Beatrice is a 10 week boxer. Yes, I know that all puppies have their phase of rough play, growling, barking, etc. Sometimes, however, she sounds like a complete monster! Growling and shaking her squeaky toys, a basketball, jumping around our feet. The noises she makes sound like she wants to completely kill these items! She has also done this when we have tried to socialize her with other dogs. She has NO FEAR of dogs 10 X her size, even if they have snapped at her. She always seems playful in her dimeanor (tail wagging, playful posture), but the sounds make me very nervous that she will grow into a mean dog. We do not do the chase or tug-of-war games, as I have read that these will encourage aggression. When she does growl like this at her toys, I usually take them away until she settles down. On one hand, I don't want to turn her into a whimp, but don't want to allow this if it will encourage her to be mean as a she gets older. HELP!
Okay, first. Everything this dog is doing is natural and completely harmless. The dog is expressing it's predatory instincts. It's practising. You not going to teach the dog not to be a predator. It's hard wired.
And I assure that tug-of-war is positive outlet for this. There is a cycle of the hunt. locate, chase, catch, kill, disect. All dogs do anyone or all of these to some degree. That instinct is one that makes them trainable.
Tug-of-war used to be seen a "fight" between 2 dogs. we have found this not to be true. Tug-of-war is not fight it's is a cooperative game to disect prey. all my dogs have won every single game of tug of war they have ever played. They have not grown to be mean. and far from it.
If the dog is playing, but is growling....I do not see the problem. Except you associate the growling as being bad. I guarntee the dog does not see it the same. The growling is not bad. And the dog is playing. you run more of a risk of making the dog think that playing is bad. since the dog associates growling with play.
What I do with dogs like this is keep the toys. The toys are only for games between me and the dog. This gives me power. since the dog knows I control the toys. They are more willing to obey me.
I am curious of th eliterature you have read that told you these things about chase and tug-of-war.
I believe a dog's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment he holds dear, is when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-with a ball in his mouth."
My yorkie has always made growling noises when she plays roughly since she was a puppy. She doesn't do it with most new dogs or when she is just kindof playing, but she does do it with dogs she is used to and is playing hard with. She is in no way aggressive..she is 2 1/2 and never bit anyone or acted like she would. I think some dogs just make more noise when they play.