How to Stop Dog Growling
Dog growling is a signal that your dog is uncomfortable with
something around him. To cure dog growling, you have to figure
out why your dog is growling and fix that problem. If the
problem starts suddenly, start with a veterinary examination as
it may have medical causes.
Why Dogs Growl: Environmental and Medical Causes
Dogs can growl for many reasons, usually because they are
uncomfortable or fearful. Dogs often growl when they are afraid
of new people or dogs, when they are being asked to do something
they don't want to do, when they are guarding something or when
they are uncomfortable being handled.
Growls communicate to the person, "I don't want to bite you,
but I'm very unhappy, so please leave me alone." A growl should
never be punished. When you punish a dog for growling, it may
stop the growling, but it has not stopped the unpleasant
feelings. Now, instead of communicating those feelings to you,
your dog keeps allowing the scary thing to continue until he
can't take it anymore and bites you. It will appear that your
dog bit you "out of nowhere," but he actually learned to
suppress all his warning signals.
Treating Fear Growling
If your dog is growling because he is afraid, teach him to
handle his fear in another way. This can be prevented with early
puppy socialization, but an adult dog can benefit as well.
If your dog is afraid of new people, for example, take him
somewhere quiet where he might see a few new people. When
someone walks by, praise your dog and give him treats. Don't let
the person approach him or give him treats. All you want to do
is create a positive association between your dog and people.
Gradually move closer and start visiting busier areas. If at any
time your dog shows fear, you are moving too fast. Slow down.
If he is afraid of being handled or having his nails trimmed,
approach it the same way. Trim only one and give a big reward.
Trim another one tomorrow. Always keep it positive. If your dog
growls, put him in his crate for a timeout to allow him to calm
down, not as punishment. Try again later and move more slowly.
Stop Growling with Aggression Training
If your dog is growling at you because he is guarding or
doesn't want to do something, he needs more training. Start
hand-feeding your dog so that he has to work for every resource
that you possess. Make him do something for each handful of
Teach him several commands and make him work every time he
wants pets, walks or games. Teach him commands that solve some
of the behavior problems. For example, if he won't get off the
furniture, teach a "down" or "off" command and make it a game.
Teach him "up" and "down" so it's gets on and off furniture
easily. If he guards, teach him "drop it" and "back away."
Growling is not always a bad thing. It sends you valuable
information that your dog is not happy. To fix a growling
problem, you must diagnose the problem and figure out how to fix
that, thus eliminating the growling.
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6 Ways to Stop Puppy Chewing
Causes of Dog Aggression
7 Ways to Calm an Aggressive Dog
6 Tips for Fixing a Dog Behavior Problem
Preventing Dog Attacks Caused by Canine Aggression
has Aggression towards other dogs
Can Bad Dog Behavior Be Treated with Medication?
How to Stop Dog Whining
6 Causes of Dog Barking Problems
How to Keep Your Dog Calm