This is a nice article however my dog is unsure about so many people! I’ve heard they have great personalities and are very loving. Any ideas?? Their senses of hearing and smell are so much better than ours, maybe that’s what’s happening with your little guy (and cat) too. I’m having a bit of trouble with my 8 month old chorkie He s fine in the house playing and stuff but when he’s laid down and we go to stroke him he growls and he even bit my little brother today we only recently got him and I really don’t want to have to find him a new home I want to help him cause i honestly just think he’s scared! Those are bout the only exceptions, when she is not growling. my 6 month chihuahua /terrier has always been people friendly and still is. It is important not to push the dog too far too fast. One thought, with all the on line ordering and delivery companies entering our yards and porches it would really make since to keep your pets in doors when you know there is a pending delivery. What a positive way to work together as a team using a high level of communication. I praise my dogs for growling at someone because I know they have a very good reason for doing it and what they have told me is exactly what I want my traveling guard dogs to tell me. I would block approaching kids from getting to her or keep her away from the door when someone came to our house. Thanks again. My chihuahua alway barks when people come to door but he stops when he knows who is is i have no problem with this im just concerned about when he barks then lightly grows at the front door or window some times he barks and growl at back dor too but we almost check every time because it is a warning but 9 times out of 10 theres nobody around and believe me we check every thing front back turn lites on too and still nobody there sometimes my cat does the same thing. You have best attitude by being grateful for what Kaeto taught you. I just realized that I forgot to link those articles in your comment, Phil. This is something that I have to constantly remind myself – to not correct the growling since they are trying to communicate. It sounds scary to me – a lot. Each approach builds confidence. You cant even carry on a conversation she is so loud. We slowly decreased the distance to the children and increased the level of interaction but only within Haley’s comfort zone and while ensuring the safety of the kids. I’m not quite sure where she’s got this new behaviour from, I’ve tried comforting her, telling her it’s all alright, or that the person doesn’t want to play, and giving her attention myself. For example, for people who are nervous when speaking in public, reading from cue cards is less nerve-racking than giving an extemporaneous address in front of two thousand people. 🙂. To be honest – I am confused. Thanks for giving her a great home! I wonder if they growl at any other male voices on speakerphone or if they have issues with men in general. Also we have nominated you to participate in the 8 photos of happiness challenge. But people are ALWAYS happy-tail-wag-inducing for him! Means a lot to me. When a man rings the door, and I look, who it is, she goes into full-blown aggression. Right now the only things I can come up with is treats for the boys to give when they come in the room and either an anxiety collar or meds. I am worried that one day she might bite someone. Any other advice you can offer would be great. Thanks for sharing! When we got her, she would not even go outside to poop. I was guilty of doing that with Haley when she was younger because it’s a common human reaction, but when I stopped to think about why Haley was growling and what she was feeling, I realized that she was only trying to communicate her feelings. ? Because the dogs will receive a whole bunch of treats in a single session, do not use junk-food treats, or else the dogs will end up with livers like geese. Turn your dog’s attention from the stranger to you in a calming voice and reward them when they stop barking. If the growling only occurred one time, I wouldn’t be too concerned but if it’s a new behavior trend in her, the workers at the daycare center should be able to help shed some light on what’s triggering the growling. I’m not sure how to correct the behavior or if I even should. Whether it’s the increased distance or that she feels I’m in control of the door area, it helps her de-escalate the tension and she’s relaxes quite a bit. I really need help, people have started looking at us in utter disgust, or lurching to run away from her, which of course makes the desire to play even worse. In many situations however, the dog’s retreat is prevented, for example, when on leash, when restrained during a veterinary examination, or when playfully cornered by a child and so, the dog can only growl as a signal that he is feeling uneasy and to warn people to stay away. It sounds like you’re on the right track with desensitizing her with treats or toys, but if they don’t work, it’s probably that you’re too close to the man or she’s already escalated to a point where she’s no longer interested in the food. I am not supposed to stop it? But if your dog growls or snaps, or if you’ve caught one of those more subtle warning signs I mentioned earlier, your best bet is to back off. Once the dog has approached and sat to take treats several times in a row, rather than giving the treat, instruct the dog to sit-stay and step back a couple of paces (with the dog restrained on leash). The dog has become accustomed to receiving a treat immediately upon sitting and hence, will exclaim the canine equivalent of: "Yo! Your steps are pretty much what I did; rather than ever pressuring her or making her more uncomfortable I’d move closer inch by inch with a toy of treat – anything that let’s her know my coming near her means something fun or good is coming her way. I hope you can figure out one day what’s triggering Sinead. This sends her the message that she doesn’t need to be a protector and that you’re in control when guests arrive. At first the dog may be puzzled by the handler's unpredictable outbursts. Depending on the specifics of your problem, here are some effective solutions that will transform a grumpy pooch into a calm pup. She had never been walked. You can stand between him and his bowl until he sits and looks at you, then step out of the way and allow him to eat. Great post. My mom already told me . He has also growled at other dogs when they get in his face. ? If she seems aggressive or defensive and wanting to approach guests while growling, it’s best to work with a local trainer that uses positive reinforcement methods to evaluate and work on her aggression. Reducing Your Dog’s Exposure to Strangers. You’ll want to look for a trainer who uses positive reinforcement techniques and also one who has some experience with working with aggressive dogs. It