Growly when picked up?

Feena is now almost 12 weeks and she has been doing great! Happy little puppy doing well with the house training actually went three whole days with no accidents! She has been very sweet, cuddly and affectionate along with the normal puppy stuff like being curious and mischievous etc and all the things I expected her to do THEN two days ago she started being snarly and growly and trying to bite when picked up. She did it to my husband when he picked her up and at first I thought it was because it was him and she spends all her time with me (still not acceptable) but then she did it again with me later when I picked her up to take her outside. She continued this again yesterday a couple times but it was only when picked up for some reason. I looked her over and she doesn't seem to have any sores or anything cause that was my first thought. I'm being very firm with her that this is not acceptable and not putting her down just because she's doing this…I don't want her thinking she's the boss! I do have kids as well and she hasn't done it to them..mind you they don't pick her up. Has anyone had any experience with this?

Cairo does that if I try to move him from the spot he is sleeping. He is a year and 6 months old. I move him, if he is in the way, growling or not. He hasn't tried to bite me, seems like a bluff.

I would guess she is just testing out being 'in control' of her own body. You are definitely on the right track by NOT putting her down when she acts like that. You want picking her up to be a fun experience, though. So instead of being firm, I would be fun. You pick her up, and she starts to growl I would say "oh, you silly girl…don't you know I get to pick you up when I want" keep the tone light and fun so she doesn't associate getting picked up with getting in trouble. And she doesn't get put back down until she relaxes. I know it sounds crazy to sweet talk a dog that is growling at you, but she is just trying it out to see if it works...and if you don't put her down, she will see that it doesn't work, without getting a bad feeling about people controling her body. You definitely need to get a grip on this now, because as she gets older her response to having her body controlled will be more intense, and more dangerous. Hope this helps 🙂

Does she do this when you touch her when your sitting on the couch?

I haven't really noticed a pattern. She's done it when I've picked her up on the couch but also when she's playing. I could understand if it was when she's being sleeping! Who likes to be woken up! ha ha Today before I go to pick her up I am trying to do things like "who's a good girl" etc before I pick her up to see if that makes a difference and makes her feel more relaxed not sure if that's the right approach? But so far she hasn't done it again but it's still early! I'm looking up puppy classes in the neighborhood. She goes in for her next set of vaccinations tomorrow so she can be a little more social after tomorrow!

I agree with Andrea, BUT I would be silent until the growling STOPS, then up talk (higher happy voice) so that she gets rewarded for NOT growling but also has no negativity connected to the picking up. You might ALSO have treats in hand and start linking pick up to treats. 🙂

That is certainly a Basenji thing! Had German Shepherds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and none would ever growl at any of us, however, Milo, the Basenji, did growl and does growl or grumble as i call it when moved from a sleepy, comfy place. As long as they know you are in control, it's ok. Any other time it would not be ok. We address it in a light hearted manner but would not if it were to be aggressive in any way.

You could try rewards with your happy voice. Every time she gets picked up she gets a tiny piece of chicken. You can split the picking up into stages. But making her pick up time fun and happy will help her associate good things with being held. And good job on not putting her down, she will need to learn that her growly noise doenst work.

I would NOT say this is a basenji thing.
This is a dog thing…. thinking it can be in control of it's master.
I haven't had dogs do this... but then they are all in the know who is the alpha of the house.
I like Debra's post... keeping silent.. then praise... and I am all for the high pitch squeaky voice on the praise... dog's love that for some reason.... get's their ears working!

Good luck with her!

Cricket did that after the first week with us. I would just hold her up, away from my body and let her have her fit. Then bring her in for a full body hug. I didn't say anything either way and she grew out of it in 3 or 4 days. But you have to be consistent and don't pull away when she/he snarks.

@lukris:

That is certainly a Basenji thing!

Many dogs, not just Basenji, do this. Really.

I always tell my dog I am going to pick him up & he's fine with it. I find basenjis do not like surprises.

Although it is tru that probably many dogs do that. I know BAsenjis definetly do it more often because i had never had a dog do that before. Ayo used to do that a lot and still does it if he is really "into" something and i pick him up. he doesnt mind being woken up though….I did with that the same as with the events of resource guarding at the begining, pay no attention and keep picking him up a lot all the time so he gets used to it. Usually the growl stays ata growl and doesnt escalate. I could tell becuause even when a few times he actually grabbed my arm with his mouth, he never actualy bit, he would leave it soft , like when they are playing. Sooooo, i just would not allow it to intimidate me and "forced " him to experience that a lot till he got used to it... These are the things that, as a new basenji owner ( and I know,.. that other dogs do that too, but like I said, to me my Basenji did it first), tend to freak you out. When he first growled, litteraly a few days after I got him, I was shocked, I thought, what did I get myself into?.. but then, once you deal with it, you realize that , those are the things, that make them so special, they have a very strong personality!!!

My puppy guru says it's not surprising that pups do this. In the "wild", dogs don't get picked up unless they are going to be someone's lunch.

That makes sense!!!

I would growl also if I was about to be someones lunch!!

@dmey:

Although it is tru that probably many dogs do that. I know BAsenjis definetly do it more often because i had never had a dog do that before.

I can only suggest perhaps your experience with other dogs isn't all that varied then. A quick search on the internet will garner you billions of people with every possible breed of dog that does it. '

Btw, none of my 3 basenjis have ever minded being picked up.

Cairo doesn't mind being picked up at all, he will growl at me (and get very loud) if he is asleep and I try to move him from his spot. I don't blame him, nice warm comfy spot he's laying in and I'm trying to move him from it. I move him anyway, soon as he realizes that I'm in control, he's quiet.

Oh, Simon has growled a couple of times when being awoken and moved. He's a somewhat insecure guy, so I decided to just treat him like an old lady. I make sure I wake him verbally before trying to move him. This works very well for him. 🙂

He LOVES being treated like an old lady.

My puppy is going to be 12 weeks old this week and has just recently started doing the exact same thing. Was it resolved for you? Or did it escalate?

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.