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STEVIE433's Photo STEVIE433 Posts: 494
11/20/07 2:45 P

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Yes, I agree with not letting them sleep on the bed, although I have to confess, I too made this mistake, but he was so tiny and had been so sick.....dummy, he's a dog, think like a dog not a human. So now I am paying the price. I have to say "get off the bed" a bajillion times,and he always sneaks back up. I don't let the foster puppies on the bed at all. These guys are going to other peoples' homes and I have to make sure they get proper instructions.

The plush toy thing really does work, I have several friends that have been working with their dogs on this issue and they report great progress, the dogs seem to be calmer for some reason.....I am not quite sure why.... but I am thinking I might just have to look into this, there should be some research out there, especially since it's become a big issue these days.


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LILEONORE's Photo LILEONORE Posts: 444
11/20/07 7:41 A

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Interesting, Stevie, about the toys. That was one thing we didn't work on, training-wise.

We don't let the dogs on the bed - it sends a confusing message to them about dominance. Yes, dogs may sleep in a pack, but they know that alpha gets the BEST sleeping spot. So, claim the best spot (bed) for yourself.

That was actually one of the big mistakes we made when Jasper was a pup. We got him at a time when my mom was staying with us, and his barking and howling at night the first week we were crate training him were unbearable. We figured my mother would have a fit if he'd been doing that all night (yes, he's persistent). So we figured no harm to bring him into our bed for a few nights. BIG MISTAKE. I'm sure that mistake set us up for many challenges later on.

Belive me, Spike is such a sweetie I'd LOVE to let him up on the bed for a cuddle, but I've learned my lesson. I must demonstrate at all times I'm the BOSS (though a benevolent dictator!)

Leonore

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STEVIE433's Photo STEVIE433 Posts: 494
11/19/07 11:55 P

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HI,

I don't recomend rawhide, if the puppy is teething I recomend the teething rings, and coach them to be gentle, well, I have to confess that pit bulls and English terriers are some what of a challange, they have very strong jaws and it takes a little longer, but it can be done. After the ring I follow with plush toys, I take it away if they get too ruff and say "don't tear it" and then give it back aslong as they are gentle, they can have the toy, but when they get too ruff or challenging I take it away and say "mine". My dalmatian has a basket full of toys, and believe you me, the people who knew him as a puppy can't believe it, he was a destructo dog, he shredded newpaper, tore his touys to shredds, chewed his balls until they were 2 pieces, it was awful.



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Don't try to measure fat losses on a scale if you are adding muscle mass to your frame.

Both weight training and aerobics tend to stimulate your basal metabolic rate driving up to a higher than normal level for 30-60 minutes after


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BOBBIE1117's Photo BOBBIE1117 Posts: 17
11/19/07 11:49 P

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You could be on to something, she is an only child and my hubby and I can't even play wrestle w/out her responding. She won't let him hit me(playfully) or me hit him, she get's right up in the middle and grabs our hands w/out biting in her mouth. She is so wonderful, I hope we do well by her.

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KTLASERS's Photo KTLASERS Posts: 3,661
11/19/07 11:36 P

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My dogs act the same way when my hubby and I disagree about their position in the household. Over the last few months, he's totally softened toward them (no clue why, but I'm thrilled) and their attitudes have TOTALLY changed! That dissention could be the source of the aggression. Incidentally, I stopped giving my dogs rawhide years ago after my female choked (this was before all the press about rawhides, too). She was very aggressive with her rawhide prior to that. Even now, if she is working on any edible bone (very rare), she gets a little testy. Her brother does, too. It might be wise to just skip the edible chew toys altogether if that's the trigger! Get your husband on the same page, too, even if that means you have to compromise. (My dogs don't sleep on my bed anymore...)

Another idea...We mat trained our dogs. In other words, they are trained to go to a specified area (we actually bought mats, but a towel or rug works, too) when we tell them "go to your mat". Ever since we did that, regardless of how much freedom we give them, they know who's boss and they back off immediately in a power struggle. Now if I can only get them to agree on who's alpha dog...they keep switching amongst themselves no matter how I treat them!

