Why Do Dogs Growl? Learn Interesting Facts On Dog Growling

Martha Martins
Oct 05, 2023 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Oct 09, 2021
Angry dog aggressively Growling.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.8 Min

There are several reasons why dogs growl.

A few of the reasons include fear, possession, aggression, being territorial, and pain. They also growl when playing or encountering another dog.

Growling can also be observed when you and your dog are playing tug of war.

One of the signs that show dogs are communicating with humans is the use of their body language and growling.

A dog's growling is a way of communicating for them and they give humans hints about what they want to tell you, whether they are happy or feeling uncomfortable. They may growl while playing, but you have to keep a watch on them that their growling while playing with another dog does not turn into a dog fight.

When the dog is growling in a gentle way, then it is not bad, but if they cross the limits like nipping at your hand, lunges at you, or the dog's growling become very frightening that it may threaten you, then you should consult a vet.

They make low growling sounds when being petted and loved by their owner and sometimes at a deafening pitch when they are playing!

Those who own a dog must be aware that a growling dog may also be a warning sign that it may bite you.

Here, growling behaviors can mean danger.

Fear is also one of the reasons that they growl. A dog's fear can be showed by growling, especially when they see any strangers around them, as they feel afraid and may bite in fear.

Another major reason is possession aggression, wherein this stage dogs show their aggressive nature over a bowl of food, toys, and a rawhide bone.

They show aggression when someone touches their food and at that time the dog's growl expresses 'back off'.

When a dog is growling, it may also mean they are being territorial.

When they see someone who does not belong to their territory or property, they start growling, showing the person that they do not belong to their property, and the last reason for a dog growling is if they are in pain.

They may also growl if they are suffering from an injury and it can be well understood by their body language and in this case, firstly they should be taken to a vet and secondly, you should understand that they are in fear as well as afraid and at this point, their growling is the best way of communication to make human understand that leave them or help them quietly.

It is also known that sometimes they growl while sleeping because they may have some anxiety issues within them.

To avoid them harming other dogs or people, it is good to spend more time and you should play with them more, particularly in the first year of petting them.

To learn more fun facts about animals, you can check out these, why do dogs smile, are dogs really happy when they smile and why do dogs bite their paws, reasons why do dogs chew their feet.

Why do dogs growl when playing?

Dogs may growl when playing and this dog behavior shows that they are having fun and many of you have even seen your dog growling when they play with their owners.

In this case, you may feel that the dog is trying to express human emotions through their body language.

But still, it is a doubt for many why dogs make aggressive sounds when they play and the answer is straightforward, that your pet is enjoying and having fun.

The dog growling while playing is an example that your pet is asking you to play more with them and these are signs which show they are happy and even comfortable in that situation.

Dog growls while they play, and it can be differentiated from that of the aggressive ones by the tune and pitch of the growl.

When dogs get aggressive, they make more aggressive types of growl, and dog growls are a warning to back off and stay away, especially for those who are new to the area.

Every dog has a different kind of reaction when they are enjoying playtime. They sometimes even make loud growls than the aggressive ones depending on their behavior.

Puppy growling is almost the same but may range different voices and vocal ranges and sometimes their sounds are higher pitched.

Their reaction is like they stand on their front legs, raising their rear-end in the air. Still, owners should keep an eye on their dogs while playing with them or with any other dog that the playtime and fun do not change into a dog fight.

If your pet becomes very aggressive while playing and start behaving in an unexpected manner, then you must take them to a professional dog trainer.

Why do dogs growl at people?

Dogs are social beings. But sometimes, why does a dog growl at people randomly?

The growl's meaning can differ from dog to dog, depending on what they need and their behavior.

Normally, a dog growls at people to communicate to them in this manner, but sometimes they make us frightened by this as we feel they might bite us.

That's why it is important to understand the types of growls your pet makes so that you can differentiate between the growls made while playing and those which are made during aggression and should also what each sound means.

Pay full attention to the position and situation in which your dog is growling so that you can later identify the purpose of the dog's growl at that moment.

The sound must be heard before and feel similar but it’s all about context.

The growling made by the dog could be a warning for people indicating that they stay away or do not touch my food while eating and they feel so because you must be encroaching their personal space.

A dog's growl may also be a sign of guarding their pup, in the case of those new mothers.

As mentioned earlier, growling is a way for dogs to communicate with people but every time it is not the same there are casual reasons why they growl on people like that might tell you that they are in pain, afraid, or need you, and you are the one who needs to identify the situation and handle them accordingly.

The first step any human could take after seeing a growling dog is that they may run, but it is not correct.

It is possible that they are trying to convey a message to you and it is discovered by dog training.

Sometimes your pet growl may sound low, so do not worry because this type of low growls are related to love and affection towards their owners like. For example, when you give love to them and pet them, they make low growls like that.

The dog feels great when they are being loved and they also feel pain the same way, the dog's pain could be understood from their behavior.

The growls of dogs also indicate that they want more love from their owner and want to be kept pet for a longer time.

The growling made when they play also triggers their feelings and context and makes it easy to find that play as the source of growling.

Why do dogs growl in their sleep?

Angry dog Growling.

It is very normal for dogs to growl while sleeping, which is similar to humans. Many owners recall their pet dogs doing various things while they are sleeping.

Dogs may quiver, make leg twitches and even growl and snap at some sleep-created phantom, while they dream as humans do. Dog professionals revealed that dogs also growl at night while sleeping as people do.

If the dog is showing behaviors like whispering or growling, they are signs that the dog is dreaming. One of the common reasons may be a sign of communication in their dreams.

It was discovered by dog trainers and the American Kennel Club that you should not wake your dog from sleep if they are growling during sleep because it may turn into a serious issue and the dog has to face consequences like vocalizations, muscle twitching, and rapid eye movements.

They make a snarling face while sleeping and may sometimes growl is also known from the training centers for dogs and trainers who are specialized in treating dogs and understanding their emotions and problems and also their behavioral issues.

If the dog is acting normal and relaxed then you should provide them with high-value meat like chicken.

Dogs should also get some personal space. Experts revealed that dogs also growl at night while sleeping, like that of humans.

For example, if we are tired we snore loudly, which is similar among dogs too, and they growl especially when they are dreaming or tired.

If they are growling very loudly, then it's a matter of concern. They may need to be managed or trained by a trainer.

Growling while sleeping may also be associated with some anxiety issues within them.

They are not that dangerous, and in fearful situations, you should not run otherwise they may feel threatened. They have sharp teeth which are exposed when they snarl and show the threat is not over yet.

Why do dogs growl at other dogs?

Your pup may sometimes growl at other dogs as they may be trying to tell you that they are afraid of other dogs and maybe they are trying to snatch their territory from them. The growling made by these dogs must be a kind of warning to other dogs to make them stay away from their territory.

It has also been observed that dogs guarding their food and toys or pup against others are normal behavior for them.

Growling at each other is also counted as their means of communication when playing and it is quite normal if they bark at each other. However, their owner must stay vigilant to avoid a fight.

Their growls may also act as a warning sign to other dogs regarding territory and food. But most of the time they lunge, wrestle, and even biting takes place between two different dogs when playing.

Therefore, one must understand when such fights turn violent and when it is considered as playing. They feel relaxed when they are around food and toys which sometimes trigger their feelings.

They have sharp, exposed teeth which can be a threat to others for biting. It is important to understand your dog and the types of their growls to avoid unwanted circumstances.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do dogs growl learn interesting facts on dog growling, then why not take a look at why do dogs eat their puppies or purrrfect facts about the ragamuffin cat kids will love?

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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