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Sleep Aggression


wendy1
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Ella is (finally) settling into life at our house. It's only been 7 months! But one thing is still persisting. When she is sleepy in the evening and you come anywhere near her she growls. If you get too close and try to pet her she will get downright nasty. Of course as soon as she snaps, she's right back kissing your face and "apologizing". We consistently try to break the habit through firm NO's and desensitizing by petting her even though she's growling, but I was wondering if anyone else had this experience?

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Hi wendy1,

I have not experienced this with my Cairn, Wicket, but I think you are doing the right thing by firmly telling Ellie "no" when she is growling at you. I would not continue to pet her when she is doing this, as she may associate the negative behavior with the reward of being petted.

--Erin

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Last night Bailey was lounging on the couch and it was time for us to go to bed. My husband carried her crate into our bedroom and told Bailey, "Bedtime." Bailey looked up at him and stretched out more on the couch. A few minutes later I went to pick her up to place her in her crate and she actually grumbled at me.. a low soft growl. I picked her up and told her not to grumble at me, but it cracked me up that she actually was complaining that I was taking her off the comfy couch and placing her in her crate. They really do have their own ideas. Hope this isn't a sign as to what's to come.

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Grace is exactly the same as Ella. She gets really grumpy at bedtime. If you go anywhere near her she growls like wolf. Rather than fight her we just decided to ignore her. When its time to go to bed we all march upstairs and just leave Grace in the living room. It takes about two minutes until we hear her little feet clicking across the floor and up the stairs and then she jumps in bed. In the morning, she is the most loving of all three. She has to give everybody a kiss (including Lily and Molly).

Grace is a real sweetheart. We decided to pick our battles with the girls and this is one "bad" behavior we decided to let slide.

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Our Allie has always been a very grumpy sleeper, and we have learned not to put our hand down to even touch her if she is curled up in a chair or on the bed. She wakes up wtih a vengeance, and snaps out so quickly. When she was young she caught me a few times and, though she is immediately quite contrite, I was concerned about it. We've learned to avoid her when she's deeply asleep. I'm not sure how you go about training a dog not to do this; Allie is now ten years old.

I've just learned not to wake her from these positions. If she is in the bed, I sit down next to her or call her name loudly, and that wakes her up. If she's on a chair, I just leave her unless I need to put her in the kitchen if I'm leaving. Usually, in those instances, she senses something is up; if not, again I sit next to her or call loudly, then tell her what to do rather than trying to pick her up.

Sometimes she will even growl as she is obeying our command just after she has awakened. For instance, if she has gone to sleep on the bed and I want to sleep there (she heads up to bed at around 10, even if we don't), I'll wake her up and tell her to move. She'll move quite quickly, but she still grumbles about it.

She's always been shy about being touched from above, and I think that's part of it. We got her from the breeder as a pup and I know no one has ever abused her,. but she just doesn't like people to stand over her, lean down and pet her head. Our "newer" dog, T-Bone, will sit down and accept pets gladly when we do this, but she has always just danced away.

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my dog was like that till he was about four, but he is over it now. i suspect this is pretty common behavior and that a lot of things are involved. everybody is grumpy when emerging from sleep, and i think it is worse for children than for grown-ups, since they have less awareness and self-discipline. the same principle probably applies to puppies and dogs. clearly there is something else going on. it seemed like my dog needed a few moments of consciousness to get his civilized hat on. if disturbed while sleeping, or going to sleep or waking up, he was growly, grumpy suspicious, and could snap if pushed.

my dog is over this behavior now. some of it was a matter of desensitization. when he got ugly i would sit and talk to him confidently and humorously, and when he seemed to fully alert i would make sure to touch his head or face, in a reassuring way. i suppose that even without desensitization he would eventually have figured out that nothing was going to jump him when he was unawares. although with patience this behavior can be mitigated or even overcome in a normal dog, i certainly think it is a good general practice to follow the old maxim: let sleeping dogs lie. there is a reason this has become a part of the language. and i would teach it to children. it's a good rule everywhere, with every dog.

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Sparky, who is the most submissive, docile sweet love puppy, would sound as if he would kill you f you touch him while he is sleeping at night. He is the same way in the car, at night. I have self diagnosed this as a fear of dark. If I touch him during the day, he is fine. He also hates his walk at night. I know many of you do not "coddle" or indulge fears. I coddle my baby all the way. When he is afraid, I turn the light on. If he is afraid on the walk, I pick him up. He is and always will be my sweet baby boy. I drive my husband absolutely insane.

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Puddles dont want to go to bed but complains when its time to get up. I just think she got that from me. :confused:

I LOVE MY CAIRNS PUDDLES AND IRIS!

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I have to agree with pkcrossley here. Use your voice and then pet when they know it's you but you're right to think of getting her used to this. Angus too has plenty to say if he's comfy and doesn't want moving but as much as he complains he still has to move. Just make sure any children know not to go near him or pop him in another room to have a nap for his own safety.

I wander if it is an instinct due to their job description, maybe they think we're a badger jumping on them?

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sheila and Misty

we got the pleasure of experiencing an grouch ella type personality and a velcro teona type-ah that would be grouchy stay back male scruffy and in your face misty' . we treated them both the same . never know till they grow up

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My Sandy was like that when he got older. We couldn't even talk while he was curled up and sleeping, he would growl and grunt like we were bothering him. We thought it was funny though. He was like a grumpy old man.

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