inappropriate grumbling and growling

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Postby babyreba » August 22nd, 2006, 11:06 pm

So a lot of dogs vocalize--they grumble and growl and bitch and moan about things, and I know some breeds like Rotts are more prone to it than others.

Does your dog do it?

Under what circumstances?

I've noticed a bit of grumbling in Doc here and there, usually when I tell him to "down" and he really wants the treat but is annoyed to have to do work for it . . . but tonight I got full-on growling and grumbling and just plain old bad behavior from him in a non-training situation. A friend was over and we were eating and drinking and Doc started to beg, and when I told him No and to Down, he started bitching up a storm to me about it, just looking at me and growling and drooling and what have you. The more I ignored him, the louder and more persistent he became.

What do you do when your dog does this? Do you correct? Just ignore? How about if the dog just gets more persistent and growly when you ignore?

After a failed attempt to get him to be quiet, I brought him inside and put him away, since he was acting inappropriately.

Do you think that putting him away was an effective or ineffective way of getting the message across to him that vocalizing and grumbling won't get him what he's looking for?

How else could a situation like that be handled effectively?
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Postby Hoyden » August 23rd, 2006, 12:24 am

Wow, you just described my Petey. Andy loved Petey, so hopefully, he'll love Doc enough to adopt him.

We handle talking back two ways. Ignore him and he will get nothing from the table in his dog dish. He knows good behavior at dinner earns him scraps mixed in with his dog food.

If he persists, he is then crated.

If he tries to pull one over on company, which he is known to try, he is immediately crated for the remainder of the day and only let out to do his business before bed.

Petey is a very social dog and likes to be near us and visit with our friends, so seperating him is absolute torture for him.
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Postby katiek0417 » August 23rd, 2006, 6:33 am

My dogs know the quiet command. Sacha is notorious for whining when I'm preparing her meals (I get the "Mommy, I'm starving" whine). She is yelled at for it, and I take longer to prepare. Nisha is only sorta food-motivated, so she's usually quiet for me.

If the dog is growling...well, that's a different story. I handle grumbling differently. If it's grumbling, I give a correction, do a couple of obedience, things (sit, down, etc). Then I put them in their kennel. Just lets them know I'm still in charge.

If there's growling involved, there's a HARD correction then some obedience, then kennel....
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Postby SisMorphine » August 23rd, 2006, 8:03 am

Wally is a grumbler and a few people have mistaken it for a growl. But he's never gone to the extreme that Doc went to.

Mike was a grumbler and growler when Chris brought him back from the shelter. At the shelter they said he was mean, he would growl at them every time they would come near his run. He would grumble when given commands.

The longer Chris had him the quieter those grumbles got until they were gone. Instead he replaced the cranky dog with a very friendly, tail waggy, happy-go-lucky guy. He still will grumble a tiny bit (he grumbled up a storm after the cat swatted his nose . . . he didn't grumble at the cat, but rather at the wall after he jumped away from that mean ol' kitty), but it's usually only when something is REALLY ticking him off.

You would have to ask Chris exactly what he did, but I think it consisted mainly of a very structured day and very strict rules as far as what he could and couldn't get away with. Once he understood what was expected of him, and that grumbling and growling didn't get him what he wanted, he became a much quieter, happier guy.
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Postby babyreba » August 23rd, 2006, 9:09 am

well there was grumbling and there was definitely growling, but there was also drooling and so forth, so i pretty much associated it with high-anticipation grumbling . . . basically, the longer he got nothing, the more vocal he became.

and then i decided to put him away for being badly behaved.
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 10:02 am

Would you categorize it as groveling for food or demanding food?

A deep growl obviously is more aggressive, and most people recognize that one when they hear it.

A more grumbley, higher pitched growl is more of a frustration noise---not actually a growl as we know it---and usually indicates desire for something--- food, your attention, wanting to go out, etc., and a harsh reprimand or punishment would be inappropriate.

A non-aggressive grumble/growl should be ignored.
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Postby Hoyden » August 23rd, 2006, 10:48 am

Our Petey has always been a very vocal dog. He makes more noises than any other dog I met.

Chris pointed out to us that Petey had us trained nicely as we understand what each grumble means.

We have been taught the following commands by our dog:

"MONKEY - Get me water"
"MONKEY - I want out"
"MONKEY - Treat Please" Oh and I'll throw in a cute trick just to make you happy.
"MONKEY - Move over"
"MONKEY - Feed me"
"MONKEY - Walk me"


Structure, rules and boundries are what is curbing what I call "assertive" grumbling. Chris told us to keep him crated unless he was working and he was only allowed out on a leash.

