My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
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Is he neutered?
What obedience training has he had?
Can you take toys away from him?
Can you take food or bones away?
This is dominance aggression. He is maturing into an adult and testing you. If he can control you by growling he will. If he gets his way, he will continue the behavior. Continue obedience training. Even if he knows his commands he needs the daily training to keep seeing you as the boss and dogs do not growl at the boss. Look at a group of dogs that live together. One dog gets to do anything they want and take things away from all the others and none of the other dogs growl or complain because that dog is the boss. You want the dog to see you as the boss. Now he doesn't or he would not growl at you.
Let me give you a site on obedience training. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
Now there might also be another reason. Poodles, chihuahua and dachshunds suffer from disc issues so being picked up often causes them discomfort which can lead to them growling from pain. Many people pick up dogs like they do children under the front legs. This puts undue pressure on the discs in the back a the weight of the rear of the dog pulls down on the discs. The proper way of picking up a dog is to place one hand on the chest of the dog between the front legs and scoop the rear legs up in the other hand while lifting straight up. This keeps the back straight and the discs won't hurt.
With the obedience training you should be able to get your dog to do what you want without picking up your dog. Limit picking them up to when it is absolutely necessary. He'll learn quickly that you have changed and you will not see that behavior if pain in the discs was the cause.
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That is why I suggested that it might be due to the way you are picking him up and that this might be medical instead of behavioral. Poodles do have disc issues more often than many other breeds.
Also, he is still very young. dominant dogs generally start displaying dominant behavior around this age and it progressively will get worse as he matures into an adult. They start with one thing and if they can control you with that, they start exerting their dominance with other things. It is progressive. It also takes up to 30 days for the hormones to be reduced and help with behavioral issues.
If you pick him up the same way each time, then you wouldn't expect it to be different when he is laying down. However, depending on the way he lays down, picking him up might twist a disc and lead to the pain. I would get that checked out. You can also work with him on obedience so you can command him to come or use a stand command before picking him up. Picking him up in the correct manner is preferred though to avoid strain on the spine.