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 REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old

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djannitto
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PostSubject: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:53 pm

Once in a while Qannik (1 year old) will growl at us when we want him to do something he doesn't want to do. For instance, he has a new obsession with going into our bedroom closets. Basically he's nosediving for laundry and things like that to chew on (mostly socks and underwear). When we tell him no and come near him to get him out he'll growl at us. Our tactic thus far has been to redirect his attention by bribing him with a treat to get him out. Not sure if that's the right thing to do. We have noticed and increase in this behavior over the last few weeks.

Q is a little less exercised lately due to the very cold temperatures, bad overall weather and the darkness in the morning.

My husband and I are looking into sending him to a highly recommended trainer who uses the Shock Collar. At this point we just want to have a consultation and have our many questions about this method answered.

Currently we don't use any negative reinforcement and realized a while ago that yelling doesn't help. Just wondering if anyone can chime in with what they think would be the best course of action without going as far as using a shock collar, and also looking for any feedback from anyone who has ever used the shock collar.

Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:54 pm

You're doing the right thing already. I don't recommend the use of shock collars because the risk is that they can cause harm and create a fearful dog. Positive reinforcement training is so much more fun for both the owner and the dog.

You could either work on an improved 'come' to get him out of the wardrobe, or have a specific command for it (I use 'out' with my cats but of course they aren't very good at 'come' to begin with!). Either way, when he comes out of the wardrobe, do as you are doing and give him a treat for it. It will help if you can tidy away the things he is interested in so that he can't easily find them in there.

Don't tell him off for growling, because the growl is his way of communicating with you. The risk of telling a dog not to growl is that in future it might go straight to a bite.

It sounds like you also need to work on a drop or swap command? When teaching drop, start with something of low value to him (so it's easier for him to give it up), give him a treat and then give him the thing back again. You can build up to higher value items. Swapping is also a really good thing to do - e.g. he has your sock so you swap it with him for a ball. Sometimes you might have to make the new thing seem really exciting by making a big fuss about it. Then he'll want it more than the thing he already has.

Some dogs really like the feel of soft toys, so you might also want to get him a soft toy if he doesn't have one already. When he goes to get a sock, you can distract him with the soft toy, or swap it, and he will learn to redirect his energies to the toy instead. Most huskies can destroy soft toys in no time, so get cheap ones and only let him have them when supervised (so he doesn't eat it), or get something more substantial that is safer for him. Best of luck with the training.
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:10 am

Quote :
Once in a while Qannik (1 year old) will growl at us when we want him to do something he doesn't want to do.

Are you sure it is a flat out growl? Complaining and grumbling are normal from the breed... they are mouthy and like to talk back at times. Mine do it at dog parks a lot and when I'm not fast enough at letting them out the door when I first get home.

Body language tells a lot. If the head is low and protecting the object and the stance is very stiff I would consider that a growl. If as you reach for the object he is watching you or your hand and begins vocalizing I would also consider that a growl / warning.

If not and he actually backs off but vocalizes as he passes or moves away from the object I would chalk that up to just having a vocal pup who is voicing his displeasure.


Quote :
Our tactic thus far has been to redirect his attention by bribing him with a treat to get him out. Not sure if that's the right thing to do. We have noticed and increase in this behavior over the last few weeks.

I don't like bribing dogs for a negative behavior, I never have. Redirection can work fine for things like mouthing because they really don't mean to be warning or hurting you. It's a problem but it is an innocent one, so you redirect to something to curve the problem.

In this case, it sounds more like you are rewarding the growl. Think about it as just the base actions involved.

"If I go into the closet and find the right item and make a big enough fuss I get a treat!"

You are not instilling boundaries and rules this way.


Quote :
My husband and I are looking into sending him to a highly recommended trainer who uses the Shock Collar. At this point we just want to have a consultation and have our many questions about this method answered.

Shock and Vibe collars are great tools, when you can't reach your dog. The goal is to allow a correction over a large distance or if you can't get your hand in there without harming yourself or the pup. They aren't something I would use for in house training, but that is just me. If my dog was a herder, fetcher, or off leash, and I needed to correct something from a long distance I would consider it, but again I would try and use voice training first.

Using any tool for training also bring up one important question. "What Happens when I forget that training tool on that day I really need it?" Just me again, but I much prefer restraint and behavioral corrections to come from the handler(s) as those are almost always present and very hard to forget. It also helps to cement the trust and respect aspects of the relationship.

Quote :
Currently we don't use any negative reinforcement and realized a while ago that yelling doesn't help.

