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 How to address growling

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Yeniffer Bruno
Newborn
Newborn
Yeniffer Bruno

Join date : 2015-12-02

How to address growling Empty
PostSubject: How to address growling   How to address growling EmptyFri Dec 04, 2015 2:30 pm

Hi, everyone...

I've been doing some reading online about puppy aggression regardless of what it's relating to. I found that most people are divided. First with being firm and telling the puppy "No." This is to show your dog that growling is not ok. The other response is to show him love by rubbing his head or being positive in some way. Some people say by showing love you are encouraging the growling. Some will argue that by showing love you are showing that you are not a threat.

My concern is that growling is used to communicate. It's a warning that whatever is happening is not ok to the dog. If we say no then the puppy stops warning and just acts. I do think growling is ok, but I also don't want a puppy that's growling over every day situations. (food, treats, toys, etc.)

I wanted to get some more opinions from people who specifically deal with huskies.
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amymeme
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amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

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PostSubject: Re: How to address growling   How to address growling EmptyFri Dec 04, 2015 2:53 pm

My first thought is just how, what and when the aggression is manifested? Can you describe instances?
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Yeniffer Bruno
Newborn
Newborn
Yeniffer Bruno

Join date : 2015-12-02

How to address growling Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to address growling   How to address growling EmptyFri Dec 04, 2015 4:19 pm

I haven't actually gotten my pup yet! lol. He comes home Sunday. Maybe I'm over preparing.
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aljones
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aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

How to address growling Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to address growling   How to address growling EmptyFri Dec 04, 2015 5:06 pm

Yennifer, that's an excellent observation and question.  
It's safe to say that a dog doesn't growl without some reason and I think the first thing - the immediate thing - is to determine the reason for the growl.  It may be:

  1. "Mom, this person makes me real uncomfortable!"
  2. "This is mine, go 'way!"
  3. "I'm trying to get your attention, come play, please!"
  4. ... and a few thousand permutations of these.

Your reaction to the various growls (vocalizations) need to be appropriate to the cause.  If it's true, outright aggression then that needs to be addressed - quickly.  If it's a warning that there is something that the dog is uncomfortable with, then that probably needs to be addressed but it's not so critical as an aggressive growl.

Teaching a dog not to growl is, imho, an invitation for disaster - if the dog can't growl and makes its displeasure known then it won't growl, it will just act.

Actual, true aggression in a puppy is rare.  Growling from a puppy is normally an invitation to play - Husky style!  With one of its peers then it might be the puppy determining its place in the pack, which is done mostly with play.
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joemamma474
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Male Join date : 2015-02-28
Location : Michigan

How to address growling Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to address growling   How to address growling EmptyTue Dec 08, 2015 12:21 pm

Agree with the poster above. You definitely want a dog that growls over one that doesn't. With huskies, they make all kinds of vocalizations too, so don't confuse them with a genuine growl. For instance, every morning when I come downstairs I'm greeted with a bunch of low grumbles from my dog, but I also know those sounds as his "happy to see you" noises (you can also tell from the body language, as his tail is wagging and he bounces around me). Don't train those noises out of your dog. Even if they do make those noises when you don't want them to, that doesn't mean it is a problem. People overreact very strongly when they think their dog is being aggressive, but is actually just BEING A DOG. Give your dog enough chances to work things out for itself (don't be the over-protective parent at the dog park who separates your dog every time they start playing with another dog because it seems a little too aggressive - they will work it out if they are having a problem). Of course, you can't control how other people are handling their own dogs, but don't overreact. Dogs bark, growl, howl, and whine, and it is because THEY EVOLVED THOSE BEHAVIORS TO COMMUNICATE, so just listen and watch and try to see if there is actually a problem, or if it instead it is just something you don't like.

My dog also grumbles at me if I make him work too hard for his food, but it is just a temper tantrum, it isn't aggressive or anything. If you just follow through consistently you can avoid a lot of behavioral issues (handle him while he is eating food, feed some food directly from your hand, teach "wait" and "leave it" and even experiment with picking up the bowl while they are eating - all of those things are useful with preventing food aggression).

Anywho, that's my rant and I'm sticking to it!
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amymeme
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Senior
amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

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PostSubject: Re: How to address growling   How to address growling EmptyTue Dec 08, 2015 1:44 pm

@joemamma474 wrote:

Anywho, that's my rant and I'm sticking to it!

Wow - that is the mildest mannered rant I've ever come across...now, my son can RANT! (He's limited to 2 rants per day. He seems to think he's Lewis Black) lol!

I completely agree with your post - when we first got Ami, my husband thought the dog was growling at him everytime he approached. One day, I overheard the "growl" and started laughing - it was a tail wagging, body wriggling, low rumbly "woo woo woo" as in "Hi, how are you, I've missed you, where have you been all my life" greeting. Pointed that out to hubby, told him to watch the body language.

Ami tends to growl when I groom him - I use that as a signal I'm being too rough and say "shhhh" and simultaneously rub the area I was working on when he growled. He's never snapped, I've never been bitten so I guess its working.
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aljones
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aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

How to address growling Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to address growling   How to address growling EmptyTue Dec 08, 2015 2:54 pm

Granted that JoeMamma had a good "rant" (seriously!) in that you and he addressed all the things that a dogs vocalizations can be besides being a growl .... than you both for picking up what I left off.
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amymeme
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amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

How to address growling Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to address growling   How to address growling EmptyTue Dec 08, 2015 4:17 pm

@aljones wrote:
Granted that JoeMamma had a good "rant" (seriously!) in that you and he addressed all the things that a dogs vocalizations can be besides being a growl .... than you both for picking up what I left off.

I forgot to mention in my post...on Sunday I was preparing to take Ami for a walk. He usually walks 3/4down the lower driveway, only about 20 ft from the road, to get his leash and prong put on and his fence collar removed. I'm not comfortable with the proximity to the road for removing his fence collar so for the last month or so, I've been working on getting ready on the front steps.

On Sunday, I sat on the steps, called him to me, he pranced up and proceeded to do this dance, hopping out of my reach, coming back, walking to the lower driveway, returning. I just sat on the steps and waited...finally, I cannot even type this without giggling, he came to withing 2 ft of my reach and, I swear, proceeded to grumble/argue with me...sort of a mrumph, pfruph, ruff, low noise. Sounded all the world like an 11yr who was being asked to do the dinner dishes.

THen, finally, looked rather resigned and most disgruntled, he came to me, got his collars changed out and off we went lol!
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