Stop Retriever Growling

Retrievers are generally friendly, obedient dogs so any form of aggression should be addressed if you want to stop retriever growling.

stop retriever growlingMost behavioral problems in dogs can be traced back to issues and confusion with dominance and leadership. This is more of a human problem than a dog problem. Thankfully, there are easy solutions.

Tips to Stop Retriever Growling

Growling is a natural response in a puppy to communicate how he is feeling but it must not be allowed to go unchecked and become a habit.

  • Who’s in charge? Dogs are pack animals. This means that their natural instinct is to figure out where they fit in to the hierarchy of the home. If there is no clearly defined leader, they will automatically feel obliged to take on this role. Growling, aggression and unruly behavior will then ensue as he desperately tries to control the pack.
  • Setting boundaries. A dog’s place in the home is at the bottom of the pack. Setting boundaries help him to feel comfortable and secure. Everything from play time to feeding time needs to be on your terms and not initiated by your pet. You must eat first, go in and out a door first and be the first to decide when play time is over. By imitating the natural order of things you will be able to stop retriever growling as a form of dominance. Your dog will be more relaxed if he knows where he stands.
  • Feeding. You must be able to take food away from your puppy while he is eating without any form of dissent. Practice this right from the beginning by putting your hand in his food and by removing the bowl altogether. This is not done to tease him but to assert dominance and to safeguard your family and friends when the dog is older. If you teach a puppy early on that you are in charge of the food, as well as everything else, you will not have any problems later on if a child accidentally picks up the food bowl. Do the same thing with his toys to teach him who the boss is.
  • Playtime. Don’t play games like tug of war that encourage aggression and dominance. Rather play fetch and retrieve games that focus on a retriever’s natural talents.
  • Action. When a puppy growls, you can turn him over on his back and firmly, but gently keep him there until he relaxes in submission. He will probably resist and whine a bit but do not release him too soon. Keep repeating this action and eventually he will come to understand the terms of the relationship and stop the growling and aggression.  As long as you are fair and firm, your dog will be happy to accept you as the leader.
  • Stop Retriever Growling In A Grown Dog. If your adult dog is a growler, you will have to assert your role as the pack leader in a different way. Consider going to obedience classes so that you can learn how to interact with your dog differently.

Every problem experienced in the relationship between a pet and his owner is an opportunity for growth and understanding.  When you learn how to stop retriever growling successfully you will have one more lesson learnt.