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Clairelou
28th August 2007, 09:25 PM
Hello all, this is my first post :mexwav:
Is it 'normal' for a pup to growl at you? :confused: she is 13 weeks old and this usually happens when she is picked up and doesn't want to be, usually when she has to go into the kitchen as she cannot be supervised which doesn't happen much as I am at home all day (a firm 'NO' usually results in a conversation 'NO' growl 'NO' growl etc). She is manic icon_devil a lot of the time and will lunge at you barking, by golly she is one HANDFUL!!! This is my fourth cavi (others now in heaven) and I've never seen anything like it. With the correct training will this behaviour subside with age? I would be particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has had a pup like this and how they progressed with age. On a positive note she is from mature heart tested parents and was screened under the KC/BVA scheme for retinal dysplacia :)

Baldyboy
28th August 2007, 09:32 PM
I have no idea about a puppy, however Baldy (who's 2) sometimes has a grumble in these situations, a sharp "NO" usually suffices, he then becomes very apologetic.

Gem
28th August 2007, 09:40 PM
my first thought on this would be is she doing it because she is in pain when been handled?? Might be worth getting her checked out by the vet first, just in case.

If there is no medical reason then you really need to let her know who is top dog, as youve had cavs before am sure you'll be able to train her she may just be a cheeky little madam and need a bit of time to realise this behaviour is not acceptable.

Am sure others will be able to advise you.
Good Luck!

Karlin
28th August 2007, 09:45 PM
Welcome to the board. :)

First of I wouldn't tell her 'no', ever, for growling. Not least because you don't yet understand why she is growling in the first place and that;s what you will need to learn. This could be caused by pain, by poor socialising (good socialising depends entirely on the dedication of the breeder), the dog's temperament (which also depends totally on the quality of the breeder and the care they take to preserve the correct breed temperament - for example, she could be aggressive, or very fearful, both of which could cause growling). It souns like you had a good breeder though.

The reason you should never punish a dog for growling is because growling is he only way a dog will give a clear warning BEFORE it bites. In dog language, it is being polite and issuing a final warning. If you scold a dog for growling and teach it not to growl, it may well instead go straight for biting. This is not something you ever want to happen, not least because small children in particular can easily, and accidentally, aggravate even the sweetest dog to move towards biting. You always want that growl first as it is very important to know when a dog is reaching its limit, for whatever reason -- annoyance, pain, being startled, whatever. :thmbsup:

As for finding out the source: my first inclination would always be to have her vet checked, very carefully.

If there's no medical reason for growling, then -- assuming this puppy came from a reputable, health nd temperament focused breeder, I would ring the breeer for advice. If there's a tempermant issue any good breeder is going to want this information. And more generally, whatever the concern, a good breeder will be more than happy to offer advice and support.

If this is behavioural or due to temperament, then the way to discourage it is to make being carried around something that is neither annoying or scary and is instead, really positive! :) . That means not lifting the puppy only when you are taking it away for confinement as that very association may cause the growl now as it is unhappy. Instead you need to practice gently lifting her when you are not confining her. At first just sit on the floor and lift her to a lap, then try lifting her a little higher. Praise and treat, then set her back down so she can play. You will need to try this many times a day so there isn't a negative association with being lifted.

Also consider how you are lifting. Don't lift her by the front legs (eg like a child or a cat) -- this can be very painful for a dog as they do not have the flexibility of a cat. When you lift her, be sure you are fully supporting her, firmly and securely, across the chest and are holding up her hind legs. Don't leave her dangling, whch is also uncomfortable and even painful for some pups/dogs.

Also consider whether she may have been dropped at some point while being lifted or carried. An accident like this, maybe before you even got her, may make being carried a truly terrifying thing for her. And I'd not let children lift and carry her around at all. It is easy for small kids in particular to lift puppies incorrectly or worse, drop them from a height as they can squirm loose very unexpectedly. You don't want her to have even more negaive associations with being carried. It's always good practice to have kids sit on the fllor and lift and play with the puppy from that level rather than standing.

In short -- you want to make being carried a completely positive experience for her at all times, and one which she gets rewarded for. :)

The lunging is just her being playful -- normal puppy behaviour! :) If you have a really hyper and active puppy, that is what you will have as an adult! This is the type of dog a lot of trainers would select out for agility. She will likely always need a lot of focused activity and brain activity too to keep her busy and thinking. I have a dog like this and he is a much loved challenge -- I find it very rewarding to have a really active, intensive dog like this --- BUT... thay ARE a handful and after four years it doesn't get any easier. :lol:

Ginger's Mom
28th August 2007, 11:01 PM
Ginger growls all the time... but she never bites... She's a pretty vocal dog. I've never disciplined her on growling, just on barking.

Clairelou
28th August 2007, 11:09 PM
Thanks for the advice . I will take her to the vets to get checked out carefully, however I think this is a behaviour issue. I have been very careful to socialise her from the age of 8 and a half weeks, a lot of children live in our close and they have knocked daily to see her. They all pick her up and make a fuss - she loves it, tail never stops (I very carefully supervise) and she is regularly picked up by all the family with no problems. To give an example she came to my bedroom earlier and we were having a little snuggle and she was falling asleep but then another family member came to collect her to feed her and when they picked her up she growled, because she knew she was being taken away. I will contact the breeder for further advice.

OhMarley
29th August 2007, 06:25 AM
Marley was exactly the same, we thought we had adopted a maniac!!! But he's now 5months and we are setingt boundaries with him. He's still crazy(but thats just him:)) but he's learning who he is in our pack and learning to show us respect. We're taking him to training classes and that's really helped. It had been 13 years since we had a puppy and we quikcly realised (and are still realising) that we were doing little things wrong that were encouraging him to be naughty! Its just a massive learning curve especially if you were used to a well manoured dog before (we were!!!!!!!!!)!! This forum is wonderful for advice however and has helped us heaaaaps! But definetly speak to your breeder and take along to some sort of training class (just be careful there are some idiots out there training dogs!).

Actually now I have a question Karlin you mentioned agility and Ive been pondering of this for a while as I think Marley would really thrive at it (when he's a little less silly), what age would you recommend starting agility, I think I read somewhere not until their 12months??

Cathy Moon
29th August 2007, 12:51 PM
In addition to what the others have said, I would show her a treat right before picking her up - before she growls. Then I'd give her the treat as soon as she is picked up - if she doesn't growl. This has to be very well-timed in order to avoid rewarding her for growling, though, and could be used depending on the situation. I notice that before either of us picks one of our cavs up, we usually say 'pick you up?' in a friendly voice so they know nothing bad is going to happen. :)

loveisokay
29th August 2007, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the advice . I will take her to the vets to get checked out carefully, however I think this is a behaviour issue. I have been very careful to socialise her from the age of 8 and a half weeks, a lot of children live in our close and they have knocked daily to see her. They all pick her up and make a fuss - she loves it, tail never stops (I very carefully supervise) and she is regularly picked up by all the family with no problems. To give an example she came to my bedroom earlier and we were having a little snuggle and she was falling asleep but then another family member came to collect her to feed her and when they picked her up she growled, because she knew she was being taken away. I will contact the breeder for further advice.

Was she asleep when they went to pick her up?

Some dogs, most in fact, HATE that. If she loves cuddles & attention, give her them everytime she is picked up rather than to remove her from a comfy bed where she was sleeping! Anyone would be grumpy if someone did that to them. She sounds like she knows what she wants & when she wants it, you just have to work out when to praise her for being good & when to not accept her stubborn streak (which is what it is..). Thank God, but I never had a problem & the same thing happened with my puppy in the respect that lots of children would pick her up a lot & cuddle her to the point she craved being picked up. She just needs to realise what you says goes..