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Author Topic: Play Growling?  (Read 1315 times)
Deja
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Grooming Student, Cleveland, OH


« on: November 29, 2011, 08:41:11 AM »

I heard awhile ago that there are two forms of growling, play and aggression. Per positive training, it was suggested that you shouldn't correct play-growling. I forgot where I read that, but I never discouraged his growling when he was playing.

I noticed that that he growls every time he's having a good time. It doesn't sound aggressive. Sometimes he'll growl when I tell him "Down" or another trick, but he'll still gladly do it. It's more like some grunts that a drawn out growl.

Should even play-growling be corrected? He's kind of getting out of hand with it.
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KarenB
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 08:54:47 AM »

Otto mainly growls when we're playing tug but I started that. When he was little and we started playing, I'd "gggrrrrrrrrr" at him until he started doing it back.  Now he's very vocal in tug but it's not aggression.  The rest of the time, he tends to do more of a trill sound for lack of a better word. It's not so much a growl as a vocal cord vibration.  He will sometimes do this when I pick him up if he's sleeping, or he'll do it when I'm holding him belly up in my arms like a baby - as he presses his head in my chest.  I think it's more of a contented, happy sound he makes - like a cat purring.  In he video you can hear him making a sound that is sort of in between, kind of a halfhearted growl as he plays.  He used to growl at me over his food (that's long since corrected) but that was an obvious aggressive warning and very different from the other growly sounds he makes - there was no mistaking that growl meant business.  My old dog I corrected for growling AT ALL - no sound was allowed to come from her throat, period. But Rhodies aren't typically vocal dogs.  Since Minis are vocal, and I can tell by his body language and temperament that he is playing and not issuing a threat, I don't have a problem with it.  If he ever growls at me as a warning, he is going to think he is drawing his last couple of breaths in this world!  It sounds like Q is just being vocally expressive.  I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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Saoni
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Bayamon, Puerto Rico


« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 11:20:12 AM »

Bruno growls when he is "killing" the elephant or the duck. Sometimes when I ask him to sit when he is barking or a "down" when he is playing with my nephew he "talks" back to me too, is like a deep sound from the throat but he always complies.

I have heard his non friendly growl and now I know the difference. When the boxer dog wanted to attack us he gave the boxer a growl like I have never heard before.
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Peter
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 05:58:10 PM »

Remember to search for topics with your subject in the title, e.g., How to stop GROWLING?????

Peter
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Deja
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 08:33:57 PM »

Peter - This question isn't so much about how to stop aggression barking, or the difference between moaning and growling. It's about play-growling...when he gets excited and is having a good time he growls, and I wasn't sure whether or not I should stop him. He's very loud when he growls but it's not vicious, I know the difference by now.

His play-growling can also lead to play-mouthing. He doesn't bite me, but he will put his mouth on me and will sometimes grab my pants-leg if I walk away from him, THEN he gets time-out.
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Que, male B&S Mini, born 2/1/2011 - adopted 3/18/2011
True, female Border Collie Mix, born 6/7/2012 - adopted 10/19/2012

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Peter
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 09:41:52 PM »

First off, none of the three Schnauzers raised in my house have ever growled at me once, except in play. And the only one to do that is Pukalu. And probably because I encourage it, though I'm not trying to.

I taught Muka not to bark so well that I don't think I'll ever be able to get him to "speak" on command. But I decided to try to teach that to Pukalu. I have him speaking on command pretty well now, but it's more often a growl and a growling bark than the cute bark I'm looking for. We're working on it.

Also, all three dogs growl when playing with each other. It was really hard for me to get used to that and accept that it wasn't something mean as I'm new to owning a dog. Or even being around them.

I have the same problem with the mouthing getting mixed in with the rough play. I would be really concerned about it, except for the fact that all three dogs have done it but never mouthed anyone else, namely my grandchildren. Probably not because they know they shouldn't, but because I don't let them play roughly with the dogs. They would be very afraid if a dog growled at them, too.

There are certainly a lot of people who would say that a dog should never put its teeth on a person, and I would not say they are wrong. But I have allowed it with three dogs now, and I think it's been fine for us. I think dogs have a great ability to act differently in different circumstances, and that's why I feel safe letting them mouth me... because I have never seen them do it to someone else.

I think they know not to. Or perhaps I'm reading too much into it, and it's simply that they associate mouthing with rough play and I don't allow anyone else to play roughly with them.

I agree that grabbing at your pants leg should be a time out.

Peter
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Angela
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 05:05:42 AM »

I personally allow and encourage Lotte's play growls. I think it's really a matter of owner-preference. If you don't like it, you can stop it; if you're fine with it, let him keep doing it.
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Kelly B
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 09:34:48 AM »

Jedi is really vocal. He talks to us all the time and sometimes it sounds like a long drawn out growly sentence. He does that when he wants to play, or when he wants to go out, or when his water dish is empty. I know there's no aggression in it - he's just communicating to me. His body language is happy and relaxed.

He also play growls a lot - but same thing he's happy and relaxed. A couple weeks ago when he growled and snapped at a little girl and then at my daughter, it was a very different sound. Not a good sound at all and immediately corrected. You can tell the difference between "back off!" growling and "come play with me!" growling. Aggressive growling is a whole different issue.

I think play growling is normal. If you see a pack of puppies playing - they are NOISY! They growl at each other and bark at each other. It's how they talk and how they play. With Jedi, as long as his body language is happy, I'm ok with it. If it crosses over, then he gets immediately corrected - like if he bites my pant legs. He does the same as Que in that way, and I feel like it's bossy behavior, trying to get me to keep playing when I'm done or to follow him or go that way instead. I don't allow that.

Mouthing - another work in progress with Jedi. He was such a biter as a young puppy, that we have had to allow zero mouthing. But he still does and when he does we say "no teeth" and either stop playing or give him a toy or chewy to "mouth" instead.
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Melinda
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2011, 05:29:57 AM »

Schnauzers in general "talk" with a little growl a lot more than other breeds.  At the vets one time, we were waiting to see the receptionist.  She heard Otto "talking" with his little growl (he was letting me know people were nearby).  She couldn't see him, but asked if it was a Schnauzer she was hearing.  It turns out she grew up with the breed and was familiar with their sounds.
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