Growling puppy revisited

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Growling puppy revisited

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Old 02-03-2013, 04:33 AM
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Growling puppy revisited

Sorry to keep going on about this, but I really just want to know if I am doing the right thing.

Bella is a bit of a growler. Particularly when playing. Never when eating or anything like that. If I need to take some forbidden item from her I always swap it for something she likes more. She is always ok with this. She is totally soppy and cuddly.

As suggested if we need to move her whilst asleep we gently wake her and temp her to her bed with a treat, this is working well.

However, yesterday when she was asleep on my daughters lap, she would let out a growly moan when my daughter moved her to a more comfortable position.

She has started to gain more confidence with dogs now and I took her to the beach with my friends young dog, she really gets excited to see him and they played happily for ages, then she started running at him and growling, she wouldn't leave him alone. I know this is probably just play, so we left them alone hoping that my friends dog would put her in her place if she got too much, but he didn't. She is so excited to see all dogs.

Today on a walk, she was having loads of fun. When we came to put her back on her lead she let out another growly moan, possibly because she didn't want the fun to end. But then walked home fine.

I must point out that she doesn't bare her teeth or snap ever. She doesnt seem to even open her mouth its just a low groaning sound. it's more like just disapproval that she is doing something she doesn't want to do. She hardly barks at all, so could it be this is how she communicates?

I know that growling is a warning so I just want to know the best way to deal with this so that she doesnt feel like she needs to 'take it to the next' level so we listen to her. However, When she does make this noise i am not sure what we are doing that she feels threatened by, I just seems like complete disapproval. Obviously this being our first dog I just want to do the right thing. We never punish or shout at her ever, only praise and give her lots of love. She has lots of exercise and play. She has been very easy to train and loves people. I just don't want to put her in a position where she feels she needs to escalate the warning. But hand on heart I can't think what it is because it is in situations where she is being loved or cuddled or being played with. She doesn't even make a sound when I take her away from the cat, or anything else.

Sorry to keep going on about it, I just want to do the best thing by my puppy.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:47 AM
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Sorry to keep going on about this, but I really just want to know if I am doing the right thing.

Bella is a bit of a growler. Particularly when playing. Never when eating or anything like that. If I need to take some forbidden item from her I always swap it for something she likes more. She is always ok with this. She is totally soppy and cuddly.

As suggested if we need to move her whilst asleep we gently wake her and temp her to her bed with a treat, this is working well.

However, yesterday when she was asleep on my daughters lap, she would let out a growly moan when my daughter moved her to a more comfortable position.

She has started to gain more confidence with dogs now and I took her to the beach with my friends young dog, she really gets excited to see him and they played happily for ages, then she started running at him and growling, she wouldn't leave him alone. I know this is probably just play, so we left them alone hoping that my friends dog would put her in her place if she got too much, but he didn't. She is so excited to see all dogs.

Today on a walk, she was having loads of fun. When we came to put her back on her lead she let out another growly moan, possibly because she didn't want the fun to end. But then walked home fine.

I must point out that she doesn't bare her teeth or snap ever. She doesnt seem to even open her mouth its just a low groaning sound. it's more like just disapproval that she is doing something she doesn't want to do. She hardly barks at all, so could it be this is how she communicates?

I know that growling is a warning so I just want to know the best way to deal with this so that she doesnt feel like she needs to 'take it to the next' level so we listen to her. However, When she does make this noise i am not sure what we are doing that she feels threatened by, I just seems like complete disapproval. Obviously this being our first dog I just want to do the right thing. We never punish or shout at her ever, only praise and give her lots of love. She has lots of exercise and play. She has been very easy to train and loves people. I just don't want to put her in a position where she feels she needs to escalate the warning. But hand on heart I can't think what it is because it is in situations where she is being loved or cuddled or being played with. She doesn't even make a sound when I take her away from the cat, or anything else.

Sorry to keep going on about it, I just want to do the best thing by my puppy.
Hi I dont think its growling,when we had visitors they wondered where the noise was coming from and whether it was a growl are belgian when she is comfortable or settled,she makes that sort of noise its more like a deep sigh of contentment,but it does sound odd.If you get the vac out she absolutely adoresbeing stroked by it,its probably almost like a cats purr so dont worry, some people have dogs that snore for england and wake up the whole house.gemini
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:04 AM
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The growling and charging at the other dog she had been playing with, is just an over-tired puppy who still wants to play but just cannot think clearly anymore. Sometimes, for the sake of the other dog, its time for people to put the puppy back on the leash to give the older dog a break. Think about how much Mom or Grandmom really wants to wrestle with the preschooler... there are limits to one's patience.

The moany-growly thing when moved while sleeping... or when leashed... it just sounds like she is a vocal dog, expressing herself, but it does not sound threatening at all. Some dogs "talk" a lot more than others.

Perhaps you can get some video-audio of one of these moan type things? Then we can give you a much more sure answer.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:45 AM
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Thank you. It makes me feel lots better just getting your opinions. I don't think it does sound threatening at all, it almost reminds me of how kids grunt and groan when they don't want to do something. I just worry that if its something I don't deal with properly then I may have problems when she is older.

