I always acknowledge our pups’ barking at something or someone by thanking them ~ I DO want the pups to “talk” to me & let me know if something out of the ordinary is going on somewhere around the house or on our walk. I just wanted to give a real example of how Haley’s anxiety issue was treated because she was initially able to communicate her fearfulness to me by growling. In effect, all we have to teach the dog is that other dogs and people — especially strangers and children — are no threat and then, the dog has no reason to growl. Growls can definitely be an early-warning system, so better to let a dog growl and get his/her point across than have things end up with someone getting bit! My name is Anna Morgan. What gives? From day one she has growled at our then 10 yr old granddaughter. Thank you for this great article. Maybe Koda’s just a little apprehensive at first until he figures out if they’re friend or foe. So true – and that’s why I’m always baffled by people who want to cut out the treats as soon as possible. Chewy and Haley could really team up and torment a neighborhood. A really nice young lady that I recently started dating has two dogs that growl at me while she has on me on speakerphone at her house. This trainer is specialized in aggression and fearful dogs – he helped us snapping her out of many fears. At first, I would say “It’s Okay” to Haley too, but I noticed it had no effect on calming her when she was really fearful. Correct growling and snapping right away. It does take time and patience to counter condition but, especially when you find the one thing that really works to make our dog comfortable, it can solve any issue. Thanks for sharing! Haley would do this too when our son was living here and he would come home at night when the lights were dim in the kitchen. I just adopted my dog, and he is fine with my father and grandmother when I’m not around, but will growl and bark at them when I am. Thanks, Fiona. Thanks Kaitlin! To prevent your dog from injuring someone else, take steps to keep him away from strangers or train your dog not to nip at them at all with positive, reward-based training techniques. Even though your dog quickly learned to approach you and your friend, it is highly unlikely he will run straight up to take a treat from the first stranger. 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. I don’t know where you live but if she did bite him would your local law mean that she would be put to sleep for being deemed ‘out of control’? Our dog used to be fine with my younger sister, we are adults. I am currently reading everything on this subject. It is very difficult to actually find out, whether the root cause os fear or being protective. I like your real-life example with the kids. My dogs make all sorts of vocalizations. We first visited parks and watched children play at a distance where Haley was comfortable and relaxed and she got plenty of treats and praise for her cooperation. Depending on the specifics of your problem, here are some effective solutions that will transform a grumpy pooch into a calm pup. My dog growled for the first time today at a pair of tourists who were taking pictures of the side of a house. If that doesn’t work, a local dog trainer that uses positive reinforcement can probably help. Thank you so much for answering. It sounds as if our first step might be obedience classes to reinforce her commands and teach her new ones, especially STAY. Allow him to explore new experiences on his own terms and you’ll probably see this barking and hiding behavior resolve itself soon. For instance with a slight correction with the prong collar or with the e-collar? ? And everything else got better, just growling at men got worse. The other day he made a little boy cry!!! so I correct her and usually take her out of the situation. He hates cats. He’s scared to death! If she’s making progress you’re on the right track, but if her fear or aggression gets worse, another method or trainer would be in order. It always amazes me, the gifts our dogs bring into our lives. Your pup might have learned that growling works to make you back away from the food bowl or stay in place when he’s comfortable. I just realized that I forgot to link those articles in your comment, Phil. The dog is growling because he feels uptight in specific situations, for example, when approached by a stranger. 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. ? We end up keeping foxy in her crate or away from the family for my sister’s safety who is staying with us until her return. What did you do? Second, the recent scuffle with the other dog might have made her a little more reactive. If you go to the blog post, you’ll see them.? I’ve also allowed her to bark on a few occasions when someone suspicious was close to the house. 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. https://www.boredcesar.com/why-should-you-leash-your-dog-in-public-areas/. It sounds scary to me – a lot. Was his old owner use to beat him . See Retreat ‘n Treat. Good luck to you and your Aussie!? You should be far enough away so that … I wonder if they growl at any other male voices on speakerphone or if they have issues with men in general. Also we have nominated you to participate in the 8 photos of happiness challenge. Aside from obvious safety concerns, we must also address the dog’s peace of mind. I still carry treats with me mostly to reward Haley if we happen to run into little kids. Does anyone have any other suggestions? He has to go . As such, the stranger's approach now becomes a signal that forewarns the dog that punishment is imminent. I am going to save it for future reference and to save with others. The dog still doesn’t like strangers and wants to growl, but dare not. I was walking my dog today who is generally very friendly to people who approach him. Have you ever been concerned when your dog growled at someone? After having success with the exercise, use it at feeding time. I need any advice for my dog Jacob. Thankfully, I’ve not had much trouble with Sinead growling at me or at others in my home. Just like people, dogs have their unique personal space range and it’s thoughtful that you make sure people understand and respect his space. It never escalated beyond the growl however and I was quick to control the situation by creating distance and reassuring him he is alright. I was so unprepared for Laika’s resource guarding when I adopted her. Use this link to get your first month for free. Muffin is nervous of children and I am gently trying to increase those positive associations. Thanks for stopping by today, Alice! Something Hurts. 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. I hope the tips in the post can help in the meantime and there are also some comments from a few other readers that adopted a new dog and had some issues with growling. If the boys could also work on not approaching your little guy or making eye contact at first. At the very least, the trainer should be able to give you an idea of how easy or difficult it might be to help him with his fear or aggression towards men. When he stops growling, reward him with a “good boy”, or in the beginning, a treat if it’s handy at the exact moment of training so that he knows what he is being rewarded for. I will be sharing this because it is such an important topic with helpful tips. Help . This is so confusing and it seems, we have nothing left or do we? Multiple approaches are essential for success, since the first approach is always the most frightening and time consuming. 🙂. Oh gosh, I’m so sorry that happened again. I’d really appreciate some more help, the article is great, but I’m still at an end. In recent times, bark collars have come onto the market. Oh Suze, I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this and I can tell how much you love and care for your girl. The dog no longer growls when the stranger approaches, because he is no longer afraid of strangers, so now it is time to teach the dog to "Shush!" It’s wonderful that you’re wanting to solve the problem quickly before it gets worse and with a little patience, I think you can get the growling issue resolved. We adopted Sade-Mae when she was 2 yrs old, she is a lg Shepard/Retrivor mix. Have a happy new year! You cant even carry on a conversation she is so loud. I realize this is from 3 ears ago, but maybe you can give me some advice. (Only seconds previously, he had voluntarily approached and nuzzled the stranger's hand.) Yes, it’s pretty hard to fight that instinct to correct them when they growl, especially if it catches you off-guard. If so, then I suggest that try some distraction work which would potentially save her life. The stranger may now safely approach to offer the treat since the dog is no longer afraid. 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