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Puppy growling

(20 Posts)
SeemsLegit Sat 28-May-16 22:52:29

We have a 16 week old puppy who growls ferociously when you try to pick her up. If she needs to go up to bed (for example ) we make sure we wake her gently before picking her up but she still really growls. She's not showing her teeth she's just growling but it is getting worse. What can we do about this? Obviously try to limit picking her up so only do it when necessary but don't really want this to escalate. Sometimes she is happy to be picked up for a cuddle so she's not in pain and she's generally a happy busy little pup

SloppyDailyMailJournalism Sun 29-May-16 00:07:09

I think I would see a behaviourist tbh. Good luck!

Wyldfyre Sun 29-May-16 07:12:32

What ever you do (and I'm not suggesting you are) do not punish a growl - do not even say "no" - as growling is a pre-bite early warning system - their way of saying "I'm not happy about this - and the last thing you want is a dog that doesn't give any warning. A good behaviourist will not try and stop your dog growling.
In the first instance get a vet to check that pup isn't in pain.
It could just be that she doesn't like being picked up - not all pups do. Am I right in thinking she sleeps upstairs? Is there any reason she can't just sleep downstairs? That way you wouldn't need to lift her at all.

Notthecarwashagain Sun 29-May-16 07:17:07

My puppy used to do that too.
I just thought it was a bit like a toddler tantrum to be honest.
He didn't like what was happening, so made a big fuss about it.

He doesn't do it now (he's 24 weeks)

I'm no expert though, and would hate to say it's normal if it isn't!

SeemsLegit Sun 29-May-16 07:23:43

She won't stay downstairs by herself, she just barks and barks when she wakes up even in her crate. She also won't be lured with a bit of food when she's sleepy so picking her up to set her on her feet is the only option. I don't think she's in pain as you can pick her up for a cuddle at other times and she will happily snuggle into your arms. Will have to try to find a decent behaviourist

SeemsLegit Sun 29-May-16 07:24:56

That's comforting notthe and sort of what we were hoping...that she's just being a bit bratty

Wyldfyre Sun 29-May-16 07:32:00

Personally I'd leave her to bark - they do learn eventually (though use ear plugs at first).
TBH I'm not entirely sure (at least not without seeing this first hand) that a behaviourist could do anything. Sound like she's just grumpy when she's sleepy (and you've said you wake her up) - there is an old saying that rings very true - let sleeping dogs lie

tabulahrasa Sun 29-May-16 09:16:09

Most puppies object to being picked up, you can train her to be happy being picked up, it's the same as training them to allow anything they're a bit unhappy with, tiny steps and high value rewards....

But, TBH, that's not your issue, by 16 weeks my dog was 20kg, there's no way I'd be carrying him to bed and I didn't need to because when I told him to come he did, sleeping or not.

So it's kind of indicating that you've got a bigger training issue.

MustBeThin Sun 29-May-16 09:32:59

I have Cav's and one used to growl often, when she was a puppy, not when picking her up but if she was asleep on my knee and I needed to disturb her she'd growl because I was waking her up, she obviously liked her sleep like me. grin She grew out of it though after a month or two (she's 5 now) and now she sometimes does a funny content growl hmm you know how some dog kick their back leg really fast when you scratch them in a certain spot? Well she makes a growling noise instead and wags her tail really fast.

I would check with the vets to make sure she's not in pain though. What breed is she? If she's a big breed it might be uncomfortable for her when you pick her up?

insan1tyscartching Sun 29-May-16 09:50:15

I would just add as well that not all growls mean the same. Eric growls regularly but most of them are just part of his repertoire of noises he uses to communicate with us. Some of his growls mean he is very happy we are back, some are that he wants to play, some are that his dinner is ready. The rare time his growl is a warning it sounds slightly different and his nose twitches. He has growled from being tiny but apart from the spell as a puppy where he nipped as all puppies do,he has never bitten any animal or person soa warning growlis a good thing.

