A small dog that is growling and needs carrying to the car. I’m thinking with a little time, she’ll get comfortable with the idea of having two people in the home that she trusts and she’ll stop growling and barking at him. Walking in the park, car rides are good examples which should be tried out. Really enjoyed the write up and great tips shared here! Squirrels near our house are usually the cause of Chewy’s growls. She does have a nervious growl & sometimes bark w/everyone but will eventually calm down, in the last 2 and a half yrs she STILL growls at our now 12 yr old granddaughter. I tried to be as calm and composed as possible, and just continued walking, looking straight ahead. Our dog’s growls sound quite harsh to the stranger, but all he really wants is to play! Kilo is quite the mouthy little pug, you gave me tons of tips to try. BUT – here is something that is getting worse and worse: She growls at men, in the beginning a few weeks ago, she growled at some men wearing baseball caps, now at any men in any situation – it is clear, she would bite. If your dog growls at you, then it's important to … When I was training her for this, if she didn’t listen when I said “It’s Okay” in a soft reassuring voice, I would make her go lie down in her bed or I would physically block her and make her leave the room. Good luck to you and your Aussie!? Remember that strangers cannot use the rewards that they would normally use when training their own dogs — praise and petting. The hard stares would make me a little nervous too, so I think I would try hiring a behaviorist to come to your house and work with Sade and Britt (if that’s not too much trouble for Britt to be there a few times). Wow, I am totally okay with this wordy Wordless Wednesday post! Repeat this many times over, varying both the speed and nature of the approach and contact.The above routine is repeated in Week 2 with the same people, each carrying something, e.g., walking stick, umbrella, clip board, etc. She had grown up with three smaller breed dogs and when we came to the house to pick her up she was a sweetie curling up between me and hubby, showing belly and licking us. Get back here with my treat". I’m glad you make the point about the breed not being for everyone. Thanks Kaitlin! Exit the situation. For … After sufficient repetitions, the stranger will be able to quickly grab the dog's scruff and hold on firmly and the dog will say, "Where's my treat good buddy? Or is it being protective of me? I praise my dogs for growling at someone because I know they have a very good reason for doing it and what they have told me is exactly what I want my traveling guard dogs to tell me. The dog still doesn’t like strangers and wants to growl, but dare not. Or they do the opposite and don’t guide their dog at all, leaving the dog to handle the situation themselves. ? If I don’t correct that behavior, she’ll just keep barking and barking. I think he was just worried,,,,and I love him for that! This is repeated many times over, progressively increasing the scratching-time with each treat until substantial petting (examination) is possible. Have you ever been concerned when your dog growled at someone? 🙂. Various desensitization and classical conditioning techniques have been descried in other articles, e.g., Retreat ‘n Treat and specific “ouch-tests”, “grab-tests” and other confidence building exercises are illustrated in the SIRIUS® Puppy Training DVDs. If the stranger stands at a distance where the dog feels comfortable, tosses a treat and then steps back, characteristically, the dog will tentatively approach to grab the treat before bidding a hasty retreat. I wonder if they growl at any other male voices on speakerphone or if they have issues with men in general. Feeding a dog from a food bowl hijacks training. I would probably enjoy them but I don’t want to alienate the dog from my husband. Rita has been known to growl (and bark!). What gives? I am currently reading everything on this subject. I remember how stressful it was when Haley was younger and I’m so proud of her being able to gain some confidence to be much more relaxed around any little girls. The best tools for training your puppy to stop barking at strangers are toys to act as distractions and treats to reinforce a more appropriate behavior. Now he doesn’t like most people that come on our house. We all learn a lot from each other, so I’d love to hear back later about how things are going with Bo. The “attack” by the handler  — the dog's only immediate ally — tends to make dogs especially nervous and “spooky”. Hello! Mila has been barking at more dogs lately when we go for our walks. Hi Daisy, I think you’re right that this is most likely a learned behavior from her previous (single) owner, but that probably doesn’t make your husband feel better when he walks into the room. The sad part is my kids and me love him ??????? Progressive desensitization basically comprises shaping the classical conditioning process. Nothing worked, it is getting worse. It’s a natural instinct to want to correct them when they growl, but when she’s tense with a stiff body and an intense stare, the pinch from a prong collar or sensation from an e-collar will likely make her reaction worse. I have only heard him growl a few times and even this he does not sound too mean. I hope the tips in the article are helpful. I’m really hoping a new trainer will have some success. Do You Have a Dog That Doesn’t Like to Play? Characteristically, fearful dogs vacillate between approach and avoidance as they build confidence. A single mistake — just a little impatience — will cause an enormous retrograde step.5. It sounds like your pup’s off to a great start and if you think about it, stop back later and let me know how things are going. He is about ready to take her back to the rescue center. Whilst on a walk, a dog off of the lead attacked me, my dog reacted by pinning the other down, and getting it away from me. Many owners are looking for a simple solution to stop their dog barking at other dogs. I do hope she grows out of it soon, she’s the loveliest softest dog I’ve ever had. It’s funny how that happens sometimes, isn’t it? You could also set up a bed in the room by the stove so he has a place to relax instead of near your feet. I like your real-life example with the kids. ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky! I need any advice for my dog Jacob. Please don’t be surprised when your delivery is delayed because your pet won’t allow entry into the yard. We have 3 friends that she will “allow” in the house but that took months to achieve. I use the same principle for teaching good door manners, which is another way of helping a dog learn to respect space. I am worried that one day she might bite someone. Of course, she would not be interested in good, when she is is in that state already…. I would think leaving (walking away or giving in to) the growling might only make him more inclined to show his displeasure when he doesn’t get his way. We have a new rescue – she seems to be an Anatolian Shepherd / Sloughi or Saluki mix. My question now is: Is it necessary/important that my husband (the person she barks/growls at and in reality her owner) takes the classes with her or may I do it. Instead, once the dog voluntarily approaches each person, we will teach him to first sit for examination and later to lie down, or roll over, when being examined. The owner must first deal with the underlying confidence problem and then, train the dog not to growl.The relative ease of prevention and treatment should not seduce one to adopt a cavalier attitude. I wonder if she is protecting me from my husband when she barks at him. There have been a few times though when Haley alerted us to something in the middle of the night and I would have sworn there was a boogie man right outside the bedroom door. If it is the 16 year old neighbor boy at the door, all aggression is gone and she kisses him and loves him. Lana looked like such a sweet girl, but I remember you writing about how she was kind of pushy or bossy with Ace. It sounds like you’ve done a great job of trying to help Sade overcome her nervousness and the training class was a good idea, along with Britt giving treats and praise. NO, your dog is NOT an “excellent judge of character” or whatever other nonsense you may believe. I can understand why it’s a concern when she’s pulling really hard in that state. It’s also interesting to watch two dogs playing together and growling, sometimes the play escalates and gets more serious until someone has had enough or a little scuffle breaks out. Learn more about temperament training with The Best Online Dog Training Program: The Top Dog Academy. Thanks, Kelsie! She is two years old and has led a very sheltered life. I doubt, that she would get the ok to go to a home…….. if a man would evaluate her, she might even react the same way. If your dog barks when there is a knock on the door, start out by knocking softly on a table or the wall and giving your dog a treat. Help? It sounds like he had a rough start with his first owner and probably the best thing would be to work with a local trainer that would come to your home and help with the barking and growling issue. You show an appropriate level of mortification for your dog’s behavior toward your neighbor. But he will be ok after he gets to know u . The approach of a stranger may be the last straw that prompts the dog to growl and maybe bite.Limiting treatment to punishing the dog for growling usually makes matters worse. It sounds like you’re on the right track with desensitizing her with treats or toys, but if they don’t work, it’s probably that you’re too close to the man or she’s already escalated to a point where she’s no longer interested in the food. In the meantime, use the tips from my post along with maybe some distraction techniques (like using treats and having her sit or do other commands or distract her with toys) to see if you can focus her attention on something else before it escalates or you get too close to the other person or dog. There are some dogs she doesn’t like and also certain people. Similarly, merely contacting, let alone correcting an aggressive dog may precipitate aggressive behavior. A lot of what you’re experiencing may just be a some nervousness while she’s adjusting to her new surroundings but I’d love to hear back after some more time has passed to see if things are better. Any dog or breed of dog can growl or act aggressive. Thereafter, the dog builds confidence with each examination. I think when he is unsure. 🙂. He also growls when he is eating and someone even comes close. They told me . It is important to proceed slowly. Thank you so much for your response!! I am not supposed to stop it? Great post to let folks know about these things! It’s definitely a natural human instinct to stop your dog from growling. You’re very smart for wanting to get this under control quickly and with the help of a positive-reinforcement trainer, she’ll likely get over her growling issue quickly. 