register for free
View our sister sites
Our sister sites
Our sister sites
Our sister sites
reids
New Member!
reids is offline  
Location: London, UK
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Male 
 
15-10-2009, 08:51 PM

Dog growling at family members

Hi all,

We have a 4 year old bichon frise/lhasa apso cross called Alfie.

We got him about a year ago. When we got him i was quite scared of dogs (my sister/dad and mum all wanted one though so i was happy to "take one for the team"). Since we've had him though, it's helped my fear of dogs immensely, so much so that I happily play with friends dogs now without any fear.

His daily schedule goes something like this:

9AM: Goes for a walk around the park with my mum
3PM: goes for a walk around the park with my mum + sister
6.30PM: Goes out in the garden for 15 minutes or so with my dad
10PM: Goes for a walk around the block with my dad.

Everything seemed to be going really well up until the last couple of months. If I try to stroke him, he growls at me as soon as I touch him sometimes even snaps. He quite happily plays with me if i'm the only one home and licks my face and plays rope with me. In the morning whilst eating my breakfast, he always comes and sits on my lap, but as soon as I touch him, he growls and hops off.

He's now recently (the past 2 weeks or so) been doing it to my sister as well.

Is there any reason for this? I can't think of anything I could have done to anger him etc, likewise for my sister.

Does anyone have any tips or advice?

Many thanks for any help
Reply With Quote
bingowings
Dogsey Junior
bingowings is offline  
Location: UK
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 236
Female 
 
15-10-2009, 09:07 PM
First of all I'd stop letting him sit on your lap whilst you're eating. Neither of my dogs are allowed near me or watch me whilst I'm eating, and this (imo) helps to establish boundaries for them.

I'd also recommend you take part in walking him and also training/playing with him. This will help you to bond with him and he to you. I wouldn't tolerate the snapping and I advise you and your family to seek a trainer/behaviourist. Good luck!
Reply With Quote
Meg
Supervisor
Meg is offline  
Location: Dogsey and Worcestershire
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 49,259
Female  Diamond Supporter 
 
15-10-2009, 09:10 PM
Hi Stuart you say..

Everything seemed to be going really well up until the last couple of months. If I try to stroke him, he growls at me as soon as I touch him sometimes even snaps...
He's now recently (the past 2 weeks or so) been doing it to my sister as well.
...When was Alfie last checked by a vet, any change in behaviour should first be checked by a vet to make sure the dog is not in any pain and to rule out a medical condition .

What do you do when he growls?
Reply With Quote
reids
New Member!
reids is offline  
Location: London, UK
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Male 
 
15-10-2009, 09:51 PM
Originally Posted by bingowings
I'd also recommend you take part in walking him and also training/playing with him. This will help you to bond with him and he to you. I wouldn't tolerate the snapping and I advise you and your family to seek a trainer/behaviourist. Good luck!
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.

Originally Posted by Minihaha View Post
Hi Stuart you say..

...When was Alfie last checked by a vet, any change in behaviour should first be checked by a vet to make sure the dog is not in any pain and to rule out a medical condition .

What do you do when he growls?
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.
Reply With Quote
Promethean
Dogsey Junior
Promethean is offline  
Location: Back in Canada, finally!!!!!
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 240
Male 
 
15-10-2009, 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by reids View Post

Everything seemed to be going really well up until the last couple of months. If I try to stroke him, he growls at me as soon as I touch him sometimes even snaps. He quite happily plays with me if i'm the only one home and licks my face and plays rope with me. In the morning whilst eating my breakfast, he always comes and sits on my lap, but as soon as I touch him, he growls and hops off.
Because you say it is sudden, I suggest you Visit a vet to rule out medical causes.
Reply With Quote
Boxer Boy
Dogsey Junior
Boxer Boy is offline  
Location: West Sussex UK
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 147
Male 
 
15-10-2009, 10:15 PM
It sounds like the dog is thought of as the family's dog. I am just wondering who is the dog's primary owner, the person who sets the ground rules and enforces them, who is responsible for the dog's behaviour.

Group ownership particularly with an adult/children mix is likely to give rise to such problems. the dog ends up making up it's own rules.

To form an opinion of value it would be necessary to see the dog and family in action. Find a local behavioural expert ( be careful who you choose) to advise you.

See a vet if you think it may help but you will recognise that all behaviour is "sudden" when it first starts.
Reply With Quote
Wysiwyg
Dogsey Veteran
Wysiwyg is offline  
Location: UK
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,482
Female 
 
16-10-2009, 06:48 AM
Can I ask why he's been to the vet a few times recently? was it health related, or for vaccinations or something like that?

Has anything altered at all in the environment that you can think of - or, has he fallen or been playing very excitedly with another dog?

Mini is right in that any unexplained, sudden behaviour change in an adult dog needs to be vet checked because sometimes causes of "aggression" are due to a medical reason which the owner can't see for themselves

Some vets will just give a quick once over, (not ideal)and others will be more thorough and offer at least a blood test to determine all is in working order. There are many more tests that would need to be done to rule out totally anything medical.

I presume the sending to bed isn't solving the problem as he is still doing it?

If you are not sure why this started and don't feel too confident in solving it, I'd suggest contacting a member of the association of pet dog trainers in this instance, www.apdt.co.uk

They could help to work out why he is acting this way - it could be that for some reason he's worried about being picked up (possible pain or discomfort? fear of being held?) which is why he may growl at that particular moment you've outlined. Sometimes, a reputable trainer or behaviourist can unravel what is happening and often it can be something fairly simple.
Good luck!

Wys
x
Reply With Quote
angiemac
New Member!
angiemac is offline  
Location: DERBYSHIRE UK
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Female 
 
19-10-2009, 08:38 PM
Has any of his routine changed? It sound to me like he is trying to dominate members of your family. He needs to learn that he is not above you or your sister in the pack. You need to let him know that you are boss over him and not the other way round. Maybe you take part in feeding and walking him & don't let him get on futniture and get his own way.. He is a dog after all and if he knows that he gets his own way when he growls and snaps then he thinks he has won. You need to show him who's boss.
Reply With Quote
Wysiwyg
Dogsey Veteran
Wysiwyg is offline  
Location: UK
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,482
Female 
 
20-10-2009, 06:53 AM
Originally Posted by angiemac View Post
Has any of his routine changed? It sound to me like he is trying to dominate members of your family. He needs to learn that he is not above you or your sister in the pack. You need to let him know that you are boss over him and not the other way round. Maybe you take part in feeding and walking him & don't let him get on futniture and get his own way.. He is a dog after all and if he knows that he gets his own way when he growls and snaps then he thinks he has won. You need to show him who's boss.
Sorry to disagree but it is never wise to just give an overall blanket view like this - esp. via a forum, we can never see what is really occurring

Teaching a dog who is boss is not going to help if the dog is fearful of being picked up, for example.

And assuming something about the situation can be disastrous.

Wys
x
Reply With Quote
Meg
Supervisor
Meg is offline  
Location: Dogsey and Worcestershire
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 49,259
Female  Diamond Supporter 
 
20-10-2009, 09:27 AM
Originally Posted by reids View Post
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.
Hi Reids 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.
Reply With Quote
Reply
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools


© Copyright 2016, Dogsey   Contact Us - Dogsey - Top Contact us | Archive | Privacy | Terms of use | Top