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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! My puppy Pax is really great in most regards. He comes to work with my every day and is friendly to all my coworkers. I work in the shipping/receiving dept. of the story, so sometimes if Pax falls asleep in the middle of the room, he needs to be moved over for the cart with boxes coming through. When I wake him, he simply gets up and moves over to his bed. However, my coworkers and I have noticed that when they wake him up, he growls. On a couple of occasions, he's even nipped at them. He's only 4.5 months old, so I want to fix this before it develops into something more. I was thinking maybe having them wake him with a treat so that he gets something positive for having to move. Any thoughts?
 

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He may be momentarily confused when a "stranger" wakes him. Rather than having them continue to wake him even with a treat, I'd do what I could to prevent him from falling asleep in a busy area. Is there a place you can set up a bed for him? Then train him to go there for a nap. Until then, if you see that he's fallen asleep, you can move him to the appropriate place.
 

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I agree that he is probably just confused in his hazy post nap state by having a stranger wake him up. It would probably be best to train him to sleep in a specific spot, but if they must wake him up to move him I do think stinky treats are a good idea.
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I'm #3 on finding him a place to nap where he isn't in the way, and to ask your co-workers to come and get you if he does happen to fall asleep where he shouldn't have.

Stinky treats might work, but if my foggy wake-ups are any indication, I'm not sure I'd necessarily associate being startled awake by a stranger and getting a treat.
 

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I think you need to train him to enter and sleep in a crate while he's at your workplace. He'll get the privacy and comfort he needs, and your coworkers won't have to worry about disturbing him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
But doesn't that just avoid the issue, rather than fix/address it?
 

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But doesn't that just avoid the issue, rather than fix/address it?
Prevention of a behavior is generally an excellent fix. There are a number of good reasons for your dog not to be napping wherever he pleases - especially at your workplace. I'm not sure what your workplace culture is like, but it seems to me that it's rather a lot that your co-workers have to watch out for your dog, in order to get their work done safely. In my opinion, it's really your responsibility to ensure your dog isn't in their way. It's also your responsibility to ensure your dog isn't in a position where he gets run over by a cart, if someone doesn't happen to see him.

As for growling when *strangers* wake him, with a minimum of management, it becomes a non-issue. If he was growling when *you* were waking him, that could be a more serious issue.

In my personal opinion, I wouldn't put my dog in a situation where he had to deal with strangers anyway, even if he were friendly. I consider it my responsibility to keep him safe and feeling safe, not expect him to cheerfully adjust to anything and everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Prevention of a behavior is generally an excellent fix. There are a number of good reasons for your dog not to be napping wherever he pleases - especially at your workplace. I'm not sure what your workplace culture is like, but it seems to me that it's rather a lot that your co-workers have to watch out for your dog, in order to get their work done safely. In my opinion, it's really your responsibility to ensure your dog isn't in their way. It's also your responsibility to ensure your dog isn't in a position where he gets run over by a cart, if someone doesn't happen to see him.

As for growling when *strangers* wake him, with a minimum of management, it becomes a non-issue. If he was growling when *you* were waking him, that could be a more serious issue.

In my personal opinion, I wouldn't put my dog in a situation where he had to deal with strangers anyway, even if he were friendly. I consider it my responsibility to keep him safe and feeling safe, not expect him to cheerfully adjust to anything and everything.
I was simply clarifying an issue that I'd thought of.

I do not appreciate being accused of being irresponsible. He is tethered to my workspace and has a bed in that area. It is a shipping room and some days we receive a lot more boxes than usual and space becomes tight until the books (I work at a book store) are received and put out on the floor. A coworker will wake him to move him and he'll growl sometimes. Being a puppy, he's asleep most of the day, and many people want to come and pet him, and I don't want him growling at anyone for any reason.
Please do not accuse me of being irresponsible as that was quite unnecessary.
 

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I was simply clarifying an issue that I'd thought of.

I do not appreciate being accused of being irresponsible. He is tethered to my workspace and has a bed in that area. It is a shipping room and some days we receive a lot more boxes than usual and space becomes tight until the books (I work at a book store) are received and put out on the floor. A coworker will wake him to move him and he'll growl sometimes. Being a puppy, he's asleep most of the day, and many people want to come and pet him, and I don't want him growling at anyone for any reason.
Please do not accuse me of being irresponsible as that was quite unnecessary.
I don't think @Dia was implying that you are irresponsible, simply that you are the person who should be ensuring your puppy is neither in harms way nor impeding the workflow of your colleagues. You are also the person to ensure he's not put in a situation where he's uncomfortable. Yes, you can counter condition and train so that he's fine being woken by strangers, but given the entirety of the situation, finding him a more secluded area to sleep is a better option.

