Is my Husky growling or grumbling?

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Member Since
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 1:54pm PST 
I have a 2 year old Siberian Husky named Juneau. He is a very talkative and social guy! I started taking him to the dog park when he was about 5 months old. However, he has always been the only dog in the house up until recently, when I began fostering another male husky around the same age.

Recently, we have been visiting a new dog park in our area and many dog owners bring toys. The parks we have visited before were different. People mostly just brought balls, but this park has frisbees, ropes, etc. All kinds of tempting toys that Juneau often runs around stealing. Some owners don't care, others will ask that I take the toy away from him to give back to their dog.

One time when I needed to get a toy back to another dog owner, Juneau was pretty vocal about not wanting to give up the toy. And it was the first time I had run into a situation where he did not willingly give a toy back to me. I was advised to gently take ahold of his collar or back of his neck and hold him firm so he cannot hop up and run from me. Give him the command to "drop it" since he understands that. And if he does not drop it, to then take hold of the toy and take it from him.

When this happened, Juneau made a grumbling sound at me. I say "grumbling" because it did not seem like he was growling in an upset way the way I've heard dogs growl, or as a warning. It sounded like "raaa raaa raaa". More like he was griping at me that he really did not want to drop the toy.

Like many huskies, he makes alot of growly sounding noises when he plays and when he talkes to me. He does a funny "groooww wow wow" sound when he gets excied about going somewhere.

It has happened a few more times both at the park and at home. I am not sure if he has become more posessive becuse there is now another dog in the house and he is not used to that and just so happened to display that at the dog park first ... I now just give them each a toy in their crates.

I want to address this properly with him and wanted some advice on whether anyone else's husky does this around toys and what you have done? I feel there will be a difference in what I do depending on whether he is talking or growling. I don't feel and have never felt afraid or threatened, but concerned that if he is growling, it could become worse if I don't correct the behavior.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 8:52am PST 
I will sometimes grumble just to say I don't like something, usually coming out from under the table when I have to take a pill. I am not growling, just saying "oh Bugger, I really don't want to, do I have to?"dog walk

blue/brown eyed- girl!
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 11:48am PST 
Mika and Lexus will do this sometimes as well....it is kind of like a kid talking back to you i think...and huskies are very vocal like that. laugh out loud

Member Since
Barked: Fri Mar 28, '14 11:41pm PST 
I feel that a Sib owner is most qualified to respond or give advice on this issue and would really take those responses as most informative. My Sib is a full breed named Nanook,hes 28 months,so just over 2 years old. Until around 16 months Nanook never growled or grumbled at anyone,then out of the blue one day a woman who was rather unpleasant came to our home and as she was walking out the door to leave,my11 year old son let Nanook in from outside and he walked straight toward her and she put her hand out and he grumbled(BTW I knew exactly what you meant by grumble not growl) I too often use the word grumble when explaining my issue and had never heard anyone use that term before,so when giving examples of this sound,it literally sounds like grr...umbble or Garble.) to continue, after this first instance he started grumbling at certain people or over certain situations, not all the time. With exception to my family or someone he knows well. Nanooks grumble is a constant out in the yard which is fenced in,anytime someone comes in the yard or up to him on the other side of the fence he grumbles and it scares people because Sibs look very intimidating,Ive yet to test any bite theory by walking a stranger through the gate or to truly pinpoint why he's doing this,though when it happens I put my hands all over and around his mouth while saying "No Nanook" No Growling" thinking the person causing him to do this will see hes not vicious or anything or hed bite a person with their hands in his mouth during. Ive had my hands practically in his mouth while he grumbles numerous times and tons of other Sib owners report this exact same behavior. Now with food or toys,I too have this issue sometimes with certain toys at certain times but only in the beginning of adolescents had he started w food. Nanook did growl & snap at me over a chicken bone once that he got off the top of the trash can and I took him by the collar like you did to take it,he deff growls not grumbles if anyone else tries to take food or even move close enough that he thinks that is what you're doing,Im told by the trainer that this is because of confidence and if your dog knows hes further down the pack like Nanook,hes going to have this. Try letting him win when playing tug games with him/her and praise them after all games,like retrieving or catching"good boy"this is also helpful with growling over toys. Nanook still grumble or traps his toys too when our son tries taking them away and we quickly tell him no"bad boy"and take the toy away then put him in his cage. They always remember and dwell on the last thing they did or were doing,learned right before putting him in his cage,so teaching tricks or lessons is always followed by his cage.For other dog owners,like my Mother & brother who have small dogs,Golden retrievers or Labs,they don't exactly understand this theory,they cannot grasp why they can leave their dogs out all night or 24/7,not own a cage and why I cannot let Nanook do the same,that Nanooks cage is his dog house in essence and thats where he eats and sleeps. I won't go into why a Sib is diff,if you're a Sib owner then you know and thats whats important. I've had trainers that come to the house to help with the grumbling and training and he does grumble at them and sometimes aggressively takes the treat after doing tricks or praise from a lesson but doesn't bite but doesn't do this to my family in the same or even during the same sessions. We have two cats that Nanook has been around since we got him at 5.5 weeks old ,from a breeder that obviously needed money and needed us to pick him up too soon,the conditions were not good with this breeder and we're glad we did take him,he had parvo also,which cost us over $1200 in vet bills,which we were not compensated for. In our home we've made it clear that the cats are higher up in our pack by always feeding them before Nanook,built carpeted shelves"escape places"and hes never hurt either of them but loves nothing more than to play with them and will try to lay on our more social cat "Butters" he doesn't hurt him but will endlessly walk over top of him in a trap him like scenario,trying to dominate him but we've tought him the words "no biting" from the beginning and when he's been clawed or bitten hes never put his mouth on them. Also with both trainers we've had ,they've both said Nanook is the most intelligent and best/amazing dog they've ever worked with and have tried getting me to let them take him for a few weeks to work with and take to training seminars,one used him in an advertisement for their dog training adds and company videos,our sessions were free for this. I had already tought Nanook all the basics and all the basics in sign language or assigned hand signals aswell,in just the first few months of life,sign comes in handy when you don't want to raise your voice or verbal command at times or when a Sib Tweeks out or times hes being really good and chill but I do not want to distract him/her with stimulation,if you know what I mean? Nanook will be laying down and all the sudden start hopping in a playful"puppy" like circle or do a funny 360 spin,sit down or still,give me a funny look or googley eyes then do it again"tweeks out". I have Youtube videos of this if interested,just type Siberian Nanook doing sign commands or variations of that. A bit of Good advice ,which sounds like you already do,is exercise. I don't know about you but I can pedal on my bike as fast as I can and Nanook literally keeps right up next to us with unbelievable speed and he can run along my son and I for miles and still want more and still will not just chill out on the floor tired after so this energy will cause bad behavior. Please keep me updated and give me any advice you may have or come across along the way,especially with digging in the yard,wed greatly appreciate it. Good luck! Chris