While sometimes it can seem like a dog is doing something for no reason, the truth is that there is always a reason! Unfortunately, there is a miscommunication going on that leaves both you and your dog confused.
In today’s Q&A, we’ll be answering the question “Why does my dog growl at me for no reason?” and giving you some guidance on why this could be happening. Let’s get started.
How long have you had your dog?
If your dog is new to your house then you might just need to give him some time to get comfortable! Some animals are more or less trusting of humans than others.
Do what you can to make your dog comfortable and don’t try to rush things. Let them warm up to you, and you may find that their growling may go away when they get more comfortable in their new home.
This growling might be a warning that your dog would like you to back off a bit, and you should do so. You can read more on aggression and trigger stacking at this article.
Are they Resource Guarding?
Does your dog growl at you when it’s feeding time? Some dogs are food aggressive, and they don’t like people or other dogs touching their bowl. This can be common for animals where they’ve lived in an environment where they’ve had to “fight” for their fair share of food before.
If this is the case, then you can likely train them to not act this way, but if they aren’t overly aggressive or dangerous, then you can just give them some personal space when they’re eating. This behavior can also apply to other things that your dog holds dear as well though such as toys, their bed, etc.
Are they scared of something?
Sometimes animals growl because they are confused or afraid of something. Our cat growls every time he sees the guy who mows our lawn simply because he hates the weed eater!
Similarly, dogs can be scared of a lot of things. Sometimes even wearing a hat can be enough to rattle your pup’s nerves. Try to make a note of what you’re doing, what you’re wearing, or how you’re acting when your pup starts growling to figure out what he doesn’t like.
Depending on what has happened to your dog in their life, there could be many things they are afraid of. For example, a previously abused dog could be scared of sudden movements, or even people who look a certain way.
Is your dog in pain?
While many dogs express their pain through whimpering or yelping, some dogs also do this through growling. If your dog growls when you touch a certain portion of their body or pick them up, then it’s possible that something in the area where you are touching them hurts.
They could be growling because they know this. If you believe that this is the case, then a trip to the vet to have them checked out could be in order. If your dog growls when petted, this is even more likely. Do they only growl when you pet them in a certain area? This could be the reason.
“My dog growls at me when i move him” is also a common complaint, and in some cases, this one can also be attributed to pain. However, your dog may also just be voicing his displeasure at you disrupting his napping.
Is your dog playing with you?
Not all growls are aggressive. Sometimes dogs growl when they play too! If you’ve noticed your dog growling at you during play time, then you likely don’t have anything to worry about. If your dog is wagging his tail, jumping around, or exhibiting other non-aggressive behavior while growling, then this is probably the case.
Why does my dog growl at me at night
For some pet owners, this strange behavior only happens under certain circumstances. If you’ve been asking yourself “why does my dog growl at me at night“? Then you’ll need to examine the other reasons when looked at to come to a conclusion.
In some cases, your dog could simply be exhibiting anxiety over sounds or other things which they don’t understand. Or, it could be fear based, and your dog could have experienced something in the past which was traumatic for them that they associate with darkness or night time.
For older dogs, vision or hearing loss could even be responsible. If your dog is startled or confused when you appear, then they could growl at what they perceive as a threat before realizing it’s you!
As you can see, the reasons for your dog growling are varied, and so this is not a simple query to answer. If you want to get to the bottom of it then you’ll need to do some detective work of your own. Make note of what’s going on when your dog is growling to figure out what it is that they are trying to communicate to you!