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  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Default Talking or Growling?

    Many of you know I am not new to Pyrenees....however this behavior is one I have never encountered before and some outside thoughts would be welcomed.

    It's' Rudy, our 4 YO neutered male

    Rudy started acting out towards hubby a couple of years ago, growling & placing himself between me & hubby...that led to his neuter at 2 1/2

    Lately Rudy has been doing the same guttural/growl....however....he keeps his mouth shut...eyes soft...body language relaxed

    He's never done it to me until the other night....I knelt down to pet him goodnight & he vocalized (for lack of a better word)...however....this time along with the other signs as mentioned, he rolled over fora tummy rub!!

    My husband thinks this is not a threatening vocalization....I am not sure

    I don't know whether to ignore vocal, or to reprimand him....

    If I tell him to "knock it off" in an unhappy voice...he'll sit down & offer his paw...?

    I know it's hard to tell something when you can't see or experience the situation...but has anyone ever had a Pyr "talk"or vocalize like this?

    Rudy recently underwent a dental cleaning & ear cleaning, where the vet removed some debris from both of his ears that I'm sure made him uncomfortable...but this vocalization has been going on for awhile...

    vet has recommended that we put him on Trazadone to see if that helps take his edge off....not ready to do that yet...

    any thoughts...comments?

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    Sebastian is generally pretty vocal, and growls at me in a way that seems to be similar to your description of Rudy's behavior. Usually, it seems to be because he either wants attention, or wants me to stop grooming him.

    He has only "threatened" me once - he air-snapped at me when I was trying to get him into the car when he wasn't feeling well. He yelped at me right before the air-snap.

    I'll see if I can find video of him growling at me, so you can see if it has any resemblance to Rudy's.
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  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Thanks SM...everything about Rudy's body language tells me he's not threatening....but I've just never had a Pyr vocalize like this.

    One of our friends had a Rottweiler that vocalized as a puppy....and she was pretty much the same except her whole body wiggled & she tried to nuzzle up to you for pets...people who didn't know her swore she was going to attack them!!

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    When he growls at me for attention (I usually call it grunting, even though he is growling), he is usually across the room, and wants me to come over and give him belly rubs. It sounds the same as when he is growling at "monsters", but he is completely relaxed when he wants belly rubs, and alert when he is scaring monsters away.

    It is a much different sound than when he is snarling (I've only heard that twice). When he snarls, he sounds like a junkyard guard dog in the movies. Both times he has snarled, I was restraining him in the presence of other dogs, and he was frustrated. Neither time did I ever feel that he would redirect his energy onto me.

    I should also note that he often air snaps when he wants something, but his energy is much different than it was the night he got my attention.
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  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    My friend has a gorgeous show male Belgian tervuren who growls when he's happy. If he likes you he'll growl when you pet him. It's a bit disconcerting at first but there is no threat at all in the growl. His mom told me that the dog's grandpa did the same thing.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar

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    Missy has always made noises...I am call them grunts though. When Missy growls she likes to show her pearly whites so I know the difference for sure. I have been assuming that it was her Berner side that made her so vocal when she wants attention. She does it to the chiropractor now too...thankfully he knows it's not a growl too. She loves her chiropractor and he loves her. So when she makes a scene and lots of noise we know it's for attention...it doesn't help that this man will crawl on the floor and play with her before adjusting her.

    So for me that seems normal.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    Ru is a very vocal girl. She growls and groans when she is happy. She also loves to do a yawn/growl when she is very happy. This is VERY different from Tyro's growl and the main difference is noted by body language. His means he is not liking something that is happening and I sit up and take notice! Ru, however, seems to like to talk and express her happiness this way and she has taught Lily this. Lily does not do it as much but has taken up the yawning/growl coupled with a deep and happy bow. If Tyro growls I generally enter into a conversation with him to let him know he doesn't need to do that and to try to diffuse whatever he is reacting to. I do not reprimand him. He is not a dog that does reprimands. He does conversations and explanations. A reprimand for growling does not work for him. I could reprimand the girls for this (should they ever do it) but Tyro does better with reassurance. Despite his tough guy attitude, he lacks confidence in quite a few areas and does very poorly with negative feedback... I look for ways to reassure and give him positive direction he can follow. Never had a dog quite like him. He is teaching me quite a lot!

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    It has been in the single digits these past 4 days....which means little exercise for me or Rudy....however, it also means that I make him stay in the house instead of being outside

    This seems to have helped his disposition....last night he sat on the couch with me as I petted him & kept telling him what a good boy he is, he also slept on the dog bed in the living room, something he hasn't done since we got our Dasher last January!!

    I think the combo of being with the "family" and being paid attention to, has helped...we'll see for how long.

    The main thing I have noticed is that when Rudy does his growl/vocalization both Aussies stay clear of him...which tells me they know more than I do about what Rudy is communicating.

    Sr. Antonia....I do the same with Rudy as you do with Tyro....we have a "conversation"...with me really looking him in the eyes & talking to him in a very disappointing tone....which usually ends up with Rudy quieting down & offering his paw.

    I hope that the fact that we have taken care of his ear problem will put him in a better mood.....

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    Tyro is also very sensitive to changes and if his attitude is deteriorating, I have to see what has gone wrong from his perspective. He is the most upset and unsettled if I have to be away or if he doesn't get a certain amount of input from me. It is a constant work in progress to help him be the best dog he can be. I wouldn't trade him for the world but he is by far the most high-maintenance dog I have ever had. Mother told me a few days ago that I am a slave to the dogs and I have to agree. I told her she would not like the result of the slave retired!

  10. #10
    Puppy (New Member) Akamaimom's Avatar

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    My female Golden retriever growls as her primary vocalization. She has done it ever since we got her (two years ago, rescued--she's 5 years old now). Now that we have a Pyr puppy, she has morphed right into mommy mode with him, and growls frequently at him when he bites too hard, or tries to force her to play with him. Stitch (our Pyr pup) hasn't growled yet, and takes her growling in stride, but I'm confident that her "talking" to him is her teaching him. It doesn't seem to bother him at all. It makes him reevaluate his behavior, but that's it.

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