Puppy growling...not sure how to approach

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Puppy growling...not sure how to approach

This is a discussion on Puppy growling...not sure how to approach within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hi, my now nearly 10 week old Dalmatian puppy Brutus keeps growling every now and then. It's normally when I'm trying to prevent him from ...

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Old 06-20-2012, 06:03 AM
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Puppy growling...not sure how to approach

Hi, my now nearly 10 week old Dalmatian puppy Brutus keeps growling every now and then. It's normally when I'm trying to prevent him from doing what he wants such as digging around in the flower beds in my yard (he's often persistent, and returns to the flower beds or whatever it may be, again and again and I remove him and try to get his attention again and again)

My father in law has trained many dogs and has warned me of this and his approach is the forceful one, saying that the dog has to know who's the boss.

Is hard line the right approach? I don't want to end up with an aggressive dog but at the same time I don't want him to think he's the top dog and can do as he pleases.

Please help!
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:29 AM
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10 weeks is very young to be outside digging in the flower bed. I have to assume he is out for good amount of time to do this. I also have to assume you are not watching him the whole time. I would not leave him unsupervised outside. When you take him to go potty praise him a lot for going outside. If you play ball with outside, praise him when he gets the ball. Do everything with him while outside so he does not go off on his own and praise everything he does that you like. This will help when he is older to understand the good feeling for doing something you like.
How does he act in the house? Any of this behavior with anything in the house?
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:44 AM
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He's not outside much at all, I take him out for the toilet, but he gets distracted by the flower beds. We very rarely leave him unsupervised and if we do its only for a matter of seconds as we're trying to train him to go outside. Our yard isn't massive but there a 3 raised flowerbeds he can climb up to. There are pebbles there which he likes so we can't afford not to supervise him. He often sniffs around ready to do his business but the gets near the beds and gets distracted.

When we stop him continually he sometimes growls.

His behaviour in the house is generally ok but he has growled before when he wasn't getting things his own way.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:52 AM
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Is he doing good on the house training? Is he kenneled at night?
What was he wanting in the house that he growled about? Some times depending on the situation ignoring the growling is better then responding to it. Again praising everything he does that you like.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:55 AM
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Put something up around the flower beds.
Growling, at this age, is either him showing that he's frustrated or that he thinks you're playing a game. Neither is aggressive.
Showing your dog 'who's boss' however, IS likely to create aggression.
LynneMarie is right, it's far better to focus on what you want him to do and to encourage that than it is to try to correct him for things you don't want. Simply make the things you don't want unrewarding or impossible (as I said, fence off the beds).
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:38 AM
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Ok, I was viewing the growling as an aggressive nature rather than just play or frustration.

His house training is going quite well, though his does have the odd accident. He's signalling to go out but sometimes once out he goes straight to the flowerbeds! Think fencing off could be an option. I'm not bothered too much about the plants, it's more the stones he picks up

He is crated on a night in our bedroom and let's us know when he needs to go out. He sits on command and also knows a hand signal to sit as well.

It's just the growling that is the main concern and wasn't sure what to do. Thanks for the help - ill post some updates on how it goes
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