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So is it common for dachshunds to growl at someone they don't know?
It's common, at least with my doxie. Actually he not only growls, he barks and barks and barks. It takes him a long time to get used to people.
It doesn't make any difference what the breed is, growling is unacceptable behavior and should not be tolerated. Growling is showing you he is top dog. If he is growling at you, DO NOT coddle or cuddle him at that time. Just say a firm NO! Whatever you do, do not say... "that's okay" in a pleasing voice, because you are encouraging this behavior.
I need a little back ground on him.
Where did you adopt him from? Shelter, private party, or ??
When does he do this growling?
Sounds like he has not been socialized or possibly he has a health problem.
Don't get discouraged as this is fixable with training etc. You just have to understand the dog.
He was a private party adoption. He is two years old and spent time with 4 children, and three other dogs and 6 puppies. He was teased by the bull terrier they had. His growling has subsided a bit and but he will do it when he already knows the person but has not been around for awhile. And thank you for the advice for the firm command of "no" as I was doing the "that's ok" thing with him...
Awww people have no idea what they are doing to a dog by allowing them to be teased. Homer sounds like he's going to be a great dog for you with training. Longhair Doxies are known for their easy going attitude.
Here are more suggestions….
You have to maintain your leadership. Dogs follow strong leaders and you always want to be calm and assertive. Be sure to exercise him twice daily. Good long walks of 30-45 minutes are super. Always remember, exercise, training and then affection.
Do not let him walk through the door first. Make him sit and stay. You go through the door and than give him permission to come through.
If he is aggressive do not let him sleep in the same bed as you. This is definitely an Alpha position. If your like me, I do let mine sleep with us but make sure they are not at your head. This makes them feel they are the leader. Better to have them sleep in their own bed next to yours.
Do not let him get on the couch unless you invite him up.
Make him sit and wait for his food. When you feeding, make him sit then put the bowl down, make him wait and then give him the command to eat. I usually say “OK” at the same time I give a hand signal towards the bowl. I personally like giving hand signals whenever I give a command. After they are trained you never have to use your voice. It comes in handy when they reach old age and are deaf.
Remember nothing in life is free!! Your dog must work for EVERYTHING he gets.
Socialize him as much as possible; this is really important to introduce your dog to different places and people, but don’t rush things.
Do not baby your dog too much. He needs to learn to be a dog. Do not over protect him.
Since you have never owned a dog before it would be great if you could register in obedience classes. This would be excellent training for the both of you. Remember dogs are never too old to learn.
Thank you so much for the great advice!!! It is a learning experience every day with Homer. He really is laid back, like you say.
Does your Doxie growl at everyone or at one particular person?
As the breed was bred to protect & guard only one person, then, yes, if you are the 'parent', your 'lil person will be the ABSOLUTE GUARDIAN of you!
Hint: Speak softly & kindly around your Doxie... the peacefulness With 'rub off' on them!