Bubble2bubble Sun 29-May-16 22:11:38

I have an 11 week old here who does exactly the same. Normally very happy to be picked up for cuddles but will growl if you want to move her while sleeping.
I have never seen it before but presume at that age thet get so tired that maybe they just don't want to be moved, or at least that's what it looks like to me. In an otherwise good natured pup I don't think I would worry unduly.

FATEdestiny Sun 29-May-16 22:47:03

I'd say this is indicative of other behaviour issues. Thinking longer term:

- dogs aren't designed to be carried around. They should be walking where they need to go
- sleeping with you could create separation anxiety issues, especially if also never left done during the daytime
- not establishing the dogs 'safe space' for sleeping (I've the dogs bed/basket) is denying the dog the comfort and security their own bed brings
- not establishing the dogs bed downstairs could lead to dominance issues.

Our 16 week old cocker spaniel usually goes to bed (unprompted takes herself into the kitchen and onto her bed) at around 8pm and us nudes turned until about 7am the next day.

Maybe if you feel unable to establish the dog sleeping downstairs (I would just put up with the barking and make it happen) then take the dog upstairs and settle for the night much earlier, before he falls to sleep.

My PiLs 18 month old jack Russell has massive behaviour issues that have required professional help all stemmed from their unwillingness to establish dominance over their dog. Dog is now anxious, snappy, barks incessantly and lacks even basic training. Because as inexperienced puppy owners they treated pup like a baby and dog now considers itself as the dominant in the family.

FATEdestiny Sun 29-May-16 22:50:05

8pm and us nudes turned until about 7am the next day

8pm and --us nudes turned--** is undisturbed until about 7am the next day

Wyldfyre Mon 30-May-16 06:36:51

not establishing the dogs bed downstairs could lead to dominance issues.
FATE a very good post but I will take slight issue with this part - dominance theory (and pack theory) have been completely debunked in recent years.
Both ideas come from research into unrelated wolves in capitvity and even the guy who came up with it admits that he was wrong (it was never meant to be applied to dog/human relationships anyway)

LilCamper Mon 30-May-16 08:08:24

Sleeping with the owner doesn't create separation issues either. Being left to 'cry it out' does.

SeemsLegit Mon 30-May-16 09:25:02

Thanks for your thoughts. She is a tibetan terrier which are naturally a stubborn breed who have to be given a reason to do anything. She will come every time she is called when she is awake but when she's sleeping is another story.

She will eventually be sleeping upstairs uncrated with the other dogs but for the meantime she has a crate upstairs and downstairs as she can't be trusted not to chew everything in sight during the night. She is otherwise generally a happy puppy she's not aggressive at all. Guess we will see if she grows out of it...I don't think she's trying to be top dog I personally don't believe in dominance theories I think she just doesn't want to be moved when she's asleep but guess was asking if we should be worried...our last puppy didn't do it but he was also a handful

Shriek Mon 30-May-16 15:30:25

very important that dpups learn to settle themselves early wherever you put them at regular times and not necessarily in bed with you. You should be dictating to the ddog not the other way around which is what this dpup is heading for.

I would tackle it for short spurts in the day, wherever you decide somewhere quietish and comfortable where she will be left.

I think her rearing in the litter was a problem with insufficient handling. I lift all my pups lots when they are fast asleep (because they fall asleep at the drop of a hat!) growling should be restricted to litter-mates playing together not people.

I would be less worried and consider it a passing phase, except you say its getting worse!

Speak to the breeder and other breeders and ask around so you know how much of a problem this is or isn't for others.

Make sure she is vet checked to totally rule out problems.

Bubble2bubble Mon 30-May-16 23:11:01

That's interesting Shriek. The pup I have here had her littermates taken away at 5 weeks although she was with her mum until 8 weeks and I did anticipate that it could cause problems.

Shriek Wed 01-Jun-16 18:05:25

she's sadly missed a vital part of her socialisation with litter-mates at that age as its too early, this breeder let some of the litter go at 5 weeks? thats shocking... unless it was unavoidable, but breeder handling is key too, as some litters are only of 1! although rarely i guess apart from some small breeds.

Bubble2bubble Wed 01-Jun-16 20:43:35

No breeder involved Shriek, a quite sad rescue situation sad

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