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Dogs/my dog growls at me.


We have a beagle/dachshund mix. He is a 1 1/2 yrs old and has always been very well behaved but recently he started growling at my husband at night and only when he comes out of the restroom. The lights can be on in the restroom and or in the hallway and he will just start growling at him life if he doesn't know him and when my husband sits down he is fine. My husband is 6'1 and I don't know if that has anything to do with it. We are just confused as to why he is doing this and what to do about it. our dog is otherwise very gentle.


Hi Annalisa,

There are a few different reasons why a dog would suddenly start acting aggressively towards a family member. You didn't say if your dog has any medical conditions such as arthritis, painful ear conditions, or itchy/painful skin conditions that could be causing the aggression. If the aggression came on suddenly for no obvious reason, then disorders in various organs, such as the thyroid gland, could be the problem. Changes in vision and hearing can also cause aggression to a family member because your dog may be startled by the approach of your husband.

If the cause of the aggression isn't based in a medical problem, your dog can be trained out of this. For starters, if your husband doesn't do any of the feedings or dog walking, he should start doing at least some of those jobs. Your dog needs to see your husband as a caregiver who is relied upon.

When your dog is doing the growling at your husband, no amount of yelling, screaming or hitting will prevent him being aggressive next time.  Dogs don't learn like that,  and it may cause the aggression to get worse. Through gentle reward-based leadership your dog will learn not to be aggressive. Read more about reward based training here:

When your dog is calm, your husband needs to replace the aggression with a "good behavior" and promptly reward that behavior with either a small treat or lavish praise (or both) whenever your dog obeys. Everyone in your household needs to do this with the dog. Do this several times a day, until the aggression reduces or goes away altogether.
If nothing seems to be helping your dog, then it's time to contact a dog behaviorist in your area, who can see the problem first hand. If your vet or a local boarding kennel can't give you a referral to a dog behaviorist, you may find one here:

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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