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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Monty has Spondylosis (hardening of the spine) and therefore is not allowed to jump up on or down from any furniture etc. He is not allowed on our couch or bed anyway, because he growls and barks when we want him to move or go back down. The problem is that he still trys to get away with jumping on the couch and our bed anyway, which means that we always have to pick him up and put him back on the floor, since he can't jump himself. However he naturally growls like crazy when we do that (which is the reason why she isn't supposed to be up there in the first place).

According to the book on Agression in Dogs by James O'Heare, you're supposed to avoid situations in which the dog growls at you, because it can, at some point, escalate to where the dog feels the need to snap, and the always snaps instead of growling, because he learned that growling doesn't get him anywhere. So that's our dilemma. How do we get Monty back down from the couch and the bed without him growling or jumping???

And please no suggestions like "your dog thinks he's so boss so put him in his place" or stuff like that. Monty does not try to dominate us, he just has a problem with sleeping places (it's his "rescue dog problem"). /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif
 

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Hi Heather,

I'll be watching this thread because I kind of have a similar situation.

Henry and Olivia (25# terrier mix) can easily jump up onto the sofas. But our bed is too high for them to jump up on and often they jump down before I can pick them up and put them on the floor.

I tried those covered doggie steps that they sell "as seen on TV" in the stores but they would have none of it. I don't think I would use them either if I were a dog.

I've been keeping an eye out for a good size, correct height ottoman to put by the bed that they will learn to use. Hopefully.
 

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Quote:Originally posted by Monty&Spencer:
...And please no suggestions like "your dog thinks he's so boss so put him in his place" or stuff like that. Monty does not try to dominate us, he just has a problem with sleeping places (it's his "rescue dog problem"). /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif
Growling problems don't clear up overnight, but growling IS a dominance problem by definition. You didn't mention how long you've had Monty (sorry, if you mentioned it in another post, I didn't see it).
I would have the same concern as you do; you certainly don't want to be bitten or create a worse problem.
All I know, when I took my dogs through obedience, we were supposed to be able to move a dog off the couch or bed by command. In fact, we were encouraged to do it regularly as part of their training (take 'their' spot and sit in it, then invite them back into it.)
Have you tried obedience training class for the growling problem?

I use child-bed safety railing to keep Miss Maggie from jumping on the bed; her ramp is placed in the opening to encourage it's use. Despite that, my lil' gymnast can leap and climb like a monkey....so I'm not sure what the answer is for Monty's poor back, but it might be worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We have Monty since May 2006. I do realize that Montys growling is caused by his desire to not give up his sleeping place, but I don't believe that that is caused by a general dominance problem, that's why I wrote what I did.

Quote:Have you tried obedience training class for the growling problem?
Unfortunately there aren't any good dog trainers where we live, there are a lot of obedience classes, but they all work according to the old fashioned methods of dominating you dog through aggression, physical correction, and infliction of fear (or as they call it "respect"). So that's really not an option for us (otherwise we would have done it a long time ago). I think that would definately be the best option, but I've looked EVERYWHERE for a good dog trainer here without success. However Monty IS very well trained, the only problem with him is with sleeping places, but he already had this problem when we rescued him (who knows what his prior owners did wrong), so I'm not very hopefully about curing this problem.

I don't think the bed rails would work on our bed, since it's kind of a weird construction style. But that's not the main problem, since we can shut the door to our bedroom. The couch is more of a problem since our living room is open and Monty also enjoys climbing onto the sofa to look out the window. I tried putting tin foil on the couch in the hopes that he wouldnt want to jump onto that, but he seemed to find the tin foil really comfortable...
 

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Thank you Deb, Charlie has the growling problem too. He likes to be on the couch where he chewed two holes. He loves to sleep on the pillow and would not get off the couch. If I approach, he would growl at me. I usually use a low tone and command him not to growl, he stops the growling but would not get down. I finally gave up and just let him stay. Should I be even embarrass that he growls at me!?


Charlie mom
 

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Hi there, I'm a new beagle Mom and Miggy can't get up on the couch yet. I don't know if this will work for dogs but I have 4 cats that I don't want on my living room couch and chairs. You know those lint rollers that come with sticky paper you rip off? Well I take a few sheets and place them on the furniture sticky side up. As soon as one cat got one stuck to her foot we had no problems anymore. they are easy to pick up when company comes or we just want to sit in there. It doesn't hurt the animal but they won't step on them twice. Good luck with the problem, I hope you figure it out soon. I forgot to mention that since you are not there when it happens the cat or dog won't be mad at you.
 

