Here is my situation.
Zoey (3 yrs old) and her father (6 yrs old) were dumped by a breeder at the So Cal Basenji Rescue when they were 1 and 4. The setup in So Cal is a kennel building. Zoey and Tyler stayed there for almost 2 years, and they were very close and according to Karen and Chuck—they never saw them even snark at each other over anything. They stayed in the same kennel, ate out of the same food bowel, and were let out into the same run together the whole time they were there. Tyler was the dominant one and looked out for Zoey. I’ve had them in my home now for over two months. Zoey ran from me at first and wouldn’t even let me pick her up. But when she started coming to me, Tyler would push her out of the way. I always treat Tyler as the leader (after myself). I greet him first when I get home, he gets his treats first, etc. But a couple of times now, Tyler has growled at Zoey—and I couldn’t figure out why. Zoey looks very hurt and confused when he does this. I don’t think he had done this in the past with her. Then she tries to sidle up to him and tap him on the nose and get him to play with her. The couple of times he’s done this is when I am sitting on my bed and Zoey comes in between him and me—not to get my attention, but she’ll just be sniffing around the nightstand or something like that. Am I a “resource” he is guarding? Any advice on what I should do so that this doesn’t continue happening or even escalate? He hasn’t bitten her, but he does growl very seriously. So far, I’ve just kind of backed off and let the two of them sort it out. I’ve read the advice about giving treats when the “unwanted” situation arises to demonstrate that good things will happen if they allow the “unwanted” situation (like when someone knocks at the door and your B goes whacko). Should I try holding Zoey and paying attention to her and give him treats while I’m doing this? This would be before any growling situation because I don’t want him to think I’m rewarding him for growling at her. Any suggestions would be appreciated. fyi—Tyler is also very bad on leash when other dogs on leash get near. I have to take him to the other side of the street and not let him get near the other dog. It is always the three of us (Zoey, Tyler, and me) when we go for walks.