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  #1  
Old 02-16-2016, 03:49 PM
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Default Help needed with growling puppy

Hi, we adopted a puppy that is now 11 weeks. He CONSTANTLY GROWLS!! No matter what we do, he growls at us. When we play, when we pick him up. I know that this growling is to tell us that he does not like something we are doing, but we aren't doing anything!! If we do not do what he wants, or let him do whatever he wants, he will growl. Even if we tell him no, he will "talk" back to us. I am very afraid that he will continue this, and run all over us. He is soo cute though, that I find myself allowing it. We have tried to ignore him, put him in "time out" in his kennel, not give him attention etc. but nothing works.

PLEASE HELP!! THANKS!
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:07 PM
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Is he frightened and trying to tell you to leave him alone?
You need to figure out why he is growling.
Please don't be worried he will 'run all over' you. I do think you should rethink your training methods though, punishment based methods do not work well with Chihuahuas. Telling a puppy 'no' is pointless unless he understands what behaviour you expect from him.
So praise/reward him when he is doing the right thing, and set things up so he can only do what you find acceptable.
It shouldn't be a power struggle, you are there to help shape his behaviour.
"If we do not do what he wants, or let him do whatever he wants, he will growl." Can you be more specific? What do you think he wants?
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:17 AM
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Is there a toy that he really loves? How about a treat that he only gets when you pick him up? I'd put that toy near the chair/couch and when you pick him up he gets that. ONLY when you pick him up. He has to have his mind changed about being picked up. Also I would ignore his growling. Just go ahead and do what you have to do.

I had a puppy 12 weeks old that was a fear biter. Even at that age. I just ignored her growls and snarles. I picked her up, cuddled her. Did her nails, took her to puppy school and at 16 weeks she had stopped that behavior with me. Even now, 7 yrs later, she will snap at vets who try to pick her up from the floor. Her behavior came/comes from extreme anxiety, which I did not see until I had paid for her and taken her home. I love her, but-----.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:19 AM
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I agree with everyone here, keep loving her and use positive reinforcement has been the best method of training for my chis.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:16 PM
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Mine growls like crazy when we play, but that's just his style! Could it also be he's too tired?

Maybe you could try rewarding him when he's quiet. For example, if you've picked him up let him down once he's quiet. Mine would struggle when he was around the same age and we picked him up. With such a little dog that can be dangerous so we only ever let him down once he was still and he grew out of that habit.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:51 PM
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He is not a fear biter and he has really never bitten when he growls he just growls. It can be any one of us too, its not person specific. If he wants to play with my son (who's and I am holding him, he will growl until I let him down to go play. I swear its like a child who is talking back!! I am going to try the treat idea, he loves treats! It just frightens me, I don't want him to grow up growling and biting
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:29 PM
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When you want to pick him up have a yummy treat that he gets only then. a piece of chicken or something then let him nibble it as you pick him up. when he is sitting with you give him a little chicken to remind him that yummy things happen around you. you will eventually be able to put the chicken down a little ways away from him and as he runs to get it say the word 'come' and he will learn that means to come to you.

It sounds to me he has learned that the growl has produced results. He growls you put your child down to play. So next time he growls you do not put your child down to play. What will happen is extinction burst. he will growl more and louder. ignore it do not put your child down. the very second he is quiet but the child down and say 'good' he will learn he has to be quiet to get a response.


this was accidental learning on your part I think it happens all the time. One time my chi licked my foot and I picked her up and put her in her chair (yes she has her own chair) and from that point on when she wants to be picked up she licked my foot. Accidental learning



Please please please do not discourage the growl it self. Dogs learn they can not growl so they skip that part then when they bite someone every one goes 'he did it without warning' ya because he was taught not to warn people.

Last edited by nytetears; 03-20-2016 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:08 AM
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I know I will be hated by many for this, but I'll just be honest and tell my story. I had a rescue/growler (my daughter rescued him in college then abandoned him here with Mom and Dad when she got married and her new hubby wouldn't put up with "Little Man") Little Man loved women and hated men. He kept growling at me every time I even spoke in my own home. When I tried to correct him, the girls protected him and cuddled him and said "He can't help it, he was abused". So I just sort of tiptoed around for a few months, living in the shadow of this aggressive little bastard.
Well, one day I was in a very surly mood for reasons I can't recall and went storming down the hallway and Little Man jumped in my path, raised his hackles, and started snarling at me. I snapped and my pent up anger got the better of me and he went flying against the wall. Well that was the last time he growled at me and from that day forward, he turned out to be the best dog we ever had. My best buddy. After many great years, he died of old age last summer. Great little dog. True story. Please don't hate me.
I have now rescued another 7-month old chihuahua who loves everyone, including mean old Daddy. That's him in the picture. Otis is a real snuggler. He has taken the pain of the loss of Little Man away and I look forward to many great years ahead. Best breed ever. I'm a changed man. Full of love and tenderhearted. Thank you Little Man I miss you so much.

Last edited by DaveBoy1810; 03-21-2017 at 01:39 AM.
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