Growling dog

Is your dog growling at you or your kids? Do you feel betrayed by this behavior? Understanding why your dog is growling will help.

Lately, this cute video of a dog growling when their owner touches them has been going viral. As the owner raises his hand to pet the dog, they growl, showing their displeasure. When the owner removes his hand, the dog looks contrite and makes a mewling sound. They then push their nose under their human’s arm, saying with action that they want more pets. 

So, did you try this with your dog but didn’t get the response you were looking for? In reality, your dog actually bit you, and then you punished them for their behavior.

Now, why would you do that?

Here’s something that will open your eyes ― NEVRE EVER punish your dog for growling! This move will backfire on you so fast that you will be left confused and wondering why it happened.

Let us tell you why:

Why Do Dogs Growl?

The number one reason dogs growl is that they have had it up to here with you! Think of it as a warning sign that says, “I love you, but if you come near me or try to touch me, I will bite you.” Only, they don’t use so many words.

Your first reaction that comes on the heels of the bite is a shout and then an angry reprimand. You show your displeasure in words and actions, which teaches your dog nothing. This is why it is important that you use force-free dog training to teach them proper behavior.

Your dog’s growl is similar to an alarm. When an alarm goes off in your house, it’s probably because, in some corner, a fire has broken out. Removing the batteries from the alarm won’t make the fire go away.

Why It’s Not a Smart Move to Punish Your Growling Dog

There are two reasons behind a dog’s growl:

Communication on Their Part and Miscommunication on Yours

If you had paid attention, you would have figured out that all those tongue flicks, head turns, paw lifts, and standing stills were signs that your dog is uncomfortable. Dogs have complex body language. They catch on to our emotions quickly, but we fail to do the same.

Perhaps your dog is in pain, is afraid, or is guarding their favorite bone. Whatever the reason for their discomfort, it is up to us not to punish our dog for warning us.

Fear of Punishment

You might have unknowingly punished your dog last time for growling. It could have been a simple sharp no! Or an eh, eh! You didn’t know better then. However, a pattern was developed. Now, when your dog felt uncomfortable, they bit the first hand that came in front of them. It’s because it was the only way they could tell they didn’t want to be touched.

A great way to find out why your dog is growling is to assess the situation. Did they feel threatened in the presence of a person or were they afraid of something? Immediately remove that someone or something out of the situation.

If this doesn’t work, get your dog a trainer to help you with this behavior. Dances with Dogs offer dog training in Miami. They provide in-person as well as online dog training classes. To know more about their services or to schedule an appointment, call on 786-299-1552.