Can anybody figure this dog out ?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 16th, 2013 2:38 pm
User avatar
Mar 22, 2010
370 posts

Can anybody figure this dog out ?

OK my landlady has 2 dogs 1 standardpoodle and 1 toy poodle both are pretty sedate unless she hears you coming into the house and tells the dogs to say "hi" to whomever is at the door .Enter Sezz her boyfriends yorkshire terrier (i actually think he's bigger But not relevent ) anyway when this dog first meets you he does this barking(all the time getting the other 2 wound up) then this low growl all the while wagging his tail .But its like everytime he encounters you its for the first time.Like would he not remember?Im seriously glad i don't have children in the picture because I'm sure injuries would occur .If I get bit can I sue ?
11 replies
Deal Addict
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Apr 19, 2006
1434 posts
Why would you get bit? Are they showing aggression towards you? Don't touch them they're not yours.
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Mar 22, 2010
370 posts
I m not sure who he's growling at its only the yorkie one that acts strange ,every time no matter how much time or treats you give to him before he does this growl and tail wagging thing at the same time .
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Apr 8, 2007
624 posts
Keelenorth wrote:
Apr 14th, 2013 6:55 pm
I m not sure who he's growling at its only the yorkie one that acts strange ,every time no matter how much time or treats you give to him before he does this growl and tail wagging thing at the same time .
When the dog does this growl thing, do you give him treats to see if he will stop?
If that's the case, it's a pretty bad idea. Any time a dog misbehaves, the best thing to do is ignore him. Turn around, and don't make any eye contact. If he gets louder, don't look at him, if he walks around, turn around again.
When he settles down and sits or lays down, then turn around and give him attention because he is behaving appropriately. If he acts up again, do it again. It takes time but eventually he will always be calm when people come over because he knows that being calm gets him attention and treats.

To me it just sounds like too many people come to the door and reward him for this behavior. Best thing to do is just ignore him completely if you don't need to have contact with him. Don't give any eye contact at all, just do what you need to do and leave.
Nov 20, 2012
28 posts
Maybe he's just a temperamental dog. My dad's dog is kind of the opposite; whenever I come home to visit he goes insane and starts crying like he hasn't seen me in years, and he'll jump and whine and proceed to sit directly on me for the next hour or so. He's, obviously, extremely affectionate. Maybe this dog is just could also be that he just gets excited when someone new walks in, and as a result the other dogs get riled up, causing him to kind of over-load with doggy emotion which turns into growling if he doesn't think he's the center of attention.
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Apr 7, 2012
2005 posts
His growl is a warning: he's scared.
Don't touch a scared dog or you can get bitten. Fearful dog can bite.
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Jul 5, 2004
21322 posts
It sounds like you don't understand and aren't familiar with dogs. Perhaps this dog isn't growling, perhaps it's making noise out of excitement. My one dog makes whining noises when he gets overly excited. Perhaps you're mistaking this sound for something it isn't.

Or perhaps it is actually growling at you. In either case, the solution is don't make eye contact and don't touch the dog. Problem solved
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Jr. Member
Oct 6, 2011
113 posts
He sounds nervous and stressed. He may be high strung, he may have had a bad experience, who knows. But he certainly sounds like he lacks confidence. Either way I would not touch the dog, or make eye contact. He's only little but he can still bite and he sounds like there's a good chance he will. FYI tail wagging means excitement not necessarily happy, so growling and wagging at the same time isn't as opposite as it may seem.

Are the other 2 dogs around at the same time? He could be dominant and resource guarding(meaning your attention as the resource) Still, your reaction remains the same--ignore him and the other dogs too. HTH
Nov 22, 2009
427 posts
Markham Ontario
Any of the above posters may be correct. BUT another explanation may be that it is simply a sound the dog makes when excited.
I have a Westie - and they are known for making "aggressive" noises when playing. He will make low "growling" noises when hes excited. It is kind of like talking.

It is predominately a terrier thing. And Yorkies, being terriers may also do this sometimes.

Edit: Also if the dog is actually angry or stressed it's ears will likely go back and its tail will be down. Not wagging.
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Oct 27, 2007
1157 posts
Lots of small dogs growl when they're excited. If this particular dog is wagging it's tail, it might be a way of playing (the growl is just its way of pretending but it is wagging its tail so it's not serious).

Why not just ask the owner if you can crouch down and pet it? I agree with the other poster who said to be receptive to the dog instead of doing nothing or standing straight up. It will probably stop growling once you show you are not afraid and want to pay attention to it.
Jr. Member
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Nov 20, 2012
188 posts
I would just avoid it. If it seems to be aggravated by your presence, just try and stay away. Never try to pet a dog that's baring it's teeth at you...that's just asking to be bitten.
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