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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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What does it mean?

I am still working on learning the "game" with the tug. Lots of improvements from the previous post. He is enjoying the game now and "outing" much better. I am even able to start adding in a little OB without him going into "overdrive".

Today I am working from home. I needed a break so I took Bison outside for a quick round of tug. About 3 minutes into play, he GROWLED! This was shocking to me. He is almost 4 and I have never heard him growl until about two weeks ago when he growled during protection work.

I don't know how to read that reaction. What does this mean?

Amy
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 03:23 PM
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Re: What does it mean?

Was it an aggressive growl or a talking growl? I wouldn't be too worried about it if it was an excited "play" growl. Elsa growls during tug and when she wants you to chace her. It's a super-excited play, play, play!!!! growl than a "you better leave me alone" growl....

I think all dogs are different. Elsa also gets her hackles up playing ball with herself in the backyard...she's something!

But I'm just speaking as a regular dog owner and not an Sch person.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: GSDElsaWas it an aggressive growl or a talking growl?
Difficult to tell because he never growls. With Moose I can tell the difference because I have a point of reference.

When he did it, I just talked to him in a normal tone and when he stopped, I asked him to out the tug and he did. So, my best guess would be that it wasn't a threat growl.

Amy
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 03:53 PM
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Re: What does it mean?

What was happening when he growled? My understanding is that you don't want growling in SchH though I've never really asked why. Hopefully some experienced members can explain...
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What does it mean?

He had a good full grip on the tug and I was pulling on the handles. His posture, eye expression, ear expression... were not any different than they normally are.

Amy
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 04:00 PM
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Re: What does it mean?

Sounds like a play "talking" growl, vocalizing frustration and drive.

The expression always answers that question.. if it's the same open, happy expression as always when he plays, then that's what it is. A nasty, worrisome growl would be unusual in that sort of play situation (and knowing Bison just plain not going to happen), but would definitely be identified by a change in expression.

Playful expression = playful vocalization.


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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 04:08 PM
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Re: What does it mean?

My understanding when a dog growls he his protecting himself. they don't want growls it can escalate to biting.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Chris WildSounds like a play "talking" growl, vocalizing frustration and drive.

The expression always answers that question.. if it's the same open, happy expression as always when he plays, then that's what it is. A nasty, worrisome growl would be unusual in that sort of play situation (and knowing Bison just plain not going to happen), but would definitely be identified by a change in expression.

Playful expression = playful vocalization.
That makes sense. I wouldn't call the expression "happy", more "intense". It is that ears back, eye widdened stare. When he "outed" he had the "happy" look thought. Think the same holds true with the intense look?

He only did this two times during about 10 minutes of playing. I just talked calmly to him. I did say a firm but even toned "No." I had him out and then let him win the tug. I didn't want to reinforce the growl by letting him win the game at that point, but also didn't want the drive to escalate out of control.

Any additional suggestions on how to handle this?

Amy
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Grizzly vom Buchonia
RIP- Bear*Gator*Moose

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 04:34 PM
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Re: What does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: RuthieHe had a good full grip on the tug and I was pulling on the handles. His posture, eye expression, ear expression... were not any different than they normally are.
Oh, then it's probably fine. I was thinking if he was feeling pressure or something that might be bad. Nikon growls a lot when he's playing with my other dogs, but it's different than if he is growling because he is unsure of himeslf.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-27-2009, 04:56 PM
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Re: What does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: FredDMy understanding when a dog growls he his protecting himself. they don't want growls it can escalate to biting.
A lot of dogs have a "play" growl. Some dogs can be very vocal in play. Like the others said, the dog's expression and body language will tell you a lot about the kind of growl it is.

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