The “attack” by the handler  — the dog's only immediate ally — tends to make dogs especially nervous and “spooky”. That innocent person who is minding their own business, enjoying an otherwise peaceful morning walk is NOT a bad guy who you need protection from. She does bark when someone comes to the door , near car so forth, i believe its normal and just being protective and aware. This is the basic courtesy that humans owe each other, and canine companions must be held in secondary status to this social contract. Just loves the guy with kisses. I really need help, people have started looking at us in utter disgust, or lurching to run away from her, which of course makes the desire to play even worse. Tonight the dog will eat dinner, handfed by strangers. (Only seconds previously, he had voluntarily approached and nuzzled the stranger's hand.) See Retreat ‘n Treat. Keep up the great work! Exit the situation. They usually don’t do that, and I believe I was actually the reason they did growl.. One of the moms who was standing there with the kids is incredibly annoying to me (she has several large dogs who she keeps exclusively in her back yard, yelling at them at the top of her lungs whenever they bark because, guess what, they’re BORED!) She adjusted fine in our house and loved my husband to death. If you’re really concerned that she might bite someone, it’s best to enlist some help from your parents and a dog trainer. ? Feeding a dog from a food bowl hijacks training. Thanks, Lisa! Each day, weigh out the dogs daily ration of kibble, put it in a plastic bag with a pinch of freeze-dried liver powder, shake well and use as directed. During rehabilitation, ONLY feed dogs from the hand. I think it is a trained behavoir from her previous elderly single male owner, who maybe played rough with her. Most dogs do not like it when their owners become anxious, apprehensive, or agitated and so, the dog now has a third reason to growl — to keep the stranger at bay, in order to prevent the owner from becoming uneasy. Very good article I enjoyed it. That is why we say, they are not a breed for everyone. She now goes on walks, to daycare, has obedience training and sometimes private lessons. She was terrified, crying and trying to hide behind me. Remember, behavior never remains the same. Progress to louder knocks, then to having a person knock from outside (but not enter). He had minimal socialization when we adopted him and was really just a mess. We have read conflicting views in reading articles about what to do about growling. That’s great that it worked out for you! Reprinted with permission of the author and the American Kennel Club. I just realized the counterconditioning link in the post had changed so I updated the link if you want to check that out or if you feel Chaos is becoming more reactive to strangers. I have no idea why, but I will admit it does make me a bit nervous when he does this. The dog no longer growls when the stranger approaches, because he is no longer afraid of strangers, so now it is time to teach the dog to "Shush!" We are finding it really difficult because it is preventing us from inviting other family and friends over. He’s scared to death! Chessies are smart and will take over if you are not assertive so from the get-go we let them know what is acceptable and what is not. Thanks again. ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky! She had never been walked. 🙂. I wonder if they growl at any other male voices on speakerphone or if they have issues with men in general. My dog growled for the first time today at a pair of tourists who were taking pictures of the side of a house. You have know idea how your post made me realize that growling isn’t always a bad thing! Time and patience are needed! This is not a learning paradox but rather, physical punishment is a common cause for growling. She is about one year old and was tortured, when she lived as a street dog for maybe her first 3 or 4 months, then she was neglected by her first adopters (not fed enough, no training, no walks, no socialization). To fix this type of aggression, and stop the dog from growling at strangers, you need to expose the dog to various types of environments where he can encounter several people, several smells and even get to see other animals. I am headed to Petsmart tonight to pick up one or both. My Luna hardly ever growls – it’s only when she is playing that she lets a little growl out, and even then, it’s very rare (but cute). Great post with a lot of good tips! I think Luna may be in the running for the sweetest, most well-adjusted dog award of the day here, lol! Should I say it’s ok and justify his behaviour to the target of the barking? It’s really hard to give a “fix” for growling from just reading a little bit about what your pup is doing and not being able to observe her in action. Right now the only things I can come up with is treats for the boys to give when they come in the room and either an anxiety collar or meds. Whether performed as a preventive exercise for puppies and good natured adult dogs, or as a therapeutic exercise for growly adult dogs, the following procedure may be applied to a single dog at home or in a private consultation, or in a class format as described below.Confidence Building Classes  One or more six-week classes may be required to rehabilitate adult fearful dogs. Only problem is when he enters room and with strangers outside or coming to door; he is afraid she may end up biting someone. It can be embarrassing when that happens, but it’s good that he’s letting you know how he’s feeling so you can continue to help him. Once the dog is accustomed to any manner, or speed, of approach, the stranger may stand in front of the dog and periodically offer treats while the dog remains in a sit-stay. The other day he made a little boy cry!!! He’s doing really well with his training but has occasionally let himself down by barking. The idea is to alleviate the problem, not make it worse.The prime directive in rehabilitation is that no stranger be allowed to approach, let