Growling before snapping.

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yummybagel
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Re: Growling before snapping.

Post by yummybagel » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:42 pm

I woke up this morning with Ruperts head next to mine on the pillow, his back pressed up against my front and my arm round him. I got screechy kisses and waggy tail when he realised I'd woken up :lol:
[/quote]

So cute! :lol:

yummybagel
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Re: Growling before snapping.

Post by yummybagel » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:56 pm

Just had another quick question.

If he were to wag his tail fanatically with his ears pulled back, like he does when he's excited to see someone, and approaches a friend of mine that he's only met couple of times, then does that mean that he is willing to be petted by that person? Guess this is an obvious question, but just to be on the safe side

jacksdad
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Re: Growling before snapping.

Post by jacksdad » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:47 pm

might seem obvious...tail waging, must be ok to to touch/pet. a big old it depends is my thought. you have to know your dog to answer that questions in specifics. If my dog approached a perfect strangers with a "happy" body, looking like "hey I want some petting" I would still ask that he not be touched because I know soon as that person goes to actually pet him, he will change his mind. he isn't ready for that. he is ok with 99.9% of strangers as long as they don't look at him or try to touch him. If you have any doubts, no matter what his body language says in that instant, no touching by strangers.

as for the cuddling....Jack loves a good snuggle and is ok with some very light, very brief cuddling. to me, snuggles are me on the bed or couch watching tv, reading, or sleeping and Jack plastered to my side or on my lap curled up sleeping or just hanging with me. Where I think of cuddles as more actual holding. which he is ok with I guess...probably tolerate(like nettles says) is the better word for that.

he loves a good Saturday or Sunday morning snuggle. go for morning bathroom break/walk, have some breakfast, crawl back into bed and there is Jack, looking to "smash" up against me, curl into a "ball" an sleep until the next bathroom break.

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Nettle
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Re: Growling before snapping.

Post by Nettle » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:52 am

yummybagel wrote:Just had another quick question.

If he were to wag his tail fanatically with his ears pulled back, like he does when he's excited to see someone, and approaches a friend of mine that he's only met couple of times, then does that mean that he is willing to be petted by that person? Guess this is an obvious question, but just to be on the safe side

I would say not. Tiny changes in ear and tail language can mean big differences that we often don't see until too late.

If a dog wants to be petted, it will touch the other person. If the other person then does not return the touch but lets the dog touch again, and the dog touches again more firmly, then the person can pet, but not around the head unless the dog pushes its head into the person's hands.
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emmabeth
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Re: Growling before snapping.

Post by emmabeth » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:26 pm

Its really hard to say without seeing it, but to me that body language sounds very much like 'ooh exciting, who are you, i want to...' with the tail and the pulling towards them, but the ears say 'not sure, very stressful (stress can be good as well as bad!), high tension situation'...

So again I would err on the side of caution here, allow him to make the moves, and ideally let him greet someone for a few seconds then distract him and call him back to you for a reward, so that he doesnt end up 'out of his depth' (this also rewards him for coming away from the person, turning his back on them and leaving htme which can be a worrying issue for some dogs AND it reminds the other person that YOU are in charge and are actively training your dog..)

I have been thinking about my dogs and cuddles, and even those who actively like cuddles, still only really LIKE them when they have sought them out, on their terms. Neither Dilly nor Errol like cuddles that i choose to take (which i dont do very often but sometimes i do, because i am human too and i fluff up sometimes!), they tolerate them and have no reason to fear them, but close physical contact that I 'take' (rather than encourage or invite, or accept) is really only tolerated, not welcomed or enjoyed particularly.

With Ellie who is still learning that she CAN communicate with us and we WILL listen (even if we are silly clumsy humans and make mistakes), we are very careful that when she is soliciting attention, we stop, frequently to see if she asks us for more, rather than risk carrying on with a fuss or a scritch beyond the point shes happy with.

She can be perfectly happy with something she has instigated, and then change her mind, either its too much or the scritchy hand has wandered off the area she wanted touching, or the itch is gone... but just because its ok 'for now' doesnt mean its ok 'forever as long as you want to do it i dont care'.. because no one is like that! What might be nice for a few minutes can easily become weird and uncomfortable after even just a few minutes (imagine being hugged by someone you like well enough.... now imagine that hug goes on and on and on, and they cling and dont let go... and breathe in your ear.... it really wouldnt take long minutes at most, for that to go from fine, to 'earrrrrgh ugh get off me'!)
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

yummybagel
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Re: Growling before snapping.

Post by yummybagel » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:13 pm

emmabeth wrote:(imagine being hugged by someone you like well enough.... now imagine that hug goes on and on and on, and they cling and dont let go... and breathe in your ear.... it really wouldnt take long minutes at most, for that to go from fine, to 'earrrrrgh ugh get off me'!)
haha, love the comparison

I do think that Bagel is doing alot better now that he is being petted and cuddled less. It is hard though, to change a habit that has been engraved into me for a year and a half. I did make mistakes couple of times yesterday, but so far, though it's difficult, I think most of us in the family are doing pretty well of not cuddling him. My parents are still very stubborn about not petting and cuddling but I am keeping my eyes peeled. Now I'm just waiting for the day when Bagel will approach and touch me for a cuddle... :wink:

emmabeth
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Re: Growling before snapping.

Post by emmabeth » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:01 pm

It IS hard especially if you have previously had dogs who did like cuddles or at least, tolerate them really well. Dont worry too much, do the very best you can and if you mess up, be apologetic (not overly bonkers about it, but 'ohhhh I am sorry' and go do something else) - dogs ARE very very tolerant of our errors and though they wont understand completely i think it DOES get through to them in some way that you are trying to listen and understand.

This certainly seems to bet eh case with Ellie - sometimes we have little choice but to do things she really doesnt like - if we go in all heavy handed and forceful it is very upsetting for her, such as doing her nails - my OH has a tendancy to get a vice like grip on her collar which freaks her out.
She is actually FAR less reactive and unhappy about things if we slip a leash on, muzzle her and he has a light hold, and is busy keeping the teethy end occupied with bits of cheese that fit through the muzzle bars, whilst i snip at nails.

If i do too much i say sorry and work on a different area for a minute or so.

Its also worth bearing in mind that if a dog is stressed and that stress is sort of 'trapped', for isntance you catch someone cuddling him or attempting to do so.....that this stress needs an outlet. So a good thing to do in those 'oh god stop bothering the dog' moments, is to invite the dog out for a whizz around outside after the ball or a similar sort of activity.

We do thsi with Ellie - even though shes now quite turned on to the idea of an endless stream of cheese in return for doign her nails, it IS still stressful, it involves her standing still for quite some time and being handled in ways shes not a fan of. So a quick hurtle about outside lets that pent up stress and energy out safely.
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yummybagel
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Re: Growling before snapping.

Post by yummybagel » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:53 am

So I have a bit of a problem here.
I have been trying to get my family to stop with all the cuddles. But it is nearly impossible to get my parents to stop. They have been good for awhile. But not anymore..
I guess with their own human kids grown up, Bagel is their new "baby". I have tried insisting, begging, etc. but they just won't stop.
He hasn't snapped at them yet, but it's not like he's growling when he's uncomfortable either. And I can tell that he is not always comfortable with all the touching and the cuddles that they give him. The first thing that they do when they see him is to touch, touch, touch, rub, rub, and finish off with a long kiss..I have to pry them away from the dog or try standing in between them, but even that it's difficult to do every time since they get angry when I do it. So for the sake of peace in the house I sometimes need to keep quiet, and let them do their things. I've told them the reason why I don't want them to approach and touch, but their response is "he's a dog. he likes to be cuddled". Would this be a setback for Bagel to get his growl back?

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Nettle
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Re: Growling before snapping.

Post by Nettle » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:55 am

This is a lot more serious than it might seem. Your parents are putting the dog through some nasty experiences just because they want to. Never mind his growl back: he's going to get his snap back any time soon.

YOU have control of this. Until your parents have the courtesy to behave as YOU want with YOUR dog (and above all how your dog wants) they should have NO access to your dog.

Shame you can't leash up your parents until they behave. :evil:

You could demonstrate how it feels by crawling all over your parents and hugging and kissing and rubbing their hair long after they stop enjoying it.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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