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cricket865
19th March 2008, 05:05 PM
Abby is 20 weeks old now and she is has become very independent, which is fine. The problem I'm still having is when my daughter or I pick her up she growls. It is very similar to the growling she does when we play but I dont think she has the same intention! :rolleyes:

We have told her firmly NO when she does it, occasionally if I say to her ok girl I'm going to pick you up and move you now, she's okay with that.

It almost a habit now that I really want to break!

BTW we are starting obedience training classes on April 10th I hope this helps.

Mom of Jato
19th March 2008, 05:15 PM
I'm sure your training class instructor will have an idea of how to handle the growling. Maybe having a treat in your hand when you call her to you, and then pick her up. I always tell my puppy "up" and then pick him up- he is 16 weeks old.

Karlin
19th March 2008, 05:56 PM
I would start by seeing your vet and making sure she isn't growling because it is painful for her to be picked up. Once you eliminate that, then it is time to start working on this as a behaviour issue. Obedience -- a good positive methods class -- should help. But also consider that many dogs do not really like being picked up.

Also: how are you and your daughter lifting her? By the front legs? this can be very painful for a dog. Many people lift small dogs by the front legs as if they were children or cats and had arms that articulate like human arms. This isn't how they are built. They really should be lifted by fully supporting chest and lower body so legs are not dangling. Maybe too you are picking her up too much -- not sure how old your daughter is but kids can mean well but really make a puppy anxious and fearful by constantly wanting to carry them around. I wouldn't recommend a child under 10 or 12 be lifting and carrying a cavalier puppy around anyway -- interactions where lifting is involved should be with the child seated so the puppy isn't raised too far off the ground. A puppy needs its space respected too and if you happen to have a dog that dislikes being lifted, then don't lift unless really necessary. One of my dogs is not a fan of being lifted and carried and never looks very happy when I do this so I keep such interactions to a minimum.

Anyway just a rang of things to think about. A growl is a dog's polite way of saying 'I really do not like this'. The fact that she is better when you give her a phrase that she knows is an advanced indication you are going to lift her, suggests she is a lot happier when not startled by suddenly being swept up. I'd also be considering why she isn't happy being lifted rather than try to force a dog to be carried.

PS Never scold a dog for growling. This is a dog's polite warning before more serious action! If a dog is taught it is wrong to growl, it is confusing to the dog -- who is trying to be polite! -- and she may just go straight to biting without issuing a warning growl first. As noted above, she has a reason for growling and you'll need to figure out what that is. :thmbsup:

cricket865
19th March 2008, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the sage advice. I will consider all you have said.

Most of the time I am picking her up because I want her to come and she doesnt. My daughter is 9 and loves her to bits, I have asked Sarah to tone it down and not be on her so much, I hope that will help.

Last night the pup was on my bed and I wanted her in her bed for the night and when I asked her to get down she barley moved, I asked her againand still no response, so I went to pcik her up and she growled, I backed away and went back again and again she growled. So I just left her there and moved her when she was sleeping.

So I belive part of the growling is not because it hurts or she is uncomfortable, I think it's a power issue. My take on it...I could be wrong, this is my first puppy in a loooooooong time :)

WoodHaven
19th March 2008, 06:32 PM
Thanks for the sage advice. I will consider all you have said.

Most of the time I am picking her up because I want her to come and she doesnt. My daughter is 9 and loves her to bits, I have asked Sarah to tone it down and not be on her so much, I hope that will help.

Last night the pup was on my bed and I wanted her in her bed for the night and when I asked her to get down she barley moved, I asked her againand still no response, so I went to pcik her up and she growled, I backed away and went back again and again she growled. So I just left her there and moved her when she was sleeping.

