12 week puppy growling

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Ludvig2021
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12 week puppy growling

Post by Ludvig2021 »

Hi to all of you Schnauzer owners!

We have a 12 week old Standard, who has been socialized a bit, but not nearly enough (IMO) due to a case of kennel cough, unfortunately. Today on our walk we met a sweet and playful lab/golden mix (6 months old) who we let him play with for a bit.

During play he growled a lot and was very jumpy, on her back and face. Even though she never once growled back or showed any signs of aggression or frustration, our little pup made a little scratch on her nose. Breeder and everyone who knows schnauzers say, that the breed is prone to growling or making sounds while playing, but now I am a bit worried that he wasn’t playing but showing aggression. It seemed very excessive... during the whole time I had a knee on the ground so he could run to me for a break, and he would do so for a bit and then run back to her.

He is would run towards her and wag his tail while doing the above. Hopefully you guys can educate us a bit about this.

( we are from Denmark)

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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Dawnspell »

Hi and welcome. Would love to see some photos :D

First of all I would say you let the play session last too long. With puppies especially if they are meeting another dog that they have never met before and you know nothing about the other dog, it should be a quick sniff nose to nose, then they should move to a butt to butt sniff, then get the pup to move on. This is literally seconds but that is the correct meet and greet dog social skill for a dog and when its 2 pups its all the more important. Anything more and you are going to get an over excited pup that is going to growl and not play appropriately and could end up having a bad experience with another dog especially if you dont know the dog.

By all means if you know someone with a puppy friendly dog then arrange a meeting, but something to keep in mind when youre out and about is not all dogs like puppies, even if the owner says their dog is friendly that can change when its a puppy. Just keep all greetings short.
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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Ludvig2021 »

Dawnspell wrote:
08 Oct 2021, 12:29
Hi and welcome. Would love to see some photos :D

First of all I would say you let the play session last too long. With puppies especially if they are meeting another dog that they have never met before and you know nothing about the other dog, it should be a quick sniff nose to nose, then they should move to a butt to butt sniff, then get the pup to move on. This is literally seconds but that is the correct meet and greet dog social skill for a dog and when its 2 pups its all the more important. Anything more and you are going to get an over excited pup that is going to growl and not play appropriately and could end up having a bad experience with another dog especially if you dont know the dog.

By all means if you know someone with a puppy friendly dog then arrange a meeting, but something to keep in mind when youre out and about is not all dogs like puppies, even if the owner says their dog is friendly that can change when its a puppy. Just keep all greetings short.


Thank you for your reply!

He has met a lot of dogs on his walks, where it has only lasted 2-3 seconds. He does get overly excited whenever he sees a dog, and sometimes we won't let him greet them. The other dog today was not an issue at all, she behaved very nicely and was not as overly excited as him. We don't really know anyone with puppies or dog-friendly puppies. We have made several posts on different pages on fb, without any response though. We really don't know what to do with him as this point haha. The growling and nipping today really gave me a scare though.

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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by zeta1454 »

Growling in puppies and dogs is a means of communication and not always aggressive. You can often tell if a puppy or dog is being aggressive by their stance and behaviour - lip curling, snarling, stiff posture etc. This is quite different from excited play growling. Although the other older puppy in the encounter was scratched this may well have been accidental with over excitement - did the other dog react afraid or defensive? Young dogs do need to learn social skills as they grow and you don’t want a dog to be so boisterous in play that they upset or hurt other dogs but puppies do usually learn through many short supervised encounters when to inhibit their bite and their excitement.

Do you have any puppy classes you could take him to where he could meet others in a supervised environment?

Nipping in young dogs is a constant issue that worries people whether the nipping is happening with humans or other dogs. Very rarely is this aggression but a common phase young dogs pass through as they mature and once they have their adult teeth. In all likelihood a dog will express its reaction clearly if it thinks a puppy has crossed a boundary with nipping. Trying to divert play on to a rope toy or tug toy can help sometimes as dogs can have a tug of war type play with no worries of biting each other if they have a toy in their mouth. The other thing to be aware of is that young pups do get overtired very quickly especially in new or exciting situations and this is where nipping is more likely to occur. As said above keep playing sessions short - if the other dog is happy to play it can be more than a few seconds but always watch for signs that your pup is getting over-excited.
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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Dawnspell »

