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Dog growled at someone for the first time tonight.....

Amiga Girl
January 2nd, 2006, 09:53 PM
As I finished my nightly walk with my 7 year old pittie X, as we walked up to my apt. building a man was outside the door smoking. I said 'hello' and as I went to the door my dog growled at him for no apparent reason. She was wearing her muzzle obviously as it's Ontario, and she didn't lunge but clearly wanted to put herself in between he and I. The guy then stepped back and I didn't really know what to say. She's never growled or shown any signs of distress or aggression towards anyone before. I'm thinking that as she is very protective of me that she somehow sensed him as threatening but I am very disturbed by this behaviour and don't really know what to do as I certainly want to nip it in the bud. Any ideas, enlightenment or suggestions?


Lucky Rescue
January 2nd, 2006, 10:21 PM
My last dog was fine with everyone. One day when he was about the age of your dog, he raised his hackles and growled at a man walking towards us in the woods. That was all he did. I chose to trust his judgement and let it go at that. He never growled at anyone on our walks again.

If your dog has never shown aggression towards anyone, he may have had reason to growl. Just as dogs can know when someone is going to have a seizure, (possibly by scent or body language) I believe they may also be aware when someone is not acting or smelling right. Someone intent on a misdeed may be very nervous or the man may have been drunk or on drugs and just seemed "off" to your dog.

This is just my opinion based on what you have said.

January 2nd, 2006, 10:26 PM
I agree with Lucky. Some dogs can smell bad people. If this was an isolated event, I would say stay away from that man. If the doggy does it again, with somebody different, compare the two (i.e. if they're two grey-haired, 6 foot men or if they're quiet sneaky men, you might have a pattern). But one incident is too soon to tell, IMO.

Amiga Girl
January 2nd, 2006, 10:38 PM
This was my original thought too.... perhaps she was smelling a 'bad apple'!
I just haven't had any other incidents to compare it to but I will have to remember this guy in case there are other incidents in the future so I can compare and then judge accordingly.
Thanks for the responses....

January 3rd, 2006, 08:55 AM
She may be telling you something about the guy Amiga girl, the guy was by your apartment entrance door, maybe she felt he was too close for comfort, it's harder for them to see at night, she might have gotten spooked. My dog doesn't like men in hoods, especially at night, he doesn't growl, but he'll watch them very carefully until they leave.

January 3rd, 2006, 11:44 AM
In agreement with everyone! We had a 5yr Rottie who was the sweetest gentleman ever. One day he went nuts barking at a very eldery, frail woman who had come into my home for the first time. I was soooo embarassed. He could not be calmed. but he never did it again to anyone. I figured he knew something about her that I didn't, and not to assume that sweet looking little old ladies have led such a sweet life.

January 3rd, 2006, 01:42 PM
I totally agree with Lucky as well! Our husky/akita mix did the same thing with a stranger on our property. He would not stop barking and whining until this man had left! He always quiets down when we tell him to, but with this one particular person - he wouldn't! And he's never acted like this to anyone else before either! This guy gave me and my fiance the creeps too!

January 6th, 2006, 07:15 PM
i agree. I had a malamute some years back who was a rescue dog that someone had abused. We got him at 1yr old. He never was aggressive to anyone and we orginally had a problam with him submissive peeing. One day when he was about 8yrs oldi was out walking him and my then 8month old son when a man stopped said hi, what a beautiful dog i have. My dog got between my son (in a stroller)and the man then proceeded to growl. I was stunned and embarressed. I asked him to stop. The man laughed and said he thinks he can take me hmm. I apologized and my dog continued to growl and as i walked awy continued to stand behind me until the man turn the corner. 3weeks later that man was arrested for beating his wife and putting her in the hospital. I never doubt my dogs insticts again.

January 9th, 2006, 02:01 PM
I think it was an instinct thing.

I remember there being someone on this site and now I cant remember that said that their dog always growls at the child molestor in the neighbourhood.

Anyone recall?

AS I posted in a thread I opened in the BSL forum. Capone as just discovered tries to take his muzzle off when walking but only and I mean only when we are walking with is 9 year old human sister. He also will freeze in his spot if she is laging to far behind or try to pull me up to meet up with her if she is ahead of us. Dogs will protect us and only they can feel what they feel. They work off vibes. Maybe he was nervous about something totally harmless and the dog picked up on that. When in doubt trust that your dog sees or senses something you do not. Heck capone gets excited 10 minutes before his dad pulls up. There are so many little thing they know and sense. We don't even have to say the word walk in our house, something my hubby does must trigger capone because he just knows hes going for one. Same as table scraps.... Sometimes we give him some but its almost like he knows because he will get excited even before his dish has been picked up.

January 9th, 2006, 02:09 PM
I totally agree with everyone here.

My second dog a gsd named PJ was the most suckiest dog in the world not a mean bone in her body. My brother worked at a store down the rd from where I lived and quite often I would walk down with her when he was working late and we would keep him company.

One night we walked in and there was this guy hanging around, she totally freaked, like you I was embarassed and could not understand this behaviour.
The next few times as we approched the store she would start to cut up and when we walked in he would be in the store, she must have been able to smell him I guess.

Turns out he held up the store a few days later when my brother was not working.