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Discussion Starter #1
Twice in the past week I woke gauge up from a nap by moving him, or pushing him out of my way.. And he growled under his breath.

He didn't snap at me or anything and I corrected him right away, however he's not fixed and I'm worried that this could be a sign of aggression..?

Any thoughts or advice would be helpful.. Thanks.


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I would growl at you too if you woke me up by pushing me :)

Maybe call his name to wake him and teach him the "off" command
You can also google NILIF (nothing in life is free) for lots of tips

:)
 

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I'd give a firm "NO" and "OFF"! If doggie is sleeping in your bed he's starting to consider himself your equal!
Having said that, how long have you had the dog? Some dogs actually are grumpy sleepers. But you can only know that if you've lived with your dog awhile, then you can cut them some slack.

If the dog won't respond to "NO" and "OFF" you have work to do. :)
 

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I've had Gauge since he was a pup and he's almost two now... And not fixed.

I've been noticing in the past week or so he's been more dominant around other dogs (when he has never been the dominant type, he always lays down and let's the other dog take control), and he's never been a grumpy sleeper until recently either!

Wondering if it's testosterone related since he's not fixed?


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If your taking an unfixed dog around other dogs and making him lay down?? Your well on your way to dealing with serious freaking problems!

Are you planning on getting this dog fixed? If not and your going to be doing dog to dog intros and dog park stuff.

Then you should read this: Leerburg | How to Break Up a Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt!

To answer your question directly, yes testosterone, if he is a Dominate dog and you keep doing what your doing your problems are only beginning! Your forcing him to "submit" to other dogs,not good, your heading for trouble!

Your job is to protect your dog, Your forcing him to submit to other dogs your stressing him out. Please stop, I think I know a better approach if your willing to make changes and a happy dog for "you" and your family! If you want to make a "dog friendly" "dog park" chew toy out of him, your well on your way.
 

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I had a grumpy sleeper also my BullMastiff/Pit mix Gunther; Struddell slept like a rock, My take is that "this" dog sounds different! Some changes need to be made!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@chip18
These are two separate problems.. I am not making him lay down at the dog park, he growls at me when he's sleeping at home and being pestered.

At the dog park I let him play, if he gets too aggressive I correct him. But it's becoming more of an issue.


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@chip18.. Please re-read that post. At no point did I say I MADE him lay down.

And yes... He responds to 'no' and 'off' he's an obedient dog, this is why i am worried about this being testosterone related.


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Sounds like it could be testosterone related, or, maybe something is bothering/hurting him and it's making him irritable?? Because that attitude can be indicative of pain too

But if not maybe it's the testosterone saying to him, you're the boss, dude, don't let someone say otherwise!!


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@chip18
These are two separate problems.. I am not making him lay down at the dog park, he growls at me when he's sleeping at home and being pestered.

At the dog park I let him play, if he gets too aggressive I correct him. But it's becoming more of an issue.


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@chip18 I am not making him lay down when other dogs are being dominant... It was just his reaction to submit up until recently. That was the point I was trying to make,


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@chip18.. Please re-read that post. At no point did I say I MADE him lay down.

And yes... He responds to 'no' and 'off' he's an obedient dog, this is why i am worried about this being testosterone related.


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First sorry my mistake. I "assumed" you made him lay down if you did'nt sorry that's even worst!
 

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Ok you stated your case, sorry for being a meanie but it's kinda how I see who I'm working with, I'm impressed so let's get to it! Don't know if you've followed any of my post if you have it's gonna be like:



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First the laying down. I assumed it was you because "you are" suppose to be in control of your dog. You make the decisions not him. But you are making your dog "decide" what to do in the presence of another dog.

That's not his job it's yours. Your placing an additional and unnecessary burden on him. Move along nothing to see here dog is the correct answer.

Dog parks are usually at the root of most behaviour problems, dogs get attacked or picked on or start fights. People take a well balanced, well mannered dog and let him get turned into a train wreck by getting pounded on in a dog park! Or by being attacked by the "I thought he was friendly folks" And a Dominant dog in a dog park is a fight waiting to happen!

You have to decide if your dog is for your and your family or if he's gonna be a "chew toy" for other dogs.

My dogs never had any of the issues I read about. I never had to fix a problem that they had by being attacked or by being allowed to run wild with a dog pack. My dogs were always under my control.

I protected my dogs they were taught to ignore other dogs, no dog to dog intros no "I thought he was friendly meetings."