🙂. Take a deep breath or 50, enough … However, by now, the dogs are no longer afraid of people and so their approach will not untowardly affect the dogs’ stays. Your first reaction may be to suppress the growling by scolding or punishing the dog. It is decidedly not pleasant to feel anxious yet be forced to face your biggest fears on a daily basis. I’m not a fan of remote collars for growling, because a dog can misinterpret a shock or vibration and it can sometimes escalate aggression. With the dog in a sit-stay, back-up, approach, instruct the dog to sit, reach for his collar and offer the treat. Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by today. They usually don’t do that, and I believe I was actually the reason they did growl.. One of the moms who was standing there with the kids is incredibly annoying to me (she has several large dogs who she keeps exclusively in her back yard, yelling at them at the top of her lungs whenever they bark because, guess what, they’re BORED!) Some barking and growling, especially at people who come to the door, is fairly normal as long as it’s just vocalizing and it’s not offensive aggression. He hasn’t had a traumatic experience with people we got him at 9 weeks and is fine with everyone in our house. Very good article I enjoyed it. Thank you for this great article. The dog's temperament is still extremely unstable but on the surface, all appears to be well. In many situations however, the dog’s retreat is prevented, for example, when on leash, when restrained during a veterinary examination, or when playfully cornered by a child and so, the dog can only growl as a signal that he is feeling uneasy and to warn people to stay away. Hi, Caroline! Now I’m better prepared. Any slight touching or releasing of our foot against his body will set him off. The hard part is realizing that any “common sense” you’ve been taught before about dog training can do more harm ie punishing the dog. And everything else got better, just growling at men got worse. As such, the stranger's approach now becomes a signal that forewarns the dog that punishment is imminent. He’s doing really well with his training but has occasionally let himself down by barking. Dogs are often more reactive (lunging, barking, growling) when they are restricted by a leash. She learned pretty quickly to relax and quiet down when I gave her the “It’s Okay” command and I use it often if she’s ever unsure about someone or something. If your dog can’t go on a walk around your neighborhood without terrorizing the neighbors, then you have an obligation to walk it in a place where there are no people. For example, if your dog is mildly aggressive toward strangers, start off by standing far away from someone your dog doesn't know. Was his old owner use to beat him . We have had her since she was a few months past 1 yr old. People are constantly wanting to pet him and are kneeling down which probably has made him worse. It might take a little time at first for your lab to catch on, since he’s going through those difficult adolescent months, but it’s a great way to communicate and reassure them when needed. Oops! That’s one of my pet peeves when people have their dogs off-leash but have no control over them, but I’m glad to hear she’s doing better already. If the growling only occurred one time, I wouldn’t be too concerned but if it’s a new behavior trend in her, the workers at the daycare center should be able to help shed some light on what’s triggering the growling. Too many people handle these situation the wrong way, by getting as reactive as their dog (pulling on the leash and yelling at their dog to stop) which unbeknownst to them just makes the whole situation worse. The social stimulus, e.g., person or another dog, should never be allowed to approach. Take it seriously, obviously. I love the way they look but I haven’t spent any time around either type of the Cardigans. One thing that worked pretty well with Haley when she was reactive due to being protective, was to try to keep her from being in a physical position where she might feel the need to protect me. And never, when she is fearful. I still carry treats with me mostly to reward Haley if we happen to run into little kids. Each day, weigh out the dogs daily ration of kibble, put it in a plastic bag with a pinch of freeze-dried liver powder, shake well and use as directed. Your dog sounds like she’s well adjusted and socialized because she likes playing with other dogs and meeting people, but when dogs are between 6 to 12 months old, they’re going through a maturity phase that can be challenging, similar to how teenagers test and challenge their parents. Before this all of my dogs have been happy go lucky – never growling at anyone. I always ensure that they don’t just reach out to pat him, but to comfortably let him approach them first before petting. Our dog’s behavior is becoming hard to deal with and we don’t want to see him continue to the biting stage, etc. It must be extremely unsettling for a dog to have his best friend suddenly turn against him in times of need. She comes from exceptional breeding stock and she is perfect when off-leash but … she simply cannot be trusted on-leash around other people or dogs.”Even more dangerous are cases wherein punishment successfully inhibits growling yet does nothing to resolve, or even exacerbates, the underlying problem. Your email address will not be published. When you join the Top Dog Academy you also get access to personalized email support so you can train your dog yourself. While it’s usually a squirrel or a bird, you never know when it’s going to be an actual burglar or criminal individual with bad energy around them, or if the house is on fire, so I always check when they alert bark, and then tell them “Thank you, that’s enough” or “quiet” once I’ve checked things out. 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