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BOBBIE1117's Photo BOBBIE1117 Posts: 17
11/19/07 11:28 P

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Been busy and 1st chance to get back here. Background on Dharma, No she has never been food possessive or growled at me before. However, I am an overprotective mama and had not given her rawhide before because of choking hazard. She has jaws of steel and devours anything we give her in 10 min. flat. Sooo at wally world we saw a 3ft rawhide and thought, this might last more than 1 chew session, we just have to watch her and not let her have it for more than 20mins at a time. She has fallen in love with it, and shown aggression to me for 1st time ever. Come to think of it, she has never shown outright aggression, but she has quietly challenged me at every turn. Problem is I love her to death and it is hard for me not to spoil her, I know I'm probably confusing her though, hubby & I have fought over the fact he won't allow her on the bed and I counter with "the pack sleeps together for comfort and protection". I still have to knee her out of the way to be 1st in and out the door, my hubby just looks at her and she act's like she did something wrong even when she hasn't. I guess I'm the softie who's constantly trying to protect and love her...but that is only for my benefit and does nothing to make Dharma happy and is only leading to her having to challenge me, cause she senses a what is considered weakness in her mind. Time to buck up and love her the way she needs me too. Like the top bitch!(Hope I don't get censored for that, talking about dogs.)

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KTLASERS's Photo KTLASERS Posts: 3,661
11/18/07 10:33 P

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Ditto the question about the type of growl. My dogs also growl when they don't get there way. They don't, though, when I approach or try to take something away. It could be your meds, like you said. My female never barks, but she's been barking regularly since I entered my third trimester. I think she senses or smells something coming from me.

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GLDNROTT's Photo GLDNROTT Posts: 3,387
11/18/07 10:31 P

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Stevie, that is too funny!! It was hard getting my two-legged one to become leader of the pack in MANY ways!! :) LOL

Shannon :)



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LILEONORE's Photo LILEONORE Posts: 444
11/18/07 7:35 P

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Exactly. We have to reestablish our leadership roles. Mostly it's fine, but every now and then Jasper tests us again, now that Spike is here. We always win the argument, but I hate seeing this coming out again. We haven't seen it in a long time.

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STEVIE433's Photo STEVIE433 Posts: 494
11/18/07 5:43 P

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Oh, yeah, this is a big issue i male dogs especially when you have more than one and the 2 legged one is not the leader of the pack.


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LILEONORE's Photo LILEONORE Posts: 444
11/18/07 4:38 P

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Man, did it take a lot of time. It was well worth it. Jasper is (usually) a sweet dog now. He's struggling a bit now since we've introduced Spike into the pack. He likes the new puppy, but everything worries Jasper, and a potential change in his status has him testing his boundaries again. So, we're back to some basics with him.

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STEVIE433's Photo STEVIE433 Posts: 494
11/18/07 2:04 P

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This is true, the proper training for the proper behavior only works if people are willing to put in the time.



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LILEONORE's Photo LILEONORE Posts: 444
11/18/07 11:02 A

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You know, we love our Jasper, but we're not joking about his aggressive tendencies. We still have to be vigilant that we don't lose training focus with him. I fully expected a sweet, docile dog when we got a Lab/Golden, and was shocked to find that he could snarl, growl and bite at us, fight us on everything we tried to teach him, and basically be the dog from hell.

It started when he was only 10 weeks old and I brought him inside when he didn't really want to end his play session.

We surely didn't do everything right with him, but we learned quickly when we got help, and it was still a tough road with him. Initially I read books. They were helpful to a point, but none explained what to do when YOUR puppy didn't act like the textbook Golden/Lab (I think there was a paragraph about getting professional help if ...). We took him to puppy class, but his inattention and their training methods weren't a good mix. The week after the first class he attacked me - snarling and growling and jumping at my face (he was 11 or 12 weeks old) and that was the last class we attended. I began participating in a Golden message board, and got advice from those folks. It was there I also learned how common this problem is.

I started taking him on enormously long walks to wear him out (wore me out first), did basic obedience as best I could with a totally uncooperative puppy, and looked out for neighborhood dogs who could come for a play date and wear him out (more than once my husband found me in the back yard after work with a strange man and his dog - really). Finally I found a trainer who specialized in problem dogs. Her methods were similar to Cesar Milan's (though her demeanor was more like a drill sergeant). She taught us tough love - it didn't come naturally to either of us. She also taught us that Labs and Goldens are at the top of the bite lists in most states, and that this is a very underreported problem. It often is really fear aggression (we believe it was in this case). If a Pit Bull (very rarely) bites someone, everyone knows about it and it's thought to be because the breed is aggressive. If it happens with a Lab everyone assumes that it's an isolated incident, and he'll "grow out of it" (sooo many people told me that).

So, we now have a 7-yr-old lab/golden who still struggles to behave himself when he gets excited or worried. And we have a 5 month old pit bull who is easygoing, charming, loves everyone he meets and excelled in basic obedience class.

It just goes to show that you can't assume anything - so many factors go into a dog's demeanor and personality, including their breed, particular blood lines, as well as training. But, even with a tough case like Jasper, appropriate training can almost always make things work.