Negative reinforcement has it's place in training, and it doesn't need to be, nor should it ever be, mean or hurtful. You don't need to yell or even raise your voice to "punish". You also don't need to hit, instill fear, or ever touch the dog. A good calm and firm reprimand is fine and perfectly acceptable.

Huskies do perform much better with positive reinforcement so I understand where you are coming from. They do however need rules and boundaries, and when they break those rules they need to be informed what they did was wrong.

Taking an object away, Putting a Pup into Time out, a gentle muzzle grab or other physical type of correction, or just a stern talking with the right tone of voice and body language, are all things that can convey that you were wronged with no fear and no pain. All are "negative reinforcement" to an extent.


Quote :
Just wondering if anyone can chime in with what they think would be the best course of action without going as far as using a shock collar, and also looking for any feedback from anyone who has ever used the shock collar.

If it were me I would work a lot with training "Drop its" and "Leave its" starting right away.

Place a low value treat on the floor close to you and have a higher value one in your hand. You could even allow your pup to smell the higher value treat. Claim the treat while saying leave it and block any attempt to get it if it is made. Once the pup is sitting and looking at you and not the treat praise and reward with the higher value.

Once he has it down you could start placing the low value treat closer and closer to the pup.

Once leave its are down you can move onto drop its using a toy or anything he likes to chew on and giving it or playing with it. Once in the mouth and after some time say Drop it and let go of the item if you were tugging, let him smell a treat in your hand at first if needed. Once he smells the treat he should snap out of play or chew and focus on that, dropping the item. Praise and reward.

After some time you shouldn't need to even have to supply the smell of the treat, but more importantly you will have laid the ground work on not only these commands but trust in the fact that if "I listen to the human I might just get rewarded".

Don't redirect when it is happening, lay the ground work and be ready for when it does happens.

With those two commands down and if it happened again I would use both or at least Drop it in a gruff voice, and advance slowly until it was dropped. I would never open the dogs mouth myself or remove the object myself unless I had 100% trust in the pup. Then I would punish for breaking the rules by chastising (BAD GIRL! NO!), followed by a simple time out as I know my girls hate being alone. Time outs only last about 5 minutes or less but it gets the point across.

Then they are released and go back to doing their thing, often coming to "Apologize" as soon as they get out.

That is just how I would handle it.

Long winded as always, but I hope it helps.
~Chris~

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djannitto
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:14 am

Thank you both for your input. And for the record, we are definitely talking about a growl! He talks all the time but this is different. His body language changes and basically he does exactly what Chris described. His head gets low, his ears change direction and he becomes stiff. He gives us what we refer to as the "stink eye". We trained him on leave it and drop it, but it seems that he's forgotten his manners. At this point, my husband and I have decided to have another in home training visit with his trainer for a refresh of "leave it" and "drop it" training.

Our goal is to NOT have to go down the road of using a collar. Other than this issue, he is a wonderful, well behaved puppy. We put him through 4 series of puppy training classes starting from when he was 10 weeks old (last March) through September of this year. He is incredibly well socialized and loves all people and dogs equally. He goes to doggy daycare twice a week, and they love him there! They tell us everyday that he's excellent. Along with his trainor, we decided to give him a 6 month break from classes. But I think it's time to find something new for him. I know it sounds crazy, but going to class once per week seemed to ground him.

Thanks again! And Chris, although long winded...each word and the thought you put into your responses is always greatly appreciated! You have been an amazing help to us over the last year.
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:22 am

We have had great success with the E-collar. Hayden isn't fearful in the least bit and honestly since I started using it with him, he's become more social with people and actually allowing them to pet him (before nobody could).

I use the E-collar for indoor and outdoor training. It only takes a few times of using the collar before the dog realizes "hey I shouldn't be doing this" and you doing have to use the remote, simply give a command. I hardly ever have to use the remote, because he knows if he doesn't listen he will not like the outcome. My remote goes up to 100 and I never go past 6 and most the time I use the vibrate feature, which feels like a cell phone vibration. It isn't painful (yes I tried it on myself) if used properly. It's more of an annoying feeling.

How we use our e-collar indoors is when Hayden is doing any inappropriate behavior, I.e jumping on the counter, chewing on the wall trim, eating our couch, biting the cats, etc. Hayden is also very possessive over our kitchen and has shown aggression to more than one dog trying to enter the kitchen. He improved dramatically since the e-collar training and he doesn't even have to wear it all the time. Most the time I just show it to him and he calms right down.

In my opinion, Hayden is pretty much bullet-proof. I've had a 5-year old walk him on the leash and e does every command I tell him to do. I posted a video on YouTube of his training only 3-months in. I will link it below.

