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Old 07-31-2009, 01:04 PM   #1
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Exclamation Growling behavior problem

Ok, so I have a 1 y/o, m, pit-boxer. He's a very playful dog, and such a good dog. However, recently, he's been growling. Not all the time, or at random people, but at family (mine, not his haha) and it's usually around bed-time so to speak. He'll go to his room (mine), and lay down to sleep, but when my mom, or my sister comes up to say g'night to him, he starts to growl at them as they approach. When I'm around, I try and correct him, but there are times that I'm not around....he'll go upstairs, then my mom, or sis will go up to say g'night, and when they enter the room he's fine, but if they attempt to pet him, or give him kisses he starts to raise his lip, and growl.

My question is this....why is he behaving this way, and what can I (or my mom or sis) do to correct this?

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Old 07-31-2009, 05:22 PM   #2
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It sounds as though he is starting to guard you, which is not a good thing in this case because you don't want him growling at your family rather than at an intruder.
I would ask your family members not to pet him or take any notice of him when they go into your bedroom. But they must walk confidently in as though they belong there.
If he growls at them, or even raises his lip, I would quietly take him by the collar and lead him out of the bedroom.
If he continues, I would put him downstairs to sleep for a while.
You don't say where he is sleeping - in his bed in your room?
It is possible to get over this. My spaniel used to guard me against my partner and growl terribly at him when he tried to get into bed. This was when I was already in bed and the dog was on the bed too - potentially a difficult situation!
I solved it by getting up, taking him by the collar and putting him down onto the floor. I didn't actually have to resort to putting him in the kitchen.
Somehow, by moving a dog in this way, it puts them in their place in an unthreatening way. It's only a small thing to do, but it works wonders.
If you scold your dog in any way, there is always the possibility it might prompt him to be aggressive.

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Old 07-31-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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it sounds like resource guarding, first of all if he growls, you walk away if you are there.. then he will learn that that behavior makes you uncomfortable as well.. it's a clear signal in the dog world.. second have your mother and sister bring treats when they say good night, show him them and ask him to come over to get them, give praise to him, say good nigth and then walk out.. then he will learn that they coming around is a good thing and he'd want that.. He will see them as bringer of something that he wants and he will be accepting.. even better is if they bring treat, call him over and ask him to sit before giving the treat.. this will create a bond where he's used tolisten and obey them and creates a more harmonic situation and builds trust as well....
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emtony13 View Post
Ok, so I have a 1 y/o, m, pit-boxer. He's a very playful dog, and such a good dog. However, recently, he's been growling. Not all the time, or at random people, but at family (mine, not his haha) and it's usually around bed-time so to speak. He'll go to his room (mine), and lay down to sleep, but when my mom, or my sister comes up to say g'night to him, he starts to growl at them as they approach. When I'm around, I try and correct him, but there are times that I'm not around....he'll go upstairs, then my mom, or sis will go up to say g'night, and when they enter the room he's fine, but if they attempt to pet him, or give him kisses he starts to raise his lip, and growl.

My question is this....why is he behaving this way, and what can I (or my mom or sis) do to correct this?
So, just to get it outta the way, Hadynn does not sleep in the bed, he sleeps at the foot of the bed on the floor. and after last night, I really would like to make sure i'm on the right path. Last night my sister comes into my room, and Hadyyn is all good, no growling, nothing. so she invites him up on the bed, and he jumps up and just lays there. well my sis and i are talking and then she tells me g'night, and tells him g'night, and this is where he growls at her. so following some advice here and elsewhere, i get up and attempt to put him into 'time-out', and he growls at me, and raises his lip. At that point, i raise my voice and tell him no growling, and lead him into the bathroom, and leave him there for a few minutes.

is this the right thing to do? and why would he start to growl at me now?

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Old 08-07-2009, 01:56 PM   #5
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That is odd that he doesn't growl until she says good night. I'm still trying to figure that one out. And I wouldn't try to correct the growling. Growling is a dog's way of telling someone to bug off and if you insist that they stop, they may skip the growl and go straight to the bite. If you inhibt the growl, you've cured the symptom but not the cause.

By the way time-outs are for kids, not dogs so they really don't have a place in dog training as far as I am concerned.

Can you maybe get a video of this? Is there possibly some body language going on that is triggering this? Like is your sister raising her hand to pet him, or getting her face into his? And how long have you had him?
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:35 PM   #6
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Are you sure it's guarding something and not just being upset about his space? When zami goes to bed she can get really really grumpy about being disturbed. Her personal bubble gets a bit bigger (which is already a good size) and she's very sharp with the puppies. Getting on her bed at that point will get a puppy properly flattened into the floor and yelled at either by yips or growling. There is usually lots of puppy screaming and yipping at bed time until they take a hint. Occasionally she'll give a grumble towards people that she otherwise wouldn't. So long as she's only doing it over her own bed or crate on the occasions she has reason to want to be left alone and there's no sign of actual intent to harm just expression of her desire to be left alone then that's usually what I do. I just leave her with maybe the occasional warning if it's getting excessive. How would you like it if you never had your own place to go and people wouldn't leave you alone when you are going to bed? It's a good idea to give the dog it's own place like crate training does or a bed of their own for that reason. This is a place that under most circumstances you respect their desire to not be bothered so any good nights would be done without entering or reaching over or into their place.

Now growling over my bed or when I say to move would get a very sharp "NO!" "OFF!" and pointed toward her own bed or crate. I try to avoid physical confrontations with 70lbs of dominant dog but I have dragged her down and held her to the floor on occasion when she did not immediately listen after growling. She can have her own little spot on the floor but she cannot claim any part of my bed.

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