Lunging without warning

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drwevil's picture
Joined: 2014-12-04



Rogue is currently 9 weeks old and is coming along amazingly well...

One thing she does do which worries us a bit is she will sit quietly at you feet say while having tea the without warning she will bark and lunge .... She has only done it a couple of times... And we "growled" at her.. Not a scalding just a growly type sound we make went correcting when her which works really well. One time she did it along with an attempted nip to our daughter . 

Do any of your dogs do this and are there any warning signs? Or is the warning sign she is sitting at our feet just looking at us wanting some attention?

The breader warned us her mum can do this if she thinks she needs to go into "protection" mode a bit of a different situation but I'd rather get her out of it now  and correct her at the warning sign and not after the lunge.

We want to avoid a possible incident where someone might mistake a nip for a bite. 

On the whole tho she is wonderful ie this morning I woke with a headache, caught her hind foot in the crate and she yelped when taking her outside to the loo.... She peed then refused to do number two's .. I gave up a bit too soon she ran and sat on her cat bed she sits on quietly to be let in side.. I didn't but went in to get her food and as soon as my back was turned she nicked off and pooed on the concrete ..... Then the feeding went perfectly. (So I'm calling the first bit a draw I definately didn't win) I'm still not feeling that great so I went back to bed.. She is currently sound a sleep on my rugby shirt on the floor with her nosed buried in one armpit where yesterday at this time we were tearing around the back yard having a good old time.

Rogue is awesome...

Lady Kate's picture
Joined: 2009-10-28

Pet Profiles

I think there's ALWAYS a warning.. keep an eye on her ears, her eyes, her body language and stature.. even though she's only nine weeks old, you should be able to detect changes immediately and stop her from acting on them.

She's a baby,.. she has no clue when she has to go potty or even where it's acceptable.. it's up to you to show her..  and sorry to say...Mums cannot get headaches, go back to bed when they don't feel well.. Puppies are a 24/7 responsibility. Full time job til they're at least a year and even then I doubt that there's many of us who would turn our backs for even a nano second when they're tearing about.

Love the name Rogue and look forward to pictures of your girl.

Katie, Sofia and Bella

Oz Dobe's picture
Joined: 2014-03-24

Im a big believer in what Ian Dunbar calls the instructive reprimand. As Kate correctly points out, Ruby is a puppy, she has no clue a)about what is ok in your house in terms of rules and regs and b) what you want her to do.

As you get to know her, you will see signs of her preparing to lunge (or whatever else you dont want her doing) and I would a)tell her that you dont approve ie Ruby no! or Ruby ah' etc and b)follow that up directly with what you want her to do instead ie Ruby sit, Ruby down, Ruby out etc

So putting it together. She's about to lunge - Ruby No! Ruby Sit. This tells her that you dont approve of her lunging and that you would rather her sit instead. Just make sure that she understands the cues you give her before you give the instructive reprimand.

Humans are not dogs. They know this. Growling like one doesnt instruct them in any way. It just confuses them. Dogs are far more communicative using body language than vocal 'language'. Growling/barking just gets another dogs attention, but its the body language that communicates its thoughts/feelings. This is why trainers link verbal cues with body movements. Because the dog responds more quickly to the body position than the verbal cue. Gradually the body position cue is faded out.

I personally keep the body cue because it can work at distance, in an emergency, in noisy environments etc.



drwevil's picture
Joined: 2014-12-04


We will keep an eye out for clues, we were a bit suprised and wernt paying attention at the time.  I figured there was something that we missed. I might have to set her up and whatch for signs.

Its pretty obvious a growl doesnt instruct, but it does distract her and she usually stops what she is doing, it also worked well on our recently past away Cav. Please forgive me I neglected to say the Sit or drop command comes next. we tend to use the growl thing where most ppl would say "No.." it works for us. It aslo seems to help deal with any frustraion I might have..... Rogue is the third dog we have used it on .... makes us look a bit silly at times but I'd rather that than be like the person at the dog park screaming Nooooo... to little or no effect. ;-)

As for the head ache thing her sitting quietly on my shirt showed me she new something was up and was willing to just chill for a bit and happy just to be in the same room, that was her idea not mine. She could have run riot around the house but didnt.... Like I said she is awesome. Her mum may not have gotten headache but i do and Rogue seemed to know it. She is a good puppy.  :-)

Her house training is actually going well she goes were we want to when my wife is with her but she will only pee with me then try to run up on the concrete and poo there... I just gave up to soon this moring and miss read what she was trying to tell me.. my fault not hers.. but she does seem to like to test my authority but doesnt question my wifes.... she is top dog after all.. and Rogue peeing on command is pretty darn cool for a 9 week old :-)

she does make a few mistakes of course but we let those slide and make a fuss about them..

DJ's Dad's picture
Joined: 2010-10-04

Pet Profiles

In total agreement w/ what's already been stated.  There is always a 'warning' sign, but it may be very subtle, so you will need to learn her body language.  Maybe just a quick stare, or ear movement, but something will happen out of the ordinary to let you know that she is about to lurch forward. Watch her, figure out what she does right before that movement, and 'head her off at the pass'...redirect her attention to something positive before she has a chance to lunge. Again, agreeing on the fact that she is a baby and does not yet know what is or is not expected and acceptable.  It's your job to show her, teach her, praise her when she does good.

Dont you just love it when they learn to pee on command?  That always blows my friends away when I tell DJ 'hurry up and potty' and she immediatly does!  (What they dont know is that I pretty much know Deej's routine by now and am pretty sure when she needs to go anyhow, whether I am telling her to or not)  :)

drwevil's picture
Joined: 2014-12-04


Thanks DJ's Dad....

Just watching her last night there a quick stare is part it.... And being excited... Maybe.

But she isn't always.

She does seem to be more willing to comply to commands from females.. My wife she definately regards as pack leader....which is pretty accurate. My six year old daughter she loves to bits and seems to do stuff just to please her... With me she's more stubborn

My two other boys she basically ignores but they also don't spend as much time with her . It's a good opportunity to get my youngest son off the computer. More time with them using a lead I think might help  

She has learnt tho that she is always the last one through the door

It is early days yet we are learning about her just as much as she is about us... And she amazes us in one way or another every day.

She still hasn't seen Cynder the cat who is also black... A black Scottish fold who is very nervous and aloof at the best of times. They have even been in the same room.... She is very hard to see on our couch.