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Old 09-04-2004, 01:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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So, Brinkley is a growler. But usually only with the kids...he tried it with mommy and daddy once...and we fixed that real quick. (by the way, the kids are almost always supervised around him! Before anyone gets on me about the young kids...lol) Of course, some of the growls he does with the kids, I don't scold. Usually when they are handling him more than he wants to, or trying to get his toy, or picking him up from a comfy spot they need back...(like a school backpack or favorite blanket). These low growls I have taught them are his way of saying..."leave me alone"...and that is what they should do. If they don't, he may bite at them.

Well, a couple of times, he has growled and snipped/bitten. Both times were completely uncalled for, and he got scolded very strongly. One time was with my daughter and she leaned down to kiss his head while sleeping. I still think she just startled him...but he nipped her lip and made it bleed, and it swelled for a few days. He also growled and tried to bite my son when He picked him up out of the clean laundry basket he was laying in to put him in the kitchen one morning as we were leaving for school. I know he was comfy and did not want to move, but he got very ugly about it. These times he gave no warning. I have explained to them that they cannot bother dogs while they are sleeping and eating. The sleeping one is what got Emily. I don't like him being this cranky and easily ticked off enough to nip at people. I don't mind the low growls expressing his opinions..but I won't tolerate the biting.

Any suggestions?

99% of the time he is so loving and playful with everyone...especially and including the kids. They entertain him as much or more than he entertains us and them. He thinks they hung the moon. That is why I don't understand why he knows he can't bite us...but he can them. Does he see them as littermates or somehting? Makes me leery about having him around other kids and stuff too. I am hoping maybe nuetering will calm this down, but I don't know.

My husband was quite upset about him biting Em. I tried to explain that it was no different than the cat scratching and hissing in defense. He understood that, but still didn't like it.
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Old 09-04-2004, 02:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 09-04-2004, 06:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tuffy growls too, but usually only when we are playing tug or if he is racing around the house. As for the biting, I don't think Tuffy has ever bitten us unprovoked but he usually will bite sometimes if he gets excited playing. I have had success using a spray bottle of water to keep him from nipping while we are playing and that's a major achievement for us because he loves to nip. You might want to try the spray bottle on him when he starts to growl, but on that same note, it might take away the only "signal" you get that he might be gearing up to bite. That's a tough call. Well, I wasn't of much help, but hopefully you'll get some other suggestions.
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Old 09-04-2004, 09:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wish I could say it was play, but it isn't. He play growls with me when we are playing tug of war...that is different. This is mean growl and biting. I guess you could say it is provoked, because the kids are pestering him, or in Emily's case scared him when he was sleeping. But I want him to understand that even this is unacceptable for biting. Growling yes...biting..no.

Thanks for the suggestions..I may try the water bottle just to see if it works for other behaviors too.
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Old 09-05-2004, 04:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'M SO GLAD YOU POSTED THIS UP!

ButterCloud, the boy, growls when people are touching him while he's eating good food. Noriko, the girl, for the most part only growls when ButterCloud tries to snatch her food away from her, but not at us. BUT TODAY WAS DIFFERENT. I had a bbq today and gave them each a piece of rib. I put them in their separate crates so they can't eat each other's food. I let ButterCloud out first because he finished and he was standing in front of her door and she was growling like crazy. I took him away, but ANYONE that got real close to her she would growl! But she didnt snap at us. Her face was attached to her rib, just chewin' and growlin'. It was so out of character.

Hmm, I hope this entry interests you guys, cause I know it didnt help much! I'd love to hear more growling stories. We use to scold Cloud for growling at us, but we stopped because he wasnt hurting or biting us. There's just alot to learn as far as taking care of our babies!
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I hate to post this because its not going to be what everyone wants to hear.

Bone protecting, spot protecting, food protection is almost always it seems a form of a dominant dog. Boom will try to snap at you if you try to take his toy, or move him from a spot that he wants to stay in. He's bitten me before. He used to do it with kids all the time. So what'd I do?