So I belive part of the growling is not because it hurts or she is uncomfortable, I think it's a power issue. My take on it...I could be wrong, this is my first puppy in a loooooooong time :)

IMO-- this has to be stopped. NO puppy should be challenging an adult human, and YOU backed off.
Part of the reason I never have this issue is that I raise my own pups. From early on they want my touch, and during housetraining they love the praise. I make sure when they are weeks old that I can hold them any way I need to, even in very submissive poses. I give them things and I make sure that I can take things away-- NO growling-- tho with some, I have to raise my voice to get them to let go of cow ears or tendons.
Obedience class is a good place to learn how to be in control. I am very glad you are taking her. It can actually strengthen the bond between owner and pup. Good luck

Daisy's Mom
19th March 2008, 06:41 PM
I know lots of people on this board think Cesar Milan is the devil incarnate. I don't think he's 100% right or 100% wrong, but I would probably agree with him on one thing in this particular situation -- if she doesn't want to be moved, and you start to pick her up and she growls, you back off, hesitantly try again, she growls again, and you end up leaving her alone as a result, then she definitely has learned a lesson that you probably don't want her learning. Namely, "If I don't like something, I can growl at that human and as a result they will leave me alone." That type of thinking could possibly have repercussions later with things like nail clipping, grooming, etc., depending on the dog's temperament. I'm sure others will disagree, but that would worry me personally. Of course, if the growling is a result of pain upon being picked up, then that's a whole different thing, as Karlin said.

I know that growling is a desired warning from a dog that is about to bite, but I think that a dog that is only 20 weeks old who is growling as a warning when they don't like something perfectly reasonable from their adult human (like moving them from one place to another) would concern me.

We had all sorts of behavioral problems with Daisy as a pup, some normal, some probably on the very extreme end of normal, but they were all related to very, very rough play on her part (like you would not believe!). However, she has never once growled at me as a warning (nor bitten me except in play). She has growled at the kids a time or two, with good reason. We worked with the kids a lot before and since getting Daisy about a dog's signals and what they mean, respecting those signals, etc. But occasionally, they overstep and she growls at them. I don't have a problem with growling in that situation at all. In fact, it prompts another discussion with the kids about respecting a dog, so I'm perfectly fine with that. She growls all the time in play, and I love that because it is so obviously for show.

Good luck -- I hope you get it all sorted out soon. I know how stressful this kind of thing can be. I would probably try to rule out the possibility of pain upon being picked up, really watch her signals and your behaviors that prompt them, and then if you decide it's a problem, I would talk to a trainer. We did and it did help, although as I said Daisy's issues were mostly puppy related, and part of the solution was just growing up on her part.

simonrickell
19th March 2008, 09:30 PM
We have had some problems with Willow. Such as growling, possessiveness etc.

The techniques of Cesar Millan make sense to us - we are trying to implement them - and must say we are having great results.

Suggest that you watch the Dog Whisperer, and remember that you have a dog and not a child. Parenting skills will not necessarily work with a dog.

Good Luck.

Lisa_T
19th March 2008, 09:40 PM
This may sound really obvious, but instead of physically lifting her when she may not like it and you want her to come....show her a treat and tell her to go to bed. Give her a treat when she comes. Then encourage her to get into her own bed ( a crate?) and give her another treat. Pups, especially pups of that age, can have independent streaks and decide they know better. It's up to you to show her the behaviour you want and encourage it with lots and lots of treats.

Although definitely get her to the vet too..

Caraline
19th March 2008, 10:12 PM
A couple of things are coming to mind here and they have all been mentioned above by others.

First there is the issue of whether Abby is in pain or being caused pain and that must be ruled out.

There is the issue of whether you are giving Abby the message that you are not in control. A dog will certain take up the role of alpha if it thinks its humans are not capable of doing the job. The bed situation is a classic. She got up there, told you that it is her bed & you obeyed her by backing off & leaving here there. That can not continue.

Lastly, a topic that is a little uncomfortable & yet must be addressed. Is it possible your daugher is roughing her up when you are not looking. Young children sometimes do not have well developed skills for handling small animals. Some even deligh in tormenting an animal.

