How To Stop Dogs From Growling? [8 Reasons & Effective Solutions]

The key to stopping dogs from growling is to find the cause behind it and train your dog accordingly. Instead of punishing, try to ensure the dog is not stressed and reward good behaviors. And if you can’t find the cause, it is best to let an animal behaviorist evaluate your dog and provide a solution.

Dogs’ growling never fails to freak the daylight out of me. While growling is not always a sign of aggression or preparation for a fight, it is essential to control this behavior if the dog growls unnecessarily. But do you know how to stop dogs from growling?

No one likes to watch a dog growl, especially if the dog is doing it pretty often. If you want to find the causes behind it and learn how to stop dogs from growling, you can check out the rest of this article.

man trying to stop dog from growling in park

Related Reading: Is Your Rottweiler Always Growling

8 Reasons Behind Growling

So, why do dogs actually growl? These are the possible reasons explained by vets and experienced dog owners.

1. Territoriality

Dogs of one territorial area do not want other dogs to roam around their area. They see other dogs as threats and growl very loudly to keep others off their territory. Such growlings are an act of defense and not harmful for humans unless someone decides to get involved.

2. Frustration

If dogs cannot get something they want, it causes frustration. So how do you know it is a growl from frustration?

When the dog wants something, he or she will go near the object and growl while walking around it. It may sound like an aggressive growling, even though it isn’t.

3. Fear 

A dog in fear growls pretty much like an angry dog. So it could be challenging to tell the difference. The best way to understand it is to acknowledge the recent changes around your dogs, like moving to a new place or seeing new people.

4. Pain

Sick dogs growl a lot more than usual because they are always uncomfortable. If the dog growls when you touch its body, it means it is in pain. A painful growl is the dog’s way of telling you not to touch it and stay away. Wild dogs in pain also do it to keep other dogs away as they are vulnerable in such a situation.

5. Aggression

This growling is close to the growling they feel when threatened. Aggression can be triggered by various reasons, including when someone tries to take away your dog’s favorite toy or gets closer when the dog eats. When a dog growls aggressively, it wants to show that it is more powerful.

6. Affection

Cats purr when you pet them or feel happy. But dogs express that feeling with small growling sounds. If you notice the growling happens only when you play together or show affection, it is completely harmless.

7. Playing 

Inexperienced dog parents may not understand it at first, but dogs growl when they play. If another dog is playing around with your dog, you are likely to hear growling during their playtime, especially at tugging toys games. This type of growling is usually harmless, and there is nothing to worry about.

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8. Warning

If you hear your dog making a deep growling noise, and if it is aimed at something or someone, it is a sign of warning. Animals can sense things we humans cannot because their senses are more sensitive and acute.

If there is a danger or a threat, dogs begin to growl deeply. This type of growling does not pose any threat to anyone in particular.

How To Stop Dogs From Growling?

Here are some effective ways to stop dogs from growling.

Try To Understand The Cause

As I have explained in the causes, many things can make a dog growl. It can either be power over something or someone, aggression, pain, fear, anxiety and more. So you need to try to understand the cause behind the growling first to apply the right solution.

Do Not Punish

Some people make the mistake of implying fear and punishing the dog. But you should never do that as this can result in something opposite. Instead, try to encourage your dog’s good behaviors by rewarding him or her.

Help The Dog Relax

Sometimes, soft growls can be stopped by helping the dog relax, especially if fear or anxiety triggers the growling. You can talk to the dog in an assuring voice and help it calm down. You can also redirect their attention by giving them their favorite toys afterward.

Consult A Professional

It is tough to understand a dog’s growling reason every time. So if it seems beyond your understanding, the best way to stop it is to consult an animal behaviorist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Should I punish my dog for growling?

Punishing a dog will not decrease its growling habit. On the contrary, it can trigger the dog badly and create fear. Thus, punishing the dog can lead to more aggression. This is why professionals talk against punishment and suggest behavioral training.

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Q. Why does my dog growl at me for no reason?

Dogs hardly growl for no reason. So if they are growling at you, they are trying to communicate with you. You need to see if it is a small or deeper growl to understand whether it is something concerning.

Q. How do I stop my dog from growling at strangers?

If the dog growls at any stranger, then you should stay calm and help your dog relax before pulling it away from the stranger. But if the dog growls at any specific stranger, it could mean that your dog is afraid and feeling threatened.

Continue Reading: Can You Stop A Dog Fight With One Finger? [IS IT FAKE?]

Final Verdict

Yes, it is essential to learn how to stop dogs from growling to avoid scary situations. But it is more important to learn what is causing the growling in the first place. While not all growlings are a threat to others, it is best to ensure the behavior does not get encouraged.

If the above-mentioned tips and training do not help, you need to consult a professional as soon as possible. Dogs’ behavioral issues can be fixed easily if treated at early stages.