Ask Dr. Diane: My Dog Growls on Walks

My Question for Dr. Diane: Scout is a 2-year-old terrier mix rescued at 7 months. She is a very happy, peaceful dog with an excellent nature, never bitten or nibbled at anyone. Recently she has started growling and snarling and pulling on the leash when we pass other dogs. Help!

Scout is “growing up” and asserting her identity and independence and testing her dominance. Have you been taking her out for walks in the past? If not, she may also feel insecure outside the boundaries of your home and back yard. If you haven’t already, socialize her by taking Scout with you on errands and places that allow dogs. Also take her to Obedience Training classes where she will interact with other people and dogs.

In the meantime, try to avoid close contact with other dogs during your walks by crossing the street or changing direction and walking away from the other dog. If Scout does encounter another dog, verbally correct her by raising your voice and firmly telling her “No” or “Bad.”

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Do you have a question for Dr. Diane? We’re proud to say she provides expert tips here on DogTipper so please send in your questions on our Ask Dr. Diane contact form! Dr. Pomerance is an animal behavior specialist and an expert on topics such as deciding which puppy is best for your family, how to pick out a rescue, and on healing from the loss of a pet.

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits DogTipper.com, CatTipper.com, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.