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Ruby just started growling at us if she us on the couch and we pick her up to move her or when we need her to go in the crate. Last night she even snapped and bit my husband. We reprimanded her and made her go sleep on her pet bed and not the couch.

What is the best way of correcting this? Is she just testing us?
 

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Mischa linked some good threads. They also show there are varying opinions on how to handle your situation. Ruby is testing you. She's attempting to be the dominant one, and this is not unusual; however, it should not be allowed. You set the boundaries on the sofa. I ask our V pup to "down" before going outside or periodically when playing etc., because I want her to understand I/we set rules. Pumpkin tested her limit 1 time w/ my daughter. I'm the type that reacts to growling/snap immediately. The consequence is swift & certain. I do not/did not hit, scream, or abuse, but I made my point clear. My way may not be the best or right, but I will not tolerate growling. After that incident, we practiced the circumstance in which it occurred everyday for the next 5 & periodically the next month or two. Maybe you could attach a leash to Ruby (she is old enough to be getting used to one), & when she's on the sofa, give her the command "off." If she growls or does not respond, pick up the leash and pull her off while giving the command again. Do not ever treat after growling. Reward only if/when she gets off without growling. Keep practicing that, and set limits in other areas. Making her sit & wait for you to tell her "ok" when a meal is put down. You lead the way out the door. Ruby is testing the pecking order, and she will continue to be sweet cutie if you nip this in the bud asap. Just my 2 cents. If she's old enough, I highly recommend a puppy class for socialization & basic obedience. Best of luck!
 

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Just an update on Ruby. She is banned from the couch until she learns to only be on the couch when invited. We have noticed now that she sleeps on her dog bed and attempt to get her up for potty and crate for the night she did the same growl. We need to learn that this is not the best way to wake her and started putting a leash on her and calling her to wake up. This is working. She is getting better about the couch and is starting to lay on her bed but still does try the couch 1 or 2 times a day. Today I was sitting at a chair and she came up to lay in my lap (first time she has done this). I pet her for a few minutes and then started to move her to get down. She did a slight growl so it seems when she is comfortable she doesn't want to be told what to do.

We started obedience training at 8 weeks. She is so good at basic commands except "come" especially when outside. I have another session with the trainer tomorrow to work on these issues and leash training.
 

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Sounds like you are making good progress :) With consistent training like y'all are doing, she will get the picture. Best wishes! Ruby is adorable.
 

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I agree with Kellygh, RUBY IS ADORABLE! :-*

Don't be offended by her growling...they like to "test the waters" and see where they fit in with "the pack." You seem to be handling things just fine. ;)

I remember Sasha being a "spit of a thing" (couple months old) and we let her sleep with us one night. She growled and snapped when we tried to move her over. UH...NO. SORRY SWEETIE. AINT HAPPENING! :p

We promptly reprimanded her to let her know who was boss and she got the hint quickly.

Shortly thereafter, this sweet little girl of ours started the pecking order to see where she fit in. Started with my husband (at the time), then to me, then to my son (who was 14 at the time). Nipping, growling, biting, etc. We had to each put her on her back, hold her down and tell her firmly, NO!

So instinctual in them. ;)
 

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RubyRoo said:
We need to learn that this is not the best way to wake her and started putting a leash on her and calling her to wake up. This is working.

She did a slight growl so it seems when she is comfortable she doesn't want to be told what to do.
I'm not so sure it's working. You may not want to hear this but -> Your dog needs to be told what to do. Especially a Vizsla. They are dogs that need direction and should be told what is acceptable and what isn't. If Copper growled at me when he woke up, I would whack him! :) Well, maybe not; but, it is not acceptable and I can't believe that she doesn't hear you coming. Are you are actually waking up a bird dog? ??? :eek: Any time of day or night a dog should be ready to respond to a command. I think she is training you on how to approach her and when. You guys need to decide if that is OK with you. What happens if she grows up and is 60 pounds of muscle and teeth? Would it be OK if she growled and showed her teeth when she woke up every day? She is definitely trying to run the joint. In my house the Master runs the joint not the dogs. ;D
 

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Linescreamer said:
RubyRoo said:
We need to learn that this is not the best way to wake her and started putting a leash on her and calling her to wake up. This is working.

She did a slight growl so it seems when she is comfortable she doesn't want to be told what to do.
I'm not so sure it's working. You may not want to hear this but -> Your dog needs to be told what to do. Especially a Vizsla. They are dogs that need direction and should be told what is acceptable and what isn't. If Copper growled at me when he woke up, I would whack him! :) Well, maybe not; but, it is not acceptable and I can't believe that she doesn't hear you coming. Are you are actually waking up a bird dog? ??? :eek: Any time of day or night a dog should be ready to respond to a command. I think she is training you on how to approach her and when. You guys need to decide if that is OK with you. What happens if she grows up and is 60 pounds of muscle and teeth? Would it be OK if she growled and showed her teeth when she woke up every day? She is definitely trying to run the joint. In my house the Master runs the joint not the dogs. ;D
I agree 100%
The best way to wake your dog is how ever you want.

