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Thread: Rottie growls when happy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    4

    Rottie growls when happy

    My 4 year old Rottweiler, Guiness, growls and bares her teeth when she's happy. The happier she is, the louder she gets. When we pet her, she growls, and if we stop, she nudges our hands. Same when we play with her. She has never bitten anyone, and if my brother, father, and/or I rough house with each other, she snaps at our legs because she thinks one of us is hurting the other and doesn't like it, but will turn her head away if we get too close to her. She doesn't do this with little kids, stays quiet and gentle with them, no matter what they do to her. She barks at people she doesn't know, and that's it. Plays fine with big dogs and tries to protect dogs smaller than her (she has a bad tendancy to lick their muzzles, ears,and eyes- total maternal instincts). I've had conflicting reports from two breeders and a trainer. One breeder never heard of it, the other had, and the trainer said we should hit her with a broom when she did it. Reported him to Animal Cruelty. It doesn't bother us, since we've gotten used to it, and haven't had any problems with her. I would just like to know if it's normal for Rottie's to do this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    5,911
    Wow!!!
    I'm no rottie expert, Jada has only been with us for about 6 months, but she does the exact same thing!!
    She just "talks" to us when we're petting her--the more we pet or scratch her, the louder she gets. Especially when I find that sweet spot where she loves to be scratched, right behind her ears.
    My Jada is a mad licker too--always licking my 3 other dogs, and us, and the furniture, the floor, whatever she can.
    She's not much of a barker either, only when she hears someone outside, or a strange noise.

    Welcome to Pet Talk!!
    I hope you stick around and show us pictures of your rottie!!

    And good call on reporting that "trainer" to AC officers--hit your dog with a broom? Idiot.
    Emily, Kito, Abbey, Riley, and Jada

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    1,093
    I don't have a rottie exactly, but Leo has part Rottie in him. He doesn't growl when I am petting him, but be does make some funny gurgling sounds. I do deal with quite a few Rotties at the shelter I volunteer at and they are all general love bugs. They love to lean into you to get closer (Leo does this too). Vocalization does not always mean she is actually growling, although it might sound like it - I am assuming this is what she is doing.

    If she is licking the muzzles of other dogs, that is actually submissive appeasing behavior. She is probably doing it to show them that she is no threat.

    She sounds like a sweetie - hope you post some pictures of her soon.

  4. #4

    Our Rott does the same thing

    We have a 1.5 year old rottwheiler and she growls when being petted. She growls when we hug her, pet her chest, and pet her back. She will growl as she climbs up in our laps. She is spoiled, but we have had two other rotts that were males back in the past and they never did growl. My brother has a male rott and he does not growl when being petted. He is a little over a year old. It seems the only one I have noticed that growls have been females. I too get a little concern at times because she will get loud and at these times I will quick rubbing her to see what she will do and she will just lick our hands or face. This is how I know rather it is friendly or not.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,400
    Quote Originally Posted by chaddlee1978 View Post
    We have a 1.5 year old rottwheiler and she growls when being petted. She growls when we hug her, pet her chest, and pet her back. She will growl as she climbs up in our laps. She is spoiled, but we have had two other rotts that were males back in the past and they never did growl. My brother has a male rott and he does not growl when being petted. He is a little over a year old. It seems the only one I have noticed that growls have been females. I too get a little concern at times because she will get loud and at these times I will quick rubbing her to see what she will do and she will just lick our hands or face. This is how I know rather it is friendly or not.
    It is funny how different some dogs are. I knew one family whose dog loved to growl and bear her teeth at visitors, but gave it all away with a big enthusiastically waving tail at the other end, so I was never fooled. There's a reason not to dock a Rottie's tail - that's a bigger clue that when a little nubbin is all that's left, breed standard be darned!
    I've Been Frosted

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    5,374
    I don't have a Rottie, but my Aussie will "smile" when she gets very excited. Some people are uncomfortable by this, especially strangers who have never met her (and I can understand why). She doesn't do the growling thing... though she will occasionally "grunt" when we get her very excited. We call it her "oinking"

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    11,587
    Quote Originally Posted by Jessika View Post
    I don't have a Rottie, but my Aussie will "smile" when she gets very excited. Some people are uncomfortable by this, especially strangers who have never met her (and I can understand why). She doesn't do the growling thing... though she will occasionally "grunt" when we get her very excited. We call it her "oinking"
    Yes, my Aussie, Zoee, grunts and groans too when you pet her. And my mom's little poodle mix always "smiles" when you first come into the house.
    I don't see a problem with either behavior. But I can see how it could be alarming to someone that doesn't know the dog is friendly. Just like my Zoee.......when we go for walks and she sees another dog she goes balistic and the hair on her back raises. That's a normal sign of aggression, but once she meets the other dog all she wants to do is play. It's a tough thing to deal with, but we've managed it for almost 8 years now.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby)

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