Hes a cutie :x

Keep in mind dogs dont need to say hello and interact with every dog they see same as humans dont, they were bred to be social with humans too. Some dogs are more dog orientated than others, I know Jasper is super dog orientated. One of many things I'm working on is his focus on me so its a better deal to take notice of me than anything going on in the environment.
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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Ludvig2021 »

zeta1454 wrote:
08 Oct 2021, 15:36
Growling in puppies and dogs is a means of communication and not always aggressive. You can often tell if a puppy or dog is being aggressive by their stance and behaviour - lip curling, snarling, stiff posture etc. This is quite different from excited play growling. Although the other older puppy in the encounter was scratched this may well have been accidental with over excitement - did the other dog react afraid or defensive? Young dogs do need to learn social skills as they grow and you don’t want a dog to be so boisterous in play that they upset or hurt other dogs but puppies do usually learn through many short supervised encounters when to inhibit their bite and their excitement.

Do you have any puppy classes you could take him to where he could meet others in a supervised environment?

Nipping in young dogs is a constant issue that worries people whether the nipping is happening with humans or other dogs. Very rarely is this aggression but a common phase young dogs pass through as they mature and once they have their adult teeth. In all likelihood a dog will express its reaction clearly if it thinks a puppy has crossed a boundary with nipping. Trying to divert play on to a rope toy or tug toy can help sometimes as dogs can have a tug of war type play with no worries of biting each other if they have a toy in their mouth. The other thing to be aware of is that young pups do get overtired very quickly especially in new or exciting situations and this is where nipping is more likely to occur. As said above keep playing sessions short - if the other dog is happy to play it can be more than a few seconds but always watch for signs that your pup is getting over-excited.
Thank you so much for your thorough explanation. Neither of the dogs seemed stiff or tense. They were jumping, wagging their tails while playing, except our little man growling a lot. The other dog didn’t seem scared that he scratched her nose at all, she kept playing without making any sounds or showing signs of frustration or annoyance. He was growling from the second the play started, so I was confused as to why, but now I see. Unfortunately we don’t have any puppy socializing classes around us, he is starting basic obedience training tomorrow though.

I think you are all right, we let them play for a bit too long, and our Ludvig doesn’t need to greet all the dogs he meet on his walks.

We live driving distance from two of his siblings, would it be better suited for him to play with them, as they are schnauzers too? :)

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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Schnauzerluv »

Yes IME schnauzers are very vocal with their play and mine never did hold back the play growling when we play wrestle or play tug. But there is a clear difference when they are being serious or playing, it's all over their face and body language. A limp dog with a big goofy smile while growling is what I see when playing.

But at 12 weeks your boy hasn't learned yet how to appropriately play with another dog. Furthermore, puppy play is often too rambunctious for an older pup or dog.

What we did was as advised, kept all dog on dog greetings short to a 3 second sniff and move on. Our goal was to keep all dog greetings positive and in 3 seconds it's not common that anything more than a sniff will happen. Personally we just allowed face sniffs, no chance that it will turn out badly.

Eventually after meeting with friend's dogs that I knew are dog friendly, he learned how to play and interact in an appropriate way with other dogs, but he's now 1YO and 3 months, so it was a gradual learning curve.

To this day for dogs he doesn't know if he greets them on our walk for example, I limit it to a quick sniff hello and we move on. Always better safe than sorry and make sure to tell him "good boy" for being calm and afterward.

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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Ludvig2021 »

Schnauzerluv wrote:
08 Oct 2021, 17:32
Yes IME schnauzers are very vocal with their play and mine never did hold back the play growling when we play wrestle or play tug. But there is a clear difference when they are being serious or playing, it's all over their face and body language. A limp dog with a big goofy smile while growling is what I see when playing.

But at 12 weeks your boy hasn't learned yet how to appropriately play with another dog. Furthermore, puppy play is often too rambunctious for an older pup or dog.

What we did was as advised, kept all dog on dog greetings short to a 3 second sniff and move on. Our goal was to keep all dog greetings positive and in 3 seconds it's not common that anything more than a sniff will happen. Personally we just allowed face sniffs, no chance that it will turn out badly.

Eventually after meeting with friend's dogs that I knew are dog friendly, he learned how to play and interact in an appropriate way with other dogs, but he's now 1YO and 3 months, so it was a gradual learning curve.

To this day for dogs he doesn't know if he greets them on our walk for example, I limit it to a quick sniff hello and we move on. Always better safe than sorry and make sure to tell him "good boy" for being calm and afterward.
It is good to know, that his growling was potentially playful. As I’ve stated above, he didn’t seem tense or scared, just very excited. The sounds were just a bit much, but now I definitely know he was playing, based off of your descriptions. He has a tendency to get over-excited with both dogs and humans, especially kids.

