Growls at another puppy
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Thread: Growls at another puppy

  1. #1
    imported_oakley is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultGrowls at another puppy

    I have a 14 week old female chocolate, down the street there is a chocolate male that is two days older.
    She has meet him twice. The first time she was a bit scared and then she would growl and lunge at him.
    Last night we tried it again, we went to the park. She wouldn't play with him at all, she growled at him whenever he came near her. He is a bit more energetic than she is.
    How do I get her to like him?

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  3. #2
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2009
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    DefaultRe: Growls at another puppy

    Fear is a funny thing.. when a dog is in a position where it cannot move away from the scary thing, it may feel there is no recourse but to try to drive away the scary thing with growls and possibly bites.

    The other dog may play too rough for her, or she may have a fearful nature. What I would try first is to have the other dog on leash in your yard, and have your girl off leash. Play fetch or another game your girl really likes. Let her approach the other dog on her own time, recognizing the possibility that she may never like playing with that dog - I don't love everyone I meet either.

    A good puppy kindergarten class will let you see normal dog interactions, as well as building your girl's confidence. BUT observe a few classes before you sign up for a course, and ask questions of the trainer, how they would handle a timid or shy puppy.

  4. #3
    Fallriver's Avatar
    Fallriver is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Growls at another puppy

    Hi Lana!
    I responded to your private email, but here is some additional information. Kaytris has given you some good advice.* You see, puppies must have extensive dog on dog interactions to learn proper socialization skills, so after they leave the litter, we need to buckle down and expose them to as many different dogs as possible, in as safe and happy an environment as possible.* Puppy socialization classes are a great start, and as I mentioned we offer a great class at the PawPlex.
    Dogs (and people) have a limited time period in which they will learn what is to be feared and what is not.* Nature does this on purpose.* Puppies will be exposed to rocks and sticks and birds, etc., and because they have had many safe experiences with them, they learn that they are nothing to be feared.* It is not adaptive to have an animal spook at everything they see.* It is also not adaptive for animals not to fear things either, or their safety would be greatly compromised.* So, animals have this window of opportunity where they readily learn what is safe and what is dangerous.* In dogs, this window is open until they are about 4 months old, and then it shuts for the rest of their lives.* This is why it is so important to expose your puppy to as many different things in the first two months that you have him...if you expose him to enough different stimuli, then he will have little to fear.*
    If we drop the ball and don't expose our puppies to a fair number of dog interactions with novel dogs, our puppy will soon learn to fear dogs, and this is likely what is happening with Oakley.* The good news is, her window is not yet shut, so you should have enough time to get her out and socialize her with dogs.* That doesn't mean letting her play with the dog next door...it means meeting with big dogs, little dogs, white dogs, brown dogs, spotted dogs, dogs with cropped ears, dogs with lop ears, dogs with tails, dogs without tails, young dogs, old dogs, etc., etc., etc.....phew* :P
    It can be difficult for some dogs with limited socialization to read boxers, or dogs with black faces, or dogs with cropped ears or docked tails, or herding dogs who give hard eye contact, etc., so she needs to be exposed to many different breeds.
    This is why puppy socialization classes are so good...your puppy can explore many different breeds of puppies in one place.* But it doesn't stop there, as you still have to take them out and let them meet dogs in different environments.
    It is exhausting work socializing a puppy, but the end result is a calm adaptible adult who you can take anywhere.
    NOW, as for teaching her to approach different dogs...here is what I find is good for my students.* I have them teach their dogs 'touch' on familiar dogs.* Basically, we click and treat our dogs for approaching and targeting a familiar, friendly dog or person, then give the behaviour the 'touch' cue.* Once we have touch under stimulus control, then we ask our puppy to touch safe, older dogs.* Then we progress to more and more active dogs.* Clicker training is wonderful as not only can you reinforce approaching another dog, you get some classical conditioning in there too, so the puppy soon associates meeting other dogs with really yummy treats, and the anxiety begins to lessen.
    I would forget the crazy puppy right now, and get her out with some calm, predictable adults and then work up to puppies.* In the meantime, find a good puppy class where her interactions with puppies can be monitored to make sure they are positive ones.
    Hope that helps* ;D
    Let me know if you have any other questions.
    Dana


    To err is human:To forgive, canine."
    - Anonymous

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