Jump to content
BC Boards

Back to growling again

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

My Lilli has just turned one and late last year I posted a concern about Lilli's random growling. I put everyone's advice in place and he has been wonderful. The last couple of nights though and this morning it has re-surfaced again but this time at my nine year old son. He is broken hearted that HIS dog is now doing this to him. He is very good at giving her commands as we all do the same. Basically Lilli will plop herself down on a particular place on the lounge room floor near the couch and if Lukas (son), husband or myself go to move past her, ears go back, stares and growls. We tackled it slightly differently tonight in that we told her 'NO' in the discipline voice then made her go outside and left her out there for a little while on her own. I don't know why she is doing this again. Is isolating her from us and banishing her outside for a little while the wrong thing to do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Banishing her to another room does nothing for the underlying issue: the one that is causing the growl in the first place. It may be a temporary solution to an issue that could run deep.


After a vet trip to check for pain, I'd probably do loads of mat work with the dog. Make the mat a happy, awesome place. Play games, cue on & off and reinforce heavily. Once the background is done, the dog is only allowed to lay on her mat/bed in the prescribed location. (No more laying on the floor or on the couch, etc.) This location should be out of the way but still close enough that she can survey the goings-on of the family.


Then you can start conditioning the approach of your son as a good thing. If she's in her bed, walk by and toss treats. Don't even look at her. Just a quick walk by with a jackpot. Do plenty of this from various angles with a consistent rate of reinforcement plus the occasional jackpot.


I would enact a house rule that if your dog is laying on her bed, you don't bother her. No petting. Try not to even look at her if it makes her uncomfortable.


Sorry, don't have enough time to elaborate but hopefully that's enough to get you started. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not remembering the details of Lilli’s growling. How old is she now? I take it she has been given a clean bill of health from the vet so you know there are not medical or physical reasons for the growling? What did you do earlier that helped the behavior to stop?


Resource Guarding is a pretty common behavior in dogs (people too ). My general response is that when the dog engages in RG, they immediately lose what they are trying to keep. So I would probably do as you did, say no and remove the dog. I would put a youngster in her crate for 5 or 10 minutes, then let her back out.


Another thing I do is try to ensure the dog has no legitimate reason to RG. This means the dog is not disturbed when she is eating or if she is sleeping or chewing on a toy somewhere out of the way, she can rest without being bothered. Now, if she has chosen a spot as her own that is in the way of your family, I would not let her lie there. She doesn’t get to tell people where they may move and she doesn’t get to claim spots on the floor or furniture as “hers” and threaten anyone who gets to close. Maybe look into having a bed or rug where she is expected to go if she wants to rest or sleep in that room. But I wouldn’t want my dog to RG the bed/rug either. I would probably work on getting her to associate being in her spot with getting little tidbits or even part of her dinner from me. So she would start wanting me to interact with her when she in in her spot, rather than feeling she needed to guard it.


RG is an issue that can repeatedly rear its head over the life of a dog, so keeping on top of the behavior is a smart move on your part.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...