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Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by iona2010, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. iona2010

    iona2010 New Member Registered

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    Hi there....I would be very grateful for some advice...

    We have a happy, friendly 6 month old puppy. A couple of months ago we had a couple of episodes of growling when he was disturbed when sleeping. We made it clear to everyone to leave him when sleeping and no problems since.

    He was castrated recently and in the days following the growling has started again. He was quite snappy with my husband when he tried to get him to go to bed.

    We are very keen to stop this behaviour before it gets any worse. In every other aspects he is a wonderful loving pet.

    Any ideas??

  2. goldenbear2013

    goldenbear2013 New Member Registered

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    He's probably grumpy! and trying to man handle him (so to speak) will just make them worse.

    Growling can mean all sorts of things so you have to look at the situation he is growling in.

    Mine never growls unless he is playing and then his teeth are bared and growls constantly, but we are playing and I know my dog like the back of my hand and this is the only ever time he does this and its all to do with his excitment level.

    Dogs will also growl if they feel threatened and frightened. Its their warning sign to leave them alone. Even though you want to do your best to break this habit, if you try and correct him you may make it worse.

    Give him some space for a little bit whilst he gets over his castration and then see how he is.

    The only other thing you could try which may help, is again, depending on the situation, keep his lead on him in the house. just let it drag round after him. he growls give the lead a tug and a firm NO! this means you can correct him without actually touching him. Sometimes physically touching them when growling can make them more scared or grumpy, if they are just being moody teenagers!

    The lead tug will also ensure that if the behaviour that follows you can also control with the lead.

    I know i'm making it sound like he is a dangerous dog but sometimes if you have a nervous or fearful dog for no reason you can think of it can get nasty.

    On the flip side, he is 6 month old. You are in teenager territory. This means mood swings! Yes dogs do have them! One minute a beautiful bundle of joy, the next a total monster!

    Firm boundaries, solid and consistent training, not just at home, but when out walking and take him to obedience classes if you dont already.

    Consistency is key through the teenage time. They will test you and push you to your limits to see what they can get away with, and see if they can then be the boss of you.

    Trust me when I say we have all been there, through the tears, the late nights and the "what have i dont to deserve this!!!!" moments!

    this will last until he is around 18 months so dont take it lightly when i tell you to brace yourself!

    On a more positive note it doesnt last forever!

    Let us know how you get on, or if you have anymore questions, someone is bound to help you on here!

    Good luck!

    Sophie x
  3. eingana

    eingana Do my ears look big in this? Registered

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    ^^^ What she says :)

    It could be that he's getting a bit big for his boots, or he may have started to associate being woken with fear or it may just be teenager issues, but there's an outside chance that there's a medical issue. This is a known issue with dogs that are having night epilepsy, but that is a really unusual condition in the dog population as a whole, so if there are no behavioural explanations for what he is doing, please do consider taking him to your vet to be checked over and look for other signs of absences or seizures. I come from the world of German Shepherds, where epilepsy is quite a common condition and therefore night epilepsy is also relatively common, so this answer is heavily weighted towards the breeds where epilepsy is more prevalent, since I don't know what breed your pup is.

    In terms of how to deal with this behaviourally, I'd start with changing how you deal with things like sending him to bed and getting him up. If he objects to being told to get down off the furniture ask him to do something else which involves getting down as a by-product, like fetching a toy or calling him to you from across the room for a treat. Anything can be turned into a game or an action for reward, so if you have to change what you are asking him to do, then change what you're asking him and change your tone so you're asking him to do something nice for a treat (in a nice voice) which just happens to get done what you want to get done.

    Hint here- there is no shame in bribery ;)

    If he's half as bright as most puppies then he will know really that he's doing what he doesn't want to do, but he will start to associate it with being a much friendlier dog and getting a treat for it just by the repeated exposure and the game aspect. I suspect that as soon as he's in the habit of going to his bed as a result of a happy game rather than a command, he will find something else to be a stroppy teenager about instead :)
    goldenbear2013 likes this.

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