Location: Dogsey and Worcestershire
Joined: May 2004
Originally Posted by reids
Over the past few days, i've stopped letting him sit on me as a sort of punishment. I would like to take part in the walks but i simply don't have time! My sister goes for one of the 3 walks a day but he seems to be doing the same for her.
He's been to the vet quite a few times in the past couple of months or so.
I forgot to mention he quite happily lets my mum and dad stroke him, he rolls over for them to play with his belly etc.
When he growls we send him to go sit in his bed.
for whatever reason he is growling Alfie is trying to tell you he is not comfortable with a situation. I would not ignore this warning.
I too would be interested in knowing why Alfie has had to visit the vet in the last couple of months. I would also want to do a full vet check to make sure Alfie is not in pain. Even minor health problems like a sore ear or a blocked anal gland can make a dog touchy and fearful of being handled and hurt.
Try to assess when the growing began, was it linked to Alfie receiving some kind of treatment. Maybe he was handled roughly at some time (this may have been unintentional ) and this has made him wary of being touched in certain places by some people because he associates being touched in that area with pain even though there is none there now. Also dogs can build a stronger bond of trust with some people than others , that may be why Alfie will tolerate your parents touching him and not you.
I would not shout at him or punish him for growling or he may stop growing (giving you a warning) and bite instead.
I would try to remember where he was touched when he first started growling and avoid touching those areas for now and rather than picking him up call him to you for a treat and praise, this way if he isn't comfortable he can refuse to come to you. It should also help him to learn to trust you and not to be so wary.
I recently had a puppy Millie who occasionally
growled when picked up or was touched in certain places. As far as I was aware she had always been handled with care and I was very worried by her behaviour. The vet wasn't concerned because she was fit in every other way. Eventually she lost her appetite, we ran blood tests and discovered she had a serious kidney condition and in spite of all our attempts to help her she died aged 9 months .
I am so glad I did not try to show her 'who was boss' , she had most probably been in pain and deteriorating from the moment she was born but we had no way of knowing this. I am amazed she was such a sweet and biddable little dog in spite of her condition.
I am not saying Alfie has a serious health problem just demonstrating that warnings should not be ignored.
I don't believe dogs have the slightest interest in trying to dominate humans, they know we are not of their kind and it saddens me that so many people still link domination to every kind of problem. Learn to understand your dog and you should be able to overcome problems.