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Dog growled only at me

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seashanty

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okay dog people. i need some advice.
went to a family birthday party. my son and his girlfriend's new house (in there about 2 weeks). i guess they will be getting engaged in a few months. anyway, girlfriend has a 3 year old german shepherd. girlfriend greeted me at the door and then the dog came over and growled at me. he was scolded. growled a little more. then stopped. not baring his teeth but a low rumble.
i am now a little scared of the dog which he knows.
after about 10 minutes, i sat down and took off my fake ugg boots, replaced them with slipper socks.
the dog sniffed me some. no more growling. but he was watchful of me. we all had dinner. nice time.
my other son and his girlfriend have 3 dogs. no growling of the dog.
my daughter arrived with her boyfriend. she has a cat. boyfriend no pets. no growling.
dog was playful, wagging tail, with all except me. seemed to watch me a bit. i tried to act like it was no problem and i almost (almost) forgot the dog had growled. he sniffed me a few times, i even fed him a little treat. but i was uneasy. there are two OLD cats that live where i'm staying.
everyone met the dog, same as i did, walking inside the house, dog was inside. no other pets were brought to the house.
when i went to leave i picked up my boots and set them down on the floor to put them on. dog growled. i started crying. wonderful way to show the dog who's boss, right?
can it possibly (hopefully) be the boots?
i wore no hat. am not tall. no threatening voice.
this is my son's girlfriend's BABY. i need to have a better relationship with the dog.
when i go there again (without those boots just in case) what do i do? bring treats? as i say, i am now leery of the dog and it's bound to carry over. i had a shepherd growing up. but i've not met a dog who growls and watches me so intently. why only me???
this has been worrying me for three days now. no dog psychologist but i am wondering if it's because my son's girlfriend was fussing to cook us all a dinner. might she have been a little nervous about me coming to the house that the dog picked up on? she and i have met before, but she is still formal with me.
she didn't think the growling was any big deal. but i do.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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German Shepherds by nature are a protective breed. I would greet the dog at your next visit by using a happy voice, don't stare at it. Rather look directly over its head and then once you are in the house, ignore it.
One it warms up to you, then you might try making friends with it. Sit on the floor so you are on the same level as the dog. A few livasnaps in your pocket couldn't hurt either.
 

GeorgiaGirl

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When our dog was younger she would bark and growl at any black shoe, purse or belt that we bought until she saw them for several weeks. She would of course do the same thing if anyone came over with black shoes or purse. She is smaller dog so not too intimidating
I would take the boots off as soon as you walk in the door and leave them in a place where he will see them while you are there and see if that helps. Maybe if he smells them and sees that they won't hurt him he will be ok by the time spring gets here
 

gillumhouse

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I would say it was the boots. YOU were the one wearing the boots so even after taking them off - the boots and you have the same scent. You carried the scent of the boots. Next time you go - try to NOT wear the boots and try VERY HARD to not feel intimidated by the dog as yes, he WILL pick up on that. The do not look at him directly is correct also. Good luck.
 

SweetiePie

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I would say it was the boots. YOU were the one wearing the boots so even after taking them off - the boots and you have the same scent. You carried the scent of the boots. Next time you go - try to NOT wear the boots and try VERY HARD to not feel intimidated by the dog as yes, he WILL pick up on that. The do not look at him directly is correct also. Good luck..
Those are all good suggestions. I still never figured out why Bones reacted so negatively to me in the shelter and I wasn't wearing boots. I don't know your dog's history but I chalked it up to perhaps reminding him of someone who had abused him in the past.
 

egoodell

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Don't wear the boots next time and find out what his favorite cookie treat is. Sasha will do anything for the chicken dry stick treats. He will associate you with FOOD which is a GOOD thing.
RIki
 

wendydk

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Yes, no touch, no talk, no eye contact. Remember that you are the human, he is the dog...he is beneath you on the food chain. Do not talk in a high pitch voice (oh, what a pretty baby, what a nice doggie). When someone talks in a voice like that, the dog sees it as a weakness. When you watch him watching you, he sees that as weakness. If you pet him and you're nervous, he feels it and sees that as weakness.
Stick your chest out, square your shoulders and ignore him. He will come to you to make friends (or not). If he doesn't, that's OK too, so long as he respects you.
Watch the Dog Whisperer on National Geographic channel. Seriously.
 