Leonore

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JANNAMAC's Photo JANNAMAC Posts: 740
11/18/07 8:11 A

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I think that any dog can be aggressive if not trained or raised right. My little scottie puppy got lifted up off the ground by a golden retriever by his lip. This dog has bitten other dogs around 6 times. Goldens are usually very sweet, but the owners don't know what it triggering the dog. They should keep a muzzle on it, when it is around other dogs. I wouldn't take any chances if my dog had the tendency to nip, bit, or attack another dog. I couldn't live with that. My westie doesn't like dogs or puppies that are high strung and get all in her face. I have to make sure that the other dog doesn't come near her while she is on a leash. Off leash she is fine, I think that dogs feel somewhat insecure on leashes because they can't go but so far away from the other dog or dogs. She got posessive over a chew toy and I took it away from her immediatley to let her know that she can't act that way with me.

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STEVIE433's Photo STEVIE433 Posts: 494
11/18/07 12:32 A

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Yes I agree with everyone here, she should never grwol at you for anyreason, my dealdoesn't even dream of it, he gives me dirty looks from time to time, but KNOWS I am boss and his toys and food are MINE, I let him have some. i can stick my hand in his mouth, take his toys away from him and feed him and his gentle as a mouse......that is why I am so confused about the biting for no reason....and it is so random......anyway, try talkin to a trainer before she get out of hand you may have an Alfa dog on your hands and it's a power thing, within the pack, does she do this to other family members?

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MYSTIQUEMYSTIC's Photo MYSTIQUEMYSTIC Posts: 20,338
11/17/07 10:28 P

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THAT IS QUITE ALRIGHT IT DOES NOT MATTER. BUT I WILL SAY I AM GLAD YOU FOUND OUT WHY THE GROWLS HAPPENED. COULD IT HAVE BEEN A GROWL TO LET YOU KNOW THAT SHE HAD SOMETHING THERE? AND NOT AGGRESSION I KNOW MY DOXIES WILL PLAYFULLY GROWL AT ME IF I GET NEAR THEIR STASH OF STUFF. AND YET I GO AHEAD AND THEY KNOW MOMMY'S BOSS.

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BOBBIE1117's Photo BOBBIE1117 Posts: 17
11/17/07 10:05 P

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sorry, don't know why that double posted.

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DREA1091A's Photo DREA1091A SparkPoints: (0)
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11/17/07 9:15 P

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At least now you know why, I would still put her on a 'Nothing in life for free' program. In my mind all the toys/treats belong to me and it is not okay for them to growl at me over it. The idea of nothing in life for free is to make them work for everything, toys, treats, affection, etc... It all belongs to you and you get to decide when and who gets them. You don't have to get physical with the dog, just be consistent about making her work for stuff.

As far as aggressive labs, I've seen countless examples of aggressive labs (and tons of good ones emoticon ) ranging the entire aggression spectrum. I was bit in the face by a lab when I was about 7, just walked through a door and it bit me. I had a case where a lab bit every member of its family and they asked us to euthanize it. That dog took twice the normal about of tranquilizer and woke up within 20 minutes. I currently walk two who's owners cannot handle them.

It's all genetics and environment. I believe the lab that we tranq'd had something biologically wrong with it, the owners seemed to do everything right. The dogs I walk belong to a very rich family who really don't have time for dogs, so the dogs are poorly socialized and recieve little attention. Fyi; their kids are wierd too.

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SHELLYHICKEY's Photo SHELLYHICKEY Posts: 7,755
11/17/07 9:14 P

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I think that a consultation with a trainer would be a good thing to do in this situation. It is still unacceptable for her to growl at you over a toy. My dogs have the understanding that all toys are mine, and I allow them to play with "my" toys. Does she get aggressive if you try to take food away from her too?

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STEVIE433's Photo STEVIE433 Posts: 494
11/17/07 8:32 P

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Hi Lilenore,

WOW,I can't believe a lab/golden mix would show agresion....they are probably the sweetest, kindest breeds ever!
I mean a chichuahua or shi tzu yeah,unfortunately, they tend to be moody, nippy and silly and they're so darn cute nobody cares if they bite, except maybe the Vet, that has to do the cha-cha dance toavoid getting hurt....but anyway,what kind of training did you do? I find that my dal does better if i have a puppy around, he is unbelivably gentle with them. He likesto find things but is not suitable for search and rescue because loud noises spook him and he bite without warning....pitty.