She is so lovely and happy that I think you may be right in that she is just vocal. My friends dog never growls but barks constantly to get his point across, I quests they are all just different. Bella actually looks around to see where the sound came from on the rare occasion that she barks.

I will try and get a video of it but I'm not the great with technology. :$
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:31 AM
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I have tried googling puppy growling and have got so many conflicting ideas. Some very extreme and other suggesting that growling is a way of deciding dominance and should be dealt with because the dog will establish itself as leader.

I am totally confused. I know growling is a warning but should I just ignore growling or tell her 'no'. Or am I being totally neurotic and she will grow out of it.

I have asked my friends who have dogs and they say their dogs have never growl, this makes me feel worse.

Ahhhhhhh!
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:47 PM
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Never ever ever correct a growl. You WANT that piece of communication, trust me.

Growling during play is normal. Even adult dogs will do it sometimes. If she becomes overly excited during play and the other dog doesn't stop it, but you can tell they don't appreciate it, don't be afraid to step in. Pups can get like overly tired children and not know how to stop.

The 'growl moan' sounds like what we call 'grumbles' in my house. Its just another vocalization in her set, its not a growl as such, its just her talking to you.

When she's truely growling, in other than play, don't correct it, but don't ignore it either. Try to figure out WHY she's growling. Is she freaked out by a different hat or other piece of clothing you're wearing today? Did you pick her up in a way that was uncomfortable to her? Did something startle her?

Nothing you're describing says "AGGRESSION!!!" to me, so if she IS growling its her way of communicating that theres a problem. She's scared, or hurt, or upset. Your job is to figure out what triggered it, and aclimatate her to it so that its no longer a scary thing that has to be warned off.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:59 PM
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Ignore the whole dominance nonsense. Puppies growl to play or if they are afraid. Rarely they have RG issues.
None of these reasons should be met with a harsh response from humans.

Your puppy sounds totally normal to me.

Less googling. More time on the floor with puppy enjoying her. The internet can make a person lose her mind.


This group on DF knows more about dog behavior than most of the junk you will find by doc google. Get us a video of the grumble.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:14 PM
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Thank you. Is it the case that they usually outgrow the play growling?

She will sometimes growl when playing with the kids, the same type of growl as when playing with a toy or another dog. Should I make her aware that it's not acceptable to growl at humans. I am a little worried that she will growl at the kids friends and they might not realise its just play. Or should I keep her away from other children all together.

I rang a dog trainer and she told me not to let my children play with the puppy!

She did have a habit of hanging on to clothes and growling when she got excited. When she does this I just tend to freeze and she does stop, then praise when she is calm. She hasn't done this now for a few weeks so it seemed to be working. But today she was playing with my daughter and started growling, my daughter stopped playing and told Bella to sit, which she did immediately. My daughter then gave her a pet when she was in the sit. If she was being aggressive she probably wouldn't have followed the command so quickly, would she????

Sorry for all the questions. But when you google there seems to be a lot of conflicting info. Of course I don't want to remove the warning growl.

Thanks
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:16 PM
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Thanks sue. You always say the right thing. My husband keeps telling me to stop worrying about it. I know I should.

Sorry I am a pain.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:47 PM
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Thank you. Is it the case that they usually outgrow the play growling?
Mine seem to have, it'll still come up every now and then, but its not as frequent.

Quote:
She will sometimes growl when playing with the kids, the same type of growl as when playing with a toy or another dog. Should I make her aware that it's not acceptable to growl at humans. I am a little worried that she will growl at the kids friends and they might not realise its just play. Or should I keep her away from other children all together.

I rang a dog trainer and she told me not to let my children play with the puppy!

..........
But today she was playing with my daughter and started growling, my daughter stopped playing and told Bella to sit, which she did immediately. My daughter then gave her a pet when she was in the sit. If she was being aggressive she probably wouldn't have followed the command so quickly, would she????
Urg. No, don't keep her away from kids, just make sure all such play is well supervised. Even with no aggression involved she could hurt a kid, or they her, without anyone meaning to.

I like your daughter's solution, and yes, if she was being aggressive she'd have not responded to your daughter. Its basically her getting overly excited. So distraction is often an effective "slow down" method.

Quote:
She did have a habit of hanging on to clothes and growling when she got excited. When she does this I just tend to freeze and she does stop, then praise when she is calm. She hasn't done this now for a few weeks so it seemed to be working.
Definetly correct that sort of behavior, its not that far from grabbing dangling hands....but it sounds like your solution is working.

Quote:
Sorry for all the questions. But when you google there seems to be a lot of conflicting info. Of course I don't want to remove the warning growl.

Thanks
Questions is how you learn! So ask. I'd personally rather answer the same question 100 times than assume its obvious (which doesn't mean that I'm not human and occasionally be grumpy about having to answer it 100 times lol).
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