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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What should we do?
Last night when it was time to got to bed my husband went over to wake Riley up from the sofa and he growled which was very alarming. We have since found out he also did this to ym son on Saturday night when we were out for the evening and grandparents were babysitting.

I wasn't there on either occasion but having heard both stories it would seem that both my son and my husband were quite firm and probably frightened Riley while he was in a deep sleep giving him a nudge or a tap to wake him. I usually stroke him and wake him up beforehand but as far as i can work out they startled him.

Even so, I don't think this is acceptable but don't know how to handle it. Is this a normal behaviour to be scared and therefore our fault, what should we do, he has never displayed any aggression other than a growl at the vets once after his Rabies jab.

Any advice would be great
 

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Like you say they probably startled him, it's always worth calling and talking to them to make them aware of any approach. I wouldn't panic too much though, growling is just an expression of not being happy with something, not actual aggression.
If you really think its becoming an issue you could stop him getting up on sofa in the first place? In our house a cuddle on the sofa is a treat rather than the norm, Weller always has to be invited up, never just jump on and so never regards the sofa as 'his'
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Karen, reassuring that you don't think aggression as we don't at all consider him that way. The sofa was the one rule that we did break and we all actually enjoy having him up with us so I don't consider it a problem. He is crated overnight and is happy in his crate and is only allowed in the lounge in the evening as rest of time door is closed so I don't think it is a possessive thing about his space.
What would you recommend about telling him off tho, I understand you shouldn't reprimand a dog for growling as, you say, it is a warning so you don't want to do awy with it. At the same time I think he should know it is not acceptable and I def don't want him doing that to us esp the children. I heard my husband telling him a sharp 'No!' a couple of times which I would prob have said too.
We love him so much but this has unnerved me a bit and I actually think my hubby feels a bit let down as he had just come back from a 4 mile walk all happy saying what a pleasure it was to go for a lovely walk etc ......then he got growled at :eek:
 

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I had a similar thing with my Dexter. I went to move him from our bed,to put him in his crate for the night,and he growled at me. He had been comfortable and asleep too. I don't think it's anything to worry about. I think the dog was just comfortable and sleepy and got grouchy because they were suddenly expected to move.As long as there's no aggression at any other time,and everyone in the family respects the fact that the dog needs waking up,not being physically moved,then all should be fine. I guess the expression 'let sleeping dogs lie' must have some sense to it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Gemma, good to know not just us then, and yes you're right I never thought about that expression - will have a chat with hubby and kids tonight about it, he has never growled at home before.
Thanks for replying
Tracey
 

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Hi Tracey,

In my opinion growling is where the aggression starts. By growling your dog is actually giving you a warning.

I personally wouldn't' be allowing Riley to sleep on the sofa, beds, chairs etc; he obviously is developing issues, so nip it in the bud straight away.
There's nothing wrong with having him up on the sofa for a cuddle, by invitation only, but when your done, put him on the floor. By allowing him up by invitation only you will convey better leadership signals to him.

All the best,
Paul
Glendream Cockapoos
 

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My two do this sometimes as well, although I class it more as a grumble than a growl :) They're just telling me they're comfy and i'm disturbing them, but when I move them they don't react with aggression.
 

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At our puppy class we were told that, endearing as we may find it, our chairs/sofa's were for us and not the dog's. If we allowed our dogs free access to them they would soon become part of our dog's area and they will resent our presence there sooner or later. I think this may be what you have experienced.
 

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I let lady up everywhere....I feel as long as they know that they have to move if a human wants to sit, or lie down then there is no problem....I dont want Lady, being possessive over anything.
 

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I must admit i have always let my girls on the couch,however they have also been taught to get off the couch on command too.If on occasion i hear the slightest grumble while they are on there they are automatically removed from the couch with a firm no.I think the advice from paul is excellent because any growl no matter how small shouldnt be tolerated,sometimes they just try to push the boundries most of mine have at one point xxx
 

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I dont think miley knows how to growl lol she is so laid back and super chilled.kd my eldest has in the past growled a couple of times as has my tibetan terrier but both have been on the couch not wanting to move.xxx
 

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Awena you are right, you can tell the difference.
Lady growls when she is playing...but she is a vocal player.... I thought I had an aggressive puppy, but I have the most accommodating dog on the planet,she is just loud when she plays. she will let anyone do whatever to her. it is learning the growl...and knowing if it is aggression.
 

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I don't think its anything to do with the couch, my cav used to do it on the carpet as well. It was always in the evening when he was in a deep sleep. He wasn't being aggressive it's just a grumble at being woken up.
 
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