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Thread: Growling Puppy

  1. #1

    Growling Puppy

    My 8 week old puppy of 4 days growled at my mom today. Should I be concerned? How do I stop this kind of behavour?

    The Puppy Blog

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Bexhill, UK
    Why did puppy growl? maybe s/he felt threatened - still very young. Needs lots of attention and reassurance - gentle voices, smooth, soft actions - no looming over like a giant!
    Give 1 for a poundie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Well, what is the context? WHat was your mom doing and what was the puppy doing? Were they playing, was she taking something away from the puppy? I'd say its time to start the NILIF program. That is making the puppy wait for its food bowl to be set down, he probably doesn't know any commands yet but you can wait for him to calmly watch you as you lower the bowl and if he starts jumping for the food too soon take it back up and have him calm down. Also start to give him a few pieces of food in the bowl and put the rest in one by one by hand. If he growls say no and stop giving him food for a bit. You should be able to place your hand in his dish without him being food aggressive. Also start with his toys. You should be able to bend down and take a toy from him without being growled at or bitten. Do this in a serious manner, don't play with it or tug it. If he doesn't growl or fuss praise him and give him the toy. If he does say no and hold off on giving him the toy for a bit. When you give it back make him wait for you to give it to him, don't let him take it from your hand. These exercises will help the pup learn who's boss of the house and that he if he growls at you or your mom he won't get what he wants.
    "There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities. They will not bear discussion."

    Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

  4. #4
    My mom was just getting up from the table and the puppy was standing on the floor. The puppy doesn't growl or put up any kind of fuss when I'm taking away food or toys (sometimes she will grumble when she's playing), she's okay when it comes to that, but she seems clingy, she follows me everywhere and if I leave the room she will start to whine and scream without end, it's driving us bonkers especially at night, she does not want to be left alone.

    She also barks already, today someone came to do a roof estimate and she was barking at him. She seems afraid of people she doesn't know, if they approach her she will runaway and if there's nowhere to go she will start crying like she's in a panic. This has me concerned, I don't want to end up with a mean dog that doesn't like people. She's a Chihuahua by the way and no don't say "that figures", the last chihuahua I had was very friendly to everyone even strangers. I might add that if the person picks her up she settles down and seems to appear comforted that she is being held.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Texas Tha Dirty South
    Now is the time to start taking her out and about for socialization so she doesn't grow up being fearful and traumatized of new people, places and things. Let lots of people handle her and give her treats so she sees strangers in a positive light. Don't coddle her for being afraid of people or things because that just makes her think she'll get attention for acting that way. Did you get to meet and interact with her parents?
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    It sounds like just an isolated case where she got startled or something. I still agree that its time for socialization on a scale for an 8 week old pup without full vaccinations. I wouldn't worry about this one instance of growling then. My aunt has two chihuahuas one a total sweetie and one thats vicious toward strangers and kids. They both were raised the same. I'd never say that figures for a chihuahua.
    "There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities. They will not bear discussion."

    Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

  7. #7
    The mom was on site, when my brother went to the breeder's place the pup's mom was barking at him but once he was in the apartment she settled down. When the breeder went over to pick up the pup, the mom snapped at her as if she wanted to bite her. Is this kind of behavour okay? I've never bred dogs so I have no idea how the mom is suppose to react around her puppies. It's too cold to take the pup outside now but people come over ever now and then, they pick her up and hold her. If she backs away I will pick her up and hand her to the person. Am I doing the right thing?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ap Jct Arizona


    When I went to pick out my puppy,yollie, her mom a toy poodle, was yapping and barking and snarling at us but not at Holly her owner..she didnt like us touching her babies..Yollie is 8 weeks the 7th. She is very comfortalbe and happy just playing by herslef or tying to get one of the bigger dogs to play with her. Shes very well adjusted..She is a bichon/poo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Salisbury Plain, UK
    This will not be an isolated incident unless you do something about it. Socialisation as suggested is vital - your attitude and manner during this process is even more so. Your pup is testing the boundaries of social interaction in the only way a dog can. Try it...if it works and you gain social status, do again - if it doesn't work and you lose social status, don't do again.

    You have two options here - the next time this happens either get the person being challenged to carry on their planned action ignoring the puppy. They must pretend the pup is not even in the room, "walk through the pup" instead of going around it and certainly not hesistating, looking at or speaking to the pup. If you choose this then nobody can pay any attention to the puppy until it quits.

    Your second option is to discipline the pup. I would suggest that the person being challenged is the person to discipline at this stage - they are members of your family, your pack, and should be treated with respect by the pup. If puppy tries to dictate the actions or direction of movement of a family member they are within their rights to remove the puppy, at first by picking it up by the scruff, putting it on its bed and carrying on with what they were doing without any physical or verbal correction from them or you (make sure people in your house know how to react if this happens). If the pup persists in it's efforts then the person being challenged should repeat their action with a firm but quiet "No!"
    If the pup still persists the action should be repeated with the "No!" and eye contact with the pup from you. You just need to look at the pup - it will know you have noticed.
    If the pup still persists the person should repeat the action and vocalisation and you should look again and give the verbal signal of dissaproval (an "aaa aaaa aaaa!" quietly, without anger or anxiety).
    If the pup still persists it should be removed from the room before anyone else leaves and excluded from the pack for ten minutes AFTER it settles - so do not start timing it's exclusion until it is quiet, do not talk or shout at the pup - this is learning time. The pup needs this time to understand the chain of events and work out what to do next time. Often this will be do the same thing but be fiercer and just needs another go or two to work out that this is not the way to behave.

    If you ignore this incident or put it down to a bad day you are ignoring a vital part of puppy development. In a litter the pup would be testing the social boundaries with its siblings, parents and other pack members. Their reactions and the pups tenacity are the foundation for the rest of the individuals pack status. Puppies are indulged but not allowed to take liberties where manners and status are concerned. The most lasting impression on a young pups mind are the things that it did that were accepted by the pack and those that caused the pack to ignore it - these are the survival instincts of the dog. Do the right thing and you are protected and part of the pack - do socially unacceptable things and you are either going to end up as the leader or alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    You should ask your friends or neighbors to come over to socialize your puppy if its too cold out. Its VERY important at this age for her to be socialized. When she is a little older, start dominance lessons. Make her wait for her food bowl, sitting or standing nicely. Pin her down on her side and don't let her get up until she stops wiggling. It will be nice in the long run. I have never heard of the chi being known for aggression, so I highly doubt it is because she's a chi. Make sure she interacts with young children and young teens. If she growls make sure to tell her NO! She is very young so you shouldent have a problem when she's older if you fix it now.

    Good luck.


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