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Snarling/growling


Guest greytsmom
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Guest greytsmom

Ok, I thought this would pass or I at least thought I had this behavior pin pointed. This is getting worse. PJay snarls/ growls (at times) when we are talking/laughing/ or if we just cough. Initially thought it was just when he was trying to rest/sleep. Not so. This morning, as per his usual routine, he had been napping in our bedroom and I was dressing. I got a tickle in my throat, coughed, and I thought he was going to come at me. He made NO move to, nor has he ever, but the snarl and growling was (and has been) frightening. He is otherwise a docile couch potato. He has done this for years and I can't get a handle on it. Any ideas what is going on and how I can change this behavior? No health problems...

 

I am not a newbie, just hadn't posted in awhile and had to rejoin.

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If he's just making NOISE, have you considered the possibility he's just "talking" to you? Clearly if he wanted to or intended to bite or even snap, he would have by now.

 

Just a thought!


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Guest greytsmom

If he's just making NOISE, have you considered the possibility he's just "talking" to you? Clearly if he wanted to or intended to bite or even snap, he would have by now.

 

Just a thought!

 

Actually, I had thought of this, but I have never seen a dog show his teeth and sound so frightening when just talking. I had a mutt once who talked to me, but never came close to sounding as ferocious as this.

 

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Guest kydie

Just me, but I'd don;t think that should be tolerated, at this point of the growl, a very loud "NO" is in order, play growl is different than, a dominate growl He is talking to you alright, He is saying :shut up:

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Guest greytsmom

Just me, but I'd don;t think that should be tolerated, at this point of the growl, a very loud "NO" is in order, play growl is different than, a dominate growl He is talking to you alright, He is saying :shut up:

Yep that is pretty much what I thought. We have said loudly many times no!!! Isn't sticking with him. When he would do this downstairs. I would make him go upstairs. Now he has started to do it upstairs, too. I too don't think it should be tolerated, but I am not having much success in changing his behavior.

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Guest greytsmom

Maybe a squirt bottle might help while your in a coughing fit? Hard to verbally correct while your coughing or sneezing. :lol

 

Hadn't thought about a squirt bottle, especially since "no" is not effective. We had our adult children and families here today and he did nothing but snarl and growl. It was quite noisy here to say the least. Took him up stairs and he barked the whole time he was up there. I wish I knew why he has gotten so much worse about noises. All of our company are a bit taken aback by his growly/snarly behavior.

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You say he's been doing this for years.

 

Has he ever had a vision and hearing check?

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
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Guest greytsmom

You say he's been doing this for years.

 

Has he ever had a vision and hearing check?

 

Yes, for years and it is getting worse. No to vision and hearing check.

 

how is his eyesight?

 

If this is a new behavior maybe you should get a thyroid panel done?

 

Not a new behavior and thyroid just checked about 6 months ago.

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Guest SusanP

What is his body language when he's growling and snarling--Is he excited looking, overstimulated? Or is he acting fearful? I ask because our Spinner gets overstimulated very easily. He's been known to bark/growl when my visiting father sneezes very loudly and startles Spinner (and the rest of us!). He will also bark/growl at thunder if he's outside when it happens or if it's very loud.

 

How is he in general? Is he a fearful, anxious dog? Does he ever growl at any other time at all?

 

I wonder if this is a case where some sort of desensitization exercise could help--you make a loud noise and throw him some cheese, etc...But it would be good to understand what's behind it first.

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Guest SusanP

If he seems very much more sensitive to a noisy environment--as you mentioned in one of your later posts--I would make sure a vet checks him out. I don't know for sure what physical issues could cause hypersensitivity to noise, but my guess would be that feeling poorly in general could, not to mention the usual suspect, thyroid problems. It's nice to rule out a physical problem first when things get strange.

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Guest greytsmom

What is his body language when he's growling and snarling--Is he excited looking, overstimulated? Or is he acting fearful? I ask because our Spinner gets overstimulated very easily. He's been known to bark/growl when my visiting father sneezes very loudly and startles Spinner (and the rest of us!). He will also bark/growl at thunder if he's outside when it happens or if it's very loud.

 

How is he in general? Is he a fearful, anxious dog? Does he ever growl at any other time at all?