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Both weight training and aerobics tend to stimulate your basal metabolic rate driving up to a higher than normal level for 30-60 minutes after


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BOBBIE1117's Photo BOBBIE1117 Posts: 17
11/17/07 7:43 P

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Thanks for all the great ideas, I think I found the culprit. I took the cover off the couch this morning an found part of her rawhide bone. I only give rawhide to her supervised for no more than 20 mins, looks like she's getting creative & hiding it now. I still don't like any aggression for any reason, but at least I know why. She is of course prone to ear infections too. And I didn't realize the jumping up to greet me at door was a dominance thing? I do enter and exit 1st when I take her out. Anyway, thanks again for all the great advice.

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BOBBIE1117's Photo BOBBIE1117 Posts: 17
11/17/07 7:43 P

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Thanks for all the great ideas, I think I found the culprit. I took the cover off the couch this morning an found part of her rawhide bone. I only give rawhide to her supervised for no more than 20 mins, looks like she's getting creative & hiding it now. I still don't like any aggression for any reason, but at least I know why. She is of course prone to ear infections too. And I didn't realize the jumping up to greet me at door was a dominance thing? I do enter and exit 1st when I take her out. Anyway, thanks again for all the great advice.

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LILEONORE's Photo LILEONORE Posts: 444
11/17/07 4:47 P

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Well, you've heard of an aggressive Lab now. Our Jasper is Lab/Golden Retriever mix, and he was very aggressive towards us as a puppy and young dog. LOTS of training has kept him with us. From that experience, and the research I've done, I've learned that it's not really an uncommon issue with Labs. I was surprised, too.

Leonore

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STEVIE433's Photo STEVIE433 Posts: 494
11/17/07 3:03 P

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HI,

I wouldhave a vet see her, agression for no reason in a wellbehaved, balanced dog is usually a sighn of illness or pain,like ear ache..especially in Labrador retriever who seem tolove water, I have a 8 week old puppy lab, I have to be careful because she jumps in my dals water pan and splashes water abuot, I wouldn't care somuch if it were summertime,but the weather is so unpredictable, the days are quite warm but the nights are cool, and since she has just started her vaccination calander, I have to be special careful,since we are making her immune system work, I have to be very careful of oportunistic bugs. Anyway, sometimes punishing her can do more harm, depending on the punishment of course, by putting her in her kennel,this might actually help,since this could be viewed by her as a safe place or her place (room,etc).

My dal sometimes growls at me when I don't let him have his way, but all I have to do is show him the muzzle and he changes his attitude, so be careful that she might just be testing you.

I am curious to know where you were or came from when she groweled at you, my dal doesn't like the smell of cigarrettes and willgrowl at people who smell like "smoke". I figure it has to do with smoke = fire, and it is a fear response or something like this.

I had a collie years ago that didn't like "BO", he would growl and show his teeth at people who had strong BO, but was fine if the same person was clean and/or smelled like soap or perfume/colone, Weird but true.

I hope you find the issue that is causing this, I have never heard of an aggressive Lab, actually they are considered the perfect childs dog because of their even temper and patience.

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JANNAMAC's Photo JANNAMAC Posts: 740
11/17/07 9:17 A

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I am curious as well as to where was she when she was doing this and what were you doing? Just to give us some more background knowledge. Does she ever go to the groomers or kennel? My westie got really nasty when I would take her harness off and I had to call a trainer and she helped me take control because like you said, I refuse to be scared of a dog and in my case a 13 pound dog. Excuse my language, but I'll be damned. My westie does get protective of things that she knows she isn't allowed to have like someone in my neighborhood threw a piece of fried chicken in the yard and she got a hold of it. Her animal instincts came out. Keep up updated and let us know more information.

Janna

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NANCYVV's Photo NANCYVV Posts: 5,997
11/17/07 8:58 A

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My dog Bella will growl when she doesnt get her way. It doesn't sound like a "mean" growl, it's more like a child whining when she doesnt get what she wants. But I could see someone who didn't know her thinking it was an aggressive growl.

When she plays in the house, she will pick up her kong toy and growl and shake her head with it in her mouth. She will do this to me or my husband or the other dogs to try to entice them to play with her.

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11/17/07 8:55 A

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The vet might also check her thyroid level. If this is abnormal or just in the normal level and not far from abnormal it might show by dogs being agressive. Kaye

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LILEONORE's Photo LILEONORE Posts: 444
11/17/07 6:43 A

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There's some good advice here.

Because you've never seen this behavior before in over 2 years I think the first step is a vet check to make sure she's ok. If she has something like an ear infection or some other "hidden" illness you wouldn't necessarily be able to notice that.

