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My Puppy is Growling

1106 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Jen2010
Hello everyone...

Hopefully you can all lead me in the right direction. I have a three 1/2 month old lab pit husky mix. She's more than I could ever ask for.

She normally loves people. A matter of fact just last month I took her into my workplace and she ran around greeting everyone happily.

Fast forward to today, I was watching some youtube and she started growling at the guy on the screen. He was dressed in winter clothes, hat, fluffly jacket etc doing some camping in the snow.

Should I be worried that shes becoming aggressive or is it along the lines of the way he dressed intimidated her or made her nervous because she hasnt seen something like that before.

The growls weren't short either. She really didn't like the guy.

I myself am a dude and she had no abusive past either.
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My puppy is about 8 months and I've read a few training books by now (we've had her since Feb.). I don't remember which one (maybe The other end of the leash by Patricia McConnell?) but the author talks about her puppy freaking out when she came in wearing a winter parka for the first time in her puppy's presence. Made sense to me. I try to remember that much of what we do or she sees is all new to Gracie! I came home from a grocery store trip carrying a big package of toilet paper and she went and hid in her crate!
Puppies go through fear periods where they might suddenly become fearful of normal, everyday objects. They might growl and bark at weird things. Sometimes its people in weird clothes, sometimes its a weed. Or a sewer grate. Or a rock. Or an immobile statue of a person. So, not really unusual.

When your pup is in that phase, it's best not to push them too much to be doing new things, but allow them to explore if its safe and realize on their own that the thing is harmless (like a youtube video). You just want to be really careful not to expose them to situations where they might have a bad experience that they'll remember for life. This fear period can last anywhere from a few days to a whole week.
It was a video, no scent and, I'd bet she didn't know it was even a person dressed like that. She was growling at a strange animal that she couldn't smell, only saw moving and, close to you. She thought it might be dangerous. I'd be willing to bet she wouldn't react that way to the same person face to face when she could smell that it was in fact a person in the strange fur, from her perspective.
or is it along the lines of the way he dressed intimidated her or made her nervous because she hasnt seen something like that before.
It's this. It's a good idea to have your puppy experience as many new things as possible at a young age. I.e. drink from different types of bowls and in different locations, walk across different type of surfaces, see kids, old people, people with beards, wearing hats, etc. Don't ever force the puppy though, let her explore on her own and figure out that it's okay. Do things like get a big hat and show it to her, let her sniff it until she's comfortable, then put it on and let her check it out on you. Then walk around with it on. Do the same for big jackets, or reflective gear. Have her drink water out of plastic, glass, paper cups, your hands, etc. They're all good experiences for her and in a controlled environment.
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