my puppy keeps growling at me
She is a 4 month old black lab mix and hasn't been socialized very much due to the fact that she had a non contagious type of mange.
We haven't even had her 24 hours yet, do you think she will stop growling at me after she has been here for a while or is this a major issue?
It's a bit difficult to give an opinion on this one, as it's very early days in your relationship with this pup, and I don't know whether her growling is simply due to nervousness, lack of socialization, or is a dominance or aggression issue.
Whatever the reason, growling at you (or any human) is absolutely not allowed, and you will need to be consistent in correcting her. A firm "NO GROWL" is necessary every time, and don't allow her to 'scare you off' with her behavior.
If she growls when you pet her, tell her "NO GROWL" and continue to pet her for a moment. Things such as gently holding her muzzle closed, or giving her a shake (gently) by holding the scruff of her neck, are good reprimands normally.
However, you are unfamiliar with this pup, and it could be that excess fear or aggression is causing her growling and it could escalate into biting if that's the case.
If you're not experienced with dogs, and can't determine yourself what her behavior is indicating, I would strongly recommend having her evaluated by a professional - a qualified dog trainer or behaviorist. That way you can find out what's behind her actions, and the trainer will be able to advise you as to how best to handle it.
Your veterinarian may also be able to give you some advice, or recommend someone who can help you.
The chances are, that this puppy is simply unsure how to react and is scared in this new situation. With plenty of consistent love and affection, and appropriate discipline she may soon not feel the need to 'protect herself' in this way. However, it's best to have someone help you make sure this is the case.
Best of luck with her.
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