I did a lot of work with commands so that he learned that I was in charge. I started setting limits for him, not allowing him to get into situations where he would be protective. He stopped getting different types of treats as he was always hyper protective of them.

I excused these actions saying "He just wants to keep his treat" or "He was just comfortable" but as soon as he started biting (he's bitten me twice, hubby once, and MIL once) I decided it was time to nip the habit in the bud. I read books, talked to trainers, and took action.

Perhaps I'm misreading your stories, and I hope I am because this whole situation was really difficult. It took a lot of time and patience and I was mad that i was half afraid this lil dog would take my finger off.

Since I've worked on all this things are much better. To go another step I hope to get him into puppy classes this fall. I hope anything I've said has been helpful. Even when he was protecting his treats or his spot I never felt that biting was a proper response. Even the growling has been dropped for the most part.

Good luck with your little ones!
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Boom Boom's Mom,

I would love to know more about how you handled this. It doesn't sound like Brinkley is quite as bad as Boom Boom, but very similar. I feel like it would be worse now if I hadn't scolded him as hard as I have the few times it has happened. He gets a stern "no" in the face...as I hold my hand around his muzzle...then he goes to time out in his kitchen and we ignore him for a while. Hopefully this has curbed it some, but I don't want him to think it is acceptable. Like I said, I don't mind the growling so much...that is conversation...his words...but I don't like the biting at all.

We just finish puppy classes. I am thinking about taking the advanced class starting in November. But that is still quite a ways off. Supposedly when you are done with that 6 week course your dog gets an AKC good citizen award. Right now Brinkley would fail that. LOL
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Old 09-05-2004, 08:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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OHMY! Some of these stories sound SO familiar!!!!!!!!!

My Shih-Poo, Cisco is SUPER food agressive! Its gotten so bad that now if you walk close to his bowl he will run over and start eating! OR if he's already eating he will give a low growl. Cisco also will never ever let you take a treat from him (like those bones that get old and you need to throw away).

One time he got a hold of this stuffed snake, and it was weird because it was HALLOWEEN, and he guarded this snake from about 5:00pm on Halloween untill the second Halloween was over. I am so not lying! It was scary. He would no let ANYONE touch it and if you entered the room and he had moved away from it, he would race over there and guard it! I even tried luring him away with food and treats, he WOULD NO BUDGE and this is the cookie monster himself. It really freaked me out I thought he was possessed!


Britn'y only snaps when Im combing her hair, and she nips at the comb. Other than that I can take treats, toys, or anything from her (even human foods) and she will not snap or growl at me, just whimper. If mariah tries to eat her food when she is REALLY hungry or one of her milkbone cookies, she will growl at her and that is funny because she is so little and Mariah could whoop her butt! LOL
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Old 09-05-2004, 09:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maxi sounds like a gremlin when he gets mad. I am having a bit of a problem with him again with the biting he is very good around children and other people but with me he has this time of the night when he goes luny it lasts for 10 minutes but he bites me excessively. I put him out of the room last night again for like 5 minutes and than he stopped but its been the last month every single night
and i know he adores me so i dont understand what this is all about
i thank god he is good with others and doesnt do that but i need to nip this in the butt and i dont know what to do. The guy in the pet store said that its a mommy thing they know they can take advantage and i spoil maxi i know that but its getting annoying because i hate to punish him and i will not lay a hand on him so what i have been doing is i pick him up and i hold him and i say NO NO BITE and he licks me and when i put him back down he does it again
anyway hopefully he will grow out of this he will be a year old on 9/16
any suggestions?
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Old 09-06-2004, 11:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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MAXISMOM~I do what Tlunn does when ButterCloud bites...which isn't often at all! I hold their mouth shut for a bit and tell him,"No Biting." Why would he all of a sudden start biting you during that time? Are you playing with your baby? Do you notice something that happens at night that may make him anxious and that's why he's biting? I ask because if it's something that you're doing, maybe you should do it more often and when he tries to bite you, you tell him not to bite everytime. That way maybe they'll learn faster if you discipline them more often. Maybe it will register quicker that way. Does that make sense? I dont know Just a suggestion.
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