Also, the bolded comment, please read this: Growling...
 

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Control over the situation will give you lots more training opportunities. If he's in a crate, 'strangers' can't wake him up when you're not there (and if they do, they at least can't wake him up by trying to kiss him on the face, of any of the other genius things people do to cute doggies). You can even put a sign and a cup of cookies on the crate, instructing people to feed him one if they wake him up. Make the crate his "safe space," and he'll learn to feel more confident in there...probably including in his sleep, which may help reduce growling too. Plus, having him already adjusted to a crate will give you an extra resource if you find yourself dealing with any number of totally normal teenage issues as he keeps growing up.

Making sure that your dog feels safe isn't "avoiding" a problem, it's setting you and your dog up for success. If you control where he sleeps, then you have more control over who is waking him, and when, and most particularly, how. You can help him start to learn that "when I sleep in my crate, if someone wakes me up, good things happen." If you're seeing him get progressively more relaxed about being woken, you can start having more strangers participate in waking him up. Later, start have him do this with the crate door open, and so forth, until you've built up his foundation of skills to the level he needs to be sleeping in random places and woken up by random people. Until then, some degree of management is a massive advantage to your training plan.

Good luck!
 

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I was simply clarifying an issue that I'd thought of.

I do not appreciate being accused of being irresponsible.
I'm sorry you felt accused. I expressed my opinion of what a responsible owner would do for their puppy.

, and many people want to come and pet him, and I don't want him growling at anyone for any reason.
Growling shouldn't be discouraged. Dogs who are discouraged from growling learn not to growl, but just attack instead. Growling should be considered your dog's attempt at communicating something that worries him, or scares him.

Dogs are animals, and much of what they do is based on instinct. We humans, having taken them into our homes, expect a great deal of our dogs - which is essentially be nice to everyone (canine or human), no matter how the dogs feels at any given time, except those individuals (canine or human) who are truly a threat. Even if the person or dog in question is behaving rudely, or even doing things that cause pain, we expect the dog to just accept it. And dogs do try their best, but unfortunately there comes a time when the best behaved, most tolerant dog in the world may snap. Growling really does serve a valuable purpose, so rather than teaching him not to growl at anyone for any reason, find out what makes him uncomfortable enough to growl, and then do your best to reduce those situations, while also helping him learn to be more comfortable.
 

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I'm sorry you felt accused. I expressed my opinion of what a responsible owner would do for their puppy.
Communicating on message boards is tricky, and Dia, I know that everything you've posted on this thread has been written with the best of intentions. However, I don't think you quite got the wording right here. I think we can all agree that Wideturn is a responsible pet owner. :)

Wideturn, here are my thoughts about your puppy's sleeping arrangement. I think dogs are a bit like people here. I know that when I wake up my son, he's usually a bit put out to be disturbed. He's not a morning person, and my attempts to rouse him are often met with an expression of annoyance not unlike your puppy's growl. I think the expression "Let sleeping dogs lie" is pretty appropriate here.

And because your puppy doesn't like to be touched while he's sleeping (and that's pretty common), he needs a safe place to take a nap. I still think a crate is the best option, and remember that you can leave the door open and let him enter and leave it freely. If he's not in a crate and has to be moved, I'd suggest waking him by calling his name rather than picking him up and handling him.

It sounds like your puppy is tethered in the back room away from the public. However, if you sometimes have him out in the front of the store where customers, including children, try to pet him while he's sleeping, you will definitely need to use a crate. Of course, you don't want a puppy growling at customers, but you also don't want to put him in a position in which he feels uncomfortable.

A lot of the general public have NO IDEA how to interact property with dogs. A common mistake is to reach up over the dog's head and try to pet them. I often tell the story about how I was bitten by a friend's Siberian Husky many years ago. The dog was tethered on a patio and I very foolishly and naively went for the overhead pet. I still have the scar to tell the story. This is a scenario that you'll want to avoid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thankfully, he's not on the sales floor around customers, save a few times during the day to get a biscuit. I've told everyone to be more cautious waking him, if he needs to be woken. We've taken to making a kissy noise (which he knows means to come and inevitably he gets treat) and then they give him a treat. I have also taken measures to make sure I know when we're getting a particularly large shipment to move him beforehand. He seems to wake up sniffing for treats now haha
 

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Thankfully, he's not on the sales floor around customers, save a few times during the day to get a biscuit. I've told everyone to be more cautious waking him, if he needs to be woken. We've taken to making a kissy noise (which he knows means to come and inevitably he gets treat) and then they give him a treat. I have also taken measures to make sure I know when we're getting a particularly large shipment to move him beforehand. He seems to wake up sniffing for treats now haha
What an excellent solution! :)
 
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