I’ll keep all of our interactions on leash short, and keep trying to find him 1-2 puppy-friendly dogs to socialize with. Thanks for the advice :D

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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Schnauzerluv »

You might want to try training some impulse control if you haven't already to help him hold back and think first. I found it to be super helpful overall to keep my boy much calmer overall. I can see him use it all the time, even when stalking prey.

One of the 1st exercises we did was simple. I sit facing my dog with one open handful of treats. If my dog goes for the open hand of treats, I snap it shut. When he backs off I open my hand again and if he stays backed off for say 1 second, I take a treat with my other hand and feed it to him. I keep feeding him treats every 2 seconds, 3 seconds and so on as long as he stays backed off (usually they will sit). I also use this to calm him down if I have to and it was particularly helpful to do a quick impulse control exercise before a training session when he was younger and very enthusiastic about it.

Have you trained a "drop it"? I trained it while playing tug or with a toy. To do that I just went limp with my arms while holding the toy and waited for my dog to let go. When he did I said my marker word "yes!" and after say 1 second I start waving the toy around and say "ok get it" or whatever word you want and we resume play. I did start by giving him a treat when he let go, but that quickly faded because they only need a second or two of pause. The anticipation of getting to play again (waiting) is enough for my pup. I also introduced the cue word "drop it" when he was consistently dropping it and waiting for his cue to resume play. It's just to help teach "drop it" but also take a pause while playing and also for impulse control.

There are lots of videos online and how I learned these things to begin with.

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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Ludvig2021 »

Schnauzerluv wrote:
10 Oct 2021, 05:11
You might want to try training some impulse control if you haven't already to help him hold back and think first. I found it to be super helpful overall to keep my boy much calmer overall. I can see him use it all the time, even when stalking prey.

One of the 1st exercises we did was simple. I sit facing my dog with one open handful of treats. If my dog goes for the open hand of treats, I snap it shut. When he backs off I open my hand again and if he stays backed off for say 1 second, I take a treat with my other hand and feed it to him. I keep feeding him treats every 2 seconds, 3 seconds and so on as long as he stays backed off (usually they will sit). I also use this to calm him down if I have to and it was particularly helpful to do a quick impulse control exercise before a training session when he was younger and very enthusiastic about it.

Have you trained a "drop it"? I trained it while playing tug or with a toy. To do that I just went limp with my arms while holding the toy and waited for my dog to let go. When he did I said my marker word "yes!" and after say 1 second I start waving the toy around and say "ok get it" or whatever word you want and we resume play. I did start by giving him a treat when he let go, but that quickly faded because they only need a second or two of pause. The anticipation of getting to play again (waiting) is enough for my pup. I also introduced the cue word "drop it" when he was consistently dropping it and waiting for his cue to resume play. It's just to help teach "drop it" but also take a pause while playing and also for impulse control.

There are lots of videos online and how I learned these things to begin with.
Thank you for the advice! We have actually been trying to train some impulse training. We have tried the open hand/closed hand treat and exercise and one with a cup filled with treats where he only gets one if he calmly waits. But Ludvig is extremely difficult to get to calm down, to the point where these exercises are near impossible... he bites our hands and if he can’t get to our hands he starts biting our arms/legs. We have started putting him in the hallway with a gate, when he gets too rowdy and needs some help calming down. We will definitely keep up the impulse training, I think it might be the golden solution to a lot of his behavior.

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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Schnauzerluv »

My pleasure. How much sleep does Ludvig get? I remember we had to create a downtime (nice and quiet) so Ozzy could nap. Otherwise he would've probably kept going. When they are overtired, they are easily rambunctious and can be more nippy or loud.

I think it's recommended 2hrs nap for every 1hr awake on the beginning, I think Ozzy was more 1hr for 1hr, but napping was a thing that had to be taught.

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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Ludvig2021 »

Schnauzerluv wrote:
13 Oct 2021, 20:03
My pleasure. How much sleep does Ludvig get? I remember we had to create a downtime (nice and quiet) so Ozzy could nap. Otherwise he would've probably kept going. When they are overtired, they are easily rambunctious and can be more nippy or loud.

