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post #1 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
Dave T
 
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GROWLING

Dr. Ian Dunbar said that dogs aren't like us- they don't have lawyers.Subsequently with meagre litigation abilities and penmanship growling is one of the basic ways that dogs can express themselve. and communicate with others.So if growling is a basicform of communication, why do so many owners reprimand their dogs for doing it? Dogs growl for all kinds of reasons. And thank goodness for that,because growling is an important part of their language. Sometimes growling is their way of telling others that their social space is being invaded , that they may be fearful and are being protective. Sometimes dogs growl during play. Andsometimes because the dog may simply be tired and cranky and doesn't want to be bothered. Even if we as owners are not able to identify the reason keep in mind there is always a reason . So what happens when we reprimand a dog for growling? We are essentially training them not to growl.Consequently, we are training them not to give imperative warnings. By doing this we are potentially creating a walking time bomb.- a dog that no longer gives warning signs whose frustration will build until it can not take anymore, then jump directly to a bite. Often after a person has been bitten by a dog, the owner will say things like, " There was no warning- my dog just bit- he has never done that before. But behaviour like this always comes from somewhere, in fact a stressful situation for a dog can easily be compounded by the anxiety of not being able to communicate by means of its instinctive language. A well socialized dog will, hopefully, give all kinds of warning signs long before he ever bites. Typical signs include growling ,barking, baring teeth, changing body posture, and maybe even a little snap. Some dogs with advanced socialization training can apply the method of "bite inhibition" - taught so that in case a situation arises where a bite occurs, the dog is able to vary the pressure of its mouth before leaving a puncture hole. This enables the dog to express the varying degrees of its intent. Dogs that are undersocialized- dogs that either do not have "growl language" of have had it taken away from them -do not have these skills. Personally, I like it when dogs growl. It gives me an opportunity to stop and consider the reason for that dog to be growling. Only then am I able to make a decision and take the appropriate action to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation. I may choose separate myself or others from that dog, or I can simply make that dog a little more comfortable by changing or removing it from its environment. Maybe the dog is lacking socialization in a particular area, and we need to work on it some more. We would be wise to watch our dogs and listen carefully to the many ways in which they express themselves. There is plenty they can teach us- especially about how we can learn to live our lives together in harmony.

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post #2 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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I dont mind if my dogs growl at strangers, strange dogs, or animals. They
growl at each other often too. What I mind is if a dog growls at me or my children. I draw the line there. If the dog has an issue it better come up with a different way to tell me besides growling. I see growling as a threat that leads to biting. I dont have a child that will raise his or her hand to me and
I wont allow that from my pets either. Sorry, I'm not sure what you were asking but thats my take on it.
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post #3 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 08:43 PM
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I'm not sure what you're asking either, but I don't have a problem with dogs growling at each other or in warning, but if they growl at me, they better tolerate me growling back. I'm the boss.
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post #4 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 08:51 PM
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Shelby never growls at anyone of her humans, but she growls at Kodi. It's dog speak. Kodi will growl if we are playing tug, you know when they shake the towel and growl. But I don't consider that a threat. Am I wrong in thinking that?


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post #5 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissaj4 View Post
I dont mind if my dogs growl at strangers, strange dogs, or animals. They
growl at each other often too. What I mind is if a dog growls at me or my children. I draw the line there. If the dog has an issue it better come up with a different way to tell me besides growling. I see growling as a threat that leads to biting. I dont have a child that will raise his or her hand to me and
I wont allow that from my pets either. Sorry, I'm not sure what you were asking but thats my take on it.
Melissa I am not asking anything this is just an article why dogs growl. and what we can learn from them . It is NOT saying to ignore the reason for the growling . That is something you have to determine. But to inhibit or punish them for their growling is very dangerous. Correct the reason for the growling -- not the growling itself. Thanks Dave

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post #6 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irnfit View Post
Shelby never growls at anyone of her humans, but she growls at Kodi. It's dog speak. Kodi will growl if we are playing tug, you know when they shake the towel and growl. But I don't consider that a threat. Am I wrong in thinking that?
No, Michele. That's how they communicate.

Funny thing is that one of my dogs only growls when she plays, and she almost always growls when she plays. She just did it as I was typing. LOL
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post #7 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:11 PM
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Michele, I don't think so at all. Kubrick growls when we're playing tug and I growl at him (while laughing). His tail wags the whole time, it's not at all menacing. He has never ever growled at me under any other circumstances. If he ever did, I'm pretty sure he knows how much trouble he would be in.


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post #8 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:12 PM
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Kimberly, I took so long to post that I answered the same question you did. Kubrick loves to growl while playing too. I think it's funny. He thinks he's so ferocious.


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post #9 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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Dave, I have to say I would never tolerate my dog growling at me nor would I change her environment so she won't need to growl. That is accomodating unacceptable behavior. The one exception is I would teach a child to not bother my dog while she was eating.

Although I do agree a dog that is growling at it's humans needs some help.

Sorry, but to me this is the same kind of psychobabble from child psychologists that says we need to "reason" with toddlers and now we have a nation of brats.
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post #10 of 97 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:55 PM
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Dave,
I think you need to move in with Ian Dunbar-----gee whiz---almost all your posts are about the guy.Then you can praise him all he wants,and you can both be satisfied!

I think everyone should make up their own mind----Growling at people is not tolerated at my house,nor is it going to be.

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"Behind every unstable dog is a lesson for the owner"-Cesar Millan
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