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  #11  
Old 06-13-2012, 03:26 PM
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I couldn't say for sure, for every dog, but I had enough of it, and used the solution of "teach a barker to bark on command, then to not bark on command", and this is what I got:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcg9_8xoHsg
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  #12  
Old 06-14-2012, 12:48 PM
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Pretty neat Welch. It really looks like your dog is . If it's really just a trick, then cool! The thing is, the OP's dog doesn't sound like it's just about barking...ie: yapping. There's something else going on that needs to be addressed....from the bottom up. If she just put barking and not barking on cue, that wouldn't solve the issue the dog is having which is producing the growling, I don't think.
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  #13  
Old 06-14-2012, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
If she just put barking and not barking on cue, that wouldn't solve the issue the dog is having which is producing the growling, I don't think.
Maybe it depends on the dog, but this is actually part of what McDevitt utilizes in CU quite extensively. Things like the Dog in Your Face game, Look at That, etc. The mere act of putting the uncomfortable situation on cue and creating structured game out it does help resolve the issue. She calls it "reframing". I personally find it to work really well with motivated, marker-savvy, operant dogs.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:08 PM
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Welsh, I can't watch video of barking dog right now...I'm at the library.

Carrie, as the OP, I can assure you that at the moment I don't have a dog with a growling issue...barking, yes, but I've never tried to change that. The question was put up as a curiosity and because when doing web searches I came up with an awful lot of conflicting answers, ranging from "go for it!" to "never ever!".

So I figured I'd ask here where I know the people replying and know whether or not to trust what they say.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:28 PM
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Very interesting discussion. I don’t know... I think there can be so many different things behind a growl, that its really hard to say, you’d just have to take it on a case by case basis...

We have danes, and danes are very vocal and “grumbly”. Breez will growl because the sun came up. She growls to get you to play, she growls at the other dogs when she’s tired and bitchy, she growls when she’s happy... She just talks - a lot.

The first time I heard Lunar growl I did praise him like crazy because he didn’t have a growl when he first came. I was toweling him off after a stream outing and was apparently too rough toweling off his privates. He scooted and growled and I told him he was a wonderful good boy and that I would be more careful with his delicate parts next time.

He does growl more now since he never did before, and personally I’m grateful for it. I’d much rather he be comfortable communicating his discomfort with a growl than with a bite! He’s also a lot more relaxed than he was before too.
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  #16  
Old 06-14-2012, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily View Post
Maybe it depends on the dog, but this is actually part of what McDevitt utilizes in CU quite extensively. Things like the Dog in Your Face game, Look at That, etc. The mere act of putting the uncomfortable situation on cue and creating structured game out it does help resolve the issue. She calls it "reframing". I personally find it to work really well with motivated, marker-savvy, operant dogs.
Precisely

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Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
Welsh, I can't watch video of barking dog right now...I'm at the library.
Oh no, don't worry about the sound, he's just growling, no barking. Here's a still photo though:


Grr face by ~WelshStump~, on Flickr

For Jinjo, his growling was mostly resource guarding, it just got too annoying passing him in the living room with a chew, or his going over to the door of the room where I use to keep his food and sitting there growling. By putting it on cue I could make him stop but I also found he changed his attitude as well at that moment "Guard, guard, guard..." "Hushhhh" "Oh Cookie!!! More cookie? Please, more cookie?" You can see that mid video, he found where the cookies where and was more reluctant to perform again, lol.

This may not work for every growl situation, me personally, I do like my dogs to growl as it ends up being "all talk", to me a quiet dog is a dangerous dog. But with Jinj who took it over the top and still does, I can just give him a Hush command and he changes his attitude.

I don't think I would ever praise a dog who's growling though, to me it is more just listening to find out "why" they are growling, then try and fix the situation. Enda growls, for her it's a moment of being uncomfortable usually, she growls at other dogs when we're out often, she's not very social. She turns her head and gives a low growl as to say "I'm uncomfortable with this/you", and for her I just give her the space to move away and call her over to me. I might pet her or talk to her a softly as we move away.
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:40 PM
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Zander doesn't growl in anger, so I wouldn't even know where to begin with something like that. He'll yell in annoyance, happiness, playfulness, talk just to talk, so on so forth. But he doesn't really growl or snarl in any aggressive, frightened, or dominant sort of behavior. He stiffens and he looks away. If you continue, he'll just grumble and walk away with a huff, puff, pout. He's just too much of a pushover, I guess. And when it comes to aggressive behaviors, he thinks it's all a game. So I suppose it's partly dorky clown as well.

