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Hi. I have a new female black lab puppy. She was born Feb 20th. I have never had a puppy do this before, so I am unsure of what to do. Our puppy will growl at us if she is sleeping or tired and we touch her- go to rub her butt etc. I am getting mixed messages from people. Half the people say she is a puppy and she should NOT be doing this. The other people say she is tired, separate her, train her and she should be fine. Do I have an aggressive dog already? Thanks for the help. I was unsure if we should contact the breeder or if this was normal and we should just train her.
 

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it is never too early to start training your puppy so i would start the training now. what kind of growl is she doing? is it more like a rumble or an actual teeth baring growl? she is still new and everyone, including her, is still settling in to the new situation.

whenever i first get a dog i am constantly conditioning them to be tolerate to be touched and messed with. i will start to pet them and rub them while they sleep, pick up their food while they eat or stick my hands in there, just different things to get them used to different situations and help avoid any problems in the future. just be patient and keep working with her and things she'll get used to it and things will straighten out.
 

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offer treats just before she exhibits the behavior. She will learn that People touching me=food=good feelings. You can read up on counter conditioning for dogs (which is basically what I just decribed)

does she growl in play? maybe she thinks your initiating play when you handle her?



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I would growl too if I was prodded and patted and touched every time I fell asleep. Puppies just like babies need their sleep. By growling, he tells you he wants some rest and peace.
 

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Sammy does that all the time, & he's 1 1/2 yrs. It's not aggression, they just wanna sleep. If She's been asleep for a while already, it's cos she's warm. You're overreacting.
 
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