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Puppy question. 9 month old lab growling at strangers (1 Viewer)

Payne

Footballguy
As the title says, we have a 9 month old chocolate lab.

He has gone for two walks a day since we got him. He has gone to doggie daycare about two days a week since he was around 6 months.

We had him fixed at 6 months and at his follow up, he growled at the vet. The vet said it was completely normal, that they go through a stage around this age.
She got down on the ground and he quickly regained her trust and all was well.

About three weeks ago, I was taking him for a walk and a nurse walked up to us on her break. She knelt down from about 3 feet away and started talking to him nicely. He proceeded to voice a mild growl which caught me off guard. I apologized and we went our separate ways. However, he has now done this several times to others while on a walk. Two weeks ago, my youngest daughter had a group of friends over and he proceeded to bark at them as they walked in the side door and downstairs. No aggressiveness. Just vocal.

He also barks at people walking by. I am ok with that to a point. I like that he is defending his home and his family. But it just seems a bit excessive. Especially given his age.

He loves the people in his inner circle. My wife, my two daughters, close family, etc. He loves the people at daycare. He loves the girls at the pet store at the corner (who feed him treats every time we walk by).
He loves the old couple across the street.

My wife suggests we speak to a trainer and I guess we really have no other option at this point.

Is this normal behavior for a 9 month old lab? Sure wouldn't seem to be.
 

BroncoFreak_2K3

sucker for Orange
Our year-old black lab is one of the sweetest laid back dogs we've ever had, but is the same way when it comes to some strangers. We've had to become much more situationally aware with her. She's a daycare dog as well and that doesn't seem to matter, she's great there.

It may be a breed thing.
 

belljr

Footballguy
my 12 year old Chihuahua/Corgi growls and barks at strangers while wagging her tail...... then if you get close she melts at your feet to be petted.....she's a dope
 

Payne

Footballguy
Our year-old black lab is one of the sweetest laid back dogs we've ever had, but is the same way when it comes to some strangers. We've had to become much more situationally aware with her. She's a daycare dog as well and that doesn't seem to matter, she's great there.

It may be a breed thing.
I've had two in the past who were not like this. It's also hard to keep socializing him like this because he is a big boy. We are afraid to even allow him near people for fear he may bite somebody. He's 75 pounds at 9 months. Ugh.
 

TLEF316

Footballguy
I did see an expert who basically said you can't make your dog like people. And that's ok. As long as he is good around who he needs to be (and he is), that's all that matters.

Yeah, some dogs are just like that. They just growl and bark until they run out of breath even though they have no intention/ability to hurt the "target".

99.999% of dogs love me. Strange dogs just fall at my feet and melt begging to be pet. I have a gift. The only dog that has ever disliked me was my next door neighbor (who thankfully moved away a couple of years ago). He just had this little A-hole of a terrier who just despised the sight of me. He'd leave him out on a dog run in the yard and that thing would snarl and bark at me like you would not believe. It was unreal. It was like I'd curb stomped his owner in the driveway.
 

Judge Smails

Footballguy
Our year-old black lab is one of the sweetest laid back dogs we've ever had, but is the same way when it comes to some strangers. We've had to become much more situationally aware with her. She's a daycare dog as well and that doesn't seem to matter, she's great there.

It may be a breed thing.
I don’t think it’s a breed thing. I’ve had labs for 25 years. My chocolate lab will just stand there amused while other dogs are barking like crazy. And while he barks to protect when somebody comes to the front door, he never does that on walks. Never growls
 

Judge Smails

Footballguy
my 12 year old Chihuahua/Corgi growls and barks at strangers while wagging her tail...... then if you get close she melts at your feet to be petted.....she's a dope
It’s a small dog thing. To each their own. It’s why I’ll never have a small dog. We house sit my daughters 2 Corgi’s and while cute they are exhausting with the barking
 

belljr

Footballguy
my 12 year old Chihuahua/Corgi growls and barks at strangers while wagging her tail...... then if you get close she melts at your feet to be petted.....she's a dope
It’s a small dog thing. To each their own. It’s why I’ll never have a small dog. We house sit my daughters 2 Corgi’s and while cute they are exhausting with the barking
She doesnt bark in the house. Only on walks, if she sees people especially if they come near me.

