What to do when the dog growls
Dogs have a language of verbal communication that is not extensive in comparison to that of the human being, however, growling is a very useful system that allows them to imply that they do not like something .
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In this article of YourCatCareguide we will help you identify what is the problem that affects your dog and we will give you some basic advice so that you can regain his trust. Remember that it is very important not to reprimand him, as this will eliminate your natural communication system and may bite without warning.
Find out what to do when the dog growls during play, in the presence of infants and children, caressing it, or when it has a toy in its mouth.
Why do dogs growl?
Dogs growl together and growl at us to express something they dislike . A tail pull, aggressive behavior, or excessive punishment can make a dog growl at us, that’s his way of saying: That’s enough!
When a dog growls it is very important not to touch it (since it could bite us) nor punish it. Scolding him when he growls may make him bite directly instead of warning us . For this reason it will be fundamental to identify the causes that provoked this growl and treat the root problem.
You should know that it is very important to work these kind of problems with a professional like a canine educator . If our dog behaves for a long time and get used to repeating it , the modification of the acquired habits will be much more complicated, so it should start as soon as possible.
Then we offer you some tips and tricks so you know how to start work while waiting for the professional visit, something essential. In addition, you should always keep in mind the following:
- Do not punish him.
- Use only positive reinforcement .
- Do not touch it when you growl.
- Do not scold him if you growl.
- Watch your behavior.
- Identify the context.
The dog growls up
In this situation the dog growls as part of the game by biting a toy or trying to nibble our fingers. This growl is a moment of play. To affirm that the animal is joking we should observe positive and patient behavior in it, never aggressive, fearful or reactive. If our dog makes light growls without hurting us and with a playful attitude means that our dog understands that he is playing with us.
This can also happen when your dog relates to other dogs, snarling and biting without hurting themselves . This behavior is appropriate and proper to the nature of dogs.
The dog growls when it eats
If your dog growls when, when approaching, there is food in the middle the animal has a resource protection problem . Through the growl you will be alerting us not to get close to the food, otherwise it may come to bite. The dog keeps its food as the basic survival instinct.
Resource protection is when a dog tries to protect and show that it is his or her particular object. We usually talk about food, toys or your bed, it depends on the situation. If your dog has resource protection with the food will have to work daily with him and the food. For starters it is very important not to scold him . should allow your puppy to growls when it deems it necessary, is its natural form of communication.
Take some tasty food you know he likes and start offering it directly from your hand with the open palm. By having this behavior, the dog understands that it is we who gives him the food. Repeat this behavior on a regular basis by practicing obedience and offering you many goodies whenever you do well.
Another trick is to use searching , which consists of spreading treats on the ground (preferably in a clean place, not in the city) so that the dog searches for it and develops the sense of smell. It is another type of way to directly receive food from us, this type of activity calms and benefits the dog. It is also indicated for dogs that bit their hand when receiving prizes.
The next step is to use different food containers (use some plastic ones, but cheap ones) and put them all over each. Give him food every day in a different place and it is very important that the dog see you putting the food in the container. Before emptying the contents into the container can give you a few grains of ration from your hand. You should continue to work on this problem with a professional.
The dog growls when there is something in his mouth.
If your dog is the one who does not drop the toy in any case and start to growl if you try to take it out, it is again before the protection of resources . Do not try to take away the toy, as this is a clear warning not to approach, it may bite you.
Should start working with it the “loose or loose” order to drop the toy allow him to recover it. Follow these simple steps to achieve this:
- Use your favorite toy: a ball or a toy to bite.
- Allow him to play with it for a while without trying to pull it off.
- Use tasty treats, it should be something you know you really enjoy.
- Approach him and say “loose or wide” while letting him get food with his fist closed.
- When you drop the toy, congratulate it and give it the prize you have hidden in your hand.
At this point a problem arises: the dog may not allow us to retrieve the toy and pick it up. No matter, you should not force it. Congratulate him every time you drop the toy and allow him to retrieve it without problem, in this way you will understand that you are not trying to steal it.
After working the “loose or wide” order for as long as it takes for the dog, your puppy will allow you to pick up the toy and know that you are not trying to take it. Then you must give it to him again to continue to trust you and always return your toy. The congratulations and words of praise can not miss.
Trust, constancy, and positive reinforcement are the keys to resolving resource protection. Properly interpreting the dog’s communication and being patient in your education will be critical. In addition, it is advisable to have a professional help you in this process, especially if it seems to be complicated.
The dog growls at being petted
Before stating that it growls as a behavior problem, it is important to discard any disease , which is usually the most likely cause of the growl in the face of physical contact. The hip dysplasia or skin problem may be the cause of the dog growling.
If the veterinarian makes sure you do not have any physical problems, you should think about what you did to make your dog growl: Are you afraid of yourself? Do you use physical punishment with him?
Do not try to touch him if he does not want to . You should gain the dog’s confidence by practicing obedience, using positive reinforcement, offering snacks and verbally rewarding your pet whenever you can. It is preferable that you do not approach him and that little by little you gain confidence, you force him and with pressure you will achieve nothing.
The dog growls at other dogs
We must differentiate very well the types of growls that occur between puppies:
During a joke two dogs may growl as a natural form of communication to warn you about the limits: “calm down”, “hurt me” or “care” may be some of the meanings of growl. They are totally normal and appropriate, the dogs communicate thus.
However, if during the walk your dog growls and barks at other dogs in an aggressive and challenging manner is probably facing a problem of reactivity, either fear or other causes. It is important to avoid situations that cause you serious stress and we must begin to educate you in quiet situations to stop doing it.
How can we growl with other dogs?
It is important to understand that this type of rules must be set by a professional. A dog that is afraid of other dogs will need a therapy, while those who have not been socialized will need another type of work. On the internet you will find many different advice and techniques, which will not explain to you is that not all are valid in all cases.
Only a professional can guide and give you useful advice for your dog. Do not believe that you have not seen your dog. However, there are factors that can help you improve this problem:
- Avoid walking mistakes
- Ride the dog during the quietest hours
- Do not subject it to pressure.
- Do not punish him.
- Use positive reinforcement
- Practice obedience
The dog growls at babies or children
Although he does not believe it, many dogs often growl at infants and children as a result of a negative experience in the past (tail tugs, ears …). It is very important that you adopt the necessary safety measures to avoid a possible accident, always use muzzle and collar in the presence of children.
In addition, in our article you can know how to get your dog used to the muzzle . If you do not do so your puppy will understand this as a punishment and the reactions may be worse.
We’re talking about fear in general. These types of cases should be treated with an experienced professional as is the case with ethologists . Look for a professional in your locality to help you deal with this problem before it gets worse.