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Growling becoming a serious (and annoying) issue

September 19th, 2007, 11:14 AM
So some of you may remember a couple of my posts about my puppy a few days back. I had been having some minor trouble with growling and not knowing whether it was friendly or not friendly. Well, things have gotten worse (and some things have gotten better)

So first off, the good news. During play time in the back yard, if I would play tug of war or chase with my pup, she would eventually start growling. Tug of war started it quickly, and after me chasing her or her chasing me for a time, she would also start to growl and sort of nip at my pants or my shorts.
This freaked me out, and I found out that I probably shouldn't be playing those games until I have a clear relationship with her, but that growling is not uncommon in some dogs when they are playing.

Well, I taught my dog to play fetch (woohoo!) and I caught her growling at the ball every time she chased it through the yard! I've also caught her growling when she chews on sticks, squeaks her toys, etc. So Im almost 100% sure I have a playful growler on my hands. I've been stopping playtime if she growls at me/while playing with me though, and its already started to help at least a little I think.

SO now the problem. I think this dog has a tendency towards growling, as she even does it while playing. When shes bored, she growls. Is this mean or not? I cna't tell. Her tail still wags, and no hair on her neck sticks up, but it sounds slightly less friendly than her play growl. How do I stop it? Im afraid if I ignore her, it will escalate into something more serious.

And the Major problem! She has started to growl all night long. She doesnt growl at other dogs, or at people, or even at my cats! But in the middle of the night, over the past 2 days, she has randomly started some really angry growling. She sleeps on a bed on the floor at the foot of my bed.
At first i thought she was giving me her bored growl, so I was a little scared because it sounded so much meaner. But I went down onto the floor with her to see what was up, and she was still growling and looking at the door.
It has gotten cool where we live, so we've started sleeping with the windows cracked to save on AC costs, and I think she's hearing weird noises that are freaking her out. It probably doesnt help that our 2 cats play mad chase through the house all night long, and shes started to sense that more often.

When I let her out of the room, she walks around totally terrified and jumpy. I sneazed while she was investigating and she practically yelped and put her tail between her legs.

Something has her spooked, and its keeping us up all night. Eventually we had to put her in her own room. Is there any way you can prevent your dog from getting scared by outside noises?

September 19th, 2007, 11:36 AM
I've found that all of my puppies over the years went through different stages where different things frightened them. One of my new puppies, Bentley, is a real growler. He growls while he's playing, dreaming, when he's angry, when he's scared. Night time shadows will make him growl, so I try to keep the blinds closed and as little light as possible in the room to help.


September 19th, 2007, 12:31 PM
i think there are also different developmental emotional stages. your girl is probably trying out her growl to see where it fits in HER life and in yours too.

i posted here months ago about Misters whining and barking. i tried 'this' and i tried 'that' and really, the only thing thats made an impact is time. he barks at us when he plays which is cool, never scolded him for that, he still barks when people walk by but we are working on a single or two bark instead of the barrage of barking. he barks when someone comes to the door but only once or twice. we never really worked on that other than getting up to see who is there after 2 barks... now he is barking every time i make him sit. :rolleyes: but thats ok too. but he isnt whining because of things he cant change (such as being banished to the other room for dinner time... Jeffrey cant help but feed him!!) or being outside when he wants inside.

id see what others have to say but im willing to bet its not too much of an issue, some dogs are just more vocal than others. :)