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Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by candysmum, Apr 6, 2011.
It's understandable that she might now feel afraid having been attacked.
I know it can feel embarrassing but please try not to tell her off for growling - she's communicating that something is wrong / making her fearful / anxious etc.
If a dog is told off for growling, it might stop growling - but you are potentially increasing the chance of a silent lunge or going straight to a bite without warning.
Instead of telling her off, listen to her. You can remove her from the stimulus causing the negative response (no harm in walking away from the other dog) and also do distraction training - ie teaching 'watch me' or just a 'watch' (ie watch what's going on calmly etc) command from a distance that she feels comfortable.
You also need to do some counterconditioning - at the moment she is having a negative emotional response to other dogs. You can work on this by rewarding all nice greets (even if it's just a case of walking past another dog without stopping or seeing a dog from afar to start with) so she begins to associate other dogs with something good happening (I'm very much a clicker advocate and find it's great for this kinda stuff).
Goodluck and keep us posted!
This thread might be of interest to you, there's an article link in the response I made earlier Why doesn't my dog growl? on "FEARFUL GROWLING" which you should definitely read.
Please, try to help her by not telling her off, and engineer calm passing situations to large dogs, when you can then reward her for succeeding in not growling, usually distance is the key.
What does calm but firm "No!" mean then, if it's not intended as reprimand?
I don't understand. If you're dog is frightened supressing growling even calmly is a bad idea, and will make things harder to read and less predictable. Furthermore you may be reinforcing the dog anxiety by the action you're taking.
Rather than turn her head, try to have calm passes at a comfortable distance and keep things happy, build a positive association, when those dogs pass, good things happen and gain her attention without force.