Reasons Why Dogs Growl

Growling is an instinctive reaction that comes naturally to dogs. It is not always a bad thing, and it won’t necessarily mean your dog is aggressive or getting ready to attack. Growling can be used for many different reasons, including warning about a potential threat and showing submission to avoid confrontation. Growl as a warning: If you ever see your dog growling, the first thing you should do is stop whatever action he’s growling at and move away from the situation. This will help to reassure him that there’s no need for him to resort to growling by showing him that there isn’t any danger.

Growling is a natural behavior for dogs, and it’s not always bad.

  • Dogs growl to communicate. This means they’re trying to tell you something. It could be that they are uncomfortable in their environment, scared, happy or angry. Your dog may also be warning you about another dog or person if he’s uncomfortable with them (or even if he is just being playful).
  • Growling can also happen when a dog experiences pain or discomfort. If your pooch has hurt his paw while playing in the park or at home, growling may be an indication that he needs help getting up and moving around again—and it’s important not to ignore these signs!

Growling is a warning.

Growling is a warning. It’s not an attack, and it’s not meant to hurt anyone or anything. In fact, growling is often a dog’s way of saying “back off!” or “stop!” or even “no.” For example, if your dog feels uncomfortable with the new dog you’ve brought over to play with her in the backyard, she might growl at him as a way of telling him that he should go away.

As we’ve discussed before on this blog (and elsewhere), sometimes dogs growl because they’re scared or anxious about something happening around them. Other times, they might growl when they want their owners’ attention but don’t know how else to ask for it!

Growling can also be used by puppies who are teething and need something cold on their sore gums—like ice cubes! If your puppy seems particularly needy during those first few weeks of teething madness, try giving him some frozen treats instead of letting him tear up all of your furniture while trying desperately (and unsuccessfully) not to bite through his own tongue

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Growling is a way to show submission.

Growling is a way for a dog to show submission. It’s also a way for them to communicate that they aren’t a threat, so it’s important you understand the context in which your dog might be growling.

If you have a small dog and its growling at someone who is bigger than it or if it’s growling as an older dog near its younger brother or sister, then there’s probably nothing wrong with what they’re doing. In both cases, the pup is trying to communicate that it doesn’t want trouble and that it wants peace in the home.

Growling is a response to pain.

  • Pain: Growling is a dog’s way of telling you that they’re in pain. Whether it be from an injury, illness or even their teeth bothering them, it’s important to listen to your pet’s growl and get them checked out by your veterinarian.
  • Uncomfortable: Just like humans, dogs will growl when they are not comfortable with something. If your dog doesn’t like wearing clothes or putting on a harness for walks, then he may begin to exhibit aggressive behavior such as growling at you when you try to put on his leash or clothes. It is also common for dogs who are afraid of something (such as thunderstorms) or have been screamed at in the past to begin exhibiting this behavior as well.
  • Scared: Fearful dogs often use growling as a way to protect themselves from perceived threats from other animals or humans. This type of barking can also be found in puppies who haven’t learned how much strength they truly have until someone grabs them by the neck during playtime!

Growling happens when you’re playing with your dog in an inappropriate way.

When you play rough with your dog, he’ll growl. Or when you put your hands in his mouth and ears, or pull on his tail or feet, he’s probably going to growl.

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When you attempt any of the above actions during rough play, it can cause pain in your dog and make them upset. It may also be that they’re not sure what game you want to play because they’re not used to being handled this way. These things can all contribute to a growl from your pet as a warning that this isn’t okay for him/her right now!

Here’s how to discourage growling in your dog:

In order to prevent your dog from growling at people, you have to teach it what the “quiet” command means. The best way to do this is by using positive reinforcement. For example, give your dog a treat when it doesn’t growl at someone approaching him/her or when he/she stops growling. This will teach your dog that good things happen when they don’t get upset in certain situations.

Teaching your dog how to sit can also be helpful in discouraging them from barking, as well as growling.

If all else fails, try giving them something delicious like peanut butter (but make sure it’s okay for dogs first). Dogs love peanut butter and will stop whatever they’re doing just so they can get some more!

Never punish your dog for growling; this will only make the problem worse.

Don’t punish your dog for growling. This will only make the problem worse.

When you punish your dog for growling, he is likely to become more aggressive and fearful of you—and this can lead to even more aggression in the future. Punishment doesn’t work because it doesn’t get rid of the underlying causes for the behavior in the first place

Divert your dog’s focus with treats, games or toys.

If your dog is growling at people or other animals, you can teach him to use a different type of communication.

Teach your dog the “quiet” command. You can do this by waiting until he is barking and then saying “quiet” in a low voice. When he stops barking, give him a treat and praise him for being quiet. Repeat this until he learns to stop barking when you say “quiet.”

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Teach your dog that it’s okay for him to say no. For example, if someone approaches him too quickly or if someone tries to take away his toy, allow him the opportunity to bite back if need be so that he doesn’t feel like all of his options have been taken away from him (and thus cause more aggression).

Teach your dog the “quiet” command, so he learns that growling means no rewards.

The next step is teaching your dog the “quiet” command, which will teach him that growling means no rewards. You can use a treat, toy or game to reward your dog when he stops growling and then give him the command to stop.

Be patient and teach your dog how to communicate appropriately when he’s feeling uncomfortable.

As you work to teach your dog how to communicate appropriately, keep in mind that it’s important not to punish him for growling. If he has a reason for feeling uncomfortable or threatened, then it is normal that he would growl at the source of his discomfort. Punishing him will only make him feel worse and may make the situation worse. Instead, reinforce good behavior with treats and praise whenever he uses his bark or another type of verbal communication instead of growling.

When your dog does use proper communication techniques, reward them consistently by giving them something tasty like an edible treat or some peanut butter spread on a spoon!


Dogs who growl aren’t always angry or threatening. In most cases, they’re trying to tell you something, and that’s why it’s important to know how to respond. Next time you see your dog growling, don’t get scared; take a moment to think about what he might be trying to say. If the situation is safe and non-threatening, try some positive reinforcement or a reward. Or maybe just give him some space for now, but come back later when it seems like things have cooled off between him and the other dog (or person).