When I used tell him down and he'd give me the the doggie finger by grumbling at me, looking away and finally going into a down with the air of martyred dog. Then I started to hold onto something, stepped on the leash and put him into a forced down.

A month later, he now gets some non-crate time during the day - free time if you will.

His assertive grumbling has diminished significantly and he has stopped commanding us, he is accepting commands without grumbling, talking back and procrastinating. It was a matter of letting him know that I was in charge and he was going to do what I asked of him.

He is 8-1/2 years old by the way, so it's been a challenge.
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 11:10 am

Well, Doc being a rescue dog definitely needs to be taken into consideration, too.

Everytime a rescue dog is bounced to a new location, pack order, rules and routines change.

I think people sometimes underestimate the toll it takes bouncing a dog from home to home.

Of course rescue dogs need training, rules and routines, but they also need patience and understanding.
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Postby mnp13 » August 23rd, 2006, 11:21 am

Ruby talks up a storm when I tell her to do something she doesn't want to do, but she stays put. She whines, barks and howls. It's actually really funny... though I know she shouldn't be doing it.

Riggs, unfortunately, has started the occasional growl when he's being told what to do, and it's not a "grumble" growl. He has an injury that I didn't notice and I hurt him. Now he's very defensive about certian commands because I think that he's expecting pain to be next.

Now, before people freak out, he has a sore on his scrotum (I think it's from a scrape when he wiped out on my deck stairs, or it could be from last weekend when he ended up half in and half out of the car, squarely on his nuts.) When I stack him I grab underneith, and the other night after three stacks he had had enough evidently and told me quite clearly that I wasn't to do that again.

Yes, we're working on it. I've been free stacking him and giving him treats for standing still without me having to move him. On the other hand, he gets in trouble for growling in a "just in case you might touch me there" manner.
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 11:34 am

mnp13 wrote:Ruby talks up a storm when I tell her to do something she doesn't want to do, but she stays put. She whines, barks and howls. It's actually really funny... though I know she shouldn't be doing it.

Riggs, unfortunately, has started the occasional growl when he's being told what to do, and it's not a "grumble" growl. He has an injury that I didn't notice and I hurt him. Now he's very defensive about certian commands because I think that he's expecting pain to be next.

Now, before people freak out, he has a sore on his scrotum (I think it's from a scrape when he wiped out on my deck stairs, or it could be from last weekend when he ended up half in and half out of the car, squarely on his nuts.) When I stack him I grab underneith, and the other night after three stacks he had had enough evidently and told me quite clearly that I wasn't to do that again.

Yes, we're working on it. I've been free stacking him and giving him treats for standing still without me having to move him. On the other hand, he gets in trouble for growling in a "just in case you might touch me there" manner.


See, you have a good attitude. :) No hysteria, no jumping to conclusions or harsh reprimand, a little sense of humor and a good analysis of the situation. All that goes a long way. :wink:
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Postby babyreba » August 23rd, 2006, 12:39 pm

a-bull wrote:Well, Doc being a rescue dog definitely needs to be taken into consideration, too.

Everytime a rescue dog is bounced to a new location, pack order, rules and routines change.

I think people sometimes underestimate the toll it takes bouncing a dog from home to home.


I agree with you more than I can even explain right now. Before Doc came up north, he went through a series of foster homes . . . and I think the process of bouncing has been extremely difficult on him. Extremely.
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 12:49 pm

babyreba wrote:
a-bull wrote:Well, Doc being a rescue dog definitely needs to be taken into consideration, too.

Everytime a rescue dog is bounced to a new location, pack order, rules and routines change.

I think people sometimes underestimate the toll it takes bouncing a dog from home to home.


I agree with you more than I can even explain right now. Before Doc came up north, he went through a series of foster homes . . . and I think the process of bouncing has been extremely difficult on him. Extremely.


I own one that was bounced around until I adopted her at almost a year.

Although she loves people, she had alot of issues. She almost had her guard up like you see in people, for years. She is 5 years old now, and she has just started to really relax 100% and trust us 100%---and although she loves people, you can see her guard go right back up when she meets new people, even though she is always happy to see them.
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Postby Malli » August 23rd, 2006, 1:23 pm

well.

I would never take and out and out serious growl from Oscar, period. Then the $hit would fly.
However, there are a number of occaisions where he vocalizes.

AT WORK, when first in his kennel, if he has to pee, or if he hears me making him dinner (he gets wet food at work wich is high value for him). I ignore the initial whining or give him some strong words. If he whines for food when I'm about to put it in his kennel with him. It sits on the counter in front of the kennel and I leave until he stops, obviously I heed the pee whines, but if he ever starts in when I know he doesn't have to go, I'll ignore. None of the whining is very loud or obnoxious.

