German Shepherd Home
Print Thread
Rate Thread
The growling b**** #203659
01/04/12 01:50 PM
01/04/12 01:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 130
A
AllMyShepherds Offline OP
Member
AllMyShepherds  Offline OP
Member
A

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 130
NOT another one! I had two female GSDs (RIP)-- one who thought she was placed on this earth to be the Supreme Commander of all other dogs; the other who, as she grew older and more arthritic, decided that the best defense was a strong offense. I said, no, I will not have another GSD that has issues with other dogs.

I socialized the you-know-what out of my little Layla (doggy day care, puppy basics, intermediate classes, doggy beach, restaurants, etc.), but as early as 5 months (she's almost 2 now) she began showing disapproval of some other dogs' behavior, which she apparently believed she was supposed to correct. Her first trainer thought the issue was that other dogs weren't greeting her "properly." Well, even so, it's not up to her to correct them, and I don't want to excuse her behavior. I wouldn't want someone's GSD -- or any other dog -- "greeting" my dog with a snarly growl.

Last night we went to a new class. Big group of dogs. My sweet little Layla growled at at least 50% of them. I noticed her calming down a bit as the class went on, but near the end of class she decided she did not want a Doberman anywhere near her, and growled and made a move toward him. It isn't teeth-baring all-out aggression; it's like bitchiness and "get out of my space!"

WTH?! The instructor will probably help me deal with this as the class settles in (she ignored it -- it was a bit hectic last night -- and I will bring it to her attention if I need to). In the meantime, any ideas? I thought I had it right this time around. Grrrrr.

Re: The growling b**** [Re: AllMyShepherds] #203673
01/04/12 02:54 PM
01/04/12 02:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,129
Fairfield, Ca.
Schnickle Fritz Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Schnickle Fritz  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,129
Fairfield, Ca.
what do YOU when your dog does this?


Have a great day!!!
NLS

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fritz vom Banach TR1 TT RN RA BN NW1 BH 10/10/09
Cuvee' d' la Maze ORT-BCA BH 01/14/11
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Re: The growling b**** [Re: Schnickle Fritz] #203681
01/04/12 03:33 PM
01/04/12 03:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,074
Syracuse, NY
DancingCavy Offline

Dances with Dogs
DancingCavy  Offline

Dances with Dogs

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,074
Syracuse, NY
Growling is a distance-increasing behavior. No matter what her internal motivations are, she doesn't want dogs that close to her.

In my experience, there are a LOT of rude dogs out there. They are all up in other dog's faces and they don't listen to more subtle signs a dog will use to tell them to back off. BEFORE your dog growls, does she turn her head away, lick her lips, give a whale eye (you can see the whites of her eyes), etc.? These are all signs she is uncomfortable with the other dog's presence. If those signals don't work, she'll resort to growls, air snaps, and biting.

Not all dogs like other dogs to be in their personal space. Herding breeds in particular tend to have huge space bubbles and they don't like strange dogs getting too close. Retrievers, on the other hand, tend to have notoriously non-existent space bubbles and have no concept of "personal space."

Still, there is no doubt that growling at another dog isn't desirable behavior in human circles. I would work on rewarding the behaviors you do want from her in regards to other dogs and keep other dogs out of her space for now. You can also do some classical conditioning which will help her feel more comfortable around other dogs. Basically, whenever she sees another dog, stuff her full of awesome treats. When a dog is out of view, the treats stop. The appearance of a dog should signal good things are about to happen and it doesn't matter what she's doing at the time. Just remember she has to see the dog first before the treats start. Once she's looking to you in anticipation upon seeing another dog, you can begin asking for other behaviors around dogs.

I would seriously warn against EVER correcting a growl. A growl is communication. A warning. Corrections are used to eliminate behavior. I would never advise someone to remove a dog's growl. You could easily create a dog who no longer lets you know they are uncomfortable. Instead, the jump straight to biting.