Basically, if you think your dog can handle the training, I say go for it, but if your dog is shy, skittish, fearful, etc. then perhaps another training tool would be more beneficial.

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djannitto
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:37 am

Thank you Kelly for your input. We've spoken to others who've had very positive experiences with the collar. I'm still waiting for a call back from the k9 trainer to find out all about his program. I am not ruling out anything at this point. However, we are definitely going to start fresh with leave it and drop it training and see how that goes first. I tried to watch your youtube video but for some reason it didn't come up. I'd love to see it, so would you be able to repost it?
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:51 am

Quote :
I tried to watch your youtube video but for some reason it didn't come up. I'd love to see it, so would you be able to repost it?

I fixed it.

~Chris~

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Hayden_69
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:00 pm

@Tika wrote:
Quote :
I tried to watch your youtube video but for some reason it didn't come up. I'd love to see it, so would you be able to repost it?

I fixed it.

~Chris~

Thanks Chris, I'm on my iPad and doesn't let me post things like my laptop does Smile
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djannitto
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:16 pm

Thanks! I just watched the video. Hayden does so well! I haven't heard of the "place" command. What exactly is that? I can see that when you say it, he's choossing somewhere to sit. Can you elaborate?
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:58 pm

I only use certain words while training him, as to not confuse him.

Off - any inappropriate behavior, no matter what it is. Instead of saying "no" I've replaced it with off, so he knows not to to it.

Down- he is to lay down, but nothing lazy like on his back and stuff.

Sit- sitting without getting up, even for extended periods of time.

Place- I hold the leash in my left hand and with my right hand I hold my palm out as I'm showing him where exactly I want him to sit aka place. I don't want to use the word sit, because it will confuse him. He will place anywhere I tell him, even if its on something really odd.

Break- he will hold his position until I break him. If he breaks himself without me saying, he goes right back where I put him and waits for my command. Some times I feel bad and I forget to break him and he will still be sitting where I put him and looking at me like "can I move"? lol I feel bad, but I'm glad he listens Smile

Edit: now that Hayden knows his commands and knows exactly what they mean, he doesn't always need his collar on and will listen the same way as if he had it on. I have forgotten it many times and he will listen just the same with or without it. I do prefer to have it, but I'm not worried if I don't have it on hand. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:22 pm

@Tika wrote:

I don't like bribing dogs for a negative behavior, I never have. Redirection can work fine for things like mouthing because they really don't mean to be warning or hurting you. It's a problem but it is an innocent one, so you redirect to something to curve the problem.

In this case, it sounds more like you are rewarding the growl. Think about it as just the base actions involved.

You make a good point Chris, but I think the trick is to take action beforehand so that there is no growl e.g. to call Qannik out and then reward that behaviour, or to ask him to drop a sock and then reward that. That way the good behaviours get rehearsed and rewarded but there's no chance to reward a growl because it didn't escalate that far.

Kikopup has a video about how to teach a positive interrupter that might be useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvPaqMZyo8
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djannitto
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:43 pm

My husband and I totally agree that right now, we are rewarding his bad behavior. At first usingthe treat to bride him seemed ok, because it wasn't happening that often and it seemed to "work". Not any more. He's totally working us! Qannik seems to be going through a really bad bratty teenager phase right now, so my husband and I are gearing up for some intense training sessions for the forseable future! We've been in contact with our trainer for the past few days and will have a private home visit next week. Until then, it's back to square 1 with Leave it and Drop it and everything NILF realted.
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:03 pm

I disagree a bit with it as rewarding bad behavior. A growl, imo is not bad behavior. The bad behavior is the resource guarding with the treat. I have a female with resource guarding issues that are under control and this is what we did.

1. Remove the items from where he can retrieve them. Shut the closet doors or block them off by baby gates.
2. Go back to NILIF and hand feed everything and only allow toy play when you are playing with him.

If he is growling only until he sees the treat, make him do something to receive said treat. This way, you have reverted his attention and then you have made him sit or stay to receive the treat without rewarding the growling. Don't just simply give the treat to him.

I don't recommend using an E-Collar for resource guarding. In my experience, the guarding is out of fear that you will remove the prized possession. Shocking them will cause an increase in fear. IMO, meeting a negative behavior with a negative behavior can often cause things to get worse.

I'm no expert but I do have a female with a former issue of resource guarding and it is now under control.
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:10 pm

I use an E-Collar and I think it should be used as a communication tool rather than a punishment.

