[Discussion] What is my dog thinking? He growls at me when I want him to jump on Bed.

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/9jap4o/discussion_what_is_my_dog_thinking_he_growls_at/

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I have a border collie lab mix of 3 years. He is very velcro and particularly attached to me. He is allowed in bed but doesn't ever go in when we aren't home. He usually asks for permission before coming up except for early morning cuddles. He play growls like many dogs when he is excited and it kind of sounds like growl panting, and usually increases in volume. His fear growl or discomfort growl is much more monotonous. He growls when I touch his feet and if I continue to examine his paws his growl gets louder until he eventually licks my hands. (He has never bitten me and only once growled at me with slightly raised lip when he had an injured paw but still let me take out the thorn from it.) Obviously he is a good boy! 🙂

What puzzles me is when I ask him to jump on bed or even the couch. He just stares at me and seems a little intimidated but also eager. Ears back, intent eye contact, similarly when waiting for a treat but not waging his tail. If I repeat it, btw usually in an excited voice that would usually get him super excited he just stares at me and then starts growling. It sounds like his play growl but his body language doesn't look like play. He then either runs off to find a toy – which I am not sure says too much about this situation because he is a toy obsessed border collie and grabbing a ball is kind of a go-to behavior. Or if he doesn't run away he jumps up and then immediately lays down being still. Again it seems like intimidated behavior and I am not sure what about it is that is intimidating. Maybe because I invite him into my personal space or something? When I hug him in that situation he growls at me as well. And this growl is the one that I have no idea what he really means. Its neither like the play nor the fear growl. I just leave him be at that point but I can't shake off the feeling that I am intimidating him. He is definitely a hugger so its not the hug itself its the hug in that specific situation. When I am on the couch or bed and don't ask him to come and he jumps up on his own then he will put his head in my arm pit or nozzles my arm until I hug him. Maybe because the affection and attention is not on his term? I mean its not a big deal, as I just let him be and just give him polite pets and let him go if he wants to but I feel like I am doing something wrong and could make him feel more welcome. Sometimes, I have to get a treat in order to even make him jump on bed.

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