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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my first APBT about 6 weeks ago. His name is Bubba, he's about 15 weeks old now and can be just the sweetest dog. I have tried my best to do everything in my power to make him be calm submissive and for him to know I'm the boss. I've read numerous articles and have been lurking on the site for quite a while now. I have been doing NILF with him for the past few weeks.

My area of concern is when I move him while he's sleeping, he growls at me. He has never snapped at me or tried to bite me, but his growling is unacceptable. Over the past week I've let him sleep with me in my bed. Last night I attempted to move him over to the other side of the bed and he growled at me. I immediately said No! and removed him from the bed. Today he was sleeping on my roommates dog's bed and I attempted to remove him from the bed. He again growled at me (no snapping) and I disciplined him the same way.

My question is, is this just a cranky little puppy and shouldn't be too concerned with it (other then keep on correcting it) or is there something deeper here?

Thank you for all the input. This site has been amazing when it comes to information and first hand experience.
 

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Well, I wouldn't try to get a calm dog at this age. It's a puppy, they're very busy little bodies.
And it's hard to say without a video/being there. But generally not something I'd be bugged about. I've had foster puppies who would growl when moved, likely because they'd growl at their siblings if they tried to play with them while sleeping. Growling doesn't = aggressive, bite or attack. It's a way of communicating, saying "I dislike that, stop."

Personally I find the dominance, and pack leader thing overdone. You should concentrate on building a healthy, fun relationship with your puppy. You don't make your dog work, your dog should want to work.

Here's a very good book about raising a puppy, I'd recommend over all others I've read.
Amazon.com: Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog (9781577314554): Dr. Ian Dunbar: Books
 

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If you are allowing your pup to sleep on your bed then you are not practicing NILIF. This sounds like a dominant little pup that has been given too much freedom. He does not see you as alpha. You can keep correcting as much as you want but if this pup is not given boundaries then you will likely end up getting bit. A dog that knows his place does not growl at his owner for moving/handling him. You do not want to be dealing with this when he is a grown dog. Right now you can put an end to this behavior but you need to change the way you are living with the dog. Do not let him on the furniture or your bed. Get a crate and keep him in there when you cant watch him. Do not leave toys on the floor for him. You must show him that you control all the resources. You initiate play and end it. Do not allow him to demand attention. Call him to you for affection. He must sit before you feed him. There are lots of ways to show that you are alpha but you need to be consistent. Once he accepts you as alpha, you will end up with the calm, submissive pup you are looking for.
 

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I'm sorry, but you can't say a dog doesn't see their owner as an alpha just from what the OP posted. Plenty of dogs who are lower rank than other dogs would growl at the dominant dog if they feel they are being rude or pushing a boundary.

Here, at the lower part of this article it's about how to be your dog's leader.
Leadership and the family dog - Orlando Dog Training and Behavior | Examiner.com
 

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I'm sorry, but you can't say a dog doesn't see their owner as an alpha just from what the OP posted. Plenty of dogs who are lower rank than other dogs would growl at the dominant dog if they feel they are being rude or pushing a boundary.

Here, at the lower part of this article it's about how to be your dog's leader.
Leadership and the family dog - Orlando Dog Training and Behavior | Examiner.com
To correct myself. I should not have used "alpha" since it no long means what people think it does. I should have said "doesn't see their owner as an leader"

From one of the people who started the basis of wolf "pack life"
 

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Sorry for the multiple posts. I looked more into NILF training, I didn't spot anything about not letting your pet sleep on the bed.
NILF Training

Also may I add, my dog sees me as leader. But he isn't calm, he is a naturally high energy dog. He's a busy body, always needs something to do.
 

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I agree and disagree with the posts above.... Growling is not acceptable in any sense and what the dog is telling you is bugger off and leave me alone. That is not a submissive behavior that is a dominate behavior. Our dogs should yield to us when we ask them to do something and not act out with dominance or aggression. I do not think it sounds like your puppy is aggressive just asserting dominance while on the bed or couch. Normally I have no issues sleeping with dogs if they know where they belong in the pecking order and respect you as alpha and the leader. Your pup does not respect you as the leader there for growling at you instead of submitting.

In this case I would not allow the puppy to sleep with you and put them back in a crate for bed time and at a later date say in a few months you can try it again. Yes you should be correcting this behavior but how are you correcting the behavior? That is the most important part, if you correction is not strong enough the dog does not get the point. If the correction is too harsh you build mistrust and fear. So please describe how you would correct the pup for this.

