I just read this fantastic article at PawPrintsTheMagazine.com titled “Growling is Good”. The article starts out by describing a situation where a woman told her dog “no” whenever he growled around children. So the dog learned not to growl at children. Good, right? Wrong! What happened next was much worse. Instead of growling at a child, the dog skipped the warning and bit the child instead.
Dogs growl for a reason. The dog in this story felt threatened by children. His growl was a warning. He was trying to protecting himself from what he perceived as a threat by telling the children to stay away.
If your dog growls at anyone, instead of punishing him or telling him to stop you should lead your dog away from that person. Work on trying to help your dog be comfortable with the situation instead. The owner of the dog in this story, for example, could have worked with her dog to show him that children were nothing to be frightened of. An animal behaviorist would be able to help with this. Or if you are good at training dogs, consider reading up on the subject and taking on the task yourself. “Help for Your Fearful Dog” by Nicole Wilde has a lot of great information for helping dogs who are fearful, whether it be fear of people, children, noises, etc.
Read more detailed information about why dogs growl and how to help them at PawPrintsTheMagazine.com.
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