What happens when she is napping and your niece/nephew tugs her ear? Is it ok if your dog growls and scares the kids, or worse, bites, because she doesn't like being woken up when she's comfortable??

These dogs are the most special breed that I have ever encountered. I am completely in love with my little girl, but when she breaks the rules, she isn't my little sweetheart, she is a dog who needs to be disciplined.

Dogs crave structure. It's up to us to give them that by praising good behaviour and punishing bad behaviour.
I don't know how to use positive punishment techniques, so I personally would keep it simple. Dog growls in aggressive manner, dog gets pinned on its side before it's done growling.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi All,

I appreciate all of the comments. I just want to make it clear that I don't feel that growling is acceptable ever and don't want to adjust to HER behavior. My question is however I wake her whether it be moved her or tell her to come, I want to know if she growls then HOW do I reprimand her. We are trying different things since the issue is not fixed. We have yelled at her especially my husband and he is a loud 6'5" man every time it happened. Obviously that is not working since she did it again the next night.
 

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RubyRoo said:
Hi All,

I appreciate all of the comments. I just want to make it clear that I don't feel that growling is acceptable ever and don't want to adjust to HER behavior. My question is however I wake her whether it be moved her or tell her to come, I want to know if she growls then HOW do I reprimand her. We are trying different things since the issue is not fixed. We have yelled at her especially my husband and he is a loud 6'5" man every time it happened. Obviously that is not working since she did it again the next night.
You can't get your message across with anger. I know it's easier said than done, but anger is insanity. Dogs don't respond to insanity, they respond to calm leaders.

Is your boss someone you can approach with a problem, or do you shy away from telling him/her because they fly off the handle?
Be a good boss to your dog.
When she growls it isn't because she hates you, it's because it's her way of saying no at that time. You need to find a way to make your no mean more to her than her no.

Still with me? lol
I mentioned a very simple technique above, and expanded on it in detail in one of the threads that I linked.
It's your call if you want to go that route, but we had similar trouble with our "NO" before hiring a trainer and learning how to get out message across.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Mischa said:
RubyRoo said:
Hi All,

I appreciate all of the comments. I just want to make it clear that I don't feel that growling is acceptable ever and don't want to adjust to HER behavior. My question is however I wake her whether it be moved her or tell her to come, I want to know if she growls then HOW do I reprimand her. We are trying different things since the issue is not fixed. We have yelled at her especially my husband and he is a loud 6'5" man every time it happened. Obviously that is not working since she did it again the next night.
You can't get your message across with anger. I know it's easier said than done, but anger is insanity. Dogs don't respond to insanity, they respond to calm leaders.

Is your boss someone you can approach with a problem, or do you shy away from telling him/her because they fly off the handle?
Be a good boss to your dog.
When she growls it isn't because she hates you, it's because it's her way of saying no at that time. You need to find a way to make your no mean more to her than her no.

Still with me? lol
I mentioned a very simple technique above, and expanded on it in detail in one of the threads that I linked.
It's your call if you want to go that route, but we had similar trouble with our "NO" before hiring a trainer and learning how to get out message across.

Mischa - Thank you for your response. I have our trainer coming tomorrow morning so I will ask. They have taught us instead of using the word "no" we use a"bah" (it sounds like a growl). It is kinda working and discussing that with the trainer that when she is in crazy running V mode it doesn't work.
Ruby is sleeping right now and I purposely went to her bed and moved her a little and out came a little growl - I put her on her back and did the "bah" not yelling. She looked at me and got up and walked to the other side of the room and layed down....stubborn V's :) I had her come back to bed, moved her again and she did not growl.

Also, forgot to mention to the other posters -thank you for saying my Ruby is adorable. I think so too but I am a proud mom ;D
 

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Now I feel bad...your dog is most definitely adorable! :D
Funny how quick that cute little face melts the anger, huh?

Your bah reminded me of what our trainer taught us. "THAT'S ENOUGH" with sort of a coughing/barking tone towards the end of enough.
I save that one for when she's being a real jerk. lol


I'm sure this will be a thing of the past in no time. These dogs are smart and they do aim to please. It's just a matter of us learning how to communicate what we want. I'm sure my dog is capable of much more than I am able to teach.
 

