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Magic of Growling at dog

September 14th, 2005, 10:52 AM
Having noticed this subject in discussion in a few posts around here, I'm curious as to hiow many people here use this as a training tool.

To start off, I do. It's quick, easy, and automatic to me. It's probably the tool I use most often.

I growl if he's standing too close to my dinner, if he steps on my foot, if he chases the cat.. etc. I pretty much use it for any small thing he does that I don't like.

For larger errors, I use the "Nahhhhh" sound (veering off the path while in harness, barking at another dog, etc) It's louder and works better when he's not right next to me.

And if he does something really bad or keeps misbehaving at one thing until I lose my patience, I let loose with a loud "Raaawrrr!" He knows I mean business with that one and he better smarten up. And yes, I do this in public too.

Frankly, it makes more sense than telling him "No." all the time. Especially because I can change my communicated meaning and urgency depending on how I growl.

If a person used "No" for every little thing (like when he stops in mid fetch to chew on the frisbee) then when something big came along (charging after a cat across the street) the dog would be likely to just tune it out.

For more specific naughty deeds (ie leave it, drop it, off) I use specific commands. But nothing beats growling as a catch all.

September 14th, 2005, 10:58 AM
I'm guessing your dog isnt alpha.... If we were to growl at our Belgian (who has had more training than ten average dogs put together), she just lets 'er rip. The louder/more forceful we growl, the louder/more forceful she barks back. She's sooooo alpha she just won't put up with the growling from us. We are able to put her in her place, but not through sounds.
Let's just say I was sooooo glad when I got Layla and discovered she wasn't 1)alpha and b) a barker.

September 14th, 2005, 11:11 AM
I do not growl at my dog. I prefer my pup to respect my word, my actions, my commands. I don't think there is any need to act like a dog - I'm not a dog.

September 14th, 2005, 02:12 PM
lol, I don't consider myself a dog either. But then I was growling at myself long before I was growling at my dog :D Maybe I need more human contact lol.

He's a submissive, eager to please dog, so perhaps that's why it works so well on him. And I've been growling at him since he was a baby, so he doesn't consider it threatening or unusual.

He also likes to growl and make other vocalizations, so perhaps we learned from each other.

(and growling must be a universal language, 'cause it works on my cat as well :pawprint: )

September 14th, 2005, 03:04 PM
I growled at Dodger a few time when he was a puppy and it worked like a charm. But now that he's older he obviously finds my growl pathetic and thinks I'm playing with him! So it tends to cause a case of the zoomies :crazy:!

If I were to growl at my cat, she would ignore me :rolleyes: !

September 14th, 2005, 03:25 PM
i can actually remember a couple of times trying that on ben, as i'd heard about this method before. and when i did do it, i noticed he did get submissive, and he's not a submissive dog. so i don't doubt that it works. i just don't think i could do it outside and when people are over, which would cause me to be to be inconsistent, WHICH would result in ben taking his usual stance of, well if you can't make up your mind, i'm not listening anymore! i'm one of those people that used to shy away from certain exercises in drama classes, so, unfortunately, there's no way i'd have enough ba**s to bark in public!!! :eek:

September 15th, 2005, 10:31 PM
Dogs don't know english or any other language. You could speak jiberish for all that matters and as long as they learned what behaviour it represented you could use it.
I use eheh as a negative sound for incorrect behaviours.

September 15th, 2005, 10:36 PM
Try growling at this.... :D

September 15th, 2005, 10:39 PM
Try growling at this....

thanks Prin now you scared my kids! :)

September 15th, 2005, 10:41 PM
What are they doing up at this hour?!! :D

September 15th, 2005, 10:42 PM
You are 3 hours ahead you know, but they should have been asleep already. Now they need to say good night to Joey at least 10 times before they go to sleep. :)

September 15th, 2005, 11:00 PM
Dogs don't know english or any other language

Hmmmmm,that's funny cause mine does.And he also knows German too........ :D

September 15th, 2005, 11:05 PM
Mine know a bit of French too.... :)

September 15th, 2005, 11:16 PM
Beetlecat - if it works for you that is great. It also is a big business and has many happy clients. If people disagree, really, do you care? Nobody posting disagreeing are certified behaviorists so I would not pay any attention. Carry on.

September 15th, 2005, 11:22 PM
as long as they learned what behaviour it represented you could use it.

I guess I wasn't clear enough.
If your dog had never done for example a sit and you tried to get them to do it by telling them sit, don't count on them doing it. To a dog this means nothing.
Do you know how many people try to teach a dog to do something by simply telling them and then get upset because the dog doesn't do it, the dog didn't learn that this word means something. As I mentioned before, unless the verbal cue has be associated with a behaviour the dog has no clue what it means.
They don't come to you with a knowledge of language.

September 15th, 2005, 11:30 PM
I don't believe that anyone is disagreeing. All I can see is that some are saying that it didn't work for them. I think the fact that this is working for Beatlecat is her ability to control tone of voice.

lol, I have had many students that say to me that they can pick out anyone who has taken classes with me because they all say eheh to their dogs.

September 15th, 2005, 11:43 PM
I don't know how people can really disagree.. You try it out; if it works, great, if not, move on. :)

September 16th, 2005, 09:08 AM
exactly. and judging from that picture prin, i can see why you wouldn't bother growling at your pooch. from the looks of it, it'd be a losing battle! but what a beauty!

September 16th, 2005, 10:58 AM
I was told last night by some restaurant workers in the old port that mine knows spanish too. Wow what multilingual dogs we have :D

September 16th, 2005, 10:38 PM
exactly. and judging from that picture prin, i can see why you wouldn't bother growling at your pooch. from the looks of it, it'd be a losing battle! but what a beauty!
LOL Thanks! If it was a contest, Jemma would growl her way to the top for sure... :D She's my favorite crabby girl. :)

September 17th, 2005, 10:08 PM

Jemma should have been the dog in the Macdonalds commercial.

The one where the kid is working at the dog groomer and the owner tells him to make sure to wash his ears. Then you see the dog looking at the kid with its teeth barred growling at him.

September 18th, 2005, 01:34 PM
Oh, she could have. :D (she would have been prettier too.. :D )

September 18th, 2005, 05:15 PM
We tell our clients that each person in the house can speak a different language it doesn't matter - its more about clear communication within each relationship than it is about the language itself. You could say 'Pizza' for 'sit' if you wanted, the dog couldn't care less - so long as you are consistent with your intentions and body language.
Puppyluv - your dog might be responding to the energy you are putting out as much as the growl itself. Somedogs will try to match your corrections with more energy because they are so reflective - it becomes each one of you upping the ante until it gets ugly. Instead you should make your point with calm energy and then disengage. The dog will think to get more intense but then see that you have backed off so there is nothing to come up against and he'll back off too.
Prin - awesome picture of Jemma - what makes her do this? I see she is in someones arms? Could it be she is telling you to back away from her man?

September 18th, 2005, 05:40 PM
No, no, she's just getting a hug. I think it's purring. She really doesn't mean it. It's funny. At night, if you touch her anywhere but her neck (sometimes), she growls like that and if you stop, she cries. She's our kitty. She does so many cat-like things. She sits in the window all day, she actually jumped on the back of our sofa once and walked across... She's the kitty we never had. :)

I'll post it again temporarily..

September 18th, 2005, 06:02 PM
Thats awesome! :p

September 18th, 2005, 08:14 PM
It's my favorite pic of all time. It's Jemma in a nutshell... :)