So my steps would be:
a) a vet check
b) attend some obedience classes with her
c) buy her a nice comfy crate for her to sleep in where she feels safe & also understands her place in the pack.

Karlin
19th March 2008, 10:26 PM
Last night the pup was on my bed and I wanted her in her bed for the night and when I asked her to get down she barley moved, I asked her again and still no response, so I went to pcik her up and she growled, I backed away and went back again and again she growled.But she is only 20 weeks old. This is expecting the response of a far more mature and trained dog. This is like asking a 3 year old to go get ready for bed and expecting them to remember the whole sequence of undressing, putting on PJs, washing teeth face and hands, getting in bed -- by themselves. Or asking your 9 year old to solve an algebra problem before going to bed. :)

At this age I would not expect any such response. Instead, make things fun and help her learn the basics of training (basic fun groundwork ONLY!) you will cement later by proper obedience. Go and get couple of tiny treats, and then LURE her off the bed with that yummy promise. Most dogs cannot be expected to seriously and consistently respond to a cue alone until they reach 9-12 months --many trainers do not do any serious structured training until 6 months at earliest, and even then it is only generally to do some playful basics -- that is why many trainers do specific 'puppy classes. Puppies like kids have brief attention spans and short term memories and go thru many phases of forgetting or rebelling against training before they reach age one. They don't have the capability of remembering commands and what they are supposed to do every time! She is still just a baby.

So keep in mind what you expected of your daughter at age 3 or 4 and put it in a dog context. Lure Abby down cheerfully with a treat right before her nose, saying 'off' (never down! as this means 'lie down') as she comes down give her lots of praise and then the treats (but a young pu[pp[y should not be expected or allowed to jump off a high bed either...). Make it fun and rewarding. Right now you are doing the equivalent of military academy training for a toddler -- they are not going to get it, they just are not mature enough, and what she hears is a command she doesn;t remember and then someone grabbing for her. Think Barney and the 'cleaning up' song!! She needs motivation, she needs it to be fun, and you need to just keep in mind how young and tiny she is.

I would wager the root of this problem is that Abby is getting very exasperated a being picked up a lot by a small child. Kids don't always understand puppies are not toys and don;t like being handled constantly and played with constantly. This is too stressful for her and she has learned growling is a good technique to get results when she doesn't want to be handled again. It is clearly working! She has no idea that you only want to put her on the floor so she is growling at you too. A 9 year old IMHO needs to only be having controlled interactions when you are there and should never be picking up a puppy and carrying it around.

I am not saying it is acceptable for a dog to growl in normal interactions -- but I think she is stressed and growling for a reason. Saying 'no' to her for growling only means 'don't growl' which in turn risks having a dog go straight to biting instead if it feels under pressure. You don't allow growling inappropriate situations, but here, you 1) figure out why it is happening in the first place. If it is stress from a child -- then you, the adult, need to restrain the child around the puppy; the puppy is only conveying its unhappiness. I do not think this is aggression at all 2) guidance -- reward proper behaviour, which mens your puppy needs to know what behaviour is good, which means the puppy needs to be in situations it enjoys where it can be rewarded and praised for the polite behaviour; 3) don't make the dog discipline your child -- an exasperated puppy, tired of being carried around, my growl. You need to be there every time your young daughter interacts with that puppy, it needs to be controlled, how she holds the puppy needs to be checked, and I'd limit her to lifting him at most a few times a day and this should be in supervised interactions with her sitting down, not carrying her around (imagine someone lifting your daughter to a height 8 times her own height -- how terrifying is that? Make the intercations less stressful by having them happen when children ar seated and calm. The puppy needs to learn -- and should be able to EXPECT -- that interactions with your daughter will be pleasant. Which means reducing handling activities (picking up) to a minimum and reshaping these interactions so your pup LIKES rather than FEARS them.