 

I wonder if this is a case where some sort of desensitization exercise could help--you make a loud noise and throw him some cheese, etc...But it would be good to understand what's behind it first.

 

He is a very laid back dog....not fearful of anything (unlike our GSD who is fearful of thunder, gunshots, and fireworks). He is always lying down. He has done this for years, but it is becoming more frequent...and he never did this when someone coughed. He recently (6 months ago) developed a significant food allergy and lost 17#. At that time he had a complete work up and has since regained his weight and is doing well on his new food. His treatment and recovery took about 4 months under vet care. He had a thyroid panel done also at that time. My DH and I both commented on how much more alert and playful he had become since his recovery. The food allergy was insidious and came on slowly and I suspect for years because he has never had consistently formed stools until now.

 

Personally, I believe this is behavioral and I wondered if he is just trying to assert himself. Our GSD use to be alpha, but I noticed a change about 2 years ago. She now seems a bit afraid of him. When he growls and snarls at us (and she is in another room), she gets up and moves even farther away from him. I really would like some advice to change his behavior.

 

What is his body language when he's growling and snarling--Is he excited looking, overstimulated? Or is he acting fearful? I ask because our Spinner gets overstimulated very easily. He's been known to bark/growl when my visiting father sneezes very loudly and startles Spinner (and the rest of us!). He will also bark/growl at thunder if he's outside when it happens or if it's very loud.

 

How is he in general? Is he a fearful, anxious dog? Does he ever growl at any other time at all?

 

I wonder if this is a case where some sort of desensitization exercise could help--you make a loud noise and throw him some cheese, etc...But it would be good to understand what's behind it first.

 

What is his body language when he's growling and snarling--Is he excited looking, overstimulated? Or is he acting fearful? I ask because our Spinner gets overstimulated very easily. He's been known to bark/growl when my visiting father sneezes very loudly and startles Spinner (and the rest of us!). He will also bark/growl at thunder if he's outside when it happens or if it's very loud.

 

How is he in general? Is he a fearful, anxious dog? Does he ever growl at any other time at all?

 

I wonder if this is a case where some sort of desensitization exercise could help--you make a loud noise and throw him some cheese, etc...But it would be good to understand what's behind it first.

 

He is a very laid back dog....not fearful of anything (unlike our GSD who is fearful of thunder, gunshots, and fireworks). He is always lying down. He has done this for years, but it is becoming more frequent...and he never did this when someone coughed. He recently (6 months ago) developed a significant food allergy and lost 17#. At that time he had a complete work up and has since regained his weight and is doing well on his new food. His treatment and recovery took about 4 months under vet care. He had a thyroid panel done also at that time. My DH and I both commented on how much more alert and playful he had become since his recovery. The food allergy was insidious and came on slowly and I suspect for years because he has never had consistently formed stools until now.

 

Personally, I believe this is behavioral and I wondered if he is just trying to assert himself. Our GSD use to be alpha, but I noticed a change about 2 years ago. She now seems a bit afraid of him. When he growls and snarls at us (and she is in another room), she gets up and moves even farther away from him. I really would like some advice to change his behavior.

 

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Guest LindsaySF

If he only does it when laying down it's possible it's a space aggression issue. Teagan is pretty tolerant of most noises and stuff, but if he's laying down and something disturbs him, no matter how minor, he will growl. He might feel more vulnerable/grumpy when he's laying down. I agree with getting his eyes and hearing checked, but I wanted to throw that out there as well.

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No real advice, but I wanted to add my experience.

 

Our Toni came to us 1 1/2 years ago as a 4 year old. She is our 5th greyhound so we're not complete newbies, but we've never been in contact with a dog that is *SO* verbal. Toni talks, whines, barks, growls, yodels, woofs, hoots, and just about every sound it's possible for a dog to make. She will also, mostly when she's laying on her bed, snarl and growl like Cujo if you disturb her for most any reason. She usually doesn't react to just a sound in the room, though she definitely can if the other dogs or us come near her bed.

 

This is the most scariest sound I've ever heard! It literally sounds like she's going to charge you and take off a hand or go for your throat. She used to lunge too but that's gotten quite a bit better. It was very hard to not react to her threats in a fearful manner - jumping back, squeaking in fright, yelling - all those only reinforced the behavior. She's a bit of a bully and likes throwing her weight around, both to the other greys in the house and to us, and this was a big game for her.