We also inherited her over a year ago so we take the good with the bad
 
Last edited:

bcat01

Footballguy
my 12 year old Chihuahua/Corgi growls and barks at strangers while wagging her tail...... then if you get close she melts at your feet to be petted.....she's a dope
It’s a small dog thing. To each their own. It’s why I’ll never have a small dog. We house sit my daughters 2 Corgi’s and while cute they are exhausting with the barking
Not all small dogs. Our Shih Tzu never barks at other dogs. Whenever we see another dog he sits and waits for them to pass hoping they want to play. They can be barking and doing flips and he just looks at them.
 

BroncoFreak_2K3

sucker for Orange
my 12 year old Chihuahua/Corgi growls and barks at strangers while wagging her tail...... then if you get close she melts at your feet to be petted.....she's a dope
It’s a small dog thing. To each their own. It’s why I’ll never have a small dog. We house sit my daughters 2 Corgi’s and while cute they are exhausting with the barking
Not all small dogs. Our Shih Tzu never barks at other dogs. Whenever we see another dog he sits and waits for them to pass hoping they want to play. They can be barking and doing flips and he just looks at them.
Same with our puggle. Never barks at other dogs or strangers.
 

Payne

Footballguy
Our year-old black lab is one of the sweetest laid back dogs we've ever had, but is the same way when it comes to some strangers. We've had to become much more situationally aware with her. She's a daycare dog as well and that doesn't seem to matter, she's great there.

It may be a breed thing.
I don’t think it’s a breed thing. I’ve had labs for 25 years. My chocolate lab will just stand there amused while other dogs are barking like crazy. And while he barks to protect when somebody comes to the front door, he never does that on walks. Never growls
My wife believes it's a protective thing. And it may very well be. He has only done this when somebody either speaks to him or approaches him.

If we are walking him and there are people walking a dog across the street, he is dead silent and most of the time will sit and watch the other dog walk by.
If people are just walking by, same thing. In the past, if we walked into another couple walking their dog, he would interact with the other dog just fine.
Since he first growled, we have gone out of our way to avoid those situations so I am not sure how he would respond. Usually people avoid us now because of his size.

However, if he is inside and somebody walks by walking their dog, usually he will bark and growl like normal.

I just don't want him to get worse.
 

STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
Our year-old black lab is one of the sweetest laid back dogs we've ever had, but is the same way when it comes to some strangers. We've had to become much more situationally aware with her. She's a daycare dog as well and that doesn't seem to matter, she's great there.

It may be a breed thing.
I don’t think it’s a breed thing. I’ve had labs for 25 years. My chocolate lab will just stand there amused while other dogs are barking like crazy. And while he barks to protect when somebody comes to the front door, he never does that on walks. Never growls
My wife believes it's a protective thing. And it may very well be. He has only done this when somebody either speaks to him or approaches him.

If we are walking him and there are people walking a dog across the street, he is dead silent and most of the time will sit and watch the other dog walk by.
If people are just walking by, same thing. In the past, if we walked into another couple walking their dog, he would interact with the other dog just fine.
Since he first growled, we have gone out of our way to avoid those situations so I am not sure how he would respond. Usually people avoid us now because of his size.

However, if he is inside and somebody walks by walking their dog, usually he will bark and growl like normal.

I just don't want him to get worse.
Then you’re going to have to stop avoiding those interactions. You’re teaching him not to have those interactions and he’s probably picking up your nervousness from your body language.

It’s a lab, they’re about as easy as it gets.
 

STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
Oh and barking while he’s inside is totally normal. It’s his house an he’s just letting you know there’s a stranger nearby.