IN training. If training carries on too long or we're having a lot of trouble with something, he'll start to vocalize, I'll verbally and physically correct him, and work an extra few commands. I make a mental note of it and don't push it that far the next time, training should be reasonably fun. He'll howl/bark when he does trick work and I make him repeat it lots, I just ignore this, his tricks never get corrections as I want to see him really having fun.

He'll aroo roo at me once if he's frusterated or if he's had to wait for me outside a store or something. Since its not major, I allow it.

I do not tolerate any whining at home, no whining for food (people or his own), not while in his crate. I only allow barking at the door.

Rescue dogs can come with A LOT of baggage so this may be something you can work through. Is this a Pit or Bull Breed?

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Postby babyreba » August 23rd, 2006, 1:41 pm

APBT.

Foster. Been living with me for 2 weeks.
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Postby Malli » August 23rd, 2006, 1:53 pm

hm.

well, as long as it stays a growl only, I think it might be workable.

I wanted to mention too, that I'd find a "time out" place other then the crate, to try and keep his time in there positive and relaxed. Do you have another option?

I assume you're doing nilif?

I'd also stop all people food from the hand or otherwise, if I were in your shoes.

I'd ignore it unless he got in my space. Sometimes Oscar will walk right up and put his head over my lap or inch closer slowly while whining. I immediately tell him no, move him away, and give him a sit or down. If it got too much and I had company I tether him to something farther away and turn my back on him.

thats just some ideas that I might try if I were in your shoes...

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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 1:59 pm

Malli wrote:hm.

well, as long as it stays a growl only, I think it might be workable.

I wanted to mention too, that I'd find a "time out" place other then the crate, to try and keep his time in there positive and relaxed. Do you have another option?

I assume you're doing nilif?

I'd also stop all people food from the hand or otherwise, if I were in your shoes.

I'd ignore it unless he got in my space. Sometimes Oscar will walk right up and put his head over my lap or inch closer slowly while whining. I immediately tell him no, move him away, and give him a sit or down. If it got too much and I had company I tether him to something farther away and turn my back on him.

thats just some ideas that I might try if I were in your shoes...

Malli


:goodStuff:

I particulalry think not using the crate as punishment or time-out is good advice. Given that he is a foster, and will likely be re-homed and yet AGAIN, you want him to view the crate as a safe, reassuring place to hang his hat :) when he ends up in yet ANOTHER new environment.

Sounds like he's lucky to have you. :)
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Postby bahamutt99 » August 23rd, 2006, 2:16 pm

Do you think it would help if you put him on a down-stay before the meal is served? That way he's already in a submissive position before food is even involved. I try to teach "go to your place/pillow." And Loki and Jedi have both learned that if they are on their pillow when food is involved, mom just might throw choice tidbits to them. But if they're in my face, its going to get them a squirt from the water bottle, or a verbal assault.
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Postby babyreba » August 23rd, 2006, 2:16 pm

Malli wrote:hm.

well, as long as it stays a growl only, I think it might be workable.

I wanted to mention too, that I'd find a "time out" place other then the crate, to try and keep his time in there positive and relaxed. Do you have another option?


yep, he's going into the room where his crate is downstairs, but not in the crate. that's what i did with him last night, put him downstairs and left him alone to sulk for a while.

I assume you're doing nilif?


we're even going beyond NILIF. his "free" time is time spent attached to me, working with me, playing with me, etc. he is only allowed in two rooms of my house, everything else is off limits. he can't go into or out of the house till i release him to do so. he can't eat until i tell him he can go to his dish. he can't come out of the crate until i tell him he can. he's doing great on all of these things, BTW.

I'd also stop all people food from the hand or otherwise, if I were in your shoes.


he's not getting any people food at all. not from my hand, not from my plate, not in his dish. usually, in fact, he doesn't beg at all. this was the first time he's done so, which makes it a bit more strange.

thats just some ideas that I might try if I were in your shoes...

Malli


thanks!
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 2:18 pm

You aren't giving him people food from your hand, but that doesn't mean someone else didn't. :wink: That bad habit could have formed long ago.
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Postby mnp13 » August 23rd, 2006, 5:12 pm

Update on Riggs' growling:

We just got back from the vet. He has a good sized scab on his scrotum so that was probably part of his discomfort. He also has some swelling in his back end consistant with a hard fall onto his back - which is odd because he's never fallen onto his back.

He's on painkillers for a week and then he'll be fine I'm sure.
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