I have a black lab that growls at people when he meets them. He runs over wagging his tail growling. How do I stop him?

We have tried rewarding him when he does not growl and putting him in timeout when he does. Neither seem to stop him. He does not growl at small children or when he is on the leash waslking outside. It seems to be only when people walk into his area, or what he sees as his area.

Asked by Member 1064673 on Oct 19th 2011 in Aggression
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seems like he is upset about his area? but I'm not understanding what kind of area. I can just say he is upset about ppl coming to his area. So maybe you can gate his spot and tell them not to pet him. if they pet him as he is growling that is a reward as well.
some dogs protect their area. mine have their own spot to rest too.
At least he is wagging his tail but the growling is odd. Is he an elderly dog? does he resource guard toys in his area? lots of more info would be helpful in trying to figure this out.
Growling is a form of warning someone. I wouldn't treat him in his area, even though he is not growling he still might be in that mindset, you might of possibly been rewarding bad behavior unknowingly :( bc nothing is going to change his mindset on "his area" but yet you don't want him to growl either if he is not being teased or threatened.
I would take away his area where this is going on. and work on his behavior on leash in other areas and keep his area his own.
not sure

Dieta answered on 10/19/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Okami Amaterasu

You said that he wags his tail while growling, but does he seem happy or excited while he does this? My shiba Okami growls when she is really happy about something. Especially when I come home from work she does what I call a "yawning growl" where she starts with a yawn that turns into a deep throated growl but her ears are pinned back and her tail is wagging furiously in a clear expression of happiness. My dog might just be weird for all I know =P. But if he seems happy that might be all it is. If he doesn't seem happy then his tail wagging may just be a display while trying to protect his territory.

Okami Amaterasu answered on 10/19/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have seen some dogs that will growl but it is not a vicious growl it is HEY HOW ARE YOU kind of growl I have also seen some dogs that when you greet them they smile just a tad this is not aggrssion it is happy to see you or whoever they meet, If it is a growl the ears back body still hair up and a stare I would be leary of getting near the dog this is aggerssion and the dog is telling you he doesn't want to be freinds as for not doing this with kids I can't say but has your dog nipped or tried to bite anyone while doing this? oh and a wagging tail of a dog is not always danger but FYI A wagging tail can be aggression incase you ever come up on a dog like this but I find in most cases the dog with have a intense stare that is just before they do something and it is not good.

Starbutt answered on 10/20/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer