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Old 01-15-2013, 01:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Growling at people during walks

So, now that Bruno can go outside for walks, I've noticed something unexpected when someone else is outside as well. Last night we had walked down to the corner and someone was in their driveway getting something out of their vehicle. I stopped and was trying to get him to sit (we were probably 50 feet away) and he growled a bit and let out a low pitched half bark "ruff".

The previous time (Saturday) we were at the house next to ours and someone was walking to the mailbox which is in front of the house on the other side. Same behavior. I corrected him and made him sit. I was just kind of surprised by this. He NEVER barks, growls, etc. when people come to the house. He also had no problem with people in the parking lot or the store when we walked in and out of Petsmart on Sunday for training.

Any idea what this is about? Is it normal for a Boxer?
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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lol When Duke first started going for walks he barked at garbage bags, flying leaves, the wind, etc... he is also still very protective around what he considers to be *his* territory - i.e. our home and surrounding area.

I would say this is normal behaviour. Just correct as you see fit and eventually he'll get it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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lol When Duke first started going for walks he barked at garbage bags, flying leaves, the wind, etc... he is also still very protective around what he considers to be *his* territory - i.e. our home and surrounding area.

I would say this is normal behaviour. Just correct as you see fit and eventually he'll get it.
Thanks, I figured that was the case but wanted to be sure.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ya as long as he's not trying to lunge at people/animals to attack them, I'd say it's fine
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would say it's normal. If Rosco is in a particularly happy mood then he will just stand at attention and his hackles go up


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Old 01-15-2013, 06:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think this is 100% normal! He is doing his job by barking or growling at the unknows around him. To protect you and his family. He is trying to please you.

Does this bother you?

When he does this do you tell him to settle or do you ignore this behavior? Do want him to stop?

Everyone is different some people want their dog to alert them, others want a silent partner. Just curious. He sounds like a dog who will do what you ask but instinctively is alerting you to potential danger. Even if that danger is only a leaf blowing by.

My female would rarely bark or growl unless our children were next to her and then she felt it was her duty to protect her "human "babies. My male would bark or growl at anything he believed to be a threat. A gust of wind, a butterfly, the loud backfire of a car, ....But would settle when we asked him too.

I would not worry too much. I think he is coming into his own personality and starting to take on a job.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think this is 100% normal! He is doing his job by barking or growling at the unknows around him. To protect you and his family. He is trying to please you.

Does this bother you?

When he does this do you tell him to settle or do you ignore this behavior? Do want him to stop?

Everyone is different some people want their dog to alert them, others want a silent partner. Just curious. He sounds like a dog who will do what you ask but instinctively is alerting you to potential danger. Even if that danger is only a leaf blowing by.

My female would rarely bark or growl unless our children were next to her and then she felt it was her duty to protect her "human "babies. My male would bark or growl at anything he believed to be a threat. A gust of wind, a butterfly, the loud backfire of a car, ....But would settle when we asked him too.

I would not worry too much. I think he is coming into his own personality and starting to take on a job.
I think I had a brief panic moment I guess when he did it and thought "uh oh the neighbors are going to think I have an aggressive dog". I definitely don't want him to be silent when he thinks there's a threat because I've read that means they'll skip growling and go straight to biting. (dogs in general not Boxers specifically)

So I guess what I want, which is what is happening at the moment, is he growls and then stops if/when I ask him to. I think I need to figure out how to properly ask him to stop though so he'll continue to growl if he thinks something is off and not start suppressing it and going straight to biting.

I think now that he's had his shots though we just really need to amp up his socialization and things will resolve pretty quickly. I'd expect he will quickly learn when something is really off and needs a warning or not.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The character of the Boxer is of the greatest importance and demands the most solicitous attention. He is renowned from olden times for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household. He is harmless in the family, but distrustful of strangers, bright and friendly of temperament at play, but brave and determined when aroused. His intelligence and willing tractability, his modesty and cleanliness make him a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion. He is the soul of honesty and loyalty, and is never false or treacherous even in his old age.
— 1938 AKC Boxer breed standard

Your baby boy is doing his job. Now you just have to teach him to be quiet. And there are some great ideas on SPCA.com that talk about ways to do this. As I am sure this site has some amazing dog trainers. I agree with you that more social training will help. But I honestly do not think you have an aggressive boy on your hands. I would bet he is sweet and maybe himself a little afraid of the unknowns and doing what is instinctive.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BayernBoxer View Post
The character of the Boxer is of the greatest importance and demands the most solicitous attention. He is renowned from olden times for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household. He is harmless in the family, but distrustful of strangers, bright and friendly of temperament at play, but brave and determined when aroused. His intelligence and willing tractability, his modesty and cleanliness make him a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion. He is the soul of honesty and loyalty, and is never false or treacherous even in his old age.
— 1938 AKC Boxer breed standard

Your baby boy is doing his job. Now you just have to teach him to be quiet. And there are some great ideas on SPCA.com that talk about ways to do this. As I am sure this site has some amazing dog trainers. I agree with you that more social training will help. But I honestly do not think you have an aggressive boy on your hands. I would bet he is sweet and maybe himself a little afraid of the unknowns and doing what is instinctive.
Thanks Yeah I was pretty sure it wasn't really aggression. I think it just caught me off guard because he hasn't done that before, but of course he's never been for a walk around our block either.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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He's protecting you ;-)


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