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Growling


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We have had our hound now for 4 months and he has settled in very well. He has growled at me only 3 times in the first a couple of months. One time I was trying to take away an item he had gotten, and he didn't want to give it up. He growled heavily, but he didn't try to bite. I scolded him and took it away, and all was fine. We were great buddies again. Two other times was when he was on his bed and I started petting him - he was asleep and it startled him, and I understand that as I had read about it here. He didn't try to bite, just growled heavily, and when he saw it was me, he was OK. Back to being great buddies. This last time, tonight, he had just finished having a drink of water and was walking back into the living room. I knelt down and started petting him, and he growled - not a real long growl, or loud, but it was certainly a surprise. A minute later I am sitting on the couch and he comes up and puts his head down between my legs so I can give him his ear rubs, as I do this quite a lot. Since we have had him, I have been very active in handling him, petting him, rubbing his ears, brushing his teeth, holding his feet, wiping his feet off with a wet rag when he comes in, picking him up to put him on the scale, hugging him a lot, and he is fine with all of that. He is a very sweet dog. Any comments?

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I'd be careful with the hugging. Some hounds just don't like it or seem to think that you are going to do something that they don't want done. I always make sure to tell others not to hug or try to wrap arms around them just as a precaution. Some may be fine with it, until they aren't.

 

As far as trying to get something away from him, it is better to trade up. With Rocket I used to just throw a cookie across the room and he would drop whatever it was that I was trying to take away to go and get the cookie. Some people actually do training to trade up, but Rocket never met a cookie that he didn't like, so he was easy.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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Keep in mind in all of these incidents that your dog is not doing anything wrong. Growling is one of the only ways he has to express himself and let you know how he's feeling.

 

You don't want to ever punish or scold a dog for growling. You *want* them to growl, rather than being silent and going straight to a more direct form of communication, usually involving teeth and snapping.

 

So when your dog growls at you, try and figure out what he's telling you - this is my treat and you can't take it; I just want to sleep and you scared me; this is my bed and I'm uncomfortable having you so close to me when I'm laying down. Or whatever it is.

 

Trading up is a good way to get something away from your dog. But it has to be of sufficient value to make him want to give up what he has.

 

Sleep startle dogs just need their space on their beds. Call him to you rather than try and cuddle him on his bed - it's always better when they are on their feet and not laying down. Make sure you reward him for coming over to you. This sometimes resolves as the dog becomes more comfortable and trusting.

 

The rule of thumb is to reward the behavior you want and ignore the behavior you don't want.

Edited by greysmom

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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The first two instances seem relatively normal for a dog to growl - treat and sleep startle. The last one with him finishing water and walking away and you were petting is a bit different. Could you have been petting him to hard? Greyhounds do not have much fat and if you are used to petting other dogs roughly, greyhounds would not like the same type of petting and might let you know. Their ears are also more sensitive and I have found that (in genera), you an't manhandle their ears either - they like soft and easy massaging on their ears, not rough and fast.

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