For instance... When she doesn't have her collar on, and I call her to come, sometimes she will look at me (The "I don't really feel like it" look) and will continue to do what she is doing. If I walk over to her and poke her, (Even lay my hand softly) then walk away, and say "come," she listens. The "shock" from the e-collar (although it's more like the muscle therapy things you see in malls) is an extension of you onto your dog.

If it involves recall, I trust my husky off lead in any situation 100%. In your case, out of the closet!
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:38 pm

Shock collars cause pain, if they didn't they wouldn't work. Shocking the dog into behaving is setting the dog up for potentially disastrous and dangerous behaviors. I know some disagree and have "proof" that the shock collars work without effect... But essentially the dog is only behaving because they don't want to be shocked. The dog is behaving out of fear.

Each dog is different, some dogs can "take it" more or better than others. But since we AREN'T the dog- how do we know what is "enough?"

Resource guarding is a fear based behavior as are a LOT of unwanted behaviors. "Curing" fear w/ added fear doesn't exactly add up IMHO.

-Set the dog up for success. Block off or put away things that he is prone to guarding. If he's getting into things in the closet either close up the closet or block off the room. Work on structured training "games" where you are teaching the dog how to behave and react when he has a high value item. If he's that way with space (such as the couch) keep a leash on him and call him away from areas where he shouldn't be using a high value reinforcer the FIRST few times as "bait" once he learns that there's something GOOD in it for him (usually after the first 3-4 times) don't bait the dog and instead call him away as you normally have been and reward once he is to you. You can "play" this game over and over again by releasing him and waiting for him to go back. Some pick this up quickly and look forward to this new "game."

If the dog is food motivated (regardless of the food) start using his meals as treats and constantly work at random behaviors using the food as the treat. Quite a few of my dogs work for food (we feed raw- but they'll even work for kibble) without any hesitation. The more you show them and reward them for what you DO what and APPROPRIATE behaviors and eliminate the potential for negative behaviors... They will slowly start to go into extinction.

I am learning more and more every day how a "force-free" approach really can get things done more effectively and without such stress on the dog.

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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:18 pm

@arooroomom wrote:
Shock collars cause pain, if they didn't they wouldn't work. Shocking the dog into behaving is setting the dog up for potentially disastrous and dangerous behaviors.

"Shocking" a dog should be used in the same way one taps on a friends shoulder to get their attention. Yes, there is a limit to where you can cause pain, but under that limit, you are strictly just letting your dog know you are communicating with them.

Yes, some people use shock collars as negative reinforcement. However, those who believe that punishment is their only function are not looking at other techniques that cause the dog no pain.
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:50 pm

http://www.squidoo.com/collars-shock

A thorough article which has many many resources regarding shock collars.

http://eileenanddogs.com/shock-collar-vs-force-free-examples/

Video examples of force free and shock collar trained dogs.

Obviously there is some bias, as these were both composed by those who are against the use of shock collars, but they're still worth a read and consideration.

In order for the dog to understand that the "stim" "touch" "poke" "tap" caused by the E-collar is a negative marker... it must be paired negatively initially. Otherwise it would have the same effect as you calling the dog.

There are many which pair a Vibe collar with the aid of recalling a deaf dog. The vibrate is a means of communication, not pain or punishment. The vibe alerts the dog that someone is calling them. I would consider that a "tap" more than a stim from an E-collar.

This is my personal opinion- as I stated many find that they are effective for their own dog for one reason or another. I'm just offering a different opinion on the subject from someone who's "been there" in regards to punishment based training.

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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:45 pm

@arooroomom wrote:
http://www.squidoo.com/collars-shock

A thorough article which has many many resources regarding shock collars.

http://eileenanddogs.com/shock-collar-vs-force-free-examples/

Video examples of force free and shock collar trained dogs.

Obviously there is some bias, as these were both composed by those who are against the use of shock collars, but they're still worth a read and consideration.

In order for the dog to understand that the "stim" "touch" "poke" "tap" caused by the E-collar is a negative marker... it must be paired negatively initially. Otherwise it would have the same effect as you calling the dog.

There are many which pair a Vibe collar with the aid of recalling a deaf dog. The vibrate is a means of communication, not pain or punishment. The vibe alerts the dog that someone is calling them. I would consider that a "tap" more than a stim from an E-collar.

This is my personal opinion- as I stated many find that they are effective for their own dog for one reason or another. I'm just offering a different opinion on the subject from someone who's "been there" in regards to punishment based training.

Ah, interesting...

However, the point I have been trying to get across is that the shock collar doesn't have to be used as punishment training.

When I tap my friend on his shoulder, it is not meant to be negative. I am not saying the shock is a "tap," I am just explaining how they both have the same function/purpose (to get attention and not to harm).

