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please help

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by JennieJet, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. JennieJet

    JennieJet PetForums Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Likes Received:
    We have a 16 month old lab girl and we are a family of 5 ....we went away for our holiday last week and left our lab with my mum who has had her many times....since we came back our lab now growls at my 10yr old son any time he walks pass her etc..... she will also have her tail between her legs if she has to get pass him....its a complete mystery on why she is doing this and cannot understand why and want her to stop...especially with the growling...she doesnt care about my two other children ( younger girls ) . My mum said nothing odd happened etc while she had her...please help anyone
  2. London Dogwalker

    London Dogwalker PetForums Senior

    Oct 27, 2009
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    Hiya :)

    I think something must have happened for her to suddenly start growling, wonder what it could be? :frown:

    Does your son normally get on with her? There couldn't be a reasonable explanation like perhaps your son scared her unintentionally?

    Her behaviour is pointing to being fearful and scared, it may not be just your son, and it may have been something that happened while you were away. Could have been another child pulling her tail or shouting at her who knows? :)

    If there's genuinely no explanation I'd get her checked at the Vets to make sure there's nothing physically wrong that's causing her pain as this can show up as aggression. If the Vet gives you the all clear you then need to go from there and improve the relationship with her and your son. I'd suggest if you're insured to get the vet to refer you to one of their approved behaviourists.

    Does your son have much responsibility for her? Could you give him a bit more, if that's what he wants?

    Once all the physical stuff has been ruled out (and hopefully this is what the behaviourist will suggest, any behaviourist who starts to tell you that your son needs to be more dominant over the dog I'd just walk out myself. Even better if you get a behaviourist we'll look them up for you ;) ) the relationship between your son and your dog can be looked at. Your son may be asked to take more care of the dog, he can feed her, he can play with her, interact with her more so that she sees him as something good, not something to be scared of.

    Answering questions like this on the internet is always very, very difficult, as we can only go on the information we're given, and we haven't seen the dog and your son interact.

    If you are at all worried that your child may be harmed please don't try getting your son to interact with the dog.

    Ditto if the dog will not tolerate your son being around and she's scared (typical things to watch for are lip licking, panting, head turning and a low tail height as you've seen, if she does then take it back a step) then building up positive associations will have to be taken very slowly.
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