This is an early warning sign of bad things that could come out in the future if not corrected right away. I would also bet there are other area's of conflict that you might not even know is conflict but the warning signs are there. This could very easily turn into dominance and more problems. If it was my pup and they growled at me they would not be allowed to sleep or lay down where I sleep and sit, and the moment they growled the would taken off the couch by the collar and correct with a firm NO and a pop on the collar, depending on the dogs reaction I might even hold them in a submissive position on the ground till they submitted. Growling at me like that is a lack of respect and something a dog in my house may only try once or twice before they learn that is a bad idea. So the same thing goes for you pup, no tolerance but if this keep happening then there is something wring with how you are correcting.

These are the dogs I end up seeing a few years later when the owners are having a real hard time with the dog. You know you have all seen them, the chihuahua that will not let anyone on the couch....... this is how it starts out then get worse from here. This behavior can turn into aggression if the dog learns this is an effective way to back you off and get what they want. Dogs are very simple creatures, they learn what gives them success and if growling gets them left alone then they will continue that behavior and even up the game with a snap at some point. So this does not mean you have a bad dog but rather a problem that needs to be handled swiftly and corrected and it should go away quickly.
 

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I agree and disagree with the posts above.... Growling is not acceptable in any sense and what the dog is telling you is bugger off and leave me alone. That is not a submissive behavior that is a dominate behavior. Our dogs should yield to us when we ask them to do something and not act out with dominance or aggression. I do not think it sounds like your puppy is aggressive just asserting dominance while on the bed or couch. Normally I have no issues sleeping with dogs if they know where they belong in the pecking order and respect you as alpha and the leader. Your pup does not respect you as the leader there for growling at you instead of submitting.

In this case I would not allow the puppy to sleep with you and put them back in a crate for bed time and at a later date say in a few months you can try it again. Yes you should be correcting this behavior but how are you correcting the behavior? That is the most important part, if you correction is not strong enough the dog does not get the point. If the correction is too harsh you build mistrust and fear. So please describe how you would correct the pup for this.

This is an early warning sign of bad things that could come out in the future if not corrected right away. I would also bet there are other area's of conflict that you might not even know is conflict but the warning signs are there. This could very easily turn into dominance and more problems. If it was my pup and they growled at me they would not be allowed to sleep or lay down where I sleep and sit, and the moment they growled the would taken off the couch by the collar and correct with a firm NO and a pop on the collar, depending on the dogs reaction I might even hold them in a submissive position on the ground till they submitted. Growling at me like that is a lack of respect and something a dog in my house may only try once or twice before they learn that is a bad idea. So the same thing goes for you pup, no tolerance but if this keep happening then there is something wring with how you are correcting.

These are the dogs I end up seeing a few years later when the owners are having a real hard time with the dog. You know you have all seen them, the chihuahua that will not let anyone on the couch....... this is how it starts out then get worse from here. This behavior can turn into aggression if the dog learns this is an effective way to back you off and get what they want. Dogs are very simple creatures, they learn what gives them success and if growling gets them left alone then they will continue that behavior and even up the game with a snap at some point. So this does not mean you have a bad dog but rather a problem that needs to be handled swiftly and corrected and it should go away quickly.
:goodpost::goodpost::goodpost: I agree, 100%.
 

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Good post, I agree with some of that.

Just wanted to make clear with what I was meaning. What you said about the bed would be dominance, since the definition of dominance is having control over resources. Leadership and dominance are different, I should have explained my wording.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone, I appreciate all of the advice. I have stopped him from getting on the bed all together and I have him sleeping in his crate at night. I have def. noticed that he has a dominant personality. I correct him the way performanceknls described. A firm NO! a touch and I immediately remove him from the bed.

This is the only thing that I have seen him show any type of "aggression" towards me (he has no problem with me taking away food, treats, or toys.)
 

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate all of the advice. I have stopped him from getting on the bed all together and I have him sleeping in his crate at night. I have def. noticed that he has a dominant personality. I correct him the way performanceknls described. A firm NO! a touch and I immediately remove him from the bed.

This is the only thing that I have seen him show any type of "aggression" towards me (he has no problem with me taking away food, treats, or toys.)
Sounds like you're going in the right direction. :welcome: to GoPitbull, I hope you stick around, there is a lot to learn about this breed and we have many knowledgeable people here who can help you with just about any situation. :)
 

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate all of the advice. I have stopped him from getting on the bed all together and I have him sleeping in his crate at night. I have def. noticed that he has a dominant personality. I correct him the way performanceknls described. A firm NO! a touch and I immediately remove him from the bed.

This is the only thing that I have seen him show any type of "aggression" towards me (he has no problem with me taking away food, treats, or toys.)
Good just keep that behavior in check and it will start to go away.:clap:
 
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