I actually use the shock as my main source of recall (along with "come"). Shock = Listen to me/come. Shock does not mean "Don't do that."

You can set the shock to be a even lower stim than a vibrate (Meaning, the shock can be used as "communication without pain" if the vibrate is considered "non punishment without pain"). You are right, it is not for all dogs. Hell, even the vibrate might freak some dogs out! Some... Not many.

Now, at any moment, I can crank that baby up to 127 and have it used as a tazer and cause immense discomfort ... But i'm not actually going to do that.
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:20 pm

@arooroomom wrote:

In order for the dog to understand that the "stim" "touch" "poke" "tap" caused by the E-collar is a negative marker... it must be paired negatively initially. Otherwise it would have the same effect as you calling the dog.

Exactly.

There is no reason to use aversives in training. Positive reinforcement is all you need and doesn't carry the risk of causing harm to the dog.

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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:56 pm

IMO, a shock is never a tap on the shoulder. It doesn't feel good. I know, I've been zapped by one ebfore. Which was a main reason why I would never put one on my dog.
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:51 pm

Thank you all for your opinions. This certainly can be an interesting debate. Qannik seems to be going through another puppy/teenage phase. Ever since I first posted this thread, he's became a total devil. It's so weird how one minute he is perfect and then the next he's a monster. At this point, it isn't just the guarding that's an issue. He has some anxiety issues at night time. Not really sure what this is all about, but it's gotten worse in the last two weeks. Part of this seems as though he's looking for our attention, which I don't really understand, because he definitely has it. He isn't a puppy who really likes to play, so it's hard to know what to do with him to entertain him. He doesn't care for any of his toys. He only likes to chew rawhides and bully sticks, and for some reason, since the winter started he only wants to chew them outside. He used to spend hours in the house chewing them...not anymore! We can't give him any soft toys because he will shred them in seconds. And he likes to eat the stuffing! When he's home all day by himself, he's completely calm and non-destructive....now at nighttime, nothing is off limits to him it seems. He's doing everything he can to get in trouble. We've tried the ignoring part, but it's hard to ignore him when he's chewing an electrical cord. We don't want him to get electricuted. We put him in time out, only for him to behave, come back in the same room with us and start all over again. We've literally cleared out all shelves, tables, and basically any access points for him to remove any potential temptations for him to misbehave. This all takes place, mind you, after a full day at daycare or on a stay-at-home day and after a good 45-60 minute walk. We are working on the NILF training and basically are going back to square 1 with the "leave it" "drop it" training. All I can say, is good thing he's so darn cute!
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:52 pm

Instead of creating my own thread I am just gonna chime in on this one.

Link is almost 10 weeks old and we are experiencing some growling too. I am aware that there are degrees of severity for growling and that Huskies are very vocally communicative. We have narrowed it down to specific circumstances.

When he wants something he can't have or when we need to physically restrain him for a minute or two, for example we have just come inside and we need to use a towel to wipe off his paws and butt. Once the towel comes out and we start using it and have to hold him still he growls.

It is a very "internal" growl, as in not outwardly projected and there is no tension in his body language and he doesn't focus in on any of my body parts intently. It's more of a "I am really annoyed by this" growl than a "I am gonna attack" growl.

It is still troubling and I don't like it one bit. We have done such a good job with him already learning to be calm and patient and surrender. We just can't seem to do it for the towel to dry him off.

Also, yes, he too when focused on something he really wants and he can't have it, if we try to move him off course or refocus him with our hands, he growls.

These are the only times he does it.

He is not resource protective at all and is not possessive at all. He will release toys with a hand signal, and I can put my face in his food bowl while he eats and he doesn't care. He also lets me take his food bowl away mid meal and waits calmly and patiently for me to return it.

What should we make of this growling? I want to eliminate it.
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:14 pm

are you sure its a true growl? Cato grunts and makes growling type noises at times but he doesn't growl. It's very likely he is just vocalizing.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:16 pm

It is definitely displeasure and annoyance. If "growl" implies intent to warn of an attach or bite then I'm not sure.

I don't want my puppy to express displeasure or annoyance by me wiping off his paws with a towel, period. That is enough to be concerned about for me.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: REPOST - Growling 1 Year Old   Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:19 pm

Because there is nothing harmful or terrible being done to him. He's just being obstinate and stubborn and he needs to learn that when I need him engaged and paying attention and calm, he can't have his way. He knows this lesson with many other issues, like food and toys and leashes, but this one is different and it is cause for concern for my partner and I.

We can't have a pup in Seattle growling at us whenever we need to wipe his wet feet...... Wink
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