 

What has helped was a calm response to her threats. If she's guarding her bed (or anywhere where she is laying) and snarls/growls, we make her move. If she's pushing the others around in the yard, she gets leashed up. If she's resource guarding, she loses whatever it is she wants. If she's playing and gets too excited, she gets a time out away from everyone else.

 

We don't scold her beyond a firm "No!" We've taught her "off" and "leave it" so we don't have to risk life and limb to move her or take something from her, and we use the leash whenever necessary. When she does what we ask, with a minimum of grumbling, she gets rewarded. As she is a total food hound, this works well with her - she wants the treat so she's learned what's acceptable and what isn't. We also used a modified Nothing In Life Is Free with her, just to reinforce who exactly is in charge (not her, obviously). She has to do something positive, obey a command or stop the bad behavior, before she gets anything she wants.

 

She does still growl and snarl, but it's much less threatening than previously - more a courtesy sound than anything else now - BUT - We have to do this EVERY time it happens. If she gets away with it one time, we have to take a step back and start again. She's smart and she's stubborn as a mule, so we have to be *consistent* and more stubborn! ;)

 

Good luck with your guy! Keep us posted.

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Guest greytsmom

No real advice, but I wanted to add my experience.

 

Our Toni came to us 1 1/2 years ago as a 4 year old. She is our 5th greyhound so we're not complete newbies, but we've never been in contact with a dog that is *SO* verbal. Toni talks, whines, barks, growls, yodels, woofs, hoots, and just about every sound it's possible for a dog to make. She will also, mostly when she's laying on her bed, snarl and growl like Cujo if you disturb her for most any reason. She usually doesn't react to just a sound in the room, though she definitely can if the other dogs or us come near her bed.

 

This is the most scariest sound I've ever heard! It literally sounds like she's going to charge you and take off a hand or go for your throat. She used to lunge too but that's gotten quite a bit better. It was very hard to not react to her threats in a fearful manner - jumping back, squeaking in fright, yelling - all those only reinforced the behavior. She's a bit of a bully and likes throwing her weight around, both to the other greys in the house and to us, and this was a big game for her.

 

What has helped was a calm response to her threats. If she's guarding her bed (or anywhere where she is laying) and snarls/growls, we make her move. If she's pushing the others around in the yard, she gets leashed up. If she's resource guarding, she loses whatever it is she wants. If she's playing and gets too excited, she gets a time out away from everyone else.

 

We don't scold her beyond a firm "No!" We've taught her "off" and "leave it" so we don't have to risk life and limb to move her or take something from her, and we use the leash whenever necessary. When she does what we ask, with a minimum of grumbling, she gets rewarded. As she is a total food hound, this works well with her - she wants the treat so she's learned what's acceptable and what isn't. We also used a modified Nothing In Life Is Free with her, just to reinforce who exactly is in charge (not her, obviously). She has to do something positive, obey a command or stop the bad behavior, before she gets anything she wants.

 

She does still growl and snarl, but it's much less threatening than previously - more a courtesy sound than anything else now - BUT - We have to do this EVERY time it happens. If she gets away with it one time, we have to take a step back and start again. She's smart and she's stubborn as a mule, so we have to be *consistent* and more stubborn! ;)

 

Good luck with your guy! Keep us posted.

 

Well, thank you, thank , thank you. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Especially the part about not expecting a complete removal of the unwanted behavior. Toni sounds similar to PJay, especially the absolutely frightening teeth baring growls and snarls. We already do most of these things, BUT not consistently. I had talked to DH about not giving him treat whenever he asks for them and he can be pretty persistent about getting what he wants and that is FOOD. We need to get a handle on this because he is frightening everyone who comes to our home and he is not the best ambassador for his breed.

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Guest 2greygirls

You have some good advice..

after ruling out medical, I wouold have to agree that your hound mey just be a very loud/flamboyant talker/grumbler.

I have a grumbler. Stretch talks about everything, he is very very verbal. He does this as well, but I tend to ignore him, or firmly say no growlies and proceed with what I was doing. If he growls again, he is booted off the couch/bed or wherever.

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