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Growls on waking

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Old December 19th 05, 04:57 AM posted to rec.pets.dogs.rescue
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Default Growls on waking


I recently adopted a dog, Winston (3-4 yrs old, llasa/maltese, or so
they think,) who growls (menacingly) at anything that wakes him. We've
only had him a couple of days. Basically, he's been great during the
day. He's very smart, eager to please, and generally seems like he
wants to be a part of the family.

But at night, if he's lying on the floor, snoozing/dozing/whatever and
he hears the sound of approaching footsteps or voices, he'll start
growling--and if you're too close when he wakes, he will snap at you.
This was pretty bad the first night but the second night, I was able to
coax him into not growling or snapping every time he wakes (although
I'm a little concerned that, rather than growl, he might just bite
without warning in the future.)

Our initial thoughts:
1. He's a bit stressed by having new owners, by moving to a new home,
2. He was (poorly) trained to be watchdog.
3. He was abused by a prior owner.

1. The problem seems less when either I or my brother Fred wakes him.
Winston seems to recognize me and Fred as higher up in the pack order
than he is.
2. The problem seems more when my brother Jake wakes him. (Fred and I
suspect that Winston thinks Jake is his bitch.)

I often hear that growling requires immediate action. I do wonder,
though, whether this can wait at least a few days--giving Winston time
to settle into his new environment. (I guess what may not be able to
wait is establishing that my mother and Jake are higher in the pack
order than Winston.)

Any ideas? Thanks.


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