The other thing I'd do is go back to basics with obedience training to be sure you are re-established as the dominant pack leader. Make sure she sits before she gets petted, gets dinner or gets treats. Have her do a down/stay while you have dinner. Humans eat their meals first, and go through doors first.

If you see this again and you know it's not health-related, I'd bring in a trainer experienced in handling similar issues (ask your vet, a local pet-shop owner or a neighbor for a referral). We did that and have never regretted it. Because of that trainer, we still have our Jasper 6 years later. Without her help - I don't even like to think about what might have happened. She was tough - it was like being trained by a drill sergeant, but well worth the effort.

You're catching this at the beginning, so I wouldn't worry that it can't be solved - it almost certainly can.

Leonore

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RDPETERSEN's Photo RDPETERSEN Posts: 339
11/17/07 2:49 A

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Dogs will test you to try to dominate. You need to show the dog you are the boss. I have a Giant Schnauzer that did it to me and I get in his face and make him back up to show him I am boss. They are smart and can sense fear. YOU need to take charge! I always tell people with big dogs to put them in doggie boot camp. I put mine in for 3 months and it makes such a difference. Discipline is key!

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DREA1091A's Photo DREA1091A SparkPoints: (0)
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11/17/07 2:30 A

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There could be a bunch of different reasons for why she growled at you, some that are acceptable and some that are not. Can you tell us exactly what happened prior to this incident happening? Where there any high value toys or some food around?

My guys have play growls and serious growls and know there better be a darn good reason for there to be a serious growl directed towards a human.

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SHELLYHICKEY's Photo SHELLYHICKEY Posts: 7,755
11/17/07 1:26 A

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I am wondering if it could be a dominance issue. When you say how she dances with you when you come home, I am guessing that means she is jumping on you? And when you say that she is in your lap, is she standing up over you, or is she laying down with her head in your lap kind of thing? I had a dog once who used to lean a person to show dominance, some people thought it was cute that he wanted to be close to them, but it was a case of him wanting to control the person by moving them.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.

- Albert Ellis


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GLDNROTT's Photo GLDNROTT Posts: 3,387
11/17/07 1:08 A

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Has anything changed in the household? Maybe her rank in the pack is being challenged. Some dogs "talk" too. Watch for other body signals that it might be aggression or just talking. Like I can tell when Zeek is growling to be nasty or just talking. It depends on the situation he's in. He only started talking recently (after a year of having him). He's talking if he kisses you at the same time. He's growling if he's by a bone he doesn't want you to have. I ground him for that!!

Shannon :)



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BOBBIE1117's Photo BOBBIE1117 Posts: 17
11/17/07 12:59 A

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She's on heartguard and she is never unsupervised outside(we go out with her EVERY time). If I see this behavior again, she's going straight to the vets office. It is a blow to the heart to see this dog who can't get close enough to me and thinks she's a lap dog, who is literally dancing w/me at the door when I come home...act like this.

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MYSTIQUEMYSTIC's Photo MYSTIQUEMYSTIC Posts: 20,338
11/17/07 12:45 A

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SHE JUST MIGHT NOT BE FEELING TOO GOOD. YOU SHOULD PROBABLY WATCH HER AND GET HER TO THE VET TO BE CHECKED OUT AS SHE MAY HAVE AN INFECTION OR SOME SUCH SIMPLE THING WHICH IS JUST THROWING HER OUT OF SORTS. OR IS IT POSSIBLE SHE GOT A HOLD OF A SQUIRREL OR A RABBIT? IF SHE DID THE RABBIT WOULD GIVE HER TAPEWORMS AND YOU WILL NEED MEDICINE FOR THAT OR SHE JUST MIGHT HAVE AN UPSET TUMMY. IT COULD BE A MYRIAD OF DIFFERENT THINGS AND ONLY A VET COULD GET MORE SPECIFIC FOR YOU. GOOD LUCK.

CAROL
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"THE DOG KENNEL IS NO PLACE TO KEEP A SAUSAGE" DANISH PROVERB


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BOBBIE1117's Photo BOBBIE1117 Posts: 17
11/17/07 12:44 A

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The only thing I can think of is that I'm taking Chantix to quit smoking and maybe I smell different to her?

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BOBBIE1117's Photo BOBBIE1117 Posts: 17
11/17/07 12:36 A

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My little girl is a loved & protected 2 1/2 yr.old lab.
She has been nothing but sweet her whole life. Tonight she is growling at me out of nowhere and I am kinda freaked out and pissed off. Any one have any idea what could be causing this? I had her kennel up for now, she doesn't appear to be in pain of any kind and she is up to date on shots. I will not tolerate being afraid of my own dog who has NEVER been abused. What the heck is going on?

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