Dog just growled and snapped(52 Posts)
I could really do with some advice as this is our first dog.
Our 9 month old puppy is generally pretty good although he's twice growled at the children (once when one tried to take something out of his mouth and once when he was startled from sleeping when my 6 year old stroked him). He also once snapped although didn't break skin when my 7 year old stroked him whilst he was chewing a beloved chew.
He was neutered last week and has been in a lot of pain and has a collar on. We have let him on our bed in the evenings and he's been sneaking up at other times too. I've let him as my husband has been away and I've felt sorry or him and a bit worried (especially as he had a bad reaction to his antibiotic on Monday).
Anyway tonight when my husband ( whom the puppy adores) went to gently move him from our bed tonight he growled at him. We were both quite startled as this was a first. He then went to pick him up and the puppy really snapped at him( didn't make contact but possibly only because of the collar).
I'm quite shocked and upset and obviously the puppy stays downstairs and off our bed from now on.
Any advice? Do we have a problem? I'm worried given our children are fairly young - 10, 7 and 6.
I should also add that he's well socialised and good although sometimes over-confident with other dogs.
I never followed any particular way of training or bought books about it but rather followed my instincts and what worked for us.
Dogs were not allowed upstairs or on furniture- I've always had bigger hairy and mud loving dogs so that made sense.
Dogs(or children) never pushed through any door in front of me, good manners and it stopped them pushing through the front door and getting run over.
Dogs were trained to sit quietly before going out for a walk because trying to get out of the door with a buggy and a manic dog is dangerous and not much fun.
Children had to treat the dog with respect, not disturb it whilst asleep.
Dogs not allowed to beg for food, can't stand drooling dogs at the table.
Dogs not made a huge fuss of until I've taken my coat off as that made them more likely to get over excited and wee themselves and jump up.
When they were little puppies I modeled what I did on what their Mums or litter mates would do so if they nipped a high pitched squeak seemed to stop them in their tracks, and a gentle shake if they were really mad mannered. We always had older family dogs around who were quite happy to teach the young whippersnapper some manners.
I think it is important not to be timid in dealing with a dog as seeing you scared makes them unsure, it has stood me in good stead at work now when I have to walk into houses with strange dogs at stressful times. Working to make my body language relaxed but confident has insured that I haven't been snapped at unlike some of my colleagues who are scared of strange dogs and show it. Not sure if there's a correlation but it seems to work.
I've always trained dogs and children with rewards for good behaviour and ignoring as much as possible bad behaviour but if that's not possible a firm no seemed to work. Children and puppies seem to be very similar.
NILIF if taken to extremes seems to me to be a pretty miserable way for a dog to live. It smacks of control freakery to demand that the owner makes sure that the dog has to earn absolutely EVERYTHING.
However there's nothing wrong with teaching the dog that keeping an ear open to the owner - listening out for/to cues - leads to Good Things.
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