Oddly enough, if you’re outside he probably won’t do it. It’s the door/fence boundary that sets em off.
 

Payne

Footballguy
Our year-old black lab is one of the sweetest laid back dogs we've ever had, but is the same way when it comes to some strangers. We've had to become much more situationally aware with her. She's a daycare dog as well and that doesn't seem to matter, she's great there.

It may be a breed thing.
I don’t think it’s a breed thing. I’ve had labs for 25 years. My chocolate lab will just stand there amused while other dogs are barking like crazy. And while he barks to protect when somebody comes to the front door, he never does that on walks. Never growls
My wife believes it's a protective thing. And it may very well be. He has only done this when somebody either speaks to him or approaches him.

If we are walking him and there are people walking a dog across the street, he is dead silent and most of the time will sit and watch the other dog walk by.
If people are just walking by, same thing. In the past, if we walked into another couple walking their dog, he would interact with the other dog just fine.
Since he first growled, we have gone out of our way to avoid those situations so I am not sure how he would respond. Usually people avoid us now because of his size.

However, if he is inside and somebody walks by walking their dog, usually he will bark and growl like normal.

I just don't want him to get worse.
Then you’re going to have to stop avoiding those interactions. You’re teaching him not to have those interactions and he’s probably picking up your nervousness from your body language.

It’s a lab, they’re about as easy as it gets.
As I said previously, this is my third lab. Maybe it's normal. He just seems a bit more aggressive than my previous two.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Have a good Thanksgiving weekend.
 

STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
Our year-old black lab is one of the sweetest laid back dogs we've ever had, but is the same way when it comes to some strangers. We've had to become much more situationally aware with her. She's a daycare dog as well and that doesn't seem to matter, she's great there.

It may be a breed thing.
I don’t think it’s a breed thing. I’ve had labs for 25 years. My chocolate lab will just stand there amused while other dogs are barking like crazy. And while he barks to protect when somebody comes to the front door, he never does that on walks. Never growls
My wife believes it's a protective thing. And it may very well be. He has only done this when somebody either speaks to him or approaches him.

If we are walking him and there are people walking a dog across the street, he is dead silent and most of the time will sit and watch the other dog walk by.
If people are just walking by, same thing. In the past, if we walked into another couple walking their dog, he would interact with the other dog just fine.
Since he first growled, we have gone out of our way to avoid those situations so I am not sure how he would respond. Usually people avoid us now because of his size.

However, if he is inside and somebody walks by walking their dog, usually he will bark and growl like normal.

I just don't want him to get worse.
Then you’re going to have to stop avoiding those interactions. You’re teaching him not to have those interactions and he’s probably picking up your nervousness from your body language.

It’s a lab, they’re about as easy as it gets.
As I said previously, this is my third lab. Maybe it's normal. He just seems a bit more aggressive than my previous two.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Have a good Thanksgiving weekend.

Sorry, I didn’t see the part about this being your third lab. I read “first” for some reason.

English, American or mutt?
 

Payne

Footballguy
Our year-old black lab is one of the sweetest laid back dogs we've ever had, but is the same way when it comes to some strangers. We've had to become much more situationally aware with her. She's a daycare dog as well and that doesn't seem to matter, she's great there.

It may be a breed thing.
I don’t think it’s a breed thing. I’ve had labs for 25 years. My chocolate lab will just stand there amused while other dogs are barking like crazy. And while he barks to protect when somebody comes to the front door, he never does that on walks. Never growls
My wife believes it's a protective thing. And it may very well be. He has only done this when somebody either speaks to him or approaches him.

If we are walking him and there are people walking a dog across the street, he is dead silent and most of the time will sit and watch the other dog walk by.
If people are just walking by, same thing. In the past, if we walked into another couple walking their dog, he would interact with the other dog just fine.
Since he first growled, we have gone out of our way to avoid those situations so I am not sure how he would respond. Usually people avoid us now because of his size.

However, if he is inside and somebody walks by walking their dog, usually he will bark and growl like normal.