might take a little time at first for your lab to catch on, since he’s going through those difficult adolescent months, but it’s a great way to communicate and reassure them when needed. It never escalated beyond the growl however and I was quick to control the situation by creating distance and reassuring him he is alright. They’re usually not that expensive and can offer some great tips and advice. Thank you so much for your response!! But when it comes to our boys he barks and growls like crazy! Very good advice – I especially like that you point out that counterconditioning doesn’t happen overnight. It probably won’t cost that much and it would be money well spent. You have some really great tips here! Something Hurts. The “attack” by the handler  — the dog's only immediate ally — tends to make dogs especially nervous and “spooky”. Some barking and growling, especially at people who come to the door, is fairly normal as long as it’s just vocalizing and it’s not offensive aggression. Get back here with my treat". Rather than antagonizing the dog's condition, by subjecting him to infrequent and scary hugging or examination by strangers often followed by correction and punishment, the goal is to progressively build the dog's confidence via several hundred gentle approaches and brief examinations, each with pleasant consequences. However, when a young girl approached us he was very uncomfortable with her and so he growled in what seemed to be fear. We pulled her away pretty quickly and had the talk about respecting dogs’ space, and I was very thankful for the growl and that that’s all it ended up being. It’s one (or two) of the breeds of dogs I’d like to spend some time getting to know. We have only had him from last February. I’m so glad you found the article helpful. Hi, I found your advice very helpful after worrying about my Staffie, Bo, growls at people who want to greet him. Hi I have an 18 week old pup who is very playful in the house and with our family. I always ensure that they don’t just reach out to pat him, but to comfortably let him approach them first before petting. Once the dog eagerly welcomes strangers and is no longer intimidated by their actions, and hence has no reason to act defensively, he may be taught to "Shush!" There are some dogs she doesn’t like and also certain people. I have never given up on a dog, but I have never had one, that is so unpredictable and so aggressive towards men. He’s doing really well with his training but has occasionally let himself down by barking. If you think you need some extra help, check with a positive-reinforcement trainer in your area. Little Charlie is driving me and my husband nuts! To the point he doesn’t like male guy’s. I guess it could be both or maybe dogs are just a good judge of character. Hi Jennifer! Or is it being protective of me? Thanks, Kelsie! So true – and that’s why I’m always baffled by people who want to cut out the treats as soon as possible. As long as she’s not aggressive and approaching them (she’s acting more fearful and retreating), I would try having your guests give her lots of space and see if she will approach calmly on her terms when she’s ready. Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by today. In the meantime, use the tips from my post along with maybe some distraction techniques (like using treats and having her sit or do other commands or distract her with toys) to see if you can focus her attention on something else before it escalates or you get too close to the other person or dog. We have just adopted a six month old collie who is very frightened of strangers coming into the house. We adopted Sade-Mae when she was 2 yrs old, she is a lg Shepard/Retrivor mix. I think I would talk to all the other workers at the daycare to double-check and ask if she’s ever growled at them. A dog could be growling at a family member simply because it’s … What Should You Do When Your Dog Growls at Someone? I’ve learned that Jack has boundaries for people and for dogs and I make sure everyone respects them. Aside from obvious safety concerns, we must also address the dog’s peace of mind. I think Luna may be in the running for the sweetest, most well-adjusted dog award of the day here, lol! Oh gosh, I’m so sorry that happened again. I would love to hear back later about how she’s doing and I wish the both of you calm and happy days ahead. Soon, however, the dog learns that the handler's uneasiness is contingent upon the specific situation, e.g., approach by another dog, or a stranger. I tried cueing her on treats, getting closer slowly and trying to give her treats, having the men give her treats (she would not take anything), Having her sit and shaking hands, small talk, showing her – everything is ok. I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment, suggestion or start a conversation. Scolding your dog for a growl is the equivalent of taking the batteries out of a smoke alarm to stop it from going off. We do discourage growling. Thank you. She has no issues with the male workers at thr 2 daycare places, we use. I do the same – I tell him “it’s okay” and stroke his head letting him know I appreciate him, and he can stop the behavior. No ears tucked back. Keep up the great work! I hope the tips in the article are helpful. We so strongly believe that puppy husbandry and training information is so important that it should be freely available to all, with the hope that dogs (and their humans) will be happier and healthier because of it. But it really startles people when they first hear it. It’s now a command I use all the time in different situations, from barking at strangers to when she gets scared by an usual or loud noise. Don’t worry though, it’s a normal phase of their development and it means you may need to reinforce training, do some more socializing and nip any problem behaviors in the bud. Weeks 3 & 4 are similar to Weeks 1 & 2, but employing a down for examination instead of the sit, and in Week 4 everybody wears something a little out of the ordinary, e.g., floppy hats, sunglasses, false beards, sou'wester and Wellies, Mickey Mouse masks, frogman's flippers, etc. It sounds like he had a rough start with his first owner and probably the best thing would be to work with a local trainer that would come to your home and help with the barking and growling issue. So helpful. Here is the thing we just took her weekend before and she has not done any of that, all the other workers love her and she gets along well with her and the other dogs there, in fact they say my puppy is very friendly and submissive life of the party go happy and energetic lol, so why did that happen she just suddenly growled out of nowhere not in a very big way, but that concerns me, as if that girl did something that my puppy didnt like, idk, what is your take on it??? 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