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Puppy growling
  • I got my female Shiba puppy, Naminé, 3 days ago. She is 9 weeks old. She's absolutely adorable and I love her! So here's what I know about her so far; She is pretty fearless. I haven't seen her fear anything yet, including my 2 grown Huskies, strangers, and cats. She's very playful and cuddly. She's smart. I taught her to sit within a couple minutes. She's also stubborn. If I don't give her what she wants, she will relentlessly keep trying.
    Here's the deal; Normally, I can pick her up just fine. Sometimes, she even wants me to pick her up. But, if she is doing something and I pick her up, she will growl and lunge at my hands. And I know it's not playfully. I also know it's not out of fear. It's her not being able to do what she wants to do. I don't put her down until she stops growling and calms down. And I praise her when that happens. But she'll still do it again.
    Is this normal? Will she become more "aggressive" with other things too? How do I stop it?
    Post edited by macyinwonderland at 2017-01-20 17:04:59
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1199
    Right now she's just a teeny baby lol. Like when a toddler hits someone while throwing a tantrum, that doesn't mean they're on the path to becoming a violent criminal. Practice lots of handling exercises with food / treats to help her get used to and comfortable with being touched all over. You don't want her to dislike being touched / held if she learns that "when I get picked up, fun stops." Though I think it's good that you're not teaching her that if she squirms / is loud that she'll get exactly what she wants. You also want it to be enjoyable for her to be close to you. :)

    I wouldn't look at this as "aggression." I would look at it as...a puppy. Whose first interest is themselves and their own enjoyment. Little ones don't come with manners pre installed hehe. :D Work on also holding her and rewarding her at times that aren't interrupting her fun, and don't worry too much about growling. Growling is a good, healthy signal to show. Some people punish their dogs for growling and create a dog that skips that step and opts to attack with no warning. Right now, she's just a young pup. I wouldn't worry if she shows signs of "aggression." Puppies are scrappy little things, especially Shibas lol. That doesn't mean that they're aggressive.

    PS - is Namine after Kingdom Hearts? :P
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-01-20 17:53:35
  • imBLASIAN~ Thanks! I've looked at other topics, but I felt like her growling was a bit different...probably not though. I kind of just wanted to explain her personality and get opinions.

    Lilikoi~ I figured as much! Haha thanks! I just wanted some relief. I know she isn't aggressive now, but I just don't want to feed the possibility I guess? She's a great puppy! Especially considering this is my only "concern" with her. Thanks again :D
    And yes, her name is because of Kingdom Hearts haha
    Post edited by macyinwonderland at 2017-01-20 18:05:46
    Posts: 412
    Without a video it's kind of difficult to discuss

    My girl growls and pounces if I "crawl" or "slither" my hands up to her but she almost always never makes contact with her teeth. If she does accidentally catch the hands with the teeth, she immediately pulls back and side-eyes to see if we are okay. Also her growls end in a more "rowr" with an upwards cadence and she often rolls to her side and paws as well.

    To differentiate between picking up and just playing, I use a flat firm hand (as opposed to spread fingers) and she immediately goes over into limp pup mode.

    What you'll want to work on is making sure she relates the hands coming towards her as positive by using treats and praise. Also if she is mouthy like my girl, work on whimpering/stop-playing if she bites too hard.
  • She does play growl too! But it's different when I pick her up. She doesn't actually bite, but after she growls, she barks and just lunges. She's not mouthy otherwise though, surprisingly. She licks our hands and doesn't bite. She bites EVERYTHING else though! Haha
    She usually is fine with being held, it's just when I take her away from whatever she's doing, she gets really upset. Understandably. But I only do it when it's necessary. I'm gonna keep working with her! Thank you!
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    In my opinion, it's normal especially for her being soooo young haha trust me...I had the same thoughts too when I got my little one at 8 weeks old. She would nip my hands and growl and make weird tantrum-like sounds whenever she was in her crate and I reached in there to fix her bedding or something. It wasn't aggressive but it was more like a "nooo leave me alone I'm tired and cranky go away!" kind of warning lol she still does this from time to time but it never got as far as drawing blood. We always say no or ah ah whenever she does do it and she more than likely lets go. I thought it was aggression at first but it was more like her just throwing a tantrum since she was and still is just a baby. Actually, just this morning my dad was telling me about how he took her outside and she starting eating something off the ground and he bent down to grab it out of her mouth and she like lunged and growled at him so he was like no! And she calmed down looked at him and just proceeded to eat it LOL as if to say " I'm still going to eat it..."

    You just have to be patient and keep reinforcing positive behavior. They will learn eventually and even though it looks as if though they aren't listening, they are :)
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1268
    Getting picked up can probably feel quite scary if she doesn't quite know you or trust you so make sure you turn it into something nice and not a "punishment".

    Juni was a very independent puppy. Once we had ventured on a longer walk than normal and I noticed she was getting tired so I bent down to pick her up. And she growled at me! I was a bit shocked at first because she had never growled before, but thought fine I'll see what she wants. She sat down and had a rest and was happy to carry on walking after a while.

    So I would think about in what circumstances she doesn't like it and why. Practice handling her with lots of praise and rewards because Shibas are very protective of their bodies.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1199
    @Juni - awww sweet tired baby Juni doesn't want help! Hah she sounds so full of personality. Such a cutie.

    Whoops hit post before I was ready. I remember once when Ozzy was 9 weeks old, he growled at me when I gave him a chicken neck and wanted him to eat it in the kitchen haha. So I put my hands out to block the path out of the kitchen. I was like oh no, my dog is guarding, and thought it was a super bad sign. But that's literally the only time he's "guarded" anything. I started petting him / hand feeding some meals and snacks to show him that he didn't need to worry about me taking his food or things from him. I think puppies are just learning and their instinct is to be protective and wary of us. :) it sounds normal, and sounds like you're prepared to do right by her and help to show her that your touch isn't something she needs to think of negatively. Maybe when you're taking her away from something that she's enjoying, you can lure her away with an even better treat (like a little piece to cheese or something that she just really loves). And give that to her when it's necessary to pick her up and take her away from what she's enjoying.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-01-21 02:30:18
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 396
    I think something is wrong with my puppy. He never growled at me. :(
    I can't join in these cute puppy stories!! Be right back, gonna make zenki growl at me....
    Black, Tan and Awesome
    Instagram: @ShibaZenki

    “Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
    – Ann Landers

  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1199
    @Zenki :)) hey as long as he's used your hands as chew toys, I think you can still be a part of the club. ;)
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 361
    @Zenki Rhyzik's never growled at a person either, though I want to teach him how to do this! :))

    Edit: Not REALLY if I thought it'd stress him out. He's a really chill dog, though, so it might be a feasible pursuit.
    Post edited by spacedogs at 2017-01-22 05:20:49
  • ZenkiZenki
    Posts: 396
    Hahaha! The satan shiba! Lolz!!! But yeah, no cigar on making zenki growl at me. I can make him bark at me sometimes during playtime but thats about it.

    Regarding the hand chew toy then i think i deserve to be an officer in the club!!! :))
    Black, Tan and Awesome
    Instagram: @ShibaZenki

    “Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
    – Ann Landers

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