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Seems like most of these stories are with boy dogs. I often said my previous girl dog Tawny would just run ahead and trip me in a panic to get away if it was an emergency. Do you think it's a gender issue at all or just individual personality?
 

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Appropriate growling? Yes it is. A growl is communication, the dog saying it is not feeling good, is not comfortable, with the situation and/or what is happening (or thinks may happen) to it. Far better for the dog to growl, and for us to 'listen', than for the dog to stay silent and be forced to escalate when the 'threat' gets too close.
I totally agree with this. After all the reading I've been doing as a result of our last rescue dog and in preparation for getting our puppy, I will never criticize or discipline a dog for growling ever again. I'm convinced that, while we ultimately could not help our Missi feel safe and confident and save her, learning that growling is critical information from a dog saved our kids from fear driven bites and serious injury.

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I totally agree with this. After all the reading I've been doing as a result of our last rescue dog and in preparation for getting our puppy, I will never criticize or discipline a dog for growling ever again. I'm convinced that, while we ultimately could not help our Missi feel safe and confident and save her, learning that growling is critical information from a dog saved our kids from fear driven bites and serious injury.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
My first golden was a super sweet girl. Never heard her bark or growl until we met up passing a guy at a fishing resort in Arkansas. All of a sudden she dug her feet in, bared her teeth, and out came a growl I didn't even know existed in her. Something about that man got her attention. I appreciated her warning, whatever it was.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I think I've related the story about my full golden, Fenris, who growled at my wife. 10+ years old at the time - she came home to let him out at lunchtime and was greeted by a SNARLING very dangerous-looking Fenris. She was scared and yelled at him and suddenly he "snapped out of it" and realized who she was.

Never did it again, but it's obvious to me that dogs do not rely on visuals for confirmation when some other sense tells them something is wrong. Or maybe someone had broken into our garage before she came in? Dunno.

As further proof that visuals mean little to dogs, I got a pretty neat werewolf mask a couple months ago. I put it on and tried to scare Bagheera. Nothing doing. He thought it was a new "hat" and immediately wanted to remove it and kill it, as is the fate of all hats in our household.
 
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