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  #1  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:11 AM
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Angry Growling and Baring Teeth

Some background...

Charlie is a 3 year old, female Rottweiler who is 130lbs. She has obtained her CGC and TDI. She goes to work with me daily and has been socialized since the day I brought her home. Kids can do anything to her and she doesn't even flinch.

At work today, I had her outside to potty. A man wanted to say hello so I let her approach him. Knowing how men often approach her, I said "just do not lean over her." No sooner did I get the words out of my mouth than the man grabbed her face and put his head right on hers face towards her face.

Charlie of course growled and barked with teeth bared. The guy jumped backwards and I told her leave it and come. It was over in a couple seconds. I then explained to the man this is why I had made the comment not to lean over her head.

I have had this happen a couple times before and it is always a man and he leans over top of her. Kids and females can do anything but they don't lean over her. They stand back or kneel down beside her. Some men, who have experience with Rottweilers, will kneel down beside her and let her sniff them and then pet her under the head.

So it isn't men in general that she has a problem with it is the men that lean over top of her. I would never try to do this to any dog yet alone a larger breed. I am not sure why people do this to her before I even can say she is friendly.

Is this a common Rottweiler issue?? Is there anyway to correct this before it happens since I cannot control other people?? Her leave it and come stop the issue as soon as it starts but would like to not have the issue at all.
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:21 AM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

Do you like strange men coming up & hugging & kissing you? There's nothing wrong with your dog. Don't just tell people to stay out of her face, make SURE it doesn't happen.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:22 AM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

You might need to practice your assertiveness.
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:33 AM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

Quote:
Originally Posted by erinrgray5 View Post

Is this a common Rottweiler issue?? Is there anyway to correct this before it happens since I cannot control other people?? Her leave it and come stop the issue as soon as it starts but would like to not have the issue at all.
I wouldn't even call it an issue, I think it was a perfectly natural reaction.

I'm not a very sociable person .
One of my dogs is even less sociable. Most times, (unless somebody has taken the time to talk to me first, before asking if they may stroke my dog) I don't let people stroke my dogs.
I know that's not going to make me popular here, but I just make a kind of joke about it, and tell them he's a 'Mummys Boy'. If somebody's going to end up bitten it won't be with my approval.
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2012, 06:22 AM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

Well, she isn't going to suddenly like people bending over her or getting in her face. It simply makes her uncomfortable and she is likely always to be verbal about it.

So, one of two things: First you could be more assertive both with your directions (do NOT bend over her) and your proximity to the dog. If you are closer, you can step forward and interupt the bending man, or pull the dog back sooner. Second, you could be more selective about those allowed to approach your dog. There is nothing wrong with saying no.
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:18 AM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

This is not a common Rottweiler issue, it is a common dog issue. Many dogs are uncomfortable with being approached in this way. Not all of them that don't like it react strongly, but that doesn't mean that they like it.

As you know that your dog is particularly uncomfortable with it (which is fair enough, in my opinion - I wouldn't be too keen on a random strange man coming up and grabbing my face either), you need to better manage the people who want to pat her, or don't let them pat her.
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:57 AM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

I agree with what everyone else has already stated. You do have a heads up and know how Charlie will react. Therefore, you need to make sure it doesn't happen.
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2012, 09:00 AM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

Like everyone has pretty much said, it sounds like the man was being rude and your dog simply reacted. She growled to let him know she did not like what he was doing. She may have even given some other warnings through body language that you and/or he did not pick up on. Either way, you know she does not like this and it will be your job to manage that.
When someone asks me to pet my dog, I ask them to wait, then put my dog in a heal position at a sit before I allow them to approach. That way I have control of my dog and I am close enough to control what happens. Maybe you can try this. If the dog is next to you at a heal position, it is not likely that someone would lean over the dog, because you would be right there.
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2012, 10:24 AM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

I've had several instances where strangers have interacted inappropriately with either one of our fosters or one of our personal dogs....
...we had just picked up a rotti-pit, Sugar, from the shelter and were walking her on the sidewalk outside our home. A woman with children crossed the street saying her kids wanted to pet the dog. We told her we had just gotten the dog, knew nothing about it and that it wasn't a good idea. She totally ignored what we were saying as her kids swarmed Sugar. Fortunately, Sugar was outstanding with kids but the potential for things going wrong was truly scary.
...I was walking a rotti-mastiff foster, BlackJack, one morning and a man was kneeling along the sidewalk pulling weeds. He commented that he needed a hug and grabbed BJ by the neck as we walked past and hugged him. Although BJ did have certain handling issues that could be quite dramatic, being hugged and kissed wasn't one of them and he stood politely while the man did that.
....I was waiting in the vet's office with my rotti, Zoey, and a woman commented she needed a kiss, jumped up, took the two steps to reach Zoey, grabbed her by the jowels and swooped down to kiss her on the mouth. I'm not sure who was more suprised, me or Zoey.

My point is that, even without giving permission, or with asking people to not interact with your dog, the potential for people to do stupid stuff always exists. I agree that your dog's reaction is pretty normal, but one thing you can do is work on desensitizing her to those things you know she reacts to (as there are always idiots out there that we have to worry about). If memory serves me correctly, Brenda Aloff in Aggression in Dogs has a very nice section discussing how to go about this. Start with an area the dog is comfortable having handled and gradually work up to having her face handled while someone bends over her. She sounds like a great dog...best wishes.
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:24 PM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

What I don't understand is why you allow it to happen knowing that she is not comfortable with that form of an approach. To me, you're setting her up to fail.

Don't let it happen, period.

I say good girl for giving the only "warning" she knew how. And in an insertive manner, which it should have come from you. If you find that you can't stand up for her, then keep people at a distance to admire, please.
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:47 PM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

And once again, why do people put their faces to a strange dog? Fostermom, I have experienced the same things. Honestly, if any stranger did that to me, well, all i can say is WHat good dogs. :)I agree, sometimes we need to control others behavior.....I went to the vet today w/ gabriel for his routine check, someone asked me if they could pet my dog, is he friendly. I did say " as long as you have good manners"......
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  #12  
Old 04-13-2012, 12:56 PM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

Thanks for the information... I didn't assume it was anything she was doing wrong. But more that people are idiots.

When i can control the situation, I definitely do!!! But like Fostermom commented, you can't control other people and they are going to do what they want despite what you say.

I will tell people that I see already leaning in that she is in training and they back off. It is the people that come up despite you walking away or saying leave it to the dog.

Once she gets to know someone they can do almost anything to her without a problem.
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  #13  
Old 04-13-2012, 02:34 PM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

Quote:
Originally Posted by erinrgray5 View Post
...When i can control the situation, I definitely do!!! But like Fostermom commented, you can't control other people and they are going to do what they want despite what you say.
I don't wait to see if people will listen or not. If someone is moving in on my dog and I don't want them to, I step in between the dog and the person first, before they get to her, and tell them why second. The most important thing is to physically thwart the interaction, then you can talk to them.

Sometimes WE need to bare our teeth and do the growling so our dogs don't have to!
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  #14  
Old 04-13-2012, 11:26 PM
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Re: Growling and Baring Teeth

Have done that and even pushed my dog out of the way and have had people lean around me as I continue to push the dog backwards. People are just idiots at times and luckily I have control of my dog and the situation.
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