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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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puppy growling at family members

we have had our havanese pup for a month (now 4 mos old). when we stop him from doing something that interests him, he is growling at family members. we chose this particular breed because of their even temperment, but find this concerning as we have a young son. any ideas or suggestions??
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 09:56 PM
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Check out this thread link...http://havaneseforum.com/showthread.php?t=6047 there are a lot of good suggestions/tips...

Welcome to the forum!

By the way, ANY dog might try to be the pack leader if you folks aren't! Havanese or not...
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 10:06 PM
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Growling is a sign of warning and for that reason, I don't silence growling. Your dog needs to be able to use his voice to let you know when he's upset by something, but I try to stop the cause of the growling. If the dog is growling because you are taking something away, then I make sure I take it away and let the dog know who is in control. If he allows me to take it and doesn't freak on me, then I praise him and give him the toy back. I will try to take it away again in a few second and he will see that he will get it right back when he responds correctly.

Be sure to reward correct behavior with a lot of praise. Reinforce the behavior you want to see.

By the way, not all Havanese have even temperaments. Some are aggressive and some have fearful temperaments (or show signs of fear aggression). Temperament is the most genetically heritable trait passed down from canine parents. It is important that the breeder has sound breeding stock and breeds to the standard to reproduce both physical and temperament traits.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 07:03 AM
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Hmph. You may just have a lil' alpha on your hands and have to work diligently to let him know his place in the pack and he doesn't make the rules, you do. I would put him on his back and hold firmly and growl a firm "NO" back at him.

Is it an aggressive growl or more of a grumble? Some havs grumble, but you'd know if it was aggression or annoyance. Just keep letting him know you make the rules and don't bend an inch, puppies will test their limits and express themselves in a bigger way, like an infant, but as they grow and find their place in the pack and learn the rules, I think you can resolve it.

Gucci did growl a few times when someone would wake her up, honestly, I didn't even think it was really aggressive in nature, but more of a 'let me sleep' type thing. I didn't tolerate it and it stopped, although if someone wakes her up now, she will *huff*. lol Its kinda funny, so I know it still annoys her to be woken up, but she knows better to growl or grumble!

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 07:17 AM
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In my opinion he has a dominate personality. But you can teach him that everyone in your home is above him in ranking. Here are some things that I have done with all my boys, that teaches them that you are in charge and teaches them good manners.

Have him sit/lay and then put down his food bowl, don't let him eat until you say okay. This is a big one, as you are controlling his food. Which is one of the most important things to him.

Have him sit/lay before you pet him, let him up on furniture with you, or playing fetch with him. Once again, it teaches him who is in charge.

Have him sit/wait outside the door until you say okay. Don't let him walk through a door before any humans. Its hard to do this when they need to go outside, as when they need to go, they need to go. I block them with my legs or only open the door a little, when teaching them this, and if they sneak through, I go pick them up and set them back outside the door and start over. It only takes a day or two and they will be looking up at you waiting for you to say okay.

Don't open his crate until he is sitting quitely. Walk up to the crate and open the door a little. If he jumps up at the door, close it and wait for him to calm down, and repeat. Believe me he will understand your message, it only takes a couple of days and he will sit as soon as he see's you coming to let him out. You don't even have to say anything, just keep closing the door. I also make them wait for me to say okay, before they can get out of the crate. I learn this after I got hit in the nose early one morning, by a over excited hav. lol

When training you have to say okay as soon as they do what you want. That way it makes it easier for them to make the connection.

I am not sure how old your son is, but if he is aleast three or four, he can do these things under your supervision and he will learn your son is above him in the pack and you will be teaching your son how to train a dog.

I did this when I got my lab and my daughter was 3. She was very proud of herself, that she got her dog to sit for her.

Peace, Love & Havanese

Last edited by Paige; 10-29-2008 at 09:10 AM.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaos View Post
we have had our havanese pup for a month (now 4 mos old). when we stop him from doing something that interests him, he is growling at family members. we chose this particular breed because of their even temperment, but find this concerning as we have a young son. any ideas or suggestions??
How exactly are you stopping the unwanted behavior? We brought Sophie to puppy class at about 4-6 mo. old. It really gives you a good foundation to work from to set rules, boundaries and limitations with your pup. Especially useful is the "leave it" and "uh, uh, uh" commands. We just went to the local Petsmart classes, which I think are pretty good. We also went through the intermediate class, which expands on some of the things learned in the puppy class.

Basically you want to distract/warn him away from the unwanted behavior by a lower, firm sound and/or giving him something acceptable to play with. If he abandons the bad behavior for the good, praise him lavishly and/or give him a treat.

When Sophie gets wound up playing tug, and you try to pet or touch her, she growls. I think it's just a play growl because she never tries to nip or bite, she just tugs harder while she is growling. We think it's hilarious...but someone who doesn't know her could be scared by it.

How old are your kids? With young ones and small dogs, it's good to teach them to act calmly and not try to touch them from overhead. I've taught the kids in my neighborhood to let Sophie come to them and sniff first. Then they can squat down and scratch under her chin. Once they know each other better they can get rowdy with her, play chase, tug, etc. without fear on either side.

Good luck! I hope you decide to do some classes! If you kids are old enough to participate, even better!

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 09:15 AM
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First make sure it is a growl and not like the play-growl.

Second, if it is in fact an alpha ddoing a warning at you, I would discipline the dog immediately. In the area of 'Don't You Growl At Me Mister!" shock and awe is hpw I handled it.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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thanks so much for all the input. my son is 8 and both he and I are already doing the puppy classes at Petsmart. the growl is definitely not a playful one. my son is holding a "family meeting" today so that we can discuss what all of you have mentioned and then decide what we're going to do so we're all on the same page here. we've endured hours, days and years of pleading for this dog so it's nice to see he's taking ownership seriously. we'll keep you posted! thanks again....
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 09:40 AM
Henry 2006-2018/ Kordelia
 
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^^^ that's an impressive son you've got there.

Remember too, the dog, well is still a puppy until age 2. He looks to his pack leader for guidance and discipline and what is acceptable and what is not. Exactly as his mommy and litter did for him when he would play too hard or bite down too much.

Also: we need pictures of this furbaby of yours!
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 11:20 AM
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I'm totally impressed with your son! Good luck, post pics, and let us know how it goes!

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