Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Q. Newfoundland Boston sleeping on the couch owner approaches and pets both from behind on hind quarters. Newfoundland turns growls and bites arm.wcwd?

Answered By

A. Usually, in addition to be startled, there is an underlying reason for such behavior. I would be concerned that your dogs has some pain. Given the breed of your dog, I would recommend radiographs of the pelvis. When dogs are painful, from conditions like this or arthritis or otherwise, they can become irritable. Just like in humans .

Answered By

A. It is never wise to approach a sleeping pet from behind and touch it. Always make your presence known to avoid startling your pet which can (and did) result in a bite.

DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.


Ask an expert about your unique situation now FOR FREE!

IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.