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My parents' Golden puppy, Maple, is 13 weeks old now. She's very lovable but does get nippy when she is excited. My family has never had a puppy before so we are not sure what is normal. She seems to growl sometimes during play or when she is being naughty, ie. trying to pull a blanket off the sofa. My mom was concerned yesterday because they brought her in the car to pick up my sister from someplace, and Maple growled whenever another car pulled up nearby. Just how much growling is normal for puppies of this age, and how to you correct this behavior? She has learned sit, come, lay down, and stay commands but doesn't always follow them unless you have treats to give. Thanks,
Krista
 

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I don't know if it's normal or not, but my Rosie growls sometimes, too. Usually during playtime or if she's thrashing around with the leash in her mouth. When she growls, we tell her no. It doesn't seem like a big deal, and I'm just assuming she'll grow out of it. At least, that's what I hope!
 

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It's very normal. Goldens can be very growly and mouthy as puppies. It eventually gets better over time, but you may want to suggest that your parents enroll in some basic puppy training classes.

If you don't like it when she growls, just stop all interacation and ignore her when she starts to growl. She will eventually learn that she will be ignored when she starts growling.
 

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All perfectly normal for a Golden pup. They can be a noisy bunch, especially as pups. Jersey makes lots of little throaty noises (not always growls, grunts and groans too) still at 4 years old, but it's easy to decipher his mood when he's doing it with a full body wag! His growls are almost exclusively happy, playful noises... the only exception being when he hears a strange noise outside the house that alarms him, in which case it's a warning to get my attention.

I like jwemt's advice about simply ignoring it if your parents want the pup to tone it down. In the long run, though, this isn't a behavior you want to really "punish" out of the dog. Growling is just one way dog's communicate with us... and in the absolute worst case scenario, when the growl is aggressive (which is not what you are seeing now, I'm not implying that in the least), you WANT that warning before a dog snaps... it's a matter of safety.

Julie and Jersey
 

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You ought to hear when Hank & his brother get together to play...sounds deadly, but they're playing and having a ball. The boys are 12 weeks.
 

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Bailey growls when she plays. I'm not too concerned over her growling unless she is guarding somthing. Bailey has growled at me a couple of times when I've taken something that has very high value to her away from her.
 
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