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Are there any behaviourists around? Dog snarled.

(8 Posts)
UnseenAcademicalMum Thu 07-Jul-11 12:18:07

I'm wondering if anyone could help with this, please.

We adopted our year old whippet around 3 months ago and all seemed to be going fine. Gentle with dc's, fairly laid-back etc. He gets plenty of regular exercise and is fed twice per day. He is never left alone with the dc's and has accepted that if dp or I need to go somewhere in the house, he will either come with us, or go to his bed in the utility room. He always went without question. Until earlier. I had to put some things away upstairs and as whippety-boy is not allowed in the bedrooms, I told him to go to the utility room. This time, rather than simply going, he faced towards me, rolled back his lips (though didn't show his full teeth) and gave a definate snarl. This has concerned me, obviously, in particular because of the dc's, but also there was no circumstances which could explain this display i.e. no over-excitement, no coming up on him from behind, no disturbing his sleep, nothing.

Really not sure how to handle this now sad. At the time, I immediately said "no" in a stern voice, repeated my command for him to go into the utility room and whilst the door to the room is now open, he has been ignored ever since (this happened at breakfast).

Does anyone have any ideas as to the correct way to deal with this and what the probabilities are that this is just the start of more serious problems? Am really worried.

OldBagWantsNewBag Thu 07-Jul-11 12:47:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DooinMeCleanin Thu 07-Jul-11 12:49:04

Stick a house line on him for a few days. Guide him into the utility room with the house line at the same time as you give the command, when he is in there treat. Hide treats around the utility room, for him to find when he is in there or put something really tasty in a kong for him. That god awfull primula cheese is always hit here.

It'll be fine, it's not the start of more serious problems, just testing boundaries like a child would. Start some positive training and it will sort itself out.

UnseenAcademicalMum Thu 07-Jul-11 12:52:44

No, I didn't have anything in my hands at the time. That's why I find it worrying, because it appeared to come out of the blue, aside from perhaps that he has been testing boundaries in training a little in the last week (for example, needing to be told a few times before sitting at the side of the road, having previously done it well and things like that).

DooinMeCleanin Thu 07-Jul-11 12:57:28

He's just feeling more confident with you now, that's all. Carry on with the training and he'll soon learn.

UnseenAcademicalMum Thu 07-Jul-11 12:59:14

Sorry, Dooin' cross-posted. The testing boundaries thing is kind of what I thought, as I say he's been trying it with other things in training, but never apart from this instance in an aggressive manner.

DooinMeCleanin Thu 07-Jul-11 13:02:42

Growling isn't always agression. It's a dogs way of communicating. Think of it as a teenager saying "But I don't want to go to bed yet. I'm not tired. This is so unfair. I hate you" etc. grin. Make the utility room the best place in the house to be and he will want to go in there.

UnseenAcademicalMum Thu 07-Jul-11 13:06:11

Yes, good point. Thanks.

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