I think it's recommended 2hrs nap for every 1hr awake on the beginning, I think Ozzy was more 1hr for 1hr, but napping was a thing that had to be taught.
Ludvig is definitely not getting enough sleep. He is more of a 2h for 1 hour type of puppy. We are completely quiet and just doing our jobs most of the day, but it doesn’t get him to fall asleep at all. Today he slept 3 hours max during the day, even though we put him in the hallway he is up and whining and chewing up stuff after 1 hour .. we don’t do long training sessions or extreme mental stimulations games with him, yet he doesn’t seem to be able to calm down. He sleeps through the night, 22-7:30. We had a talk with the breeder and she said he is getting the physical and mental stimulation needed for a puppy his age...

How did you get Ozzy to nap? 🥺

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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by zeta1454 »

What do you feed Ludvig - meals and treats? Some dog foods have added flavour and colour enhancers which can trigger hyperactivity.

Have you tried offering Ludvig a raw meaty bone to chew? Chewing relaxes dogs and it is rare that a dog doesn’t enjoy settling down to gnaw on a bone in my experience. You need to choose a bone that is appropriate for his age and size but even 4 week old puppies get huge pleasure from chewing on a bone e.g. lamb spine or rib. Marrow bones are good but the marrow is high in fat and calories so would need to be given for only a short time. Other bones can be left for longer but always supervised of course and choose bones that are too large to be swallowed whole. If you have a good raw food for dogs supplier in your locality have a talk to them about the best type. Otherwise a good quality butcher may be able to let you have bones that are suitable.

These are a few informative links re raw bones for dogs:

https://www.wolftucker.co.uk/blog/talki ... cky-simon/

https://benyfitnatural.co.uk/blogs/news ... -raw-bones

https://www.nurturingbynature.co.uk/art ... s-for-dogs
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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Ludvig2021
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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Ludvig2021 »

zeta1454 wrote:
14 Oct 2021, 10:59
What do you feed Ludvig - meals and treats? Some dog foods have added flavour and colour enhancers which can trigger hyperactivity.

Have you tried offering Ludvig a raw meaty bone to chew? Chewing relaxes dogs and it is rare that a dog doesn’t enjoy settling down to gnaw on a bone in my experience. You need to choose a bone that is appropriate for his age and size but even 4 week old puppies get huge pleasure from chewing on a bone e.g. lamb spine or rib. Marrow bones are good but the marrow is high in fat and calories so would need to be given for only a short time. Other bones can be left for longer but always supervised of course and choose bones that are too large to be swallowed whole. If you have a good raw food for dogs supplier in your locality have a talk to them about the best type. Otherwise a good quality butcher may be able to let you have bones that are suitable.

These are a few informative links re raw bones for dogs:

https://www.wolftucker.co.uk/blog/talki ... cky-simon/

https://benyfitnatural.co.uk/blogs/news ... -raw-bones

https://www.nurturingbynature.co.uk/art ... s-for-dogs
We’ve fed him Royal canin medium junior for the past 4-5 weeks, and now we are feeding him Eukanuba junior. We usually use carrots or chicken as treats, and once in a while store bought treats with high meat percentage.

Ludvig actually gets a raw bone (cow) once in a while for 10-15 minutes, should we let him have it for longer? I am a bit worried that he’ll chew off splinters, so I’ve been a bit careful with giving it to him without 110% supervision 😊 I’ll read the links, thank you.

Ludvig2021
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Re: 12 week puppy growling

Post by Ludvig2021 »

zeta1454 wrote:
14 Oct 2021, 10:59
What do you feed Ludvig - meals and treats? Some dog foods have added flavour and colour enhancers which can trigger hyperactivity.

Have you tried offering Ludvig a raw meaty bone to chew? Chewing relaxes dogs and it is rare that a dog doesn’t enjoy settling down to gnaw on a bone in my experience. You need to choose a bone that is appropriate for his age and size but even 4 week old puppies get huge pleasure from chewing on a bone e.g. lamb spine or rib. Marrow bones are good but the marrow is high in fat and calories so would need to be given for only a short time. Other bones can be left for longer but always supervised of course and choose bones that are too large to be swallowed whole. If you have a good raw food for dogs supplier in your locality have a talk to them about the best type. Otherwise a good quality butcher may be able to let you have bones that are suitable.

These are a few informative links re raw bones for dogs:

https://www.wolftucker.co.uk/blog/talki ... cky-simon/

https://benyfitnatural.co.uk/blogs/news ... -raw-bones

https://www.nurturingbynature.co.uk/art ... s-for-dogs
I’d like to add, that we were advised to give him some Vom puppy food by the breeder, as raw food doesn’t get them hyper but calms them down. Have you had any experience with that? ☺️

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