Hello all! I haven't been logged on much until today, but as I was browsing around, another thread reminded me of a debate I've been having in my own mind about warning growls. Gordy lately has decided that he just doesn't like the youngsters who run up to him quickly and crowd the area around his face. He used to just decide that if a dog did this and wanted to play, then so did he. Now that he is a little older, and maturing into more of an adult dog, he does not like this. If he can walk away, he does. Sometimes he can't. Example: the other day at the vet's office, we had just checked in, and I was taking him towards the waiting room with me. Just as I was about to take a seat next to Gordy, an exam room door opened, and another dog on leash came bounding out, dragging an owner behind him. The dog was younger looking... I'm going to guess between 8 months to a year old, and immediately ran up to Gordy. Behind Gordy was a row of chairs and the wall, to his right was me, and this other dog was right in front of him. His only way out was to his left, but since I was holding his leash, I don't think that Gordy recognized that as an option. I was trapped where I was because I had a shelf next to me, other dog's owner in front of me, chair/wall behind me, and Gordy to my left. Gordy craned his neck back since he couldn't move his body, and when the dog kept trying to sniff at Gordy's face and come closer, Gordy gave a warning growl. Gordy's growl is very deep, and loud.... so I guess it sounds a little scary to most people. He never bares his teeth or anything when he does this. Basically, he really lifts his neck high, perks his ears up, and does that deep sounding growl with his jaw still pretty relaxed. To me... this is just a "Hey, I don't like what you're doing, and I want you to stop so that I feel comfortable again" kind of communication. I know that's all Gordy wants. I was able to get Gordy's attention by asking him to look, and when he did, I made a sharp left turn so Gordy got away from the other dog. The other dog's owner just kept allowing his dog to come at Gordy throughout this whole ordeal, and the other owner was actually smiling... I think he thought this was all just playing? The girl at the desk was saying "Uh oh! Uh oh!" when Gordy growled. I'm still not sure if I handled this okay, or if it would have been appropriate for me to ask the other owner to please move their dog away, and explain that Gordy was saying that this was NOT okay with him. Also, am I supposed to not allow warning growls from Gordy??? Because a few times now when Gordy has given warning growls, people overhearing him growl, or owners of the dog he is growling at have accused me of not having control over my dog, or not correcting a bad behavior, or accused Gordy of being dog aggressive... and to my mind... I feel like Gordy is peacefully trying to let the other dog know that he isn't comfortable... and to me, it is a sign that I need to do something to help Gordy out of an uncomfortable situation. So, my gut tells me that Gordy's warning growls are not a sign of a behavioral problem, just a sign that he is uncomfortable, which makes me think that rather than correcting for a growl, I should work on getting him out of the uncomfortable situation. Are all growls automatically bad??? I worry about what would happen if Gordy didn't just growl when he felt uncomfortable. In a way, I'm glad that he has this way of "saying" something is wrong... because without the growl... is it possible that he would develop some type of aggression or become fearful instead? What should I do?