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Thread: Random Barking/Growling

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  1. #1
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    Default Random Barking/Growling

    Sorry if this is a repeat thread, I searched through the forum and didn't exactly get all my questions answered.

    Coco is generally a pretty quiet girl. We got very excited a while back when she finally began to growl or bark when needing to go outside. Since then, it has been increasing. She still does not constantly bark at every little thing and it is not annoying, but when she barks now I am growing concerned based off the way she reacts. I can definitely tell when she does a potty type of bark or growl, or if it was from something else.

    At first when the barking increased and I realized she did not have to potty every time, I assumed she was testing to see if this behavior got her extra attention. So I ignored her. Sometimes we would have an explanation to her behavior, like there was a scary looking creature on TV, or funny music was playing, etc. Sometimes there is no explanation and we have no idea what she is making noise about. No strange noises, no movement, tv off, nothing out the window..

    The strange part that concerns me is that there will be times she is resting (not asleep), eyes open, head down between her paws, and she just growls...and growls. Not ferociously, but just kind of mumbling. Occasionally she then gets up, tail tucked, head lowered, walks away while still growling, and then hides under my legs or under a chair. Is she scared of something? Maybe she is sleeping with her eyes open and had a bad dream?

    I have had times I wanted to scold her for the unnecessary barking or growling, but I have refrained from doing so based off how she acts. I don't want to scold her for being afraid of something, nor do I want to give her attention from scolding if that is indeed what she is seeking. Any ideas or suggestions to explain her behavior!?!?

  2. #2
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    Some dogs are extremely sensitive to natural sounds/earth movements.

    So not having any knowledge of Seattle at all, I typed in "Seattle+Fault" in google and wasn't terribly surprised when it came up! In absence of any ailment or outside noises, methinks you may have a good predictor there!

    ETA If you suspect this could be true try noting the next few times it happens and check with your local Earthquake monitoring station or these people http://www.seismosoc.org/ to see if there's any 'activity' on the fault.
    Last edited by Fifer; 27th February 2011 at 08:46 AM. Reason: added info
    Briar, Jack, Berry and coeliac cocker Bracken foster cockers Rowan and puppy Simba

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  3. #3
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    Could be hearing sounds outside of your hearing range? Fifer could be right. Animals are very perceptive to things in our environment that we would never notice.

    Does she seem in pain or does she perk up when you call her?
    " Occasionally she then gets up, tail tucked, head lowered, walks away while still growling, and then hides under my legs or under a chair." That almost sounds like it could be pain especially if nothing else is going on. Does she stay hidden under the chair for a while or is just a brief moment like she is unsure of something around her?

    Is she possibly "guarding" a toy or treat? Flash is BAD about that! If a cat or dog so much as moves a muscle anywhere in the same room as him and his chewy or toy he growls and takes it somewhere else.

  4. #4
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    Hm she may be hearing things we don't hear. It is just strange because she does it when she is laying down mostly. Last night she was eating dinner, growled and then left her bowl and went under the computer desk. That doesn't seem like guarding to me. She has never been too fond of eating, and happily shares her toys with anyone or anything. But if I call her after she growls and then hides, she happily runs out and will play and forget about everything.

    If it were pain, she wouldn't want to run up and play with me, or would she still if she was just a trooper?

  5. #5
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    It could still be pain related, Zumie.I'm thinking some sort of discomfort type of pain other than a constant pain.The fact that Coco comes back after the episode is because the moment has passed and her attention has been diverted with play,so it may be short term pain related.It could be anything from a sore muscle to anal gland trouble.Dogs will hide themselves away when in pain, in order to try and hide themselves from it, in order for it to stop.Also dogs have a different pain threshold and there's a lot to be said of how dogs refrain from displaying pain in front of their owners.Maybe in the mean time, maybe make a journal to help determine the cause,this can always be a help if it extends to a vet visit.A check at the vet might be a good idea? I'm not implying you've left Coco to suffer, of course but it may help in determining the cause.In my experience, sometimes barkiing/grumbling/growling has been a sign of some sort of discomfort.The vocalisation can a way of trying to "see the pain off" if you like.Similar to how we curse when we stub our toe

    Keep us posted

    R
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    If the growling happens when she is lying down, I would second Fifer's suggestion that it may be connected to earth tremors. Dogs have very acute hearing and could well pick up a faint rumble that we wouldn't hear, even a slight tremor. And growling would be a normal reaction to something Coco didn't understand but which seemed threatening, and then taking refuge in ewhat seems a safer place. I lived in Johannesburg for several years and because the city is built over deep gold mines, we regularly had earth tremors and the noise of earth shifting way below us. I didn't have a dog at that time, but I could imagine a dog getting upset by it (and it is known that dogs can get agitated long before earthquakes happen on the surface). Worth investigating as Fifer suggests, anyway? And perhaps speak cheerfully and reassuringly when it happens (NOT soothingly!)?

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

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    The pain-like behavior could be teething related, especially if eating/chewing seem to trigger it. Coco is about that stage now, I believe.

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