If another dog approaches us on the street, I step aside, on the lawn or cross the street. If that won't work. My dog goes behind me a strange dog never gets near my dogs! That's protecting your dog, my dogs bowed to know one, save for me! They "knew" I had their backs. Other dogs meant zero to them, they did not have to decide, do I bark, do I stand, do I bow ,do I attack?? What do I do with this other dog???
Not there job "I" decide what's best for them and my decision was always move along dog nothing to see here. And there answer was always..Ok dad! :)

Now we get to Dominate dogs. Dominate dogs fight that's what they do. If two Dominate dogs are in a dog park they will find each other. They are a fight looking for a place to happen ! The good news, you won't have behavioural issues to fix because Dominate dogs get into a fight. For them it's just another day at the dog park...good times good times. :)

The balanced dogs can take a pounding for awhile then they will star to unravel. They ca become fear bitters or just flat out aggressive. The submissive dog that gets rolled can become complete hopeless basket cases.

But by and large dog trainers and dog therapist love dog park people... because that's where most of there business comes from!

So that's my general assessment on dog parks and dog to dog meetings. Further reading:

Leerburg | Dog Parks: Why They Are A Bad Idea

And for "you" if you persist in letting your "dog" make dog to dog decisions and taking an unfixed Dominate male to a dog park then, you'll find this useful:

Leerburg | How to Break Up a Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt!

The question "I" ask myself if I am having a problem with my dog is not.."what's wrong with my dog "I" ask "myself what am "I" doing wrong? :)

For the record...that's what your doing! :)
 

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@chip18 I think you're getting my issue confused here..

My issue isn't with dog training, It is what the reason would be for this sudden change in behaviour.

He listens well at the off leash park I take him to.. When corrected. However what started out as a dog who wasn't interested in exerting his dominance is slowing turning into one who is.. Same with the grumpiness when sleeping.. Not normal behaviour for him, but stops when corrected and does not challenge.

My issue with this isn't correcting it. When I'm firm with him and show him who's alpha he listens, every time.

My issue IS whether this is hormone related, or if it's just because he's maturing.

I'm just wondering if I leave him intact and keep correcting him if these behaviours can be fixed with my training, or if they will stop when I fix him and he doesn't have that added burst of testosterone.


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If Duke's in a deep sleep and I wake him up he has a quiet low growlish whine noise he makes. I think it's more out of confusion though.

Duke is intact and a more obnoxious dog when it comes to playing. He's not a dog that looks for a fight. And I don't believe all dominant dogs look for a fight. I would say he is laid back dominant if that makes sense. I've taken him to dog parks before and he meets lots of dogs while on walks. He has had a dog try to attack him before and all he did was stick an arm out to push the dog away and protect himself. He's met dogs after that and he's still just as friendly with them sniffing him everywhere and nudging him. The last time he was at a dog park there were other males that he played with and he plays with intact males also. If he is ever tense about a meeting with a dog I pull him away because I don't want him to get in an argument with the other dog. Most of his greetings are fine though. I personally don't feel what you're doing is a recipe for disaster. I don't think lying down is making him submit to other dogs unless the other dog is standing over him or staring him down. If he lies down he's comfortable enough with the situation to.

I rough house play with Duke now too. He enjoys it and we play with open mouth, punching feet, fun growling. As soon as I walk away or tell him calm/enough he stops though. I can reach down and kiss him on the head. I've found impulse training very useful with him also in general.

How old is he? If he's intact and around 2ish he's really hitting that sexual maturity stage where he is full of a little more testosterone. See if he calms down afterwards. Also if it keeps up I would run a thyroid panel just to make sure nothing is wrong hormonally.

Also, sorry it's so long!


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My golden retriever who passed away a few years ago would growl when waking up, but it was more of a low groan than a growl. He didn't have a mean bone in his body, so I didn't worry too much about it. It was more of a groan, and would do it when he woke up even if no one was around him, so I didn't worry about it.

It could definitely be his testosterone, but nobody can tell you for sure unless you decide to neuter him and then see if his behaviour changes.

If it were me, I would no longer allow the dog on the couch. He might just be annoyed at you because the couch is "his" and what right do you have to tell him what to do on "his" couch?? He also shouldn't be allowed on your bed. You don't want him to start getting possessive of spaces that are yours.

My dog doesn't go on any furniture (except we have one old grubby couch at the cabin that she's allowed on, mostly because no one else will sit on it anyways!). If I want to cuddle with her then I go down on the floor and we have a cuddle. I watch a lot of movies laying on the living room floor with her! I don't feel too badly about it because I figure she has 4 beds in the house, and I only have 1 bed and 1 couch, so she's coming out ahead anyways!
 

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@chip18 I think you're getting my issue confused here..

My issue isn't with dog training, It is what the reason would be for this sudden change in behaviour.

He listens well at the off leash park I take him to.. When corrected. However what started out as a dog who wasn't interested in exerting his dominance is slowing turning into one who is.. Same with the grumpiness when sleeping.. Not normal behaviour for him, but stops when corrected and does not challenge.

My issue with this isn't correcting it. When I'm firm with him and show him who's alpha he listens, every time.

My issue IS whether this is hormone related, or if it's just because he's maturing.

I'm just wondering if I leave him intact and keep correcting him if these behaviours can be fixed with my training, or if they will stop when I fix him and he doesn't have that added burst of testosterone.