Please have a read of these:

http://www.deesdogs.com/documents/TheSafetyZoneHandout.pdf

http://www.deesdogs.com/documents/children_and_dogs%20doc.pdf

Especially:


Starting Off Right
Following are some guidelines to help you start off on the right foot. Remember, small children
should never be left alone with a dog or puppy without adult supervision.
Holding:
• It's safest for both your child and puppy if your child is sitting down whenever he wants to
hold the puppy. Puppies are squirmy and wiggly and may easily fall out of a young
child's arms and be injured. If held insecurely, a puppy may become frightened and
snap or scratch in response. After your child is sitting, you can place the puppy in his
arms.
• Have your child offer the puppy a chew toy while he pets the puppy. When puppies are
teething, they tend to chew on everything, including hands and arms, so having a chew
toy handy will divert the puppy’s teeth away from your child. An added benefit is that
the puppy will come to associate pleasant consequences (getting a treat) with being
held by your child.
• For larger dogs, have your child sit in your lap and let the dog approach both of you. This
way you can control your child and not allow him to get "carried away" with pats that
are too rough. You are also there to teach your new dog to treat your child gently.*
Petting and giving affection: Children often want to hug dogs around the neck. Your dog may
view this as a threatening gesture, rather than an affectionate one, and may react with a growl,
snap or bite. You should teach your child to pet your dog from underneath the dog’s chin,
rather than hugging him or reaching over his head. You should also teach your child to avoid
staring at, or looking directly into, your dog’s eyes.
Giving Treats: Children tend to become somewhat fearful and anxious when a dog tries to take
a treat from their hand. This causes them to jerk their hand away at the last second. The dog
may then jump up or lunge to get the treat which may result in the child being knocked down.
Have your child place the treat in an open palm, rather than holding it in his fingers. You may
want to place a hand underneath your child's hand to help guide him.
Supervising Play: Children move with quick, jerky movements, have high-pitched voices and
often run, rather than walk. All of these behaviors somewhat resemble the behavior of prey
animals. Almost all of a dog’s play behaviors are based on predatory behavior. Consequently,
your dog may respond to your child’s behavior by chasing him, nipping at his heels, jumping up
at him or even trying to knock him down.At first, your child may need to play quietly around your
new dog until he becomes more comfortable and calm and your child has gained more control
over the dog. Your dog must also learn that certain behaviors on his part are unacceptable, but
he must also be taught what behaviors are the right ones. Our handout: "Dealing with Normal
Puppy Behavior: Nipping and Rough Play" outlines procedures for discouraging rough play and
encouraging appropriate play. However, most children under the age of ten are not capable of
carrying out these procedures, so it’s helpful to teach your dog a "leave it" command that you
can use when play gets too rough. Taking an obedience class together is a good way to teach
your dog to respond to commands.An approach that is not helpful is to punish your dog for his
behavior. If he learns that being around children always results in "bad things" happening to him,
he may become defensive in their presence.
Possessions: Your dog won’t know the difference between his toys and your child’s toys until you
teach him.
• Your child must take responsibility for keeping his playthings out of your dog’s reach.
• If, and only if, you catch your dog chewing on something he shouldn't, interrupt the
behavior with a loud noise, then give him an acceptable chew toy and praise him
lavishly when he takes the toy in his mouth.
• Don't give your dog objects to play with such as old socks, old shoes or old children's toys
that closely resemble items that are off-limits. They can't tell the difference!
• Dogs can be possessive about their food, toys and space. Although it’s normal for a dog
to growl or snap to protect these items, it’s not acceptable. At the same time, children
need to learn to respect their dog as a living creature who is not to be teased or
purposefully hurt and who needs time to himself .
If your dog is growling or snapping at your child for any reason, the situation needs IMMEDIATE
attention. Punishing your dog is likely to make matters worse. You may call our Dog
Behavior Helpline at (303) 696-4941, Ext. 346 for more information. http://www.deesdogs.com/documents/whydogsbite.pdf

Written for children! See especially:

Warning Signs
Watch and listen for the warnings a dog will give you to let you know when he is upset. If his ears
are laid back against his head, or his legs are very stiff, he is probably warning you that he feels
threatened and will protect himself if he must. If the hair on his back is standing up, that’s
another warning. If a dog is growling or barking with his teeth showing, it means he is ready to
bite. A dog's warning signs mean that you’re doing something he doesn't like, so stop doing it!
There are many more good resource articles here:

http://www.deesdogs.com/training.htm and here:

http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/behavior.html

Good luck -- and talk to your instructor about these issues when you start your obedience class s I know they will be able to help give you lots of postivie approaches to addressing and reshaping unwanted behaviour.

Karlin
19th March 2008, 10:47 PM
Also I must add that I cannot advocate using Cesar Milan techniques, personally. This is why:

http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/whisperer.html

http://www.dogtime.com/cesar-millan-and-ian-dunbar.html

And this summarises my unease with this approach:


Don't Whisper
We favor behavioral science over showmanship.

By Nancy Kerns
Setting out on a long drive the other day, I turned on my radio just in time to hear the host of a show introduce his guest: Cesar Millan, the controversial dog trainer and star of the National Geographic Channel’s television show, “Dog Whisperer.” Grrr. I’m not a fan. But as much as I hated it, I had to listen to the interview and then I had to call in, also!
I’ve avoided commenting on Millan’s show in Whole Dog Journal, because I honestly thought that giving it any attention would just reinforce it. I hoped that if I ignored it, the show might just go away! But the show is in its third season, and Millan’s book, Cesar’s Way, has been a best seller for many weeks.
I do think Millan is a skilled handler; he’s able to quickly alter the behavior of many difficult dogs. He also handles people well; he’s supportive of their efforts to improve their lives with their dogs. So what’s my problem?
I don’t like Millan’s techniques. Many are antiquated and dangerous, for dogs and dog owners, in my view and that of many dog behavior experts I respect (such as Drs. Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, and Nicholas Dodman, as well as our own training expert, Pat Miller). Also, the theory he uses to guide most of his precepts is an oversimplified reading of behavioral studies conducted on captive wolves decades ago. Modern behavioral scientists understand that there is lots more to canine interactions than constant displays of dominance and submission, and that humans are probably at their least effective as trainers when they try to “act like a dominant dog.”.
Another thing that bothers me about the show is the reductionist premise it suggests, that solving a dog’s behavior problems is fast and simple if only you have the right energy. This makes Millan look like a magician, and makes people think all they have to do to fix their dogs’ behavior problems is to walk and act like him. I fear that in trying to emulate Millan’s assertive brio, especially with scared or defensive dogs, without a foundation of experience and in-person guidance, many people are going to get hurt. And when people get hurt, dogs tend to wind up dead.
Millan’s ideal is a dog who exhibits “calm submission” to its owner. In contrast, most pet dog owners I know, myself included, want an affectionate, trusting, respectful coexistence with our dogs, not wary subservience. We want them to want to do what we want them to do! The most effective way to accomplish this, with the least fallout or dangerous side effects, is with the dog-friendly behavior modification techniques we regularly detail in WDJ.
As I listened to caller after caller on the radio describe problems they were having with their dogs, I was reminded how people are hungry for expert advice. But as appealing as it might appear, there is no magic when it comes to dog training; quick fixes rarely provide a long-term solution. Real experts will confirm that improving your dog’s behavior takes time and practice, and that preserving your trust in and affection for each other will be paramount for your and your dog’s success.

sasha85
20th March 2008, 09:21 PM
I have seen this show featuring Mr Milan i dont 100% agree with his methods but what i have seen doesnt seem detramental to the animals involved. He solves the problems he is faced with much to the delight of the owners. After just reading the above article i have to disagree, on the show it clearly states that no one should attempt to reconstruct anything they have seen without consulting a professional so the arguement is a bit pointless!

