Lily’s aggression is getting quite worrisome.  She likes to show the teeth and growl all the time to me and somewhat my girlfriend.  I am the main care taker of Lily and she also likes me the most.   She is quite quick to show the teeth.  We had a trainer who suggested giving her treats when approaching her to get her out of the that state of mind, but I think it just embolden her more as she knows she’ll get a treat if she starts showing the teeth.


She’ll listen to commands after or during these episodes, but she is quite nervous with the licking and pacing while doing so.  She is quite food driven and whatever trick or task the trainer said we should do, Lily learns quite easily, but we need to break her of her thinking she is the alfa dog.  Our Vet says we need have her submit as soon as even her lip moves, but with Lily’s little legs (and quite strong) it’s hard to get her down.


She’s lovey a lot, but also very growly and it’s becoming an issue in the house.  My girlfriend does not think we should be commanding/loud in tone towards her when she’s acting aggressive so it’s becoming a point of contention.  I really don’t know what to do. 


I work from home and Lily likes to sit next to me all day.  She’s great on walks, knows her commands, but is a real you-know-what and will start lifting her lip just petting her.  The training method with treats has now made her behavior worse IMO.


Any suggestions?

Views: 1591

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Do not listen to your vet for training advice! If you have been making her submit, you are reinforcing her concerns. Growling is a way of warning she is uncomfortable and should not be punished because she will learn not to warn.  try watching some Zak George or kikopup videos  on utube to assist with your timing while training.

I second Bev's! Please see if you can find a behavioralist trainer. And bear in mind that no one vet is the be-all and end-all in expertise, though most of them probably are more expert than most of us.

Has this dog actually ever tried to bite? If not, I'd sure think through the vet's advice carefully.

Cassie will raise her lip and show her teeth. Sometimes she will seem to be growling but not in the sense of an angry German shepherd (Ger sheps were my life before I got too old to handle a dog that size). It's more like grumbling...if she was a human, we'd say she was whinging. Ruby the Corgi Pup seems to interpret this as having some sort of meaning, but she doesn't seem to be very threatened by it. I've found that a response from the Human like "What is THAT supposed to be?" or "What are you DOING?"  (add a little drama here) elicits a kind of "oh nevvermind" grump.

I think (but I may be wrong: Corgi experts please respond???) that a kind of low-level grumbling and lip-raising among these dogs is not a significant threat. It's a strange little dog: it does  not seem to communicate in quite the same way as some other breeds. In my experience, a German shepherd does not inform you that it has in mind removing your jugular vein; but also in my experience, an angry German shepherd that has no serious designs on your life is likely to tell you in no uncertain terms that you'd better knock off whatever you're doing. Having switched over to Corgis, it seems to me that they're far less likely to bite without significant warning, but that grumbling and mumbling is mostly just that: grumbling and mumbling.

 On the other hand, I may be crazy. ;-)

I also agree with Bev.

I too agree with Bev. The advice given by the Vet is counterproductive.  Giving her treats when she growls is also, as you found out, counterproductive. The problem is that, by now, the dog's behavior is becoming more and more ingrained.  She obviously does not trust, this is the underlying issue.  I don't think it's an "alpha issue" at all.  You need to find someone who has a better understanding of dog behavior to help you back track and figure out why she does not trust you.  She does like you, or she would not sit by you as you describe, so something else is going on.  She also will follow your commands, so her nature is cooperative.  I hope you find the right help, this is not something you can just solve online.  You can see if there is a recommended trainer in your area associated with NADOI. 


I was re reading your post this morning. Maybe she is especially touch sensitive. I had an Alaskan Malamute that did not want to be petted, did not like being touched.  Otherwise she was fine, got many obedience and working titles.  She never curled her lip, but would grumble when you petted her, so I never used that form of praise. She did love her treats! She was also very tolerant of children, so I never had to worry about her around them.

I don't think she loves to be petted, but she doesn't dislike it.  Doing anything she is opposed to and she shows the teeth like nothing.

Whatever trick or instruction we teach her, she learns it very quick. 

We are reading up on the on the instructors and advice now.  Thanks so far.


Rescue Store

Stay Connected


FDA Recall

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Recall

We support...



© 2024   Created by Sam Tsang.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report a boo boo  |  Terms of Service