• Waffles, our 7 month old girl, growled at another dog for the first time today! It started as a casual hello with a passing dog (as happens about 10-15 times every single day) and they circled a little sniffing each other and next think i know, Waffles is growling hysterically, almost shrieking, something i have never heard her do EVER, with people or dogs! The woman with the other dog said her dog brings out the worst in other dogs sometimes, but we were horrified/embarrassed about the whole ordeal. Can dogs put out a bad vibe? I suppose he could have nipped her without us seeing, but she is normally so friendly and playful!

    Is this just one random incident, or the start of an aggressive phase? We pulled her away from the other dog immediately and held her to calm her down (she seemed fine once separated), but is that the right response should this situation ever come up again?

  • Nothing wrong at all with Waffles, she isn't going to like every dog she meets. Try to be calm in those situations and she'll calm down once she's away from the other dog.

  • Is she spayed? It could be hormones or perhaps she is just maturing. Either way, I do believe some dogs have a "kick me" sign on them that is only visible to other dogs. I've found the book/dvds Control Unleashed to be very helpful for understanding stress related to dog behaviors.

  • (I do believe some dogs have a "kick me" sign on them that is only visible to other dogs.)

    I think so too, agile. Shaye gets along with most everybody, but certain dogs, usually of her own breed, just bring out that shrieky growl in her, and she has to be restrained.

  • Also, keep in mind that a growl is just information, not a bad thing. It is your dog saying they want more space. So back yourself and your dog up to a distance where she doesn't feel the need to growl. You don't have to pick her up just move her back far enough that she can focus on you and stop growling at the other dog.

  • There are some dogs that do give off an evil eye look-I knew a Basenji that did it-but the dogs usually knew before getting too close! Was the other dog male or female? If your girl is not spayed, she could be getting ready to go into season! Perhaps the other dog tried to lick her privates and she was not used to it.


  • I would suggest you not hold her but as lvoss said move away. Growl is a warning and not all dogs like each other. I had one boy that had a total dislike to another male B. he could smell that dogs scent over 100 yards away and would start to growl. Also as also asked is she spayed yet? She could be coming in season ….

    By holding her is in a way suggesting to her that she was right to growl and there was something to worry about with that dog

  • We are spaying her later this month - hopefully that will help! Although she was back to her friendly self with every dog she met today…hopefully it was just that boston terrier that rubbed her the wrong way!

  • Ooooh! a Boston. Okay, I may have the answer. A long, long time ago when Jet the trying was young and taking agility classes, there was a Boston in that class. Jet liked, or at least didn't mind, the Boston. Until it got warmer. Then (what I think happened) the Boston started doing that weird breathing noise that brachycephalic dogs do and Jet thought the Boston was growling at him. Jet was never liked the boston after that.

  • My Basenjis can't stand dogs who are "mouth breathers". I sometimes wonder if they think that because the dog sounds like it is gasping for it's last breath that they feel they should help finish it off.

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