I just don't want him to get worse.
Then you’re going to have to stop avoiding those interactions. You’re teaching him not to have those interactions and he’s probably picking up your nervousness from your body language.

It’s a lab, they’re about as easy as it gets.
As I said previously, this is my third lab. Maybe it's normal. He just seems a bit more aggressive than my previous two.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Have a good Thanksgiving weekend.

Sorry, I didn’t see the part about this being your third lab. I read “first” for some reason.

English, American or mutt?
He is an AKC registered American. I think I am overthinking this. He is great outside of this and maybe it's because he is still young and just a bit more protective than my other two. Just caught my wife and I off guard. Take care and have a great Thanksgiving.
 

Leroy Hoard

Footballguy
A lot of my neighbors have dogs that all bark at me as I walk by. Except for this one beagle I call silent dog. I wave at him and shout out "hey silent dog!". But he just sits there and looks at me like I'm crazy.
 

modogg

Footballguy
did you socialize the pup? dog park, etc.? a dog training class at like any Petco or anything would help him get used to seeing other people and not have such a growl. take the dog to dog parks, etc. is another option that could help to see if the dog needs to get more attn.

i have 2 current pups, one is 10 months the other is like 4 months.
 

STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
Our year-old black lab is one of the sweetest laid back dogs we've ever had, but is the same way when it comes to some strangers. We've had to become much more situationally aware with her. She's a daycare dog as well and that doesn't seem to matter, she's great there.

It may be a breed thing.
I don’t think it’s a breed thing. I’ve had labs for 25 years. My chocolate lab will just stand there amused while other dogs are barking like crazy. And while he barks to protect when somebody comes to the front door, he never does that on walks. Never growls
My wife believes it's a protective thing. And it may very well be. He has only done this when somebody either speaks to him or approaches him.

If we are walking him and there are people walking a dog across the street, he is dead silent and most of the time will sit and watch the other dog walk by.
If people are just walking by, same thing. In the past, if we walked into another couple walking their dog, he would interact with the other dog just fine.
Since he first growled, we have gone out of our way to avoid those situations so I am not sure how he would respond. Usually people avoid us now because of his size.

However, if he is inside and somebody walks by walking their dog, usually he will bark and growl like normal.

I just don't want him to get worse.
Then you’re going to have to stop avoiding those interactions. You’re teaching him not to have those interactions and he’s probably picking up your nervousness from your body language.

It’s a lab, they’re about as easy as it gets.
As I said previously, this is my third lab. Maybe it's normal. He just seems a bit more aggressive than my previous two.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Have a good Thanksgiving weekend.

Sorry, I didn’t see the part about this being your third lab. I read “first” for some reason.

English, American or mutt?
He is an AKC registered American. I think I am overthinking this. He is great outside of this and maybe it's because he is still young and just a bit more protective than my other two. Just caught my wife and I off guard. Take care and have a great Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving to you too, GB! :thumbup:
 

CGRdrJoe

Footballguy
My yellow lab was the most docile dog ever but around 9-10 months he was a total *******. He growled at me a few times and I actually called our breeder to discuss this and she said he was trying to claim the alpha spot in the house and told me that I would need to remind him who the alpha was. A few changes to reactions at his behaviors and he was back to the fun loving lab he had been up til that point.
 

mr. furley

Footballguy
Oddly enough, if you’re outside he probably won’t do it. It’s the door/fence boundary that sets em off.
we have a pit. she is the dumbest, sweetest, gentlest dog. loves pets. will flop over for belly scratches. sits and is very gentle with small kids and old people.

but put her in the fenced in yard and people walking by must think she's a murderous monster. she just goes insane barking and racing back and forth at the fence. not growling, not snarling. just barking and running. back and forth. back and forth. barking like wild.

apparently it's something called "barrier frustration", she wants so badly to play with the dogs and people walking by and just flips out because she can't.

when we walk, play at the park, etc. she's fantastically friendly. but in the yard.. a maniac.
 

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