Dog growling/snapping at other dogs

Posted by cblow
Jan 13, 2011
I have 5 dashchunds (3 are mine and two fosters that i have had for 1.5 years - yea, well on my way to foster failure!). One is female and 4 are male - all spayed/neutured. My female growls at all of the other dogs when they are near her - it doesn't matter if she has a toy or not, nor whether she is near me or not. It has escalated to snapping and even this seems to be intensifying. I have checked her thoroughly and physically she is fine and is her normal self except for this behavior that seems to be escalating over several months.

On the one hand, I don't want her to do this...on the other hand, I don't want to correct her for growling as I don't want her to skip the warning and bite.

What should I do?

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 13, 2011
Hi cblow,

I am also a foster failure and we added 1 dog and 2 kittens to our 2 dogs. However, I strongly feel this is the max that I can give sufficient attention to each of the dogs and cats.

Is the snappy female one of your own dogs? If so, she is telling you that there are too many dogs! I would recommend you adopt the two foster dogs out for the sake of your own dogs.

Each dog deserves undivided attention sometime. With your 5 dogs, I would imagine it will be very hard to train them and keep them in harmony.

I know how you feel about your foster dogs; I just placed my last foster dog that I had 3 mos and train him from a stray dog to a well-mannered family dog. I miss him a lot but in the mean time, I am so happy that he's got his own family and he doesn't have to divide my attention with my 3 dogs and 2 cats.

You said that she was getting worse the last several months and I think she feels insecure and frustrated. Please think of getting rid of the 2 foster dogs. They also deserve more attention from their own family.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 14, 2011
Hey cblow,

How old is the female? If she's older, it could be that she's had enough of so many dogs all the time. If she's younger, she might just be acting out in a snappy teenager kind of way.

I do agree that if you can, get those two fosters out to make more space and happy times for your three dogs. In the meantime, is there a way to give your girl some private, quiet space? You should still let her interact, on group walks and at feeding time, but be sure she has a space that can be hers to get away from those 4 rambunctious boys! This should help her calm down, though she may still growl.

If you're ok with the growling as a warning, then only correct her when she snaps. She should get the idea that telling the boys to back off is ok, but striking out isnt. Tell her "no" immediately if she snaps, and remove her from the situation to calm down.

I really think getting the two fosters into their own homes is the best thing to do, and in the meantime, be sure your girl can get away from the rest of them, it should help her calm down