alone touch, the dog, until the dog has both the confidence and the inclination to approach and contact the stranger. I think he was just worried,,,,and I love him for that! She would do, what he asked her to do, but not take any food. I don’t mean to imply that everything you need to know about fixing an issue with a reactive dog is found in the paragraph above. After he got close enough to her where she could pick up his scent, she would start wiggling with happiness that it was him and not a burglar, haha. It is important to proceed slowly. It sounds scary to me – a lot. Thanks. We definitely agree with the 7 points listed, especially keeping distance. So I was like “calm down” he didn’t really listen to me but that’s ok he stopped when he realized who it was ( I think)! Nothing worked, it is getting worse. Haley does that sometimes too and I think it’s usually something she hears or smells that I don’t notice. Dogs growl because they are insecure and anxious in social situations. Really enjoyed the write up and great tips shared here! Thank you for the informative post! Not correcting the growls was something I really had to learn with our first dog, Kaeto. 🙂. Growls can definitely be an early-warning system, so better to let a dog growl and get his/her point across than have things end up with someone getting bit! I didn’t realize Cardigans were so vocal. It’s a common problem with dogs and I’m glad the post might be helpful. Your neighbour sounds like an idiot. Cats and squirrels, oh yes! It sounds like you’re on the right track with desensitizing her with treats or toys, but if they don’t work, it’s probably that you’re too close to the man or she’s already escalated to a point where she’s no longer interested in the food. As the dog senses the rising tension, he becomes increasingly “on edge”. Once the dog has approached and sat to take treats several times in a row, rather than giving the treat, instruct the dog to sit-stay and step back a couple of paces (with the dog restrained on leash). For example, maybe the other workers happily call her out of the room versus taking her out without verbal encouragement. But she is doing slightly better, she’s stopped growling at people so much, and now she gives growls followed by a warning bark, then just whimpering. From day one she has growled at our then 10 yr old granddaughter. Browse around awhile and you’ll find lots of helpful training tips and information along with some news, product reviews and yes, even a few dog tales! I still carry treats with me mostly to reward Haley if we happen to run into little kids. I really wish I could offer an easy fix here but hopefully you’ll give the trainer a shot and you’ll have many happy years with your new boy. I have worked on redirecting her but as a hound she is very hyper focused on him when it happens and I literally have to ‘drag’ her away from the situation because he (the neighbor) continually tries to interact with her if I don’t get her away quick enough and I’m sure it will lead to a bite eventually. I squeeze and love him but if for example he’s trying to root through the bin or he’s sat on the settee and someone wants him to move he makes this horrible blood curdling bark and snaps I don’t wanna give up on him so I’m asking for help. Because of his size, it really puts people off him. When you do as much training and as many dog sports with your dogs as I do, you get to know them very, very well. I hope you’ll notice a difference after a little while, but during the holidays, make sure she has a safe space to relax and that will also keep your guests safe in case she gets too nervous. Learn more about temperament training with The Best Online Dog Training Program: The Top Dog Academy. No worries, Suze. When a man rings the door, and I look, who it is, she goes into full-blown aggression. I’m so glad you found the article helpful. We’ve come a long way since then and I’m sure our dogs are happy about that too. Those are bout the only exceptions, when she is not growling. When you are walking him, as soon as he starts to bark, make a quick U-turn and walk the other way. Your puppy sounds adorable and he’s probably just going through the fear period that occurs around 4 months of age. Thank you. What To Do When Your Dog Growls at Someone. Thanks! I know exactly what you mean, Jen. As for training, we have had a special session few days ago. He is fine with all the family but when a stranger walks into the house he runs up to them straight away and growls and gives them a small nip. Look for clues about what might be causing her concern about the guests and also what works to lesson her stress (such as creating more physical space between her and the guests). Sadie sounds very sweet and she probably just needs a slow transition while adjusting to her new life with you. When his personal space is violated, the dog has two options — to retreat, or, to convince the intruder to retreat. It’s possible something about Britt reminds Sade-Mae of another negative association made long before you adopted her. If the stranger stands at a distance where the dog feels comfortable, tosses a treat and then steps back, characteristically, the dog will tentatively approach to grab the treat before bidding a hasty retreat. more ». I agree that desensition is the best way to teach your dog to accept situations that they are uncomfortable in. I’m excited that you want to look into training and I hope you’ll soon be able to have a whole house full of guests and you can all enjoy each other’s company. ? It can be pretty stressful when they growl, especially at children. My owner is untrustworthy around other people and dogs.”Characteristically, the dog develops a Jekyll-and-Hyde-type personality. If that doesn’t work, a local dog trainer that uses positive reinforcement can probably help. If we would give up on her, there might not be much left. If it is the 16 year old neighbor boy at the door, all aggression is gone and she kisses him and loves him. 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