Dog Growling: What You Need to Know

Many people think that a dog only bark and growls because they are angry about something. However, that is not always the case. Did you know that puppy biting and growling is often a form of communication? Yes, growling can sometimes be one of the signs of aggression in dogs, but it doesn’t always mean that.

If you hear a puppy or dog growling in the future, it is important that you better understand why they are growling. Keep reading here to find out more about dog and puppy biting and growling. 

Scared of Something

One of the reasons that dogs growl is because they are scared of something. Have you ever seen a dog growl and get aggressive with someone they don’t know? This is usually because they are scared of that person or the situation.

They don’t know what is going on and they are trying to show they are scared. The dog wants that person to back away or leave them alone. If you ever see a dog growling and getting into an aggressive stance, this often means they are scared. Sometimes, dogs will growl and cower in a corner. This dog behavior can also mean that they are afraid of something else.

Food Aggression or Other Types of Aggression in Puppies 

Another one of the reasons why you might hear a dog growl is because of food or possession aggression. Many puppies do this. They aren’t used to have other people or animals around their food. So, when someone or something gets close to their dish when they are eating, they may growl. They are trying to communicate that the food is theirs.

The dog doesn’t want anyone to touch or take their food. Many dogs do this with their possessions, as well. They may do it with one of their favorite toys or a bone. If you see food aggression in puppies or aggression towards possessions, it is important to train your dog early on how to handle those situations properly. 

Claiming a Territory 

Puppy biting or growling may occur because a dog is claiming their territory. Have you ever heard a dog growl and take a stance in place? Maybe you have seen a dog jump on another dog and growl while standing over that dog. This could be their way of communicating that space is theirs.

Many dogs will do this when someone nears their food bowl. They may also do it when a person or another animal goes near their bed. Dogs must learn not to be aggressive when claiming territory. However, if only a bit of growling occurs, it is also important that dogs are allowed to communicate. 

Being in Pain

Your dog might also growl because they are in pain. Many dog owners don’t realize that their dog is in pain because there are no obvious injuries. However, many dogs have hip, back, leg, and/or paw pain without their owners knowing about it.

Here are signs that you should look out for in a sick dog.

If your dog is growling and/or whimpering, they could be in pain. It is a good idea to pay attention to how they are moving around. Does it seem like they are slower-moving than usual? If you think your dog is in pain and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, it is recommended to take them to the veterinarian.

The veterinarian can determine if there are injuries or what the source of the pain might be. 


Another reason why a dog might growl is that they have newborn or baby puppies. Many dog mamas don’t want anyone around their babies. When they growl at someone or at another animal, they are trying to protect their babies.

They are saying these are my babies and you need to back off. It is important to respect the dog mamas that are trying to do this to an extent. However, you should also make sure your dog mama knows that you aren’t going to hurt her or her puppies. This way, you can still take care of all of them in the ways that are needed. 


These are some of the many reasons why dogs growl. Every dog is different, as well. For instance, some dogs will never growl when a person or another animal is near their bed or food. Other dogs may never growl over their territory. Some dogs don’t growl at all.

It is all unique to that specific dog. However, now that you know more about dog and puppy biting and growling, you can better understand how your dog is trying to communicate. It is important to remember that dogs don’t just growl because they are upset.

Do dogs purr?

You might only think that cats purr. However, some dogs can purr. It may not sound exactly like a cat’s purr, but they can do it. The purr of a dog sounds more like a boat motor. It sounds like a rumble.

Why do dogs growl?

There are many reasons that dogs growl. First of all, it is important to understand that dogs growl as a way of communicating. Some of the reasons why dogs growl include being scared, food aggression, aggression over possessions, claiming a territory, being in pain, and motherhood. Keep in mind that all dogs are different in why they growl.

How do you stop a dog from barking?

Dogs must be allowed to communicate their fears and feelings. However, if you want a dog to stop barking, one way that you can get them to do this is by saying “quiet” in a firm, calm voice. Once your dog quits barking, you should praise them. Then, you should quickly reward them with a treat. Just be sure that you never hand over the treat or give praise until your dog has quit barking or it could reinforce the negative behavior.

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Written by Leo Roux

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