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Why doesn't my dog growl?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Emmastace, Apr 6, 2011.


  1. Emmastace

    Emmastace PetForums VIP

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    Mia sometimes does a kind of growl when playing tug but it is not aggressive. I have only ever heard her growl in a warning way in one circumstance and that is if my kids try to take a bone out of her mouth using their mouth. (I know that is a really stupid thing to do but they are teenage boys and thought it was funny. They have stopped it now). You can take anything away from Mia, even the bone out of her mouth, if you use your hand.
    Mia has never growled or barked at another dog in all the time we have had her. She has barked at people but that is when she wants to play with them or they are outside the gate.
    Mia must know what a warning growl is as she used it to tell the boys not to use their mouth to take her bone. Why doesn't she warn under an other circumstances?
     
  2. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    This might be interesting reading FEARFUL GROWLING
    Of course, a dog that's not afraid and not trying to distance, would not growl either. Nor would a dog that never had opportunity to guard an object, against another dog.

    Presumably you're expecting a warning growl due to some other signs, suggesting inhibition?
     
  3. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Sounds to me as if she's never had a reason to. The 'growling' when you're playing tuggy with her is perfectly normal and most dogs do it in those circumstances.
     
  4. Emmastace

    Emmastace PetForums VIP

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    Sorry should have mentioned, I am asking because she has never growled or barked a warning at any other dog when she is so obviously afraid of many when they get too close to her and has held a few by the scruff. She does show non-vocal signs i.e, whale-eye, lip licking, stiffens a little bit etc. But her hackles don't go up and she never makes a sound. I try and avoid contact with other dogs until we have got somewhere with the socialisation but there are always the off lead ones that don't pick up her silent signals and won't leave her alone even when I move her on away from them. She has never lunged either. I never know when she will not like a dog and the majority of the time she won't get hold of them. I never let her have more than a couple of seconds contact even if she isn't showing distress signs. Just sniff and move her away.
    We are working hard on it every day and we go to social walk classes on saturday mornings (they started last week). It would just be so much easier if she gave clearer warnings, to me and the other dogs.
     
  5. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Exactly! Though if the other dogs are blind to the other silent signals, I'm not sure if they'll pay attention to a growl, any better.

    I've seen socially moronic dogs, that even ignore people body blocking them and the bitch (neutered) air snapping at them.
     
    #5 RobD-BCactive, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  6. Emmastace

    Emmastace PetForums VIP

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    I came across a woman last wednesday that was out with four dogs, three off lead. We were walking through the fields bordering the Thames so when I saw her coming I went into the middle of the field with Mia and was about 200 yds from the path she was walking on. Two of her dogs raced straight over and were right on top of Mia and I was body blocking them while trying to keep Mia walking. The male WHP eventually went back when we reached a fence and we went through the kissing gate. The lab bitch went under the fence and followed us across three fields before leaving Mia alone. On that occasion Mia didn't snap but she was terrified. The woman was calling then screaming but she was wrestling with her Newfie that was on leadand wanted to follow us too. She only had one dog with her that did as it was told. I ,must admit I was terrified that something was going to kick off after the lab didn't leave at the first fence and that didn't help. I was hoping Mia would tell them off but she didn't.
     
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