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Quote:Originally posted by Charlie mom:
... finally gave up and just let him stay. Should I be even embarrass that he growls at me!?....
Embarrassed??! Never!
Concerned? Yes. I'm no expert on dog training, and can only answer from my own limited experiences and successes.
It was explained to me that dogs think like dogs, and we humans treat them like babies (uh hum, guilty :redface: !)
I also know that growling can turn into more aggressive behavior if allowed to continue. Obedience training is for the owner more than the dog (after all, our dogs train their humans better than most of us train our dogs.)

Dogs read our body language much better than we read theirs (except for expert trainers who know). It's in our dogs best interest to learn THEIR language and respect the pack mentality; Obedience class taught me that.

Maggie, being a beagle, DOES respond better to positive reinforcement than negative. BUT, no aggressive behavior is allowed in my house.....EVER....even if that means punishment. (She tried that several times as a pup, but we nipped it in the bud; no problems since.) Calvin is not a dominant dog, so I've never had to deal with people aggression.

See Cheerio's answer to this same question by 'cdefgabc'.....Cheerio trains her dogs and uses them for search and rescue. She's certainly an owner whose experiences and leadership should be listened to. Success proves that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote: BUT, no aggressive behavior is allowed in my house.....EVER....even if that means punishment.
Sometimes that's the problem though, as in our situation, punishment just doesn't work to help stop the growling and even makes it worse. Dogs don't always growl due to dominance, they can also growl out of insecurity, fear or even pain (which I am beginning to believe might be the case in our situation). Since we don't know what Montys past owners did to cause this problem, or if Monty experiences pain when we pick him up due to his Spondylosis, it makes it very hard to know how to fix the problem. We've already tried many things though, from ignoring it to punishing the growling, and nothing has helped even in the slightest. We've moved on to avoiding the situations in which Monty growls, but that isn't always possible now that we know that he shouldn't get down from the couch by himself (before we would just send him down and everything would be fine, it's the picking up to get him down that he doesn't like).
 

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Poor Monty.

There are just times I wish they could tell us what they want us to know :doh:

Does that hurt? Are you scared? Are you just testing your wings? Perhaps time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:There are just times I wish they could tell us what they want us to know
It would certainly make everything a lot easier (although I'm sure our dogs wish sometimes, that we would just tell them clearly what we want them to know :hi: )

It frustrating sometimes though, because we don't know if he's just being sassy, or if something's really bothering him. He's been getting physical therapy since last week and goes in for under water training the week after next, so hopefully that will help...
 

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Although we allow Suzi to sit wherever she likes, and she'll move on command (well, maybe two or three commands, she is a beagle after all) she did get a little too plump to make it up onto the bed. We bought an inexpensive ottoman at Walmart for about $30.00 and she uses that to climb up and down. We tried the doggie stairs, too, and she wouldn't touch those.

One day we came home and found the ottoman in the hall outside the bedroom. I swear she was trying to push it to the kitchen counter. That could have been a disaster. When she was younger she tried several times to climb the rungs of the bar stools to reach the counter, but each time she'd almost get there the stool would tip over and she'd fall backwards. Stubborn hounds that they are, it took her three or four falls before she gave up and started trying to climb a file cabinet I have in the dining room. Thank goodness she couldn't do that, either. At least twice we spotted her hanging by just her front paws, trying to pull herself up onto the breakfast bar. No luck there. Whew!

As for the growling, I'd try reassurance. When I wanted Monty to get down I'd sit down beside him, pet him and tell him what a good dog he is. After a few minutes I'd slide my hand under his behind and gently push while telling him to hop down. If he starts to growl back off, pet some more, then try again. You have to convince him that you're not angry. Use a very gentle, encouraging voice. "Hop down baby," or "sweetheart" or whatever pet name you use for him. Go slow and be unthreatening. Once he hops down praise him profusely and give him a treat.

I have a feeling his previous owners yelled and likely struck him whenever he got on the couch and I think any kind of punishment or harsh language will only reinforce his feeling of fear. Use the words "hop down" since "get down" probably brings back bad memories.
 
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