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Don't think I said he was a bad dog or untrained?? I was trying to explain what "he" sees "thinks" and how to get him in a better place.

But oh well..to answer your question directly, yes hormones can cause a change in his behaviour and unless he's a stud dog you are much better off getting him fixed.

It's preferable to do this before changes in a dogs personalityare noticed. Getting him fixed may or may not make a difference at this point?

But if he's not fix and there is a female dog in heat near your home are hecomes across one, on a walk, then all bets are off.

Breeders can better address living with an unfixed male dog with females in heat around.

The one Breeder I spoke to explained why a BYB's, dog had cornered and growled,old in a 6 year olds face as being hormone related. "Uncontrolled" environment females in heat and unneutered males.

Male K9's and military dogs are not neutered if that's any help. If you chose to not get him fixed...you can let me know how it works out . I have no experiance with that situation.
 

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If Duke's in a deep sleep and I wake him up he has a quiet low growlish whine noise he makes. I think it's more out of confusion though.

Duke is intact and a more obnoxious dog when it comes to playing. He's not a dog that looks for a fight. And I don't believe all dominant dogs look for a fight. I would say he is laid back dominant if that makes sense. I've taken him to dog parks before and he meets lots of dogs while on walks. He has had a dog try to attack him before and all he did was stick an arm out to push the dog away and protect himself. He's met dogs after that and he's still just as friendly with them sniffing him everywhere and nudging him. The last time he was at a dog park there were other males that he played with and he plays with intact males also. If he is ever tense about a meeting with a dog I pull him away because I don't want him to get in an argument with the other dog. Most of his greetings are fine though. I personally don't feel what you're doing is a recipe for disaster. I don't think lying down is making him submit to other dogs unless the other dog is standing over him or staring him down. If he lies down he's comfortable enough with the situation to.

I rough house play with Duke now too. He enjoys it and we play with open mouth, punching feet, fun growling. As soon as I walk away or tell him calm/enough he stops though. I can reach down and kiss him on the head. I've found impulse training very useful with him also in general.

How old is he? If he's intact and around 2ish he's really hitting that sexual maturity stage where he is full of a little more testosterone. See if he calms down afterwards. Also if it keeps up I would run a thyroid panel just to make sure nothing is wrong hormonally.

Also, sorry it's so long!


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Dogs can growl for all kinds of reasons, depends on the circumstances depends on the growl. Rotties are notorious growlers they growl grumble about everything. Struddell was a bit grumbly when she was playing. There are play growls and get out of my face growls.

My GSD is not a big growling I have only heard his low growl twice in seven years. You know "that" growl first time was with company when I first got him!! "Who pets my puppy or dog" policy instituted (leerburgh) problem solved! The second time was when he protected me while I was protecting him from two charging dogs, I slipped he stepped up.

That story is here:What would my dog do? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

That was low growl # 2 and yeah he meant business! :)

Millions of people go the dog park everyday and...nothing happens! They get lucky, right day and the "wrong" dog is not there. Most people that "know" they have a Dominant dog spend a lot of time and effort working/training him and if "that" dog is in a dog park they won't be the ones talking on their phones or walking around casually while their dog run wild.They will watch their dog like a hawk!

Those are the owners that you will not often see in a dog park! You won't see those dogs on Cesar 911 (his new show) or those owners going to behaviourist or trainers because those dogs don't have problems caused by running around out of control.

Truly Dominate dogs are rare (I've heard) Gunther was evaluated and I was told he's a Dominant male. Rarer still is a Dominant Aggressive male (my GSD). I did not need a pro to figure that one out!

Before I knew what Gunther was I tried to rescue a Boxer, the shelter wanted to meet Gunther and they insisted on a nose to nose meeting!!! Gunther did not bark or growl or bounce, tail high, head high and it was clear he wanted a piece of that dog! I went home without the Boxer and called a rescue and they got him out.

Most dog fight mixups are squabbles usually balanced dogs getting into a tiff or a submissive dog getting rolled. Two Dominant dogs get into it and you'll be pretty clear on the difference!

I'd just say "good luck" to anyone going to a dog park, if a Dominant Aggressive male and an ignorant owner shows up!

My Struddell was actually a balanced dog, she was a dog park but I took no chances with her getting hurt! It would be on LE would be involved "I" would get whatever dog off her and "I'd" go after the owner of that dog!

Some dogs and there "owners" aren't dog park people!

Oh and yeah I rough house with my guys also doesn't change who they are! :)
 

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There is an argument to be made on the furniture and bed thing. Depends on the owner and the number of dogs. If you have a one or two dog home and dogs without issues it's not usually a problem.

Three or more dogs yeah you're looking at a problem if there is "any" flaw in leadership and you have a dog with a problem!

My guy is allowed on the furniture but if I'm at home he always "asks" me first! If I'm not home...well dad will be fine with it! :)
 
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