- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Growing to be the boss?

April 2nd, 2008, 02:33 PM
Abby will growl at me. Most of the time it's while she is playing, or if I've told her no because she has done something that needs correction. It worries me because I feel she is doing it to be the dominate and I don't want her thinking she can be the boss in this relationship. Don't get me wrong, over all she is a great joy and tons of fun, and most of all, she is just a puppy being a puppy, but this growling is a bit disturbing to me.

April 2nd, 2008, 03:22 PM
growls can mean a variety of things... i.e. a warning before a bite; pain; lack of respect; and even extreme excitement. it really depends on what the dog is doing at the time, and the rest of the body language.

w/ my dog, growling during play is totally acceptable. it's his way of saying "this is fun!!!" and believe me, some of those noise can sound aggressive to someone who doesn't know my dog or the rough wrestle-mania play he loves.

but if he gets snarky w/ me if told to get off the bed... well, that is totally unacceptable and I'd correct him in a second for it.

learn to read more of your dog - posturing, facial cues, and note what exactly is happening at that time. also be aware of your own body language. you could be correcting the dog verbally, but your body language may be sending another message to the dog, creating confusion.