Why Do Dogs Growl?

There can be many reasons such as:

  • Fear
  • Pain
  • Social play
  • Toy Play
  • Frustration

What it does NOT mean:

  • They are the boss
  • They are naughty
  • They are grumpy
  • They are dominant

What is important to know, is that is part of a dog's normal communication. Therefore it must be listened to, especially if due to Fear, Pain or Frustration.

We strongly recommend never to punish growling behaviour. If you punish any growling, you will teach the dog to never growl. Meaning you lose their natural communicative warning of being uncomfortable. This can then lead to a bite incident with no warning. So being 'Unexpected' when actually there were previous warnings that you disciplined.

If you find your dog growling at you or another person, ensure you or the person stops what you were doing and walk calmly away from your dog to give them space. Or take your dog away from the person they are growling at. Then contact us or a suitably qualified professional for advice.

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Forrest Animal Behaviour