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Discussion Starter #1
At Woofstock on the weekend I saw several dogs getting in other dog's faces/spaces and the dog correcting this behaviour with a growl. Some owners corrected the growling dog with a "now be nice" and a leash pop, and others did nothing but removed their dog. The rude dog's owners looked like they wanted to correct the growling dog and saw nothing wrong with their dog's actions in the first place.

The owners that did nothing to correct their dog growling at a rude dog was the way to go according to the article I just read "He Just Wants to Say Hi" (posted in Aggression section).

I was having this discussion with the group that I was with and opinions varried. My husband thought that the growling dog should have been corrected, because that is behaviour you want to discourage and could escalate. He also saw the incidents, but didn't see the other dog being rude (doesn't know what is considered rude). He said since he can't do anything to the other dog, he would have corrected his dog and that people expected you to correct a growling dog. Others thought that the dog was correcting the rude behaviour in dog language and what is the big deal as they are dogs and have handled it.

If that were Dakota my husband would have leash corrected her and then verbally corrected her, for telling another dog to back away. He said that it would have been an automatic reaction.

Would love to hear other's opinions.
 

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I allow dog-dog corrections. But, I don't really allow my dogs to interact with "outside" dogs that are not in our pack, or do not belong to friends who feel the same way about dog behavior. I guess at this point I know my dogs well enough to know what means "hey stop" and what would pick a fight. Sometimes I will say "thank you that's enough" but not really correct my dog, especially if the reason they growled or snapped is b/c the other dog was inappropriate.
 

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I'm a bit of a meanie I guess. I correct immediatly in Ozzy's case at first a pop on the lead, then removal from the situation including leaving and not allowing him to be in a similar situation until I think he's ready.
Mine get the ignore command as soon as they see another dog and the ears and tails go up, wagging. I wouldn't say I would growl at them, but my command voice as they have gotten older is lower and more from the throat.
I don't care if another dog is in their space or being rude, or whatever, they don't react. We leave.

There was a time with Oz at the beginning where is he saw another dog he was on his hind legs straining at the lead to "meet". I don't like that. I am their only friend. When we would enocunter another dog on a walk they would be quickened by and told to ignore, even taking up slack on the lead to ensure they didn't interact with the other dog. It is very important to me that my dogs go in public without any chance of incidences of even misinterpreted agression. Now when we enocunter other dogs, they are told to ignore, sometimes I get a disgruntled sound from them, and whether the dog is on-lead, off-lead etc., mine walk right on by.
 

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Sadly, I am the owner of one of the "rude dogs". We have been diligently working on Pheonix's doggie-doggie manners. He truly has no idea what is acceptable doggie to doggie behavior nor does he understand most doggie language. He can come upon (and has) a dog w/ lips pulled back and snarling and go into a down dog play position. He just doesn't "get it". I have had to learn how to read other dogs when we meet them. If another dog growls at him, I tell the owner it's ok, it's not their dog...it's mine and we are working on our manners... I hate seeing an owner correct their dog for my dog's behavior. I have worked hard on meetings on leash. I don't want it to get to the point where the dog growls. Trying to enforce to Phoenix what is acceptable and what is not.

Wishing like heck he'd encounter an alpha beyach, like my brother's husky, who taught my Dakota manners. He easily outweighed her by 60lbs but she was queen bee and he knew when to step back in line...
 

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Correcting this type of doggie signals (growling at other dogs) without looking at why he is growling, could make him skip the growl and go right to the attack.

What you should do is find out why he is growling (is the other dog rude, is your dog fearful, etc) and work him from there. If the other dog is just plain rude, ask the owner to take him away or take yours away. If your dog is fearful, build his confidence. If your dog just doesn't like other dogs, show him they aren't bad. Some dogs like every dog they will ever meet, and will put up with anything. Some dogs have a tolerance threshold of what all they will put up with.If the threshold is too low (that dog glanced my way! Oh no!), you should work to build the threshold.
 

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Based on some discussions in other threads regarding growling, I was going to ask about the danger of inadvertently teaching your dog not to give a warning if corrected for growling at a rude dog. I think I agree with Victoria that you should try and assess the situation before just giving a correction.
The ignore command (ozzymama's comment) and leaving seems like a reasonable option as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree with assessing the situation. But the one I saw at Woofstock was one dog correcting a rude dog, sniffing turned to mounting. Over, done with in two seconds with the message getting accross. The 2nd dog charged another dog, again growl, back down, over and done with.

I was thinking the same thing. If you corrected your dog for giving another dog a correction for growling then one time the dog may not give a warning and just react. Of course avoidance is the best, but sometimes things can happen very fast.
 

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I would not correct a dog for growling. First of all if you give corrections for growling often enough some dogs will learn not to growl which is definitely NOT something you want because that growl is a warning and if you remove the warning they may go straight to a bite.

Second if a dog is corrected for interacting with another dog they may learn to associate the correction with the other dog and this can cause more reactive or aggressive behavior in the future around other dogs.
 
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