Why Dogs Growl And How To Stop Your Dog From Growling

Dogs communicate through howl and growl. Things would be easier if we could decode these languages. Sadly, most of us don’t, but a few enthusiastic dog owners can easily understand the cause of their dog’s growl.

Growling makes most of us a bit scary. The majority of us believe growling as a symbol of aggression or distress of dogs. But in fact, it doesn’t always mean aggression. Dogs may actually growl for very different reasons.

You should essentially know the cause for your dog’s growling to stop it. It might require some training or exercise. Seeking the help of a dog trainer and an animal behaviorist can make things easier.

Now let us move on and find out the reasons why dogs growl. We will also have a glance at some of the training techniques to stop your dog from growling.

Why Do Dogs Growl?

Dogs may growl for very different reasons. They might express pleasure, happiness, love, aggression, and even pain through growling. Here are some of the common reasons for what dogs’ growl for:

Possession Aggression

Dogs may form possession aggression if not trained accordingly at a younger age. Possession aggression makes dogs growl if someone else approaches or tries to approach its belongings.

Dogs will easily get possessed over sharing toys or bones and would start growling if anyone else takes them. Dogs also tend to form aggression over food. Some dogs growl if someone approaches them while eating.

You can only overcome the possession aggression of your dog through training. Earlier you start, the faster your dog would stop growling over possessiveness. Training the dogs at their puppy stage works best.


Dogs may growl over pain during injuries or illness. The unusual growling of your dog might be an indication of internal injury. Examine your dog and find out whether it growls over touching certain parts of its body.

Call up your veterinarian and give proper medication. Dogs will automatically stop growling on proper medication in such instances.


Some dogs might growl to warn their owners. You should be very responsive to these types of growls. Dogs would growl to inform the entry of someone unfamiliar. They might also growl when they are left in an uncomfortable surrounding. It happens often when they are taken to an unfamiliar crowd of strange places.

The warning growl should never be ignored. Your dog might become aggressive when the warnings are not responded to.

All you can do at these instances is to go near them and make them feel comfortable. They may stop growling once you are very near to them and feels comfortable.


Dogs growl low and rumbling to indicate their pleasure. It usually happens when they have gained success over a game or have got lots of attention to be proud of. They might growl over pleasure when you are rubbing your hands over their body or is cuddling with them.

Occasional growling mostly occurs when emotion outbursts. It does not require any kind of training. Dogs will stop growling themselves once they are out of pleasure or any other emotion.


Dogs may growl to show their frustration. It usually occurs when they are fenced or if they are not satisfied with their needs. Dogs may also growl when their movements are restricted. You might often misunderstand growling due to frustration to be aggressive.

Go near your dog and see what is wrong. You can easily take your dog out of frustration with little love and care.


Some dogs might growl while playing certain games like wrestling and chasing. Growling while playing means that your dog is having fun and excitement. Don’t misunderstand it to be aggressive. Dogs might growl while playing to express their idea to keep on playing the game.

You don’t have to stop your dog from growling out of fun during games. Dogs usually stop these kinds of growling once they are out of the excitement of the game

Affection And Love

You might have seen your dog growling low when you pet them. Yes. Dogs also growl when they are treated with lots of love and affection. They usually show their contentment with a low growl. They may also growl in these instances to ask more affection and attention.

Affectionate growling is nothing much to worry about. But you should be careful from the moment your dog starts growling aggressively.

Fighting And Anger

Some dogs might growl to show up anger while fighting. These growls are very frightening and will continue until the fight lasts. Growls at such instances usually end with the loss of anger.

Dogs usually start fighting each other at extreme excitement over games like chasing. Mind the body language of your dog and quit the game once it turns it starts being aggressive.


Certain dogs growl out of fear after a frightening incident. Fearful growls usually sound low and prevail only until the threat exists. Some dogs might easily get frightened with the presence of strangers or a crowd while few others get frightened of thunderstorms and rain.

You can find out what threatens your dog to keep growling. Removing the threat from the premises of the dog will help to stop its growling.


Some dogs would start growling once anyone enters into their territory. At times, they won’t even like a family member getting through their place at home. Dogs growling for their territoriality can easily change into aggressive. Therefore, it is essential to stop your dog growling over territory.

How To Stop Your Dog From Growling?

Growling is not an acceptable behavior. Most of us get annoyed hearing our dog growling. The occasional growling of dogs can be tolerated. But prolonged growling behavior of your dog without a specific cause cannot be entertained. However, punishing your dog without knowing the root cause never works out.

Here are some tips to stop your dog from growling:

  • Don’t simply punish your dog for growling. Find out the cause and deal with it.
  • Approach a dog trainer or animal behaviorist to know the cause for the growling of your dog.
  • You can stop your dog from growling over their possessions by training them to share toys and food bowls. Take out the toys many times while your dog is playing with it. Always approach the food bowls while your dog is feeding.
  • Offer rewards when your dog allows you to take over its possession.
  • Consult a professional trainer to formulate some exercises to get rid of aggression, fear, over-excitement, and other emotions that trigger your dogs to growl.


Understand that growling is a mode of communication for dogs before getting on to the vein. Some puppies even may growl. It is in their genes.

Stay patient and try out to find the cause if it starts annoying you. It is pretty easy to stop your dog from growling once you find out the root cause.

You can seek the help of an animal behaviorist you can’t sort it out alone. A dog trainer can give enough guidelines and some exercises to stop your dog from growling.

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