My Pit Bull puppy won't let you pet him on the head or pick him up. He growls whenever you do this. Does anyone else have this problem and how do you correct the problem?
By Belinda from MI
How long have you had the puppy? Growling in puppies can be a fear thing, a 'back off' if you will. Whatever you do, do not punish him for the growling or force him to deal with the petting or handling he is not ready for yet. This will only cement the fear. I know it is hard for those of us who love dogs to want to lavish pets and hugs. Treats and patience will actually get you there quicker. Many happy years with your new puppy!
The puppy might be frightened. To us, petting an animal on the head is normal, but to animals, that can be a gesture of dominance.
What I do with dogs I don't know is that I put my hand down where the dog/cat can sniff it, below the muzzle. The animal is more comfortable being above your hand. Let it sniff you for a while, then -- without making a sudden move -- gently scratch it under the chin, or behind the ears. Animals usually love the sensation, and it's less intimidating than being petted on the head. A frightened animal might eventually let you pet it on the head eventually, but at first, it's best to err on the safe side.
If your pup still has problems, then discuss it with your vet, because it may have psychological problems (anxiety, etc.), that need to be addressed.
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