First Growl
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Thread: First Growl

  1. #1
    Erendui's Avatar
    Erendui is offline Senior Member
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    QuestionFirst Growl

    I've been meaning to post about this for a while... last weekend, I took Bilbo out on a short walk. My boyfriend's mum and grandmother were visiting, and we took them to our local Cathedral to look around. As Bilbo can't go inside, I took him to a quiet spot on my own whilst they walked around. Now, Bilbo is the most people-friendly dog I've ever met. As a puppy, he just wants to give everyone he meets a big sloppy kiss and have a cuddle. He's never bitten (at least not aggressively!) anybody or anything, and he's always wagging his tail whenever someone looks at him. However, this particular time, I was sat on my own at the back of a tearoom (not sure you have these in America? They are basically English cafes), when a man came out who was wondering about on his own. He seemed a bit odd, and I tried to ignore him, but then I noticed he was staring at me and Bilbo, and started acting "playfully" but in a really awkward way. I smiled at him and acted as normal as possible. There was no tension in the lead between me and Bilbo, and I didn't think my body language was particularly aggressive or tense... but Bilbo started growling at him! Bilbo is hardly ever vocal, only barking in absolute frustration/super excitement or when he's left on his own in his crate... Any suggestions as to why he took a particular dislike to this man? Not sure if it's eye contact, as Bilbo has come across a wide range of people, including kids, who may not know not to stare at dogs in the eye, and he has never had a problem!

    Bearing in mind, I'm his main human, he wasn't quite 14wks at this point, and is usually the scaredy one in need of 'protection' on dark walks (although he is a very confident dog, not scared of fireworks, roads, or other loud/new things)

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    HarveysMum is offline Senior Member
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    Dogs sence things that we don't. Perhaps he was picking up something about this man that he just wasn't happy about. If this was a 'one off', i wouldn't worry about it.

    harvey is the most laid back little dude i know, more likely you to kill you by cutting of your air supply as he kisses you, than to bite/attack. However, last winter he protected me by 'seeing off' someone i am sure would have harmed me if Harvey wasn't there. Is Harvey a vicious dog? No. He just let the guy know that he was invading our 'bubble'. he didnt bite him, just rushed out of the darkness growling and barking and doing his 'big boy' stance LOL!

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    Dio's mama is offline Senior Member
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    How was your "energy"? If I'm ever uncomfortable around someone, my two pick up on it. The leash might be loose, my body relaxed (so I think!) but they still pick up my feelings.
    That said, Dio has only growled at a couple people in his 3 1/2 years on this earth. They have always been at men that I was not comfortable with. He seems to pick up on their state of minds. The men gave me the willies, so he was protecting me.
    Gabrielle
    Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
    Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)

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    Erendui's Avatar
    Erendui is offline Senior Member
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    Yeah, there wasn't even any baring of teeth, it was a bit like a 'back off!' kind of thing. I'm not so worried, as confused. I always thought they senced these things through our own body language, but obviously not! I don't think this particular man was a threat, it was daylight and he wasn't particularly intimidating, just a bit odd. Glad your dog saw off someone scary! I always thought he'd be too soft to protect me, but apparently not! I didn't encourage the behaviour, but I didn't really tell him off either :/

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    Rock Steady's Avatar
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    He was doing his duty in protecting his mum... The very definition of a dog being a hu-Man's best friend.

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