent.
He will Growl when he is being petted to let the other dog know not to come near. It’s usually more of a deep rumble but I have seen him start to turn his lip a time or two. The other dog respects it but does not fear it and will sometimes approach and start licking him, where his growl will turn into a moan of approval. The way I handle the growls with my Son is to tell my son to stand up move back and call the dog. His reaction is to immediately go to my son and roll over on his back (almost as if to apologize) I thought this was working but he is still demonstrating the behavior.
When I step in and tell him no, he just turns the growl inward where I can feel it and barely hear it. I have my son work with him but it hasn’t made much a difference so far and as far as the other dog goes they have never fought or there has never been a bite incurred. I have read a lot about not scolding. The way I see this is the dog see’s my Wife oldest son and myself above him and my younger son over him sometimes and the 2 year old dog under him. Is he just challenging my son because he sees him as close to his status in the pack?