wendydk

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Don't wear the boots next time and find out what his favorite cookie treat is. Sasha will do anything for the chicken dry stick treats. He will associate you with FOOD which is a GOOD thing.
RIki.
Yes, but don't reward bad behavior with food. If he sees that you have it, make him sit and be respectful before giving him anything.
My brother has a spastic boxer that has had no training and no discipline. Whenever I go over there, I ignore him. He always comes to me and smells me with tail wagging. I tap him on the hiney and he will sit right down by me. I make him sit and stay for a moment before he gets any affection or treats. Now, when I get there, he comes to me and sits right away calmly at my feet.
 

egoodell

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Don't wear the boots next time and find out what his favorite cookie treat is. Sasha will do anything for the chicken dry stick treats. He will associate you with FOOD which is a GOOD thing.
RIki.
Yes, but don't reward bad behavior with food. If he sees that you have it, make him sit and be respectful before giving him anything.
My brother has a spastic boxer that has had no training and no discipline. Whenever I go over there, I ignore him. He always comes to me and smells me with tail wagging. I tap him on the hiney and he will sit right down by me. I make him sit and stay for a moment before he gets any affection or treats. Now, when I get there, he comes to me and sits right away calmly at my feet.
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Little Blue said:
Yes, but don't reward bad behavior with food. If he sees that you have it, make him sit and be respectful before giving him anything.
My brother has a spastic boxer that has had no training and no discipline. Whenever I go over there, I ignore him. He always comes to me and smells me with tail wagging. I tap him on the hiney and he will sit right down by me. I make him sit and stay for a moment before he gets any affection or treats. Now, when I get there, he comes to me and sits right away calmly at my feet.
Little Blue is absolutely correct here- bribe him but make him work for it!
Riki
 

JBloggs

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Ignore the dog. German Shepherds are trained to guard and it was leery of you for whatever vibe you had going - could just be you were excited to be there and it was unaccustomed to that vibe. Don't feed it anything, don't cater to it, YOU are the human, it is the dog. Ignore the thing and it will leave you alone and learn to know you.
Then it will be following you around enamoured with you after that.
 

Morticia

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It may be the boots, so go without them next time.
Not that it helps, or maybe it will, but my dog would not let my daughter into the house for 4 years unless we opened the door for her. If she came in the house on her own my dog would growl, bark and charge her. Not a single other person family or otherwise was ever treated this way by the dog. The dog would growl and lunge at her if the dog saw her at the post office.
What we assumed, but never really knew, was she scared the dog the very first day. Either with her perfume (dog was a rescue, could have been the same perfume as the house she had come from), her aggressiveness (she had a houseful of dogs herself and loves dogs), the smell of her own dogs (none of them came with her) or something else we never figured out.
Edited to add...same daughter still proceeds with caution and this is 7 years later. Dog loves her now, no aggressive behavior toward daughter at all.
 

wendydk

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It's not the boots, or perfume, or any other scent. Unlike humans, dogs don't live in the past, they don't think about things that happened to them in the past. Often, we assume they do, and so we feel sorry for them or go overboard to "make it up to them", which makes us appear weak or submissive to them. They live in the moment, and truly are only affected by the things that are happening around them AT THE MOMENT. As in any pack situation, the weak members are dominated by the stronger members..someone has to be in control...they figure if their human pack members aren't doing it, they have to. This is often why you see little old ladies with little tiny dogs that totally run the house and do whatever they want.
Be strong...not aggressive, just calm and confident and sure of your place in the pack.
 

River Wren

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maybe this will be useful to you:
http://www.wikihow.com/Become-Friends-with-an-Unfriendly-Dog
 

JBloggs

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maybe this will be useful to you:
http://www.wikihow.com/Become-Friends-with-an-Unfriendly-Dog.
I will add, don't approach strange dogs, let them approach you.
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Little Blue said:
I will add, don't approach strange dogs, let them approach you.
The first thing "dog lovers" do with our dog is go racing up to her and she backs away from them. If someone ignores her she cannot stand it and is drawn to that person "Wuss a matter? I am not cute enough for you? Want me to fetch or something?" and will bring them a toy.
 
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