Dog Growling | Why Dogs Growl and What it Means

Dogs have different ways to communicate with their owners, they wag their tails, they move ears and shake bodies, and they growl too.

Most of the time, people think it is growling is very aggressive and is a bad sign. But growling can have a different meaning.

Growl can mean back off, or trouble is coming, or the dog is in pain. One needs to understand the growling before they take any action.

So it is very important Understanding Dog Growling.

Why does a dog growl?


Dog growling is a way of communication for the dogs. Dogs cannot express what they are feeling by words, so they use the sounds and actions to tell what’s going on with them and in their mind.

The dogs start the communication using body language like wagging tail and moving ears, but if one is unable to understand those actions, the dogs start growling.

The commons reasons for the growling of the dogs are aggression, possession, fear, pain, and territoriality.

Dogs also growl when they are playing. This kind of growling happens when dogs have a comfortable and safe environment. In such cases, the growling is not aggressive.

But it can be a fight growling too so for that one needs to take care and watch the body language of the dogs to avoid any kind of fight. Gentle growling is not a bad sign. 

Causes of Dog growling 


Understanding Dog Growling is not easy. But if one knows the causes, it is not tough too. The causes of the growling of the dog can vary.

But figuring out why the dog is growling is the basic step of preventing aggression. Dog’s growling is a sign, or we can say warning that it can bite one.

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So the first thing one needs to do is understand why the dog is growling and what can be the potential cause of dogs growling.

1. Possession Aggression

Dogs do growl over their possessions. A dog can be possessive about anything like a bowl of food, their bone, toys, or the owner.

So when the dog sees anyone touching their things or coming near to it what they are possessed about is, start growling to tell, stay away from it, it’s mine. 

2. Fear 

Dogs often growl when they are scared. This is one of the most common reasons for dogs growling.

Dogs can be scared of any object, fireworks, by other dogs, or just by the stranger’s approach. They may growl whenever they see anything they are scared of.


3. Territoriality

Dogs are very aware and conscious of their territory, and when they feel some other dog is coming in their territory, they growl to defend the territory.

It is not only with the other dogs but also other people and strangers like the mailman or any person who does not belong to the territory.

They just want to protect the property and people belonging to that property. 

4. Pain

Dogs do growl when they are in pain. If they are injured or ill, and they feel pain, and not well, they growl.

The dogs growl to tell people that they are in pain, and they need help.

Types of Dog growling 

Dogs love to interact with humans. They have many different methods to interact with their human friends, and growling is one of its kinds.

Dogs growl to communicate and tell people what’s going on in their minds. There are many different types of growling.

One should be Understanding Dog Growling if they own a pet. Types of growling expressions are listed below:

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1. Playful Growling 

Dogs are very expressive and funny when they play. They enjoy playing, and most of the time, they growl when they are playing.

This is not something one should worry about until the dogs change the body language.

They can turn aggressive if they do not like something whole they play, and their playful growl can into the aggressive on, and this should be scary.

High energy plays and growling gently is nothing to worry about. Just watch your dog playing, chilling doing funny things and growling, and relax.

One can learn all this online by watching videos if they are new owners.

2. Affectionate growling 

 Dogs enjoy attention and affection. So when one pets them, they start growling because they are enjoying it and wanting more of it.

They leave their body loose and relax, and they growl smoothly. They also growl when one-stop rubbing them to ask for more.

The affectionate growling is soft and very low in sound.

Pat them, rub them and play with them when they growl they will stop as they get the attention and love. 

3. Frustrated growling

Dogs get frustrated when they are not getting what they desire. Like if they want food and the owner is busy with something, they will growl to get the food.

It can be anything or any desire that can turn into frustration. So when they are growling continuously, try to play with them feed them and let them do what they want.

Take them out for a walk, and this will relax them.

Frustrated growling can be dangerous because a dog can be aggressive, and there are chances of biting an injury. 


4. Fearful growling

Fearful growl can be when the dog is afraid of something or surprised to see something.

They can be threatened and afraid of anything like other dogs, strange humans, fireworks, and other things.

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The main reason they growl when scared to stay away from the thing which is making them afraid. They can be even scared of some toy, water, new streets, dogs from another territory, and the loud noise.

This kind of growling starts with low sound, stiff body, no breathing, and closed mouth. Later it can turn into loud bark.

The fearful growling is something to be concerned about. It can be harmful to people as well as for the dog’s health

5. Aggressive growling

Aggressive growling can be very dangerous for dogs as it can harm them as well as they can bite any other person or animal.

It is very opposite than the fearful go growling. The aggressive growling means dogs want to fight and attack.

When aggressively growling, dogs can bite or harm any other animal or human. They can attack anyone around, so this is where one should not avoid calming them.

6. Fighting Growling

The fight growling is the most dangerous. Anyone who hears dogs growling when they are fighting can be very scared.

They growl to dominate over the next dog and scare them. When growling during the fight, they will raise the hair on the back, and the pinned ears may look highly scary. 

7. Pain growling

Dogs do growl when they are injured, or they are ill. They may not express to show the pain by body language, so they start growling.

This growl is very down and in low sound. One should see the wet as soon as possible to protect them and treat them.

So like humans, dogs also like communicating. They cannot use the words, but they speak a lot by the body and expressions.

Growling is one of those methods of expressing what they feel like.