~Jamie~
IWC Ch. Wylde Kitsunegari of Aesir NTD CGC WCM Kyu
**Forever in my heart** Veteran MF-GrCH Dancing Cavy's Pain in the Butte W-FDM/MF MF-M Vet InS/E R-FE/N PCD BN RAE RL1 (AoE) RNX TKP CA CGC WCX3 Risa
It Just Keeps Getting Better: Risa's Blog
Pet Portraits
Re: The growling b**** [Re: DancingCavy] #203686
01/04/12 04:09 PM
01/04/12 04:09 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 52
Far North Central IL, USA
G
gregk9 Offline
Member
gregk9  Offline
Member
G

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 52
Far North Central IL, USA
Originally Posted By: DancingCavy


I would seriously warn against EVER correcting a growl. A growl is communication. A warning. Corrections are used to eliminate behavior. I would never advise someone to remove a dog's growl. You could easily create a dog who no longer lets you know they are uncomfortable. Instead, the jump straight to biting.


Absolutely!!!

Yet some still advise that a growl is as bad as a bite. eyeroll nono

Re: The growling b**** [Re: DancingCavy] #203690
01/04/12 04:16 PM
01/04/12 04:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out
Kayos  Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
Ditto Jamie.

I would also ask what you do when she growls. If you are correcting her you are reacting not proacting. That will accomplish little except to make her more uncomfortable around other dogs and remove the warning.

Whether she has been socialized or not really is not the issue. She may be fine in off leash play with other dogs, but when you put the leash on you remove her ability to create space for herself.

As Jamie said, get familiar with her signs of discomfort and figure out her comfortable space and work in there. You can use high value reward and move her in baby steps closer to other dogs to get her more comfortable in a smaller space but she is a dog that may always want to have her personal space left alone.

If the dobe got too close to her I would have asked the dobe owner to plese watch his/her dog and keep the dog in its own space. My dogs are okay with about 3 feet, many dogs need more. That 3 feet has been worked on for a long time as I do compete and quarters can be tight at the gate area for agility and obedience. Dogs are also that close for group stays. If a dog ges in her space feed feed feed and move Layla away. Keep yourself calm and low key.

Be her salvation not her persecution.


Kathy

PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DJ,HT,TKN,TC,CGCU, RATN 4/4/12
Jeli, (Pembroke Welsh corgi) CGC, RATI 5/13/19

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos, Havoc - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo
Re: The growling b**** [Re: Kayos] #203693
01/04/12 04:27 PM
01/04/12 04:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 130
A
AllMyShepherds Offline OP
Member
AllMyShepherds  Offline OP
Member
A

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 130
Great suggestions! Thank you! Yes, I have been correcting her. Owww! Both my husband and I have a hard time reading her even when she wants to approach another dog (sometimes she will approach, then growl) -- that is why in part I feel helpless. I feel I can never tell how she is going to respond (except, of course, when a dog bulldozes over -- like, yes, Labs tend to do).

I will work on trying to observe her behavior better, and I will definitely do the treat treatment vs. the correcting. Shame on me!

Re: The growling b**** [Re: AllMyShepherds] #203700
01/04/12 04:45 PM
01/04/12 04:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out
Kayos  Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
There are a great many good books and DVDs on dealing with leash reactive dogs. You might go to dogwise.com or bowwowflix.com to see what is available. You can join bowwowflix and rent them like netflix.

Doing some work on this educate yourself may help you learn to read her better.

I am willing to bet some of the approach and then growl behavior is just uncertainty on her part. I think many of us have been in your shoes and have learned by our mistake too. I certainly have.


Kathy

PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DJ,HT,TKN,TC,CGCU, RATN 4/4/12
Jeli, (Pembroke Welsh corgi) CGC, RATI 5/13/19

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos, Havoc - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo
Re: The growling b**** [Re: Kayos] #203735
01/04/12 08:07 PM
01/04/12 08:07 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 636
Michigan
dano Offline
Addict
dano  Offline
Addict

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 636
Michigan
I know it's hard, but think she'll be good rather than worry she won't.
They read us like a book. Exuding confidence can be tough when you don't feel it,
but it has it's own rewards, and gets easier to do. Not that prudent caution shouldn't be taken, but not so much she reads concern as a license to react.

Re: The growling b**** [Re: dano] #203741
01/04/12 08:28 PM
01/04/12 08:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out
Kayos  Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
dano it took me a long time to exude confidence and remain noncommital and unconcerned after Max and I were attacked on the street. But for the sake of the dog's reaction adn well being had to learn to do this. It does work. Dog reads no big deal in its person then it is no big deal to them. (I am committed and concerbed but the dog needs to read that this is not bothering mom therefore it should not bother them.


