Why Does My Cavalier Growl At Family Members?

Here is  question #2 from a local dog owner:


Why does my cavalier growl at family members sometimes?  He was raised from a puppy in the home with older children yet snaps at us sometimes. I work from home and have never seen anyone do anything but love on him.

Karen Payne, Dog Behavior Consultant, from Positive Praise answers:

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing the situations in which the dog growls. Growling is a warning sign and left uncorrected, could lead to snapping and biting. If he has a bone or toy, he may be growling to protect those items even from family members. If he is on the furniture and growls when someone wants to sit with him, he is protecting his space on the furniture. He may also be insecure about his place in the family. If he doesn’t have strong leaders, he may be trying to take on the role and boss everyone else around. This behavior sh