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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, Z is my 4th Dobe, all male - he lives with two humans and two Visla's one Female (10 yrs.) and one Male (2). I am working on obedience via classes weekly, and home work (while on our hour walk - and ball fetch) and at home.

The last couple of times post walk i have had to rinse him with a wet wash towel and dry him- he stands there for me, i praise him ---- then on the most recent two times, he has growled at me while washing and/or drying his under belly doing this......

I have never had any of my Dobe's growl at me. He is 7 1/2 months old and i want to stop this behavior.... does anyone have suggestions to how to handle this situation?
 

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If it's serious growling, I'd honestly contact a trainer to prevent it from going any further. I'd have the trainer watch what happens.

Also please please look into male/male aggression in the breed. It's VERY difficult raising a male Dobe with any other male dog (any breed, neutered or not).
 

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I definitely agree with Adara's advice: contact a trainer.

Also importantly, please don't punish him for the growling. He's telling you that he's unhappy or uncomfortable with the situation, and a growl is always preferable to a bite. Are you leaning ("looming") over him when you wash him down? Can you sit on the floor next to him and do it? Those are my immediate thoughts.

Since you say you've had Dobies before, I assume he's actually growling, and not just kind of doing the grumble-talking thing that they're wont to do? What does the rest of his body language say? (where's his head, what are his ears doing, etc.?)
 

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This would be something I would talk to my vet about, just to make sure any health issues are ruled out.


The last couple of times post walk i have had to rinse him with a wet wash towel and dry him- he stands there for me, i praise him ---- then on the most recent two times, he has growled at me while washing and/or drying his under belly doing this......
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, it is a growl..... and yes, good thought - i am standing over him, he only growls when i dry his under belly. He lets me dry his hind quarters, legs etcs.. I will try to sit down next to him on the next occasion.

On another note: He is definitely challenging me - up to this point, he has worked beautifully with his obiedience training. He is a quick learner, and responsive. We went through puppy k-garden, and are now working in a starter class weekly. In class (w/treats) he is great, at home he has now started to ignore me even with treats. He knows the routine, i.e. sit/come/stay - but chooses when he wants to respond to me.

Is this just a developmental stage he is going through? How do i work through it.... I have had 3 other dobes and maybe it is just been too long since i have worked a puppy through to adulthood--- I have to say my last Dobie, Apollo was a dream to train.

thanks for any words of wisdom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks- I will contact a trainer today!

Also- your comment on the two males, both are neutered, and the boys seem to be getting along great. They play together in the house and when it starts to get a little wild we stop it.

So far it is working, any advice on how to manage the two boy situation?
 

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While growling can be a sign of fear or territorialism, it can just as easily be a sign of ill health. Before rushing off to a trainer, please have your boy examined by a veterinarian to rule-out the possibility of any health concerns - pain, thyroid issues, gastrointestinal upset, nervous issues (system, not anxiety), muscle strains, etc.

I can give you a true example:
I remember a foster dog from years ago who was brought-in with the assumption that he was head-shy and potentially aggressive. Well, it certainly appeared that way, and he did have very aggressive responses; however, upon examination by a very thorough veterinarian, he was found to have a mass that had been growing deep in his ear canal. It was not outwardly visible, as he had a thick mane, and the mass was deep enough that it did not protrude on the side of his head.
Once removed, he was a happy and firendly old man.

Always have a vet check your dog if you notice abnormal behaviours/habits.
 

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Also- your comment on the two males, both are neutered, and the boys seem to be getting along great. They play together in the house and when it starts to get a little wild we stop it.
He is only 7 1/2 months old. male-male aggression typically shows up at 6 months to 2 years of age. They are getting along great for now...
 

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While growling can be a sign of fear or territorialism, it can just as easily be a sign of ill health. Before rushing off to a trainer, please have your boy examined by a veterinarian to rule-out the possibility of any health concerns - pain, thyroid issues, gastrointestinal upset, nervous issues (system, not anxiety), muscle strains, etc.

I can give you a true example:
I remember a foster dog from years ago who was brought-in with the assumption that he was head-shy and potentially aggressive. Well, it certainly appeared that way, and he did have very aggressive responses; however, upon examination by a very thorough veterinarian, he was found to have a mass that had been growing deep in his ear canal. It was not outwardly visible, as he had a thick mane, and the mass was deep enough that it did not protrude on the side of his head.
Once removed, he was a happy and firendly old man.

Always have a vet check your dog if you notice abnormal behaviours/habits.

I feel like a total dope for not suggesting this as well. A vet is a good idea as well.
 
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