Kathy

PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DJ,HT,TKN,TC,CGCU, RATN 4/4/12
Jeli, (Pembroke Welsh corgi) CGC, RATI 5/13/19

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos, Havoc - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo
Re: The growling b**** [Re: Kayos] #203766
01/04/12 09:54 PM
01/04/12 09:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,109
Eastern Oregon
Z
Zisso Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Zisso  Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Z

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,109
Eastern Oregon
I too have struggled with exuding confidence and not worrying so much. It took practice for me. Until I started to understand how to set them up for success, I carefully managed the behavior of my dogs. Still do to some extent. Especially paying close attention to what puts them over their threshold-or how much they handle properly and what makes them act badly.

Z has been with me for almost 3 years now, and because I have seen enough damage caused in dog fights I am petrified of them and always tensed up on the leash, which translated down the leash to Z. Oddly enough, I do not feel that tension and stress when I have Nadia with me and have been letting that calmness with her transfer over to him as well. It is hard to change the vibes we give off for sure.

I was so concerned over Nadia's nipping habit that I spent a lot of time, energy and focus on getting her right with the world and learning to read her body language. During that time, I kinda dropped the ball on Z and his issues &/or my issues. Still, I have been noticing that I also do tend to read Z's body language too and we have been more successful as a team, as a 3some, all around. Each good trip out we have builds my confidence and makes everything that much easier.

One more thing to keep in mind, as we work so hard to train, socialize, and strive for our best with our dogs, is when we are out in public, we need to always be as aware as possible of our surroundings. In doing so, I know I have been able to ward off a few dogs that could have caused a problem for myself and my dogs, have been able to control my dogs around loose leash dogs, and in the long run hopefully managed to educate others. Sadly, there are those where we just have to take a deep breath and remember that 'we can't fix stupid'. (Those are the people who think it is okay for their dog to get in our dogs faces and don't have a clue that not all dogs are a like)


Bev~mom to:

Gypsy Breeze-DOB 10/26/18

R.I.P. Kiki, Nadia, Pepe, and all my other loves from years gone by.
R.I.P. Zisso May 2, 2020
Re: The growling b**** [Re: Zisso] #203781
01/04/12 11:42 PM
01/04/12 11:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,074
Syracuse, NY
DancingCavy Offline

Dances with Dogs
DancingCavy  Offline

Dances with Dogs

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,074
Syracuse, NY
Great advice here all around. Don't kick yourself. We ALL make mistakes. Risa is my first dog and to say I messed up along the way would be an enormous understatement. wink When we know better, we do better as they say.

I think what's really key is being proactive. Keeping an eye out for potential sticky situations as Bev stated. Learning to read your dog better to prevent problems as Kathy and I mentioned. Being calm and collected even when your brain is running 90 miles an hour trying to figure out what to do. smile

There is nothing wrong with getting the heck out of the situation if you think you and your dog are in over your heads. Don't risk failure. You want to set yourselves up for success but, sometimes, it ain't gonna happen and you just need to jump ship. And, if you have a setback, it's okay! It will happen. Evaluate. Realize what went wrong. Come up with a game plan for next time. Try again. You'll get there!


~Jamie~
IWC Ch. Wylde Kitsunegari of Aesir NTD CGC WCM Kyu
**Forever in my heart** Veteran MF-GrCH Dancing Cavy's Pain in the Butte W-FDM/MF MF-M Vet InS/E R-FE/N PCD BN RAE RL1 (AoE) RNX TKP CA CGC WCX3 Risa
It Just Keeps Getting Better: Risa's Blog
Pet Portraits
Re: The growling b**** [Re: Zisso] #203835
01/05/12 09:41 AM
01/05/12 09:41 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,746
SE Wisconsin
FurKids Offline
Pooh-Bah
FurKids  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,746
SE Wisconsin
Every time someone says they worked really hard to get a dog that won't do this or that and then wind up with a dog that DOES this or that anyway despite our very best effords, I'm reminded of me and some of the totally unexpected emotionally painful and scary things we've gone through.