I've always rewarded him for EVERY sound that comes out of his mouth though. I love vocal dogs that TELL you what they want. More quiet/reserved dogs...they make me nervous. Lol. I'm too afraid I'll miss something when looking at body language. So I'd probably treat a growl anyway.

Interesting discussion.
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  #18  
Old 06-14-2012, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyzelle View Post
I've always rewarded him for EVERY sound that comes out of his mouth though. I love vocal dogs that TELL you what they want. More quiet/reserved dogs...they make me nervous. Lol. I'm too afraid I'll miss something when looking at body language. So I'd probably treat a growl anyway.
I agree with this. The quiet ones ALWAYS explode, eventually.

I love vocal dogs! Their bark is far, far worse than their bite and that's ideal. My dogs will grumble at each other, but it's never escalated past that and I appreciate that they have conversations. I would correct/redirect/body block/put Gonzo away when ever he growled at Fozzie as a puppy. He hated him and refused to have anything to do with him. Once I was sick of it, and just let them communicate freely, giving each of them lots of praise and rewards in each other's presence, they became best friends. They'll be the first to snark at a rude dog, but have never laid a tooth on another dog. People look horrified like "did your dog just GROWL?! BAD DOG!" and I tell them to kindly stop trying to correct my dog for communicating. A growl is not a promise of a fight, it's a way to prevent a fight! Every dog fight I saw in daycamp started with two silent, frozen dogs - not dogs who effectively warned each other and understood each other's boundaries.

I do not feel that rewarding/praising a growling dog reinforces aggression, at all. That to me is on par with the myth that comforting a crying baby will make them cry all the time. Dogs don't want to be afraid, it's not fun for them, it's stressful and taxing on them... and all warnings, displays, and aggression stems from fear. To introduce rewards & praise when they're reacting is to change their state of mind and change the way they look at what they fear. I'm deathly afraid of spiders. But if a hundred dollar bill fell from the sky every time I saw a spider, I would be delighted by them.
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  #19  
Old 06-18-2012, 11:54 AM
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In Archie's case, that's exactly what I did to handle the biting issue. He was pretty much a grumpy old man, but when upset, he would launch directly into a bite. Not a snap or nip, a bite. His triggers were dogs, resource guarding, and handling.

I started off by praising any growling, and removing whatever te trigger was, while also working to desensitize him to those triggers.

After that, he growled all the time, but not so much biting! It was a great step in solving his aggression issues. He could actually communicate that he was upset, and solve the issue without biting.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ihartgonzo View Post
Dogs don't want to be afraid, it's not fun for them, it's stressful and taxing on them... and all warnings, displays, and aggression stems from fear.
This is what I've always thought. No animal wants to be in a state of fear, which should make it quite difficult to reinforce fear even if you tried, I think... Glad to hear others agree.

Not quite ALL aggression stems from fear, though, but I'd say 90-95% does.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazwell View Post
In Archie's case, that's exactly what I did to handle the biting issue. He was pretty much a grumpy old man, but when upset, he would launch directly into a bite. Not a snap or nip, a bite. His triggers were dogs, resource guarding, and handling.

I started off by praising any growling, and removing whatever te trigger was, while also working to desensitize him to those triggers.

After that, he growled all the time, but not so much biting! It was a great step in solving his aggression issues. He could actually communicate that he was upset, and solve the issue without biting.
That's actually what got me started thinking about this. The issue in question has been resolved for some time now, but a couple years ago Ares quit growling and would just bite the other dogs with no warning. So I set him up in ways that would (hopefully - and thankfully did) get him to give a growl instead, and I praised him. I praised him because I wanted him to growl. I needed him to give warnings.

As soon as I praised him, I noticed him relax a little, though.

Ultimately I ended up with him not only back to giving warnings, but being far more tolerant of things he used to very much want to kill.
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