Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
It means neither. It means she was growled at (a threat), and is saying back "Don't mess with me, I will defend myself, back off, please" It's just dog language. Since they lack the luxury of words, the growl, snap, or bark. A snap is a waring, not an attack. She isn't trying to be "dominant" she's saying "don't threaten me". She may be a big dog, but she's most likely reacting this way from fear.

(I personally don't like the term of "dominant", as it is based on a now-debunked theory that wolves in the wild fight for dominance in a hierarchy. The idea that dogs are dominant to people has been disproven. As has the idea that wolves fight for dominance and have a pack hierarchy. I don't know the current scientific standing on domestic dog-to-dog dominance, though I am still wary of using that idea in any application. I defer to other members here, though, like I said- I don't really know.)

If you were out for a walk, and suddenly someone pulled out a knife (like the other dog's teeth) and is threatening you (growling), you probably wouldn't smile and keep walking. You would tell them to back off, maybe say your dog will protect you, threaten to call the police, or something like that (aka your dog snapping). Your dog doesn't need to tolerate another dog threatening her. If you want the behavior to stop, (which you likely do) try redirecting her, leading her away, getting focus on you, and standing between her and the threat to make her feel safer. The goal is to teach her that she's safe with you, and has no need to defend herself.

Be sure not to punish this behavior. She could learn that growling/snapping is bad, and therefore skip straight to a bite if she feels threatened.
 
  • Like
Reactions: K9luv and Lorvig
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top