Think about it though ...

There are breeders that do a wonderful job of breeding solid temperament dogs, as perfect as perfect can be in any and every way possible.

There are parents that do a wonderful job of raising their children, as perfect as perfect can be in any and every way possible.

Yet we have families who raised all their children in the same way, same rules, same love and attention and wind up with grown children who are level headed, confident, function well and are a great asset to their families and communities ... except ... one child winds up being a Jeffrey Dahmer, a bank robber, rapist, drug addict, just plain lazy s.o.b. or you name it --- he/she becomes the family's black sheep and everyone scratches their heads in puzzlement wondering "why????" and "how could this have happened?"

Same can be true for a litter of puppies. You just never know what you're going to get until you actually get there no matter how hard you work to not let it happen.

Zisso makes some very good points and I like this, too:

Quote:
There is nothing wrong with getting the heck out of the situation if you think you and your dog are in over your heads. Don't risk failure. You want to set yourselves up for success but, sometimes, it ain't gonna happen and you just need to jump ship. And, if you have a setback, it's okay! It will happen. Evaluate. Realize what went wrong. Come up with a game plan for next time. Try again.


Deb Nissa & Gracie
Forever in My Heart Riley, Hannah, Damien, Katy, Crocket, Kayla, Gypsy, Toby and Cookie
Re: The growling b**** [Re: FurKids] #203850
01/05/12 01:00 PM
01/05/12 01:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out
Kayos  Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
So true Deb!

I am the middle child of 5. We all have good jobs, nice homes, work hard, etc. EXCEPT my little brother who is currently back in prison. We all ask "what happened here?" I know dogs are no different.

Zisso is right, when you can't succeed get out of dodge, cut your losses and calmly leave the situation. Always set up for success but also know sometimes it is not going to be good and when it turns sour do your best to minimize and move out.


Kathy

PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DJ,HT,TKN,TC,CGCU, RATN 4/4/12
Jeli, (Pembroke Welsh corgi) CGC, RATI 5/13/19

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos, Havoc - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo
Re: The growling b**** [Re: Zisso] #203861
01/05/12 01:51 PM
01/05/12 01:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 130
A
AllMyShepherds Offline OP
Member
AllMyShepherds  Offline OP
Member
A

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 130
By the end of the class, I could indeed feel my tension seeping into Layla so that we were both "high strung." That is going to be my biggest challenge. One thing I'm going to do next time is not carry so much crap with me...I was worried about reaching for treats that were in a bag inside another bag while keeping an eye on her, watching other dogs and paying attention to what we were supposed to be doing. It was chaotic.

As for not being able to fix stupid, you reminded me of once when I was walking my Jasmine (RIP), who grew grumpy and dog aggressive in her old age. We were in a wooded park. She was on leash. Along comes this woman who looked like she was in outer space sauntering toward us with a big bumbling happy-go-lucky lab (God bless 'em)-- off leash. I yelled out to her as I saw the dog bumbling toward us, "My dog is dog aggressive." Response: expressionless face. Dog bounds closer and pounces, very exuberantly, right up on Jasmine, who responds with pure nastiness. I didn't correct her. As the woman walked past with a different expression, I simply said, "I TOLD you she is dog aggressive."

Originally Posted By: Zisso
I too have struggled with exuding confidence and not worrying so much. It took practice for me. Until I started to understand how to set them up for success, I carefully managed the behavior of my dogs. Still do to some extent. Especially paying close attention to what puts them over their threshold-or how much they handle properly and what makes them act badly.

Z has been with me for almost 3 years now, and because I have seen enough damage caused in dog fights I am petrified of them and always tensed up on the leash, which translated down the leash to Z. Oddly enough, I do not feel that tension and stress when I have Nadia with me and have been letting that calmness with her transfer over to him as well. It is hard to change the vibes we give off for sure.

I was so concerned over Nadia's nipping habit that I spent a lot of time, energy and focus on getting her right with the world and learning to read her body language. During that time, I kinda dropped the ball on Z and his issues &/or my issues. Still, I have been noticing that I also do tend to read Z's body language too and we have been more successful as a team, as a 3some, all around. Each good trip out we have builds my confidence and makes everything that much easier.

