View Full Version : Growling Getting Worse

14th March 2011, 05:01 AM
Coco is such a sweet and happy go lucky girl, but sometimes I think she is bi-polar?!?:confused:

Happening noticeably more frequent, she will be laying down on her bed on the floor, or in bed with us, just growling. Head laying on a pillow, our arm, or just resting on her feet, just growling. What the heck?!?!

Sometimes the growl will progress to a bark. Just one single bark, she does not have a barking fit, but she growls....growls....BARK! growls.... and this can sometimes happen for 10 seconds, or 5 minutes!

I just don't know what is going on with her. On occasion I can tell she is growling and barking at something she is scared of, like last night I took her to my cousin's birthday party and she is not used to the noises in their house, she would yap at that and I could tell she was a little stressed out and scared.

It just seems like at home she does it for no apparent reason and it is happening at least once to twice a day, sometimes more.

14th March 2011, 09:00 AM
You live in Washington state? Given the state of plate tectonics these days it's very possible coco is responding to very small earthquakes.

14th March 2011, 11:11 AM
I'd consider having her vet checked. That is really strange behaviour.

I have never myself heard of any dogs that growled or barked due to tectonic plate movement -- and I lived for 25 years a mile from the San Andreas fault which is a lot more active than anything up in the Seattle regions. It is true that some dogs are known to bark just preceding an actual earthquake of some significance but it just seems a stretch that a dog is upset by tiny movements and on a daily basis and also when she has no contact with the ground. If she is doing this when you are sitting in bed then I think it would be really unlikely to be anything to do with earthquakes, as she would be well insulated from feeling anything.

You might also talk to her breeder about this behaviour.

There is either a health or a behaviour reason for this. On the health side it could be pain that is not obvious to you that could be physical or neurological. Or this could be a neurological behaviour issue, perhaps something like an obsessive compulsive behaviour (yet another thing this breed is prone too :( ). If behaviour and she is not just puppy playing then there is some sort of real or imagined trigger.

If it is happening as frequently as you describe and for going on for 5 minutes sometimes -- which is really long -- I'd be talking to a vet then perhaps considering a neurologist. Dogs do growl in play (my Tansy does this when she wants attention too sometimes) but the connection is always obvious -- are you sure this isn;t what is going on? But if you are going so far a to describe this is the terms of a neurological problem (bipolar) then I'd take it that seriously and talk to some medical people who might hep you determine what is going on and if she needs care for it. :thmbsup: Too many times, many here will know from experience, some behaviour taken as 'just a little quirk' has turned out to be something that needed to be seen by a professional.

At any rate you have brought this up a couple of times and I don't think anyone here can offer any further suggestions as to why you're seeing something this strange –It is very hard to know without actually being in the house to observe a dog even for a professional trainer to assess such an issue, and certainly no one here has the medical expertise to make a judgment call on whether she needs to get in for medical help. You might start spending a week or two recording every time this happens and how long it goes on for, without intervening in any way, just quietly observing and not even letting her notice you are observing. You also might try videoing an episode or two of when she does this. Once you have gathered some specific detail then I'd go in and talk to your vet to start with, and consider a referral to a neurologist, if the vet can't find anything obviously causing the behavior.

Kate H
14th March 2011, 11:13 AM
If Coco is worried by something humans can't hear (like earth tremors), you could try a DAP (pheremone) diffuser or collar - they seem to work well for fear of fireworks etc. As Coco is mainly worried in the house, the plug in diffuser should work OK - perhaps one downstairs and one in your bedroom.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

14th March 2011, 03:08 PM
With her age I suspect she is moving into one of her fear periods. Dogs go through fear periods while growing originally to help them stay alive while they were still young and rely on the pack.