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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I need some advice. I have a 6 year old female lab/greatdane mix. I have been married to my wife for nearly 2 years and things have been going well between her and the dog. For some reason lately every time my wife tries to get Lola to go outside Lola has been growling deeply at her. My wife has not and is not abusive to her in anyway and feeds her nearly every night. What could be causing Lola to do this?
 

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It's hard to say on the basis of that information. What is Lola usually doing before your wife tries to take her out? How does your wife go about it? What happens when they go out - is it a walk, a toilet visit, play, training? Is this recent, has Lola had a recent vet check (always recommended when behaviour changes)? Is Lola stiff in the joints at all?

But - the growl is an important communication from your dog and should be respected. Dogs give a series of signals that they are unhappy, but unfortunately most people don't recognise them because they can be quite subtle. To begin with there is often wide eyes, lip licking and yawning. There is also muscular tension in the body. Then the ones we sometimes do see - growl, snarl, nip then bite. If the early signals are not seen (or, in the dog's view, ignored) she won't bother with them because us stupid humans pay no attention anyway; so she may go straight to the bite. So it's important never to ignore the early signals or reprimand the dog for giving them; stopping the dog from giving them would be like taking the battery out of a smoke alarm.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My wife just says Lola let's go outside and attempts to take her by the collar to lead her out. It's for a potty break.
 

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Lola may not appreciate being disturbed from what she is doing (there's a reason for the saying ”let sleeping dogs lie”).

What if your wife lured her out with a treat instead of taking her collar - no drama, and everybody wins.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We will try the treat. We don't normally give them treats as Lola is overweight and lazy. We have 8 acres for her to run around and play on, but she just wants to be a couch potatao. :)
 

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Just reduce her food allowance to compensate - or if you prefer, use some of her food, or make her earn her normal food by, for example, going out when asked and doing anything else you want her to do. Maybe cut back on her food, if she is overweight that will be putting strain on her joints (and heart) and will likely also be contributing to her not wanting to get up and go out.
 

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I think Lola might really dislike your wife taking her out by the collar. While she might have tolerated it before, she probably is expressing displeasure with being handled in that way. Is your wife hooking a leash to the collar or is she just giving it a tug? If it's just a tug, I think she should stop altogether before Lola snaps at her.

I let my dog out in the evenings in an enclosed backyard. It's a matter of going to the door, calling him, and then opening the door. He bounds out, and I go out with him. Would your dog do that if she is simply called?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The only reason she gets her collar is Lola will sometimes not go just by a command. She cam be quite the stubborn girl.
 

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I don't think dogs do ”stubborn” in the way we know it. Dogs do ”does this work for me or not, keep me safe, fed” etc. If you think she is stubborn, it's just that the motivation, desire or reward for what you are asking isn't as great as the motivation, desire or reward for what she is already doing. So up the reward and make it worth her while.
 
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