One more thing to keep in mind, as we work so hard to train, socialize, and strive for our best with our dogs, is when we are out in public, we need to always be as aware as possible of our surroundings. In doing so, I know I have been able to ward off a few dogs that could have caused a problem for myself and my dogs, have been able to control my dogs around loose leash dogs, and in the long run hopefully managed to educate others. Sadly, there are those where we just have to take a deep breath and remember that 'we can't fix stupid'. (Those are the people who think it is okay for their dog to get in our dogs faces and don't have a clue that not all dogs are a like)


Re: The growling b**** [Re: AllMyShepherds] #203903
01/05/12 06:12 PM
01/05/12 06:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,129
Fairfield, Ca.
Schnickle Fritz Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Schnickle Fritz  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,129
Fairfield, Ca.
Quote:
One thing I'm going to do next time is not carry so much crap with me...I was worried about reaching for treats that were in a bag inside another bag while keeping an eye on her, watching other dogs and paying attention to what we were supposed to be doing. It was chaotic.
a bait bag will fix this. i dont mean to be flippant, it really will. i was anti bait bag in the beginnng of my training with fritz and quickly figured out a bb was invaluable ! diggin in my jeans pocket to get out slimey chicken pieces was not going to get a marker trained puppy! get one that is big enough, easy to get your hands in and out of (believe me this is important - strap it on and feel it out) and one that is easily clean able (some are not). if you are thinking you dont want your dog to know where the treats are coming from (a usual excuse for folks to not want a bb).. then just twist it around to your back (another reason you want to make sure your hands fit in it since you will not be looking at it) and get the treats delivering them with different hands


Have a great day!!!
NLS

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fritz vom Banach TR1 TT RN RA BN NW1 BH 10/10/09
Cuvee' d' la Maze ORT-BCA BH 01/14/11
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Re: The growling b**** [Re: Schnickle Fritz] #204051
01/06/12 06:49 PM
01/06/12 06:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out
Kayos  Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,815
Los Lunas, NM
You can also try one of those waist apron things that you can purchase at Lowe's or Home Depot. They have 2 large front pockets and are designed for holding light weight building supplies, they are made of cotton so are washable and cheap enough to throw away after a few washings.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_78882-1492-1LC-2002-L_4294770562_4294937087_?productId=3419652&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Miscellaneous%2BTool%2BBelts_4294770562_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=


Kathy

PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DJ,HT,TKN,TC,CGCU, RATN 4/4/12
Jeli, (Pembroke Welsh corgi) CGC, RATI 5/13/19

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos, Havoc - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo
Re: The growling b**** [Re: Kayos] #204407
01/09/12 03:46 AM
01/09/12 03:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,109
Eastern Oregon
Z
Zisso Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Zisso  Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Z

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,109
Eastern Oregon
Just checking in here and hoping I didn't offend anyone with my remark in an earlier post.
Sometimes I don't think before I hit send.


Bev~mom to:

Gypsy Breeze-DOB 10/26/18

R.I.P. Kiki, Nadia, Pepe, and all my other loves from years gone by.
R.I.P. Zisso May 2, 2020
Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

Monthly Photo Contest Winner
Newest Topics
Victor Dog food RECALL
by Shilohsmom. 09/06/23 02:54 PM
Granddog at the Bridge
by SeanRescueMom. 09/03/23 01:56 PM
A Nice Long Day
by Woodreb. 08/27/23 04:06 PM
Conjunctivitis
by Zisso. 07/14/23 05:28 PM
New Topics - Other Animals & Chat
Shanah tovah
by jarn. 09/15/23 06:31 PM
General sorrow
by middleofnowhere. 09/12/23 12:24 AM
Calm in the face of calmity (SKUNK)
by jarn. 09/05/23 12:49 AM
My dear friend
by Shilohsmom. 09/01/23 01:58 AM
Middle
by Shilohsmom. 08/31/23 12:19 AM
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 44 guests, and 7 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Monthly Photo Contest Winner
Newest Members
GSDman, GSDluvah, Bonwno, Mongoski, Lawz67
3048 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums84
Topics18,846
Posts294,306
Members3,048
Most Online991
Jan 15th, 2020
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1