Beverly has a problem. Our sweet, calm, sleepy little girl is a growler! This is only happening when she a) is awake and b) has the opportunity to wrestle or play with some other dog. That doesn’t happen often, and it doesn’t happen every time. But she’s the first CCI pup we’ve raised who’s ever gotten so vocal when playing — something that’s discouraged by the Puppy-raising Powers that Be. Kyndall and Kora would play, silently, for hours. Even wild, rambunctious Dionne never growled.

Here’s what it sounded like just a few minute ago, when Beverly got going with Darby (one of our former CCI trainees who was released and now lives with good friends. We’re hosting her while they’re on vacation.):

<p><a href=”″>Growler</a&gt; from <a href=”″>Jeannette De Wyze</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Kind of creepy, no?

I took Beverly and Darby to the twice-monthly puppy play session at Cyndy Carlton’s yesterday, and I asked some of the more experienced folks if they had ever had this problem and how they handled it. One advised me to have my squirt bottle at hand and use it often. One suggested time-outs, when the growling got too intense. A couple shrugged it off, pointing out that it was a very natural thing for young dogs to do while playing. I know that, of course, and have only been feeling concerned because of the CCI puppy’s mission. But I felt reassured to hear about a couple of other initial growlers who eventually graduated.

Another interesting aspect to the play session was that a new puppy joined us. His name is Weasley, and he’s only 8 weeks old. But feisty. Beverly seemed to immediately recognize that this was the only creature smaller than her, and she loved pinning him down non-stop, prompting Weasley’s puppy raiser to intervene several times.  I just stood by, taking mental notes.072416 Growler1

072416 Growler2
Beverly says, “Good times!”



3 thoughts on “Growler

  1. She did the growling with Kora and I felt like the referee in a boxing match separating them. Water/vinegar did nothing……….so timeouts until Bev dive bombed Kora…LOL.


    1. Our trainer and puppy program manager always tell us not to worry about play growling unless someone is always on the bottom or getting hurt. Bean plays with the big dogs until they have had it, then they growl at her. Also, a penny can works wonders. Also, a squirt bottle with Bitter Apple.


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