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My one and a half year old aussie/minpin/sheltie mix will growl at me even to the point of showing her teeth, then will proceed to intensely lick my hand. She will be sitting next to me on the couch and start growling when I pet her so I will stop and she will physically put herself on my lap and nudge my hand up with her nose. Then she will continue to snarl at my hand if I move it anywhere. We adopted her when she was 8 weeks old and has lived with us in the same home with the same surroundings. She didn't start doing this until she was about around 10 months old, and I can't think of anything that would have triggered it. She's incredibly loving otherwise, does have slight food aggression but that has recently come a long way, she now lets us feed her out of our hand and put our hands in her bowl while she is eating. She knows basic commands like sit and stay and will bring the frisbee right back to your feet, she is by no means lacking physical or mental stimulation. I don't know if this is a possessive problem or if any part of her is in pain. Ive tried playing with her paws and mouth a bit and nothing seems to be bothering her. Its almost as if she wants to be pet but doesn't realize my hand is what is doing the petting and is then scared and threatened by my hand. I also thought maybe she just wanted to be left alone so I stopped petting her as much but she is a very cuddly dog and will come up and lay right next to me and even provoke being pet by nudging my hand only to growl at it. Sometimes if I just look over at her she'll growl at me let out a big huff stop growling and rush over and get in my face wanting to be pet. Other times it seems to possibly be voice triggered, ill be petting her and shell be fine until I talk. This next part may just be in my head but I have a fiancé and several friends who have watched me petting her and ask her a series of non sense questions (obviously since she is a dog and will not respond lol) and she'll have no reaction until I ask her "Bertie, are you mad?" then she will let out an intense snarl, Its really pretty bizarre sometimes. I don't know if its the inflection in my voice or if its by chance, I'm just trying to include every possible situation I've dealt with surrounding this topic. I'm hoping someone can provide some insight or has faced a similar situation.
 

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I couldn't hear her growling but I saw her snarling and she definitely looked very upset. Her behavior is definitely pretty strange and I haven't really ever seen anything like that, especially when she put her mouth to your hand and seemed like she was just pressing her teeth there and then started licking your hand. Very strange! Do you use your hands to punish her at all? Have you ever swat her, flicked her, spanked her, etc? Do you know if anyone in the house may have used their hands to hit or punish her? Is it a certain area that she does this with like her chest, her back, her neck, her face, etc?

I'm thinking it might be a pain reaction and I would get her to the vets so they can examine her. The way I am reading it is that she doesn't want you to touch her and then once she sees you aren't going to touch her she licks your hand as if to apologize for growling. I'm not sure if that's correct but it wouldn't hurt to see a vet!
 

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I'm not really sure what to make of this either.

If she's been yelled at or scolded and called "bad" maybe that's why she responds negatively to the word "mad?" Because they sound similar? If not, I don't know why she would respond that way to that particular word. But that was pretty scary at the end of your video when she is right in your face hard staring at you.

Are you able to either physically remove her from the couch or train her "off" so that when she growls you can remove her from the situation? I would think that training her to get off of the couch when this happens will give both of you some space and keep you safe, and also may help to discourage the behavior. Does this only happen on the couch? Does this only happen with you, or has it happened with others like your fiancee? She might be resource guarding the couch- that would be my best guess.



The voice trigger kind of reminded me of my dog, Delilah's, behavior. We'll be petting her on the couch or ground or wherever and she'll be rolling around enjoying it. But if we make a certain noise with our lips, kind of between a raspberry and a bubbly noise, she'll hard stare, snarl, and lunge at our faces. She hasn't bitten us, but it's scary so we just don't make that noise around her. No idea why she hates that particular noise. She's okay with similar sounds, just not that one. She's kind of insane though and I think she possibly perceives the world similarly to how someone on acid does, so it might just be her.
 

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She's a very smart well trained dog we rarely have to discipline her anymore and I think that could be part of the issue, she may think she owns the whole house and in particular the couch. We've rarely used Bad tho, usually No. If I stand up and point and say down shell get off no problem but for her to leave the couch while growling I have to take her collar to make her get off in which she growls and more and will sometimes let out a little bark when she finally is forced off the couch. Something that just makes this all the stranger is that when she is in one of her growling fits if I say the word "outside" its like flipping a switch and she's instantly back to a lovable pup. We started to not allow her on the couch anymore but it started to happen sometimes when I would be petting her and cuddling on the ground. Its also not every single time she's on the couch, whenever I come home from work well cuddle for like a half hour and she'll be perfectly fine. She mostly does it do me but has done it do my best friend and my fiancee, its not every single person, we've had large groups of people over and she acts perfectly fine, and she's great with strangers. We adopted her at 8 weeks old from a rescue foster parent so I do not know what happened her first 8 weeks of life but she wasn't a timid puppy or anything to show any sort of abuse and nobody in the house has laid a hand on her. I tried negative reinforcement, when she growls i stop petting her and then she does what she did in the video, shell come up on my lap and roll over on his stomach and nudge my hand until i pet her again.. then shell growl. She's due to go to the vet for some more shots next week so Im going to bring it up to the vet to see if pain may be a factor. I do try and play with her paws chest face ears everything trying to figure out if somewhere is more sensitive and nothing seems to be bothering her. I know growling is a way for dogs to warn people to back off but part of me just thinks my dog is wired wrong and doesn't understand that that is what that means lol
 

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She started this when she was 10mo & is now a year & a half, so she's had a fair bit of 'practice' at it now. I'd not let it go on even longer, but ensure it doesn't work for her any more. Seems to me like she's just trying to 'call the shots', tho I agree it's a bit weird. Maybe this started when she was that age because she was starting to mature & learn to assert herself then.

I can't hear any growling in the vid & the staring is the only thing I really got from it - don't put your face close to her!
 

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Hi Bertie

If that was my dog I would go to the vet and get her totally checked out, and if the vet said she was ok I would ignore the growling and snarling and walk away when she starts it. I have a cat that who does it the other way around, she licks me, cuddles up and then suddenly bites for no reason. I've come to the conclusion that she thinks it is a sign of affection. At least your dog is up front lol

Lynsey
 
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