So , he randomly growls at us Has done it since we got him 5 months ago I thought he had packed it in and that it was a settling in thing as there had been no growling for the last three weeks , until now , it has started again .
situations when he has done it : taking his collar off ( fine 9 times out of ten but then takes offence to it) moving him off my knee touching his belly ( happily rolls over for belly rubs at other times) and other similar things .
dh has had him sat on his knee all night , just given him a biscuit and then gently touched his back and told him to get in his basket ( was lay on the rug at this point) he got growled at . He has never growled at dh in 5 months , until now its been me or ds2.
Have been to a trainer / behaviourist who says its nearly always fear based . I have been going along with that and we have all been careful with him ( the dog) but now i'm starting to feel like he is just being cheeky or dominant . He seems really relaxed with us now . i cant understand why after 3 weeks hes started again
He is a nervous dog around strangers and other dogs ( another reason we went to trainer) but he happily lies on us belly up , plays , licks us , chills out . seems really happy .
How old is he? It can take adult dogs up to a year to settle. I had an anxious girl and it was always too late to soothe her once she was anxious. I had heard from somewhere at the time that the soft spoken and higher pitched tones of good words released endorphins for dogs, so I love bombed her when she wasnt anxious, saying her name and repeating other words like "good", etc., while doing things she enjoyed, like getting brushed. She became less anxious and was more receptive when I used her name to give her direction. I don't know though what it was, too many variables. Time, the bonding re my voice and good gentle touch. Good luck op.
My dog growls a lot, it seems genuine towards other dogs if they come near her ball (thankfully never bitten) so we leave ball at home now. She growls many many times a day though lots of it is attention seeking eg when running her belly then stopping she growls. When you don't play she growls, touch wood she's never bitten or lunged, doesn't bare teeth.
Hes around two years old . He doesn't seem anxious with us , that's what i cant understand . That and the way weeks can go by with him being fine . I've removed his collar fine tons of times , then hes taken offence to it , then been fine for weeks and then he has a problem with it again . i like things to make sense damn it
First things that come to mind : could he be in some sort of pain? If he's being allowed up beside you (I.e. on the couch) + previously just growling at you and your son - now progressing/escalating to your husband - could be dominancy issue? What breed/age? Do you know any of his history? Wouldn't be leaving him, unattended, with children. Disclaimer - hope this is helpful (but have consumed 2 large glasses of wine!)
PP's use of the word dominance will mislead somewhat but certainly if an animal is unable to gracefully yield resources, they should not be able to access these resources - e.g. furniture access, toys, bones etc.
My dog used to be extremely aggressive and we had all sorts of behaviourists tell us what to do etc but it turned out she had severe problems in her back legs and she was in tremendous pain. The aggressiveness (she even bit my DH in the face once) was as a reaction to the pain she felt when we touched or moved her
Villainous , he constantly wants to be on my knee . The minute i sit down he wants to get up . Hes fairly small so it takes him a few attempts to jump up but that's where hes happiest , curls up and goes to sleep . Otterseat , he runs around energetically , looks fit as a fiddle . can't say for sure but he doesn't look ill or pained in any way and i suppose it would have to be a pain that comes and goes . Tonight hes spent ages playing fetch in the living room with dh , then jumped up on his knee and went to sleep . Ran after him to the kitchen for his nightly biscuit , lay on the rug after eating it and then growled . wish he could bloody talk !
What’s important is that he’s communicating with you - even if that’s eff off! - and that you respect that communication.
It’s not the same, at all, but we have a growly cat. She’s lovely, but she’s grumpy & growly. We respect that. Dogs can do more damage, so that’s the difference, but the principle is the same. Your dog is saying that right now I am uncomfortable so that’s important.
Would be easier if they could speak human, though!
When he's growling what happens with his eyes, teeth, tail and ears? I.e. how is it different to a grumble, which is what I call it when my girl tries to engage me in conversation. One of my guests once confused it for a growl but she just users her vocal cords to chat at times when she saying hello or that she'd like us to go to bed now.
i'm no sure dudsville . When he wants something though he does a particular bark , if we don't pay attention to that he then stands on his hind legs and sort of dances his front paws i'm pretty sure the growling is an eff off .
It took my spaniel a couple of years to stop growling when certain areas were touched. Sometimes she would change during the middle of being fussed and growl (as you describe) and as the trainer said, that’s a sign it is nerves. Have also had a very growl job that was just ‘talking’ but doesn’t sound like your dog is doing that.