Stop Dog Growling

Most of the time, your dog is a sweetheart.
He wouldn’t hurt a fly!
From giving kisses to shaking a paw and wiggling with excitement, a well-trained dog will enjoy socialization opportunities with people, animals, and other pets. But occasionally, your dog growls. And when this occurs, suddenly your happy-go-lucky pup turns into a grumpy little monster…
What happened?
Today on the ABBIDOT blog, our dog training professionals explain why dogs growl, what stimuli triggers this behavior, and offer solutions to stop dog growling once and for all.

Why Do Dogs Growl?

Have you ever found yourself sternly saying, “Fluffy, stop growling right this second.”
Or had to apologize on behalf of a growling dog?
It can be embarrassing to deal with a growling dog. However, before stopping unwanted dog growling behavior, first owners should investigate exactly why their pooch is growling in the first place. Happy and content dogs don’t growl for no reason. Instead, growling is how canines communicate.
Here are 5 reasons why dogs growl:

  • Fear
  • Being Territorial
  • Possession Aggression
  • Pain
  • Play Growling


Ways to Stop 5 Different Types of Dog Growling

Now, dog growling isn’t inherently “bad.”
In fact, by listening to your dog, pet parents can learn a lot about their pet’s health and wellness. Only when you know what is triggering the growling can you then come up with a training plan to stop it from continuing needlessly.
So, let’s look at how to stop different types of dog growling.
One of the most common reasons why dogs growl is due to fear. This deep, low, rumbly sounding growl has one goal: to keep whatever is frightening them at a distance. Signs of fear growling include a closed mouth, no breathing, and stiff body.
To stop a fearful dog from growling, the solution is simple: remove the scary person, object, or animal.
2.Being Territorial
“Stay away!”
That’s what us humans say when we want somebody to leave us alone. However, dogs can’t speak using words. Instead, they growl. Territorial growling is common in dogs who have a strong drive to guard their home and family.
To stop territorial dog growling, obedience training is a must. Additionally, ABBIDOT recommends rewarding calm behavior. Closing doors and window can also help. Over time, redirect their attention away from the source of the growling.
3.Possession Aggression
Next, dogs also growl when feeling possessive. For instance, over a toy or food.
To stop possession growling, prevent access to whatever it is your pup is guarding. Growling over a food bowl? Train him to sit patiently before eating. Getting snarly over a stuffed toy? Teach the “drop it” command.
If your dog is injured or ill, chances are he’s in mild to severe pain. This can lead to growling, especially when sensitive parts of the body are touched. In this case, training is not the answer. Speak to a veterinarian about pain management medications.
5.Play Growling
Lastly, dogs sometimes get too excited.
As a result, they growl. This is innocent growling, but nonetheless should not be encouraged. If play growling gets out of hand (with teeth, biting, scratching, etc.) end the playtime immediately. Get up and walk away for 30 seconds.
This will teach your dog that growling = no more fun!

Follow these Training Tips to End Dog Growling

Want more PAW-SITVE dog training ideas?
Read more on the ABBIDOT blog.