growling and snapping - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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growling and snapping

I have enjoyed reading all these posts for quite a while. They are so informative. We have had our puppy now for 2 1/2 weeks. She is really a good puppy, but last night growled and snapped as I tired to get her to get up to go outside before bed. She was sleeping in the crate in the kitchen and I sat on the floor and was talking to her and trying to get her up. She always makes a lot of growly sounds while sleeping anyway. Even when she is by herself. She had woke up and was looking at me and I was calling her out. She just laid there and was making those growly sounds she does. Well then I proceeded to pick her up and she really growled and turned and snapped at me. This is the first time she has ever displayed any type of behavior like this. I really want to nip this behavior. I have been working with her on basic commands but need some input on this. She just turned 10 weeks yesterday. Her name is Elaina. Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 08:44 AM
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Re: growling and snapping

> not acceptable and could be an indication of an independently minded dog.
Aggression is not typical Vizsla trait. You should be able to take the food away, pick them up without any fuss whenever you want.
You may try and trun the dog and pick it up with it's back toward you, hind legs on the ground. Maybe that makes a difference.



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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: growling and snapping

She was not eating, but sleeping in her crate, with the door open. I can put my hands in her bowl while she is eating and she has not problem at all with that. From the first day I worked
with her on her food. My children can do the same. I was just trying to get her to go outside for the last time
before bed. She is a very whiny puppy though. If she wants something and is not getting her way she will whine
terribly.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 09:04 AM
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Re: growling and snapping

Congrats on your new addition. After reading your post, I am wondering if the snapping came from you picking her up. Does she ever do that when she has been picked up by you before?

Our vizsla (who is 18 weeks) did NOT like being picked up and would sometimes snap at us. Our trainer had us play a game called, "Elevator" with her. We would say the word, "Elevator", my husband would pick her up, I would click (we use a clicker for clicker-training) and then give her 5 treats. Then we would say "okay", let her down and then 5-10 minutes later do it again. We did this 3-5 times a day for almost a month. She still doesn't really like being picked up, but she is used to it now and does not snap or growl.

Good luck!

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: growling and snapping

Thanks, I pick her up a lot. She really does not mind it at all. Sometimes she lets out a low growly noise that is very low. She sleeps in my room in a crate
and when she whines to get out because she needs to go to the bathroom, I open the door and she will not come out. I have to literally pull her out and
pick her up. I take her outside by carrying her. She usually goes to the bathroom around 9:00 - 9:30pm and then runs to the crate in the bedroom and sleeps
till 5:30 or 6. She will not get up on her own though to come out of the crate. I have even sat there for 5 to 10 min. coaxing her out. So when she was sleeping
in the crate in the kitchen I did not think anything about trying to get her out. She really sleeps a lot.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 11:03 AM
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Re: growling and snapping

Keep in mind that she's just ten weeks old... Just a little baby, really! She's grouchy when you wake her up. Maybe just a firm "No" will go far when she acts like that. True, it is not an acceptable behavior for an adult dog, but since she is so young, you can start working on it right now. Be very careful not to be harsh with her. Do not yell at her or get upset. Just say "No" when she growls or nips. She is just a baby.

I'm a little grouchy when somebody wakes me up, too. ;D

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can make him wag his tail." -- Kinky Friedman
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 11:41 AM
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Re: growling and snapping

I may be in the minority, but I handle growling & snapping very firmly & swiftly! NOT abusively, but I make it very clear, regardless of age, that growling or snapping under any circumstance will not be tolerated---ever! As mswipple said, your girl is a baby, so you have the opportunity to nip it the bud before the behavior becomes more established. Good luck!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 12:13 PM
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Re: growling and snapping

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellygh
I may be in the minority, but I handle growling & snapping very firmly & swiftly! NOT abusively, but I make it very clear, regardless of age, that growling or snapping under any circumstance will not be tolerated---ever! As mswipple said, your girl is a baby, so you have the opportunity to nip it the bud before the behavior becomes more established. Good luck!
Have to say I agree with this approach. NO, no one is suggesting you abuse the pup, but you can be firm and stop it now.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 01:36 PM
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Re: growling and snapping

I find her relationship with her crate interesting, especially that she whines but will not leave her crate and then when she goes out runs back into her crate. Does the growling and snapping only occur when the crate is involved or when she is sleeping anywhere?

I don't know all the circumstances, but I think i'll probably be more of the minority here than Kellygh. the one good thing about growling is that it's a warning. Granted, you don't want your dog growling at you at all, but what you especially don't want is a dog that reacts without the warning, so I'm not big on punishing a dog over a growl, but instead I like trying to change the dog's mind about what he/she perceives as worth growling over. This is just my suggestion, you don't have to agree with it, but I'd work on developing better recall with your dog, especially in trying to get her to come when called from her crate. She appears to love her crate, so I would work on reinforcing her when she leaves her crate. Whenever she comes out of her crate, she gets something awesome. I would feed her outside of her crate so she has to leave it. Basically, I would make her think that when she leaves her crate really good things happen.

On a side note, I don't know how you handle the whining, but if she whines for something, try to ignore it and only do things after she is calm and quiet (except major necessities like going to the bathroom at this age) or not at all if you don't want to do what she is asking. If you're already doing this, sorry & keep up the good work!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 05:06 PM
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Re: growling and snapping

I think the dog is WAY too young to assess this behavior in the way you would with an adult dog. It could be akin to puppy "nipping" (which puppies often do when they're tired). I would recommend asking your vet or puppy class instructor (if you have one) how to handle it. I would not recommend using any type of correction for a puppy. Don't assume this is the same as adult aggression. I wouldn't recommend using punishment/correction for adult aggression, either, but that's another ball of wax Also--was she fully awake when she did it? If not, next time, try gently waking her up by saying her name before trying to physically touch or move her.

I know "treats" gets us into another controversial territory, but I might recommend pairing treats with the nighttime awakenings for a little while, just to condition a positive association. You won't have to keep using them forever, just long enough that your dog comes to like/tolerate the nighttime awakenings. As I clarified on a different thread, I'm not recommending giving treats while she's growling, I'm recommending giving them before she starts growling.
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