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Hi everyone,

I just have a question regarding a behavior my 9 week old Golden Retriever/Lab cross displayed this morning.

Since I got her (on April 1st), we have been crate training her because we feel this is the best thing for a puppy. She has been doing AMAZING with that, and I can say confidently she has been an ideal puppy (in our opinion of course lol). So over the past 3 weeks I've had a pretty bad cold/cough and this morning I was just feeling like pure crap, so at 6am when she was ready to get up I let her come in my bed and chew on her bone while I just tried to catch an extra hour of much needed sleep. Before I took her in my bed, I let her out to pee of course.

So my mom walked by my room, the puppy growled. My mom didn't know she was in there, so she knocked in the door and walked in, the puppy growled again. We were kind of surprised she did this because well, shes a puppy! Once the puppy (Kira) knew who is was, she waged her tail and my mom picked her up to bring her downstairs and everything was fine.

Please excuse my cluelessness, as its our first dog, but does this mean she is starting to show a bad aggressive personality? We didnt feel at all threatened by her, just maybe that was her way of showing she wasnt sure what was on the other side of the door.

Basically, is this normal? Should we be concerned? Im most likely over reacting, but it is very important that Kira has no aggressive tendencies.

We're taking her to puppy classes starting next week, she is healthy, and is happy. She is sort of shy with the leash, still always walking behind me and makes me feel like Im dragging her though. She is doing good with the nipping, learning that shes not allowed to apply any pressure.

Any advice/opinions would be great!

Thanks :)
 

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I am no expert, but I would say that was normal. I am thinking she was just reacting the only way she knew how. Sort of like how a lot of dogs bark when someone knocks on the door, most really don't bite, it is just a response.
 

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Remember, this was probably the first time she'd ever heard someone walking by the door. She'll get used to it, particularly since it resulted in a good experience (lovin' from your mom). Lots of new things to experience and learn.

I come from the school that says Don't Correct a Growl. If something is happening that my dog feels strongly enough about to growl, I want to know it. I might not agree with it and will make a mental note to work with her on whatever produced the growl in the future. But don't discourage just the act of growling.

A growl is a communication. It's often the communication prior to a bite, i.e. "I really don't like that. Please stop doing it." If you discourage the growl, you take away the dog's ability to communicate and get the bite with no warning.
 
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