Low Growls when greeting dogs

by Beatriz
(Fort Myers, Fl)

I have a female 2 yr old great pyranees/golden retriever mix. I just adopted her from the shelter I work at about three months ago. Whenever I've taken her to the dog park or a petsmart or some area where there are other dogs she growls lowly on and off while sniffing and greeting the other dog. Eventually she will warm up to the other dog and even play with them if she is at the dog park. But as soon as a new dog comes to the park she does the same thing again. However, when I walk her in my neighborhood sometimes small dogs will run up to her and sniff her and she doesn't growl at all. One time a lab even ran up to her and she didn't growl. One time at the dog park she went and sniffed another dog and the dog whipped around and tryed to attack her and she defended herself but it was over in a half a milli second. What I'm asking is should I be concerned about the low growling? Has anyone else experienced this? She has never snapped at a dog and she gets along great with my cat, but it concerns me bc I'm not entirely sure why she is acting this way.

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Dec 23, 2016
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Low growlling
by: Donna

You want your dog to growl. He is telling the other dog and you he doesn't want that dog near him. Without the growl, he just goes for the bite.

He does this out of fear which is probably why he has no issue with small dogs. They are less intimdating. You cannot force your dog to get along with other dogs. Just as humans don't want to be friends with all other humans.

Avoid dog parks. People don't pay enough attention to their dogs so when play gets over the top, they don't stop it by getting their dog out of the mix. This is a recipe for disaster.

It's actually very rude to let your dog run up to other dogs and vise versa. You don't know how one dog will react to another. Proper introductions on leash are essential.

People seem to think their dog should just be friendly with all dogs and this is not the case. You don't know your dog's background. He may not have been well-socialized as a pup, and/or may have been or attacked by other dogs.

Find a friend with a dog with whom your dog gets along. Have said dog over to have play dates at your or their house in your securely fenced backyard.

Here is a wonderful article on this topic:

https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/dog-park-etiquette-rules/

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