When a dog is just a pup it should be treated as an animal and not a cute lil baby. it cant be expected to understand instructions without being taught properly what the words mean to them! Dogs dont understand english however much the uk believe so. They assess energy like Milan likes to drum in. Can i ask why was the pup on the bed in the first place? She didnt get there by herself so if you allow her one minute its confusing to her to tell her something different the next. Try to be consistant with her!

Iv never had to face these problems cause they never arose with my own dog as she is very stable i have never had her growl or bite at us. However on one occasion there was a stranger ie a telephone cable guy appeared round our backdoor and she spat venom shackles and teeth the full wack but i think its only because my sister jumped and i got a fright and she sensed that! So she does have a nasty side she just directs it to the right people. I have helped in the training of my Nans 2 collies who were very unpredictably snappy! who are the nicest dogs now! But they were rescued and it took time and persistance!

cricket865
20th March 2008, 10:42 PM
QUOTE When a dog is just a pup it should be treated as an animal and not a cute lil baby. it cant be expected to understand instructions without being taught properly what the words mean to them! Dogs dont understand english however much the uk believe so. They assess energy like Milan likes to drum in. Can i ask why was the pup on the bed in the first place? She didnt get there by herself so if you allow her one minute its confusing to her to tell her something different the next. Try to be consistant with her! QUOTE


I agree it should be treated as animal. I called her name and she barely responded. She was on the bed snuggling with me, but she has been in the crate every night for a month since she got home. So she is familar with the phrase "time for bed get in your crate". I think it's a power issue and she needs to know I mean business. Also, I had another suggestion from a member of CavConn that perhaps I was picing her up the wrong way and in fact I WAS! The last day we have been picking her up correctly and the she hasnt growled at all. So maybe it was as simple as that! I'll keep you all posted and thanks for all the advice.

Caraline
21st March 2008, 12:46 AM
Also I must add that I cannot advocate using Cesar Milan techniques

I am not comfortable with his approach either. He is very charismatic & likeable but his approach does seem rather "yesterday". I was quite shocked at a show I saw a couple of weeks ago where I am about 99% sure the dog had been put into a prong collar. Of course this was not mentioned, but instead had been attributed to having been trained. It turned my stomach. Could be I saw wrong, but it made me feel really bad.

merlinsmum
21st March 2008, 11:44 AM
having watched quite of few of the shows I think some of his techniques are bizarre and some as normal as the APDT training.

One thing for sure the show is good for - is a useful opportunity to train your dogs not to run/lung at bark at the TV!

I can now watch Dog Borstal in peace and wonder at how the people who go on Dog Borstal were ever allowed a dog in the first place:confused:

sasha85
21st March 2008, 06:10 PM
"time for bed get in your crate".

Just a thought make everything as simplistic as possible! ie instead of the phrase above just say bedtime or bed or crate! I hope you get this sorted hun cause its not a very nice thing to deal with!


I am about 99% sure the dog had been put into a prong collar. Of course this was not mentioned,

Caraline was that by any chance a Coonhound? I seen that one but that was what the owner themselves had been using and Cesar did say he was only using it as thats what had been getting used! Not through choice of his own!

cricket865
21st March 2008, 07:43 PM
Just a thought make everything as simplistic as possible! ie instead of the phrase above just say bedtime or bed or crate! I hope you get this sorted hun cause its not a very nice thing to deal with!

Yes she seems better these last few days thanks!

Caraline
21st March 2008, 10:50 PM
Caraline was that by any chance a Coonhound?

No, it was one of those short muscley dogs, looked sort of like cross bull terrier with something else stockey in there. In the show the owners had just a regular cloth collar on the dog for the initial "out of control" shots. Then later in the show there was a scene where Milan was sitting on some steps with the dog, jerking really hard over & over every time the dog tried to move. At the end of the show the dog was cowering at his side with its tail tucked up between its legs and all was declared victorious. I think not!