Is he growling, or grunting at me? VIDEO - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 02-13-2014, 02:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is he growling, or grunting at me? VIDEO

My boy is a 3 1/2 year old Neutered German Working line boy, and I have had him since he was 10 weeks old. I have been a bad dog mom recently and have not been able to spend much time with him as I have been working a ton. My dad is retired and is home with him all day, so he does get plenty of play time and attention. Recently he has been displaying some strange behaviors (only to me) and I can't tell if he is quite growling or not.

I did get a video tonight, I was sitting on the floor with him and he attacked me with kisses. Then he layed down, rolled on his back and I was scratching his tummy. While I was doing that he started making the sounds. At the end of the video I did get nervous as he came towards me really fast but all he did was jump in my lap as to say SORRY MOMMY I LOVE YOU. He did this last night as well when I was sitting with him and as soon as he started doing it I started giving him some commands, sit, down etc and he did them with such passion as if all he wanted to do was please me. Again as an I am sorry mommy.

Thoughts anyone? I am afraid he is just confused with our relationship?

Up until a few weeks ago he was sleeping in the room with my husband and I but he was keeping us up moving around and scratching. We have a really small room so now he sleeps with my other dog and cat in the main part of the house and he gets to come in to sleep with me (on the floor) for an hour when my husband gets up for work. Could he be upset about this? I am really sad and worried about all of this

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Old 02-13-2014, 03:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like he's just "talking". Our old boy used to do that all the time, similar noises, grunting and grumbling especially if he was hyper or wanted something. At night we'd have snuggle time and he knew that if he wasn't at the right spot on the bed he'd be pulled so I'd count to three and he'd make those noises as he clambered over.

I'm sure some people with more general experience will be chiming in shortly, as I only have my years with my one dog to go with, and he wasn't exactly a model citizen :P

One thing to take note of, that spike of fear in your voice at the end of the video, made ME get all antsy, I can only imagine it's confusing him if you're sending those fear vibes out there.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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attacked with "kisses" could be juvenile signalling , calming signal , so the dog wasn't into it --- wanted relief from the attention

then he throws a more obvious signal to you , flopping on ground and exposing belly -- bet you he was stiff --- and you belly scratch -- which he perceives as you victoriously making the message clear --

in the video bugged out eyes, ears pinned , face tight, mouth tight and closed , the tongue flick, the crinkle of nose , the low grumble -
I don't see this dog enjoying this
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm going to agree with Carmen, not enough for me to say he's downright po'd, but he just doesn't look 'comfortable', especially with the tight face/ears pinned..and stiff looking..I'll add I'm no expert
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LovemyEli View Post
My dad is retired and is home with him all day, so he does get plenty of play time and attention.
Perhaps your dad's over stimulated him through the day, and he is just worn out? It sounds like he still likes to play with you but too a certain extent.

Apsel, my pup, gets really moody when he's reached his training/play threshold. He'll go find a quiet place, and makes similar vocal signals. If anyone crowds him, he gets up and leaves to find another quiet spot. But as soon as he's got some rest, he's out of that funk and back to craving everyone's attention.

I'm new to the GSD, so my opinions are newly forming. To me they seem to be a very vocal dog, but I would pay more attention to all the physical signs the previous posts mentioned. They show an uneasiness, and a probable plea for more space.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess my fear has just started as I didn't know if he was actually growling or not but I feel better now after reading this so that shouldn't be an issue anymore. It also just never occurred to me that maybe he didn't want to be bothered as I don't get to spend much time with him as it is

He just came up to me on his own this morning and gave me kisses with ears pinned so I guess I have a hard time reading him some times?? But I'll listen to his talking as the major sign




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Old 02-13-2014, 10:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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To me it looks like he just doesn't like the type of affection you are giving him. It doesn't look like aggression... But more of a "you're annoying me just let me sleep."


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Old 02-13-2014, 10:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I guess my fear has just started as I didn't know if he was actually growling or not but I feel better now after reading this so that shouldn't be an issue anymore. It also just never occurred to me that maybe he didn't want to be bothered as I don't get to spend much time with him as it is

He just came up to me on his own this morning and gave me kisses with ears pinned so I guess I have a hard time reading him some times?? But I'll listen to his talking as the major sign
You might want to find a book or dvd on dog signals. The thing is you need to look at the entire dog not just ears, or not just the tail, for example. My female interacts with me with her ears back on her head, however, everything else about her posture tells me she wants attention.

We humans like to do the touchy-feely (primate) thing but that isn't really a dog behavior. Not saying that we can't condition (some of) our dogs to tolerate and even like it. But a dog would prefer your interaction to be something that is K9ish, so fetch, tug, hiking, whatever activity your dog likes.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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He's not enjoying that attention. You can see a tiny bit of a snarl in there as well. Your voice sounds kind of panicky at the end too - this isn't a good way to demonstrate your affection with Eli. Instead of doing this, find something he really enjoys (like a game) and bond together like that instead.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the perspective everyone!!


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