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Growling labrador

(9 Posts)
zippyandbungle Wed 24-Dec-14 08:42:45

My four year old lab has recently started growling just at my sister. The thing is she has always made a fuss of him and he loves her visits. The growling is really more of a rumble with no snarling plus he is wagging his tail with his usual enthusiasm. I have said enough and he does stop. But I'm wondering if it could be over excitement rather than aggression. Is this a thing?

ender Wed 24-Dec-14 10:57:23

Does your sister play with him a lot?
My 4 yr old lab sometimes does this, obviously playing as waggy tail and bouncy. He'll bring me something in his mouth, almost let me have it them back off and give a little growl. Sometimes I join in and pretend to try and get the toy off him, if not in the mood will ignore him and he stops doing it.
I know if I say "drop" he'll give me the toy but then it won't be a game any more.

livegoldrings Wed 24-Dec-14 11:01:47

My lab "growls" a lot, it is her way of talking. She growls for a treat or to go out. You can tell she is not cross but it is just a noise she makes, but she did worry my mum once by doing it.

tabulahrasa Wed 24-Dec-14 11:12:32

I've had a couple of dogs that sort of grumbled when they were happy and excited...current one growls when he's playing.

It's not the same noise as their usual actual I am unhappy growl, just sort of sounds a bit like a growly noise.

If it's like that then, yep it's a thing and it's fine, just a noise they make.

crapcrapcrapcrap Wed 24-Dec-14 17:53:57

Wagging tail does not equal happy. It may sometimes mean happiness, but it depends on how high the tail is being carried. Wagging is closely linked to arousal, so a slow wag with high carriage, plus growling, would make me concerned this dog is giving a real warning. I wouldn't advise you to encourage him to do it again, but video would be interesting.

I'd suggest your sister avoids eye contact and turns away from him if he growls again, in case something about her behaviour is making him uncomfortable. Better to err on the side of caution.

TheCunnyFunt Wed 24-Dec-14 18:44:12

I found this quite interesting, it's tail language fsmile

zippyandbungle Wed 24-Dec-14 19:41:25

Thanks I will watch him for the next few visits. I really have nothing to compare his noise to as he has never growled at anything before.

Willdoitinaminute Wed 24-Dec-14 20:02:59

Our old lab used to grumble when you talked to her it was definitely a different sort of growl to her unhappy warning growl. I used to talk to her when I was in the kitchen and it was like she was talking back. Labs do seem to be very vocal.

Gingerfudge Wed 24-Dec-14 20:22:45

My old lab made a growling noise, like very low toned bark on meeting people, it was so clearly a very excited hello. My whippet play growls too when he is really enjoying a game. There is no aggression attached, it's a happy snarling, no fear...looks relaxed, very happy and stays engaged with the game. It's almost like he's talking.

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