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 Growls at my dad only—THEN BIT ME

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clothing-optional
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Join date : 2013-11-20

PostSubject: Growls at my dad only—THEN BIT ME   Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:16 am

Background: I have a 10 month old siberian husky named Brick. He's going through his rebellious teenage years, but from what I can see, his tantrums only occur outside. When we are inside, he's perfectly calm, obeys, can be slightly mouthy but is overall gentle. I am pretty much his only "master" meaning I take him on the long walks, play with him most of the time, and train him. I live with my mom and dad. My mom helps me walk him sometimes and will give him a lot of attention. My dad will at most rub his belly every once in awhile, but he doesn't partake in any playtime or training activities.

PROBLEM: For the past month or two, we've noticed that Brick starts to growl whenever my dad walks past him sometimes. Every once in awhile, (I'm assuming if my dad walks too close) he will bark slightly aggressively. Brick is NOT eating or holding a toy... he would just be laying there when this happens. I didn't want this to escalate, so whenever Brick started to growl at my dad, I would interfere and say a firm "NO" while sitting close to him. He would then growl louder and scrunch his nose up. Twice so far, he snapped and BIT my toe and my finger because it was near his mouth (i didn't even touch him).

Does anyone know why he might be so grumpy or how i can keep it from escalating? My dad is fragile and won't be able to handle him if Brick snapped at him.


Last edited by clothing-optional on Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Rigbyjek
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PostSubject: Re: Growls at my dad only—THEN BIT ME   Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:55 pm

Based on the outside issues, and now this- I'd recommend finding a trainer that can work with you, Brick, and the family. The sooner the better by the sounds of it Smile Happy Holidays!
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barbianj
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PostSubject: Re: Growls at my dad only—THEN BIT ME   Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:26 pm

Whenever our guy barks or becomes nippy, it means he needs to go outside. It's usually directed at the person most likely to take him out. If its not you, he goes to next in line.

From your other thread:

I'm spending all my time begging him to stop.

You should not need to beg your dog not to bite you. IMO it's more of a misunderstanding that a trainer can help you get past.

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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Growls at my dad only—THEN BIT ME   Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:46 am

You say your dad is fragile... Does he walk with a limp? Or moves slowly? Uses medical equipment to get around? Walks in any way differently than your mother or you?

If you can take time throughout the day to specifically work with him with your dad it would be beneficial. This sounds a lot like a fear response and it's being redirected towards you when you are trying to chastise him. Unfortunately disciplining a fear response usually does end up with the dog redirecting.

Get Brick at a distance where he watches your dad but isn't growling. Any time your dad moves- reward Brick. Once he is comfortable you can begin moving closer. Just inch up little by little. You don't need to get him to be OK with your dad walking near him in one session. But instead of telling him no when he warns your dad (which is the growl) instead try to call him away so he can begin to understand that if he is afraid or nervous- he can always escape or at least get space.

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PostSubject: Re: Growls at my dad only—THEN BIT ME   Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:58 pm

As I mentioned in the post, my dad never walks him. He would never really growl at me just for walking past him, nor anyone else. I'm not really sure when I said, "I'm spending all my time begging him to stop" but if I did say that, I certainly don't do that, especially when we're inside the house. We are firm with our rules.

Kristina, my dad is fragile but he does not limp or walk in any different way (he is not disabled). My dad would pet him only if Brick is being good (calm, sitting, not growling), but sometimes (this isn't all the time), when my dad simply walks past, Brick would start growling. I understand and will try the technique of rewarding Brick when my dad walks past him, but I doubt the growl is a fear response. My dad doesn't yell at him or punish him in any way... really, the most interaction he would have is my dad would talk to him and then pet him.
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Growls at my dad only—THEN BIT ME   Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:44 am

Keep in mind, you don't necessarily have to understand why something is a fear response to have it be a fear response. Some dogs just have ticks, it's just a matter of finding out what is causing that tick.
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