Tired puppy growling
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Thread: Tired puppy growling

  1. #1
    Senior Member Toabster's Avatar
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    Tired puppy growling

    Hello everyone!

    I have a quick question with regards to my 12 week old puppy. He has been an absolute treat to have around, but there is one small thing which I am unsure how to deal with.

    In the evening, around 9pm, we take him out for one last pee and then off to his crate downstairs. At this time he's almost inevitably sleeping on the couch. When we try to pick him up to take him to the door, he's usually super tired and for the last few days he's expressed his displeasure with a growl.

    Do I want to address this growl (with a stern NO!) or simply ignore it, and pick him up. On the one hand I do not want to act like it's OK for him to growl at us, on the other hand, I do not want to escalate the situation and make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Thanks in advance and Happy New Year!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Tired puppy growling

    You don't want to correct a growl since the growl is a dog's way of warning you that he is unhappy/annoyed. If you teach a dog not to growl, he will skip the warning and go right to snapping/biting the next time he is overly annoyed.

    Have you tried waking him up in a calmer way then picking him up? Dogs in general don't like to be picked up although it is good to teach them to tolerate it so that if they are hurt or sick you can pick them up at the vets or for lifting onto grooming tables or into cars etc.

    Try petting him gently and saying his name firmly but not sharply so he wakes up. Then step back and ask him to "Come" while you hold his leash (assuming you are putting a leash on him for taking him out). Offer a small treat when he obeys. See if he just climbs off the couch after you.

    If he still growls, there might be more to it and maybe he shouldn't have couch privileges yet.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: Tired puppy growling

    I agree with Shell. Are you making SURE you let the dog know you're coming, and it's time to get up? If you're not, you need to. It is rather unfair (and rude) to just go and pick him up without warning.

    Whenever I need to get my puppies to do something, or I need to pick them up, I always say their name and then pick them up. I have GSDs, so picking up gets harder as they get bigger, but if I need to, I can. My eldest dog is almost 7 years old and weighs almost 90 pounds, but I can still pick him up if I need to. My little bitch is going on a year and weighs 50 pounds (quite a difference, huh?) and I can hoist her up around my shoulders if need be....but never do I just walk up to either of them and attempt to pick them up, asleep or otherwise.

    Just say the puppy's name to get them awake and aware that you're coming, and the problem most likely will stop.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Toabster's Avatar
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    Re: Tired puppy growling

    Sorry, I thought it went without saying that I say his name and gently pet him before I try to take him off the couch. Of course I'd never just come and pick him up without a heads up.

    The only thing that you mentioned which I have not done is treated Max when he came to me off the couch. I'll try that.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Tired puppy growling

    grumpy, sleepy tired puppy = growling. I'd growl too..lol. He doesn't WANT to get up and go out in the cold to pee. Yes, he MUST do it, but you need to work to ensure that getting up and off the couch is an AWESOME thing, hence the suggestion to treat him (even if you have to lure him off the first 2 or 3 times). It makes it worth his while to be woken up.

    There is great truth to the old adage "Let sleeping dogs lie". Dogs are programmed to respond to disturbances with warnings and to startle awake, this immediately puts them on guard and is a benefit instinctively and the behaviour is important to condition in a positive manner.

    I would also keep an eye out that he is not guarding his area on the couch from you. If so, then couch priveleges need to be revoked, while you condition the pup to know that you moving him from anywhere or removing things from him is a GOOD thing by rewarding him each time he leaves a "thing" to you.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member LazyGRanch713's Avatar
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    Re: Tired puppy growling

    Quote Originally Posted by Toabster View Post
    Hello everyone!

    I have a quick question with regards to my 12 week old puppy. He has been an absolute treat to have around, but there is one small thing which I am unsure how to deal with.

    In the evening, around 9pm, we take him out for one last pee and then off to his crate downstairs. At this time he's almost inevitably sleeping on the couch. When we try to pick him up to take him to the door, he's usually super tired and for the last few days he's expressed his displeasure with a growl.

    Do I want to address this growl (with a stern NO!) or simply ignore it, and pick him up. On the one hand I do not want to act like it's OK for him to growl at us, on the other hand, I do not want to escalate the situation and make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Thanks in advance and Happy New Year!
    What kind of "growl"? When my youngest (Tag) is picked up from a sound sleep, he stays half asleep and makes a grunty-groany noise from the physical aspect of being picked up that sounds like a growl, but isn't in a growly context. (It's almost like picking him up knocks some of the wind out of him, and he goes "GRRMPHH").

  8. #7
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    Re: Tired puppy growling

    For me, with puppies, I ignore growling. I do not let it deter me from what I was doing with the puppy. I just keep on with what I was doing, usually with happy talk and soothing body/head rubbing.

    I have had several puppies that were big talkers as puppies. Milton was one, and Katie is another. Milt will still talk a little, but he does not mean malice with his vocalizations, his body language is all very soft and happy when he does it. Katie is very much the same way.

    With your pup there are several things you can try:
    Wake him up with a treat and lure him off the sofa.
    Sit down with him and wake him up with body massage and soothing talk.
    Prevent him from getting so cozy on the sofa. Provide him a bed of his own, for example, on the floor.

  9. #8
    Member Jayme182's Avatar
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    Re: Tired puppy growling

    Quote Originally Posted by LazyGRanch713 View Post
    What kind of "growl"? When my youngest (Tag) is picked up from a sound sleep, he stays half asleep and makes a grunty-groany noise from the physical aspect of being picked up that sounds like a growl, but isn't in a growly context. (It's almost like picking him up knocks some of the wind out of him, and he goes "GRRMPHH").
    I was going to ask the same thing. Lola "growls" at us if we wake her up or try to move her when she is sleeping (she's a bed hog!)... but it's not a mean growl just an annoyed-sounding growl like "leave me alone, I'm sleeping!"

  10. #9
    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: Tired puppy growling

    Quote Originally Posted by RedyreRottweilers View Post
    For me, with puppies, I ignore growling. I do not let it deter me from what I was doing with the puppy. I just keep on with what I was doing, usually with happy talk and soothing body/head rubbing.

    I have had several puppies that were big talkers as puppies. Milton was one, and Katie is another. Milt will still talk a little, but he does not mean malice with his vocalizations, his body language is all very soft and happy when he does it. Katie is very much the same way.

    With your pup there are several things you can try:
    Wake him up with a treat and lure him off the sofa.
    Sit down with him and wake him up with body massage and soothing talk.
    Prevent him from getting so cozy on the sofa. Provide him a bed of his own, for example, on the floor.
    I also do the ignore thing, pups can do no wrong. Pups/Babies get same treatment.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


  11. #10
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    Re: Tired puppy growling

    It's possible that it's Toabster's only Dog ?
    My male and Female have their own Bunks (separate)
    At "last call", I give a general call (special whistle) to let them know access to outside is available.
    I leave it up to them to attend the "outing".
    Usually both attend, there are times when one needs, and the other just goes along for the company.
    I like the idea of giving them a choice, which is why I don't do a direct contact to get them moving.
    However, if "accidents" were to start happening, that would give me cause to make sure "it" went.

    Have a good Day !
    S.W.

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