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RubyRoo-I'm going to preface what I say with I am no expert, and there are a lot of folks who disagree with my method. That being said, I have always handled growling of any dog/pup we've had the same way. It has worked for me. When Pumpkin tested her limits by growling @ my daughter when she was on her bed in the kitchen, this is what I did. I grabbed her by the scruff (back of neck) & picked her up 2 ft off the ground, & I gave Pumpkin a very sharp, deep "no" almost before she took her next breath. I didn't scream at her or shake her but voice told her I was no joke. After that, I put her back on her bed, and we repeated exercises with my kids being near & on her bed while she was resting, chewing a bone or toy, or just hanging out. I had my kids (me too) give & take away toys, wake her up, and practice the same around her crate & food bowl. Had she growled again, I would have again grabbed her swiftly by the scruff. We had one puppy years ago that was grabbed by the scruff 3x before she got the full message. If Pumpkin were growling at me on my sofa, I would swiftly grab her by the scruff, give a meaningful"no," & remove her from the sofa. If I were to get bit, so be it. I would keep repeating the exercise until there is no growling. At that point, I would praise/reward like crazy. When the growling has ceased, then I would begin working on the "off" command, because at that point, my pup knows that I will remove them regardless. Again, I'm not advocating my method (which is why I didn't bring it up to begin with), but it works for me. Yes, I know Vs are soft, but I have 3 kids, & I can not/will not tolerate growling of any sort (even in the too frequent moments when my 3 y/o deserves a good snap ;) ). You are making progress, and I'm sure your trainer will have some good suggestions. Let us know how it is going. Best wishes!
 

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After reading what all of you have said, it is really helpful to us right now. Pacer is 11 mths old and his growling has gotten worse. We take him to day care and the owner is a trainer, so we have started working with her. She told us not to allow Pacer in our bed any more, move his crate to the basement (or a room other than our own), start feeding him in his crate and never let him eat until after we've both eaten. We just started working on all of this yesterday. We have two crates, one downstairs and one still in our bedroom. We are having him sleep in the one downstairs, but crate him in the one upstairs during the day while at work. Reason being, we can't leave any blankets in his crate during the day because he eats them and it can get chilly in the basement. He made it through the night without crying, but he was exhausted.
I guess I should say that he growls anytime we try to wake him up to go out, no matter where he is laying, growls if we are near him sometimes when he is eating, also when he has a special food treat. He about snapped my hand off last weekend. My husband and I reacted to it immediately but we are not experienced so we needed help. The trainer has also told us to keep a leash on him when he is eating, sleeping, etc. that way we can tug on it to snap him out of it. She had us trying the trade game with the food growling ("look if you let me have your food you get a really great treat") and that did not work at all! It sounds like a lot of your suggestions are very similar which makes me feel good, but it's really hard to look at that cute little face wanting to snuggle in bed with you and not be allowed to let him up! Hopefully all of this teaches him his place our household. We do not have any kids yet, but will someday and we cannot have him snapping at children.
 

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Yeah...how could you yell at that cutie! :) Good responces here. I would use body language and a deep voice. My 12 year old son is really good at this. He often walks into the room and will purposely walk right at Copper and if he doesn't move, he will push him aside with his leg as he passes. Copper also has a habit of trying to be the first one out the door or at the door when someone is coming into the house. I will put my lower leg across his chest and slide him back a few feet and say stay Copper (in a deep stern voice). He will try to advance forward and go under or around me and I just do it again and put him in his place and say stay Copper. Copper then looks at me and whines gives me little barks and an aroorroorooo while tap dancing in place! I say stay Copper it's OK, I know you're excited. Stay Copper. You see, most times we can get the point across by standing in front of them, moving then over and showing them who is boss, or just and deeper stern voice. :)
 

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Our Max (rescue V) is 17 mo. old and was barely trained basic commands, not disciplined or doggie socialized. :eek: The initial owners did Max such a disservice! No wonder they didn't want him anymore. :(

We are working behind the 8 ball, but I will not let him win. ;)

My boyfriend said that if Max wasn't so cute, he'd be a rug in front of the fireplace. ;D

When he gets annoying and in the face of other dogs he is playing with (mine included), they will first bark/growl, if he doesn't stop the behavior they seem to push him on his back quarter hind leg and then they will nip (he cries like a baby). But it HAS to be done!

When he gets out of hand with us (hyper, barking, biting), we will usually grab him by the scruff of the neck and say, "EH!" or "NO!" If it doesn't stop then, we take his lanky, squiggly body and put him on his back, put our face into his neck and hold him there until he submits. Once he is allowed up, he licks our hand.

Just like children, an undisciplined, unstructured dog = a brat! I don't want a bratty dog that no one wants to be around.

Here's some pictures of our "work in progress." ::)
 

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