How to Make a Puppy Stop Growling When You Pick Him Up

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How to Make a Puppy Stop Growling When You Pick Him Up
How to Make a Puppy Stop Growling When You Pick Him Up
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Every time you pick up your puppy does he start growling? Are you worried because you believe he will become aggressive when he reaches adulthood? Rest assured, almost every puppy goes through the growling phase and that doesn't mean he doesn't like you or is aggressive. Despite this, try to stop this behavior, which should not be tolerated: it is possible to teach the puppy to have better manners and control the growls.

Steps

Part 1 of 2: Using Positive Reinforcements

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 1

Step 1. Teach that certain behaviors are not acceptable through positive reinforcement

It's enough to praise appropriate behaviors rather than punishing inappropriate behaviors. In this way, the dog will be motivated to act the way you want, as he will know that this will cause him to receive praise and treats.

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 2

Step 2. Choose a command

One of the most important points of this type of training is consistency, after all, dogs only learn through repetition. The first step is to define a word and use it whenever you want the dog to stop growling. A very common expression for this is "Quiet".

Once the dog understands the meaning of "quiet," use the command whenever he barks, growls, or whimpers at inappropriate times. See if the dog is not vocalizing for a good reason before telling him to be quiet

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 3

Step 3. Praise the dog and give treats whenever you pick him up

If he doesn't start growling right away, praise him by saying he's a good boy with a kind voice. Keep a few small snacks in your pocket and take small bites while he remains quiet and docile.

In order not to overdo the snacks, use very small pieces

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 4

Step 4. Stop using treats if the dog starts growling

The idea is for him to associate the snacks with the calm demeanor he exhibits when you hold him. As soon as he starts growling, stop praising him and serving him snacks, but don't put him down. If you do, he will associate the growling with being left alone, which will only strengthen the behavior you want to eliminate.

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 5

Step 5. Use the defined command

If you chose "quiet" as the command, use it after you stop serving snacks. Keep your tone serious but never aggressive. Giving the command gently will make the dog feel like he's being complimented, as tone is important in differentiating the positive reinforcements of commands.

Say the command just once and wait for the dog to obey you. Repeating the phrase will make it difficult to associate it with the desired behavior

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 6

Step 6. Praise the dog and give treats as soon as he stops growling for a few seconds

You may need to wait a while for him to stop, but don't forget to praise him and serve snacks as soon as he does. Over the course of a few days (or weeks) the repetition will make the dog understand that you like it and will give you treats whenever he is quiet when picked up. He will also understand that these behaviors will stop the moment he growls.

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 7

Step 7. Always end training in a time of positive reinforcement

You have to wait for the puppy to stop growling, even if you are ready to stop training, so that the session ends with positive reinforcement. Wait for the puppy to stop growling, praise him and put him back on the ground.

To avoid behavior dependent on snacks, use other positive reinforcements as well. When you're ready to put the puppy on the ground, wait for him to stop growling, then praise him and offer him a toy

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 8

Step 8. Be consistent

Puppies only learn what you want to teach through consistency and the removal of positive reinforcements. You must be very clear and praise, feed or play with the dog whenever he exhibits the desired behavior.

Everyone in the house should help with the training, as the puppy will learn nothing if you are the only one trying to teach him something. Have everyone handling the puppy use the same positive reinforcement process

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 9

Step 9. Be patient

Some puppies learn with few repetitions, but others may take weeks. Be patient and consistent so that the puppy learns.

Never scold or hit the dog. Dogs understand that you're nervous about them, but they hardly understand why, which makes punishments futile and confusing. Always work with positive reinforcements

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 10

Step 10. Reduce dependence on snacks

As the dog learns the expected behavior upon command, reduce the frequency you serve him treats, but never stop praising him.

  • At the beginning of training, serve a treat four out of five times the dog obeys you. As he begins to respond regularly to the command, reduce the frequency of treats to three times out of five and keep decreasing until it is necessary to give the treats occasionally.
  • Vary the reinforcements. The puppy is smarter than you believe and will soon understand the frequency with which he receives treats, obeying him only when he wants to. Use positive reinforcements in no defined order so that he keeps wanting to please you to receive treats.

Part 2 of 2: Using Practices That Will Help You Succeed

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 11

Step 1. Handle the puppy correctly

The dog may growl because he doesn't like the way you hold him or because you hold him uncomfortably. As common as it is, puppies usually don't like being lifted under their feet, as this can hurt them.

  • To safely catch the dog, place one hand on the dog's chest and use the other to lift him from behind.
  • After lifting it, settle it against your chest or belly so that it feels safe.
Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 12

Step 2. Pay attention to the frequency of growls

If the puppy growls at everyone, chances are he just doesn't like being caught. The nature of dogs is to run and explore the environment, not to be carried around, which can make you uncomfortable. He may growl out of fear, not aggression.

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 13

Step 3. Redirect behavior with a toy

If the puppy starts growling shortly after being caught, distract him with a toy. Deliver the toy before it starts growling, so it doesn't associate the reward with the growl.

Toys are also great for dogs that tend to nibble their arms when they are picked up

Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 14

Step 4. Learn to differentiate growls from fun

The dog is likely to growl not only when he is picked up, but also when playing, for example. This is a natural behavior and does not need to be controlled. If the dog is running around playing with its mouth open and crouching – when in a play position, the dog lowers its front body and raises its hindquarters – it is simply having fun, not showing aggression or dominance.

  • When growling to show dominance or aggression, the dog looks directly at the person, has its ears back and its mouth closed, possibly showing its teeth. In these cases, the dog is likely to stay still and focused.
  • If the dog growls when someone approaches during feeding, it is showing signs of feeding aggressiveness. Contact a trainer in the region to eliminate this behavior.
Get a Puppy to Stop Growling when You Pick Them Up Step 15

Step 5. Consult a professional trainer

If the training isn't working, it's a good idea to look for a professional. The trainer will observe your techniques and correct any inconsistencies that may be confusing the dog.

Tips

  • Don't be nervous if the dog growls or bites. Such behaviors cease over time as long as you are persistent.
  • Don't laugh or yell at the dog, as you will end up encouraging unwanted behavior.
  • Always reward the dog when he stops growling to let him know you've done something right.

Notices

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