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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When Angel is all snuggled in, either in my lap or next to me on a blanket (or with anyone for that matter) - he does not want to be disturbed! I cannot remember my other being like that or at least not as growly! If he is all comfy, and you try to move him or walk by him and he "thinks" you are going to move him, he will "attempt" ( but won't) to bite! Of course, my instant reaction is to pull back. Are any of your chis like that when they are all "comfy?"
 

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One of my chi's growls, too but doesn't attempt to bite. She did it the first day I brought her home when she was only six weeks old, so yeah, I think some of them are that way. I always tell her "no" sternly and then go ahead and move her because I think it will be easier to handle the growling before it becomes a huge issue. That being said, she is just a vocal girl. She even growls when she's playing. I have learned to hear the difference between just the normal growling and what she does when she's really mad.
 

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That's what I need to do, but he always catches me off guard and I instinctively pull away! Then he gets on his guard. He likes to sleep on our golden retriever, and he just called her to me and he attached HER!! ( he was sleeping on her) So, I told him no, bad boy, and put him in time out for a bit. It's hard to separate them, they snuggle right under my work station!
 

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Lion likes to sleep under the covers, and he will growl if Penny steps on him or tries to take his spot. He has only growled when I tried to move him a few times.
 

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Delilah does this in bed. She has to sleep by the back of my neck. So if I turn over, she walks over me to get on the other side. But once she's settled, she will growl at any dog that tries to curl up next to her or if I try to move her over a bit. She just tried growling at me a few times and when she does, she immediately gets put off the bed and she has to sleep in an open crate the rest of the night. Last night, she didn't try to growl at all so I think it may be working. It seems to have escaladed now that it's cold so I am trying to nip it in the bud.
 

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When Angel is all snuggled in, either in my lap or next to me on a blanket (or with anyone for that matter) - he does not want to be disturbed! I cannot remember my other being like that or at least not as growly! If he is all comfy, and you try to move him or walk by him and he "thinks" you are going to move him, he will "attempt" ( but won't) to bite! Of course, my instant reaction is to pull back. Are any of your chis like that when they are all "comfy?"
Whatever you do, don't jerk away! You're only reinforcong the behavior of biting when you do that.

This may not work for everyone.. but Teddy only attempted to nip me once as a puppy and I did this: He was guarding a toy that I was trying to pick up. I let him bite my hand (he was little so it didn't hurt), until he figured out that it wasn't making me go away. Then I picked up the toy and gave it back after a few seconds to show him that I have control of the toy. If I had shown fear and avoided him, it would have communicated that biting works really well at keeping people away from his toys/food/etc. I didn't want him to make that connection, so I nipped the problem in the bud right then and there. I was never mean about it. I think I gave an "uh-uh!" vocal correction, but no shaming or yelling or anything. After that we started playing the "take it/drop it" game for treats.

If your pup growls even slightly, I would immediately pick him up and set him off the bed/your lap (gently). I bet he'd only have to lose his comfy spot maybe three times before he figured out not to growl and that YOU control the bed, not him! This is negative punishment--taking something good away from the dog (ex. a comfy spot in bed) in order to decrease the frequency of bad behavior (ex. growling/biting). Never yell at a dog for growling as it can sometimes make them skip growling from then on and go straight to biting. Instead, take control of the thing they're guarding. That should help if you're 100% consistent and no-nonsense about it. It doesn't matter if you "know" that he's not serious about biting you. A child or stranger might not understand the dog's limits like you do. He needs to be taught that that's not acceptable with anybody, including (especially) you.

To answer your question though, no. Teddy never growls at me. Other than that one incident when he was a rebellious puppy testing his limits he has never growled or nipped at me (or anyone else, to my knowledge). If I ask him to move around in bed all I have to do is point where I want him to go and he's usually pretty good about moving.
 

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That is an excellent post and makes perfect sense. I will try that with Taz. She guards food and objects. I would like to stop that behaviour.
 

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My lot have always known from day one that any growling whilst on laps gets you put straight on the floor! Now even if they are fast asleep I can just roll them over, or move them and they will barely wake up!!LOL
They still sometimes growl if a cat tries to join them on my lap but after getting (gently) thrown off they tend to climb back up in a more contrite mood!!:)
 

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Please don't scold the dog. That teaches them to suppress their feelings, which can make them more likely to snap or bite without warning. It also doesn't make you seem like a great thing to be around when they are uncomfortable.

Instead, keep some kibbles or small treats in handy places and drop one to the dog as you go by. That way the dog learns that you moving by when he is insecure means treats rain from the sky! When they look at you expectantly as you go by, you can move on to reaching to the dog and giving them the treat directly. When they are comfortable with that, give a treat and pick the dog up or take the dog's toy. Put them right back down or give the toy right back. Now you are a trusted person that makes the dog comfortable and happy to be near you!
 
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