Harley

how do i keep my dog from growling at people?

when we take harley for walks she always wants to growl at people walking by, but shes not a mean dog she wont actually bite them just growl. is she being protective or just a meanie? what can i do about it?


Asked by Harley on Mar 18th 2009 in Behavior & Training
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend



Status

  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!


Answers

Bridget aka Bad Pants, Ruby Ru

She might just be aloof and protective.
If she is just curious or checking people out I wouldn't worry.
Just try to not let her do it and get worse.
You can do the throwing food thing. When someone approaches you you can ask someone to throw pieces of cooked meat gently towards her but not stare at her, just have them keep walking. Maybe she just getting a little wary of strangers and needs to know it's ok for them to pass her. That way she learns they pose no threat or harm to anybody.


Bridget aka Bad Pants, Ruby Ru answered on 3/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Bailey

I agree with the other answer. I just wanted to add, be sure you never "correct" or coddle her for growling. When you extinguish a growl a bite is going to happen with a far more subtle warning.
Some dogs, rarely, growl when they are happy. I doubt thats what she's doing however. Probably being aloof, protective, or nervous and growling in supposed need of self defense.


Bailey answered on 3/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Guest

Careful. If you really don't know what's going on, you really, really need to bring a behaviorist into the picture.
How do you really know that she won't bite? Sounds a bit like she's become fearful of people when she's on a walk and fearful dogs bite.
Get a trainer/behaviorist.


Member 768404 answered on 3/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Abby

While growling can be a protective behavior, it more commonly is a fear behavior. It's your dog's way of telling people, "I'm afraid of you, so I'm warning you off right now, and you better take that warning and keep going!"

If you are not sure how to deal with the behavior or whether it truly is a fearful behavior, I recommend seeing a behaviorist to help you evaluate what it is, and teach you steps for dealing with it.

Fear aggression is very common in dogs, and please, while your dog may be friendly with people, understand that any dog who growls at strangers passing by who are paying them no mind, has the ability and the potential to bite someone that approaches them in the wrong way. This is absolutely a behavior that *can* turn into a bite and that needs to be managed properly.


Abby answered on 3/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer