my 4 yr old rottie started growling at me after a vacation


i went on a 4 day holiday and left my dogs at home with my parents, we live with them so they know them very well. after coming home my dog who is normally full of loves growled at me when i hugged him whitch i do all the time.

he wouldn’t come to me when i called him and when i asked him to shake my hand he did but growled he wouldn’t even take a biscuit from me. he’s only done this once before and was when i put him on his rope before i went to work, he grotoo but not as much as he goes away for work most weekends.

he’s used to him leaving and i never leave them. is he acting up because we left him? my bitch was very happy to see us and hasn’t left my side this isn’t like him at all. any ideas?

It’s impossible to say for sure what’s going on in your dog’s mind, or why he’s growling at you now. You were only gone for four days so it seems like an extreme reaction, but it’s possible that he’s upset because you left him.

If you’ve never really left him in the four years you’ve owned him, then he is probably bonded very closely with you, and he was most likely very anxious and upset when you weren’t around every day.

Any sort of major change can upset a dog’s emotional stability – a new house, a new pet, a new baby, a new partner…. even a vacation! If this is what is going on it will likely improve over the next few days as he realizes you’re home to stay.

However, regardless of how upset or scared he was at your leaving, it’s not okay for him to growl at you – or at anyone. Adult males often want to take on the ‘leader of the pack’ role and it seems that he’s doing that right now. All his life you have been his ‘pack leader’, and when you suddenly disappeared he may have decided he had to do your job! Now you’re home he still feels as though he’s in charge and he’s dealing with the emotional upset of you being gone.

All of this will take time for him to adjust to, but you need to make sure that he realizes that you are the ‘alpha’ in the home, not him. And in fact that any human is higher up on the authority scale than he is.

Correct him with a firm ‘no’ if he growls at you and make sure everyone else does the same thing. Don’t allow him to ‘call the shots’ and get back into your usual routine with him as soon as you can. The familiarity of his day to day activities and you taking the reins again should help him to settle down.

If however things don’t improve, I’d recommend having your vet take a look at him to make sure that there’s not a physical reason for his behavior. Sometimes if a dog is in pain or hurt, he won’t show that but will show a change in temperament or behavior.

Hope this helps, and that your home returns to normal soon.

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About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone