Your dog growls constantly. He growls at the mailman; he growls at you when you get home; he growls at the neighbor; he growls at the birds in the backyard; he growls at other pets in your home; you name it, and he growls at it. Growling can be an annoyance, especially if you can’t figure out why he’s doing it. As bothersome as it is, it is nothing that a little training cannot get rid of. Once you understand what your dog is communicating with his growl, you will be able to help him lessen the tension. Keep in mind that these tips are for non-aggressive growling. If your dog is exhibiting violent behavior, that is an entirely different problem that needs professional attention.

The first thing to realize is that growling is natural. Dogs use barking and growling to communicate, because those are their only methods. Excessive growling, on the other hand, can be a problem. There is a reason why he is growling. Listen to him and try to figure out what he is saying. A high-pitched growl can mean that your dog is frightened, while a low-pitch growl means he is protecting something. If he is not showing his teeth, and otherwise does not seem angry, then he is probably just having fun.

More than just listening to your dog, you need to identify the situation. Does he growl at you if you go near his dinner? If so, then he is vocally protecting is food. Examine the environment, do other pets in the house have access to his food dish, or he is bothered by children when he is trying to eat? Your dog needs to have a fairly secluded place to eat. No other animals should be able to get near his food bowl, and children should be discouraged from playing with him while he is eating.

Does your dog growl to get something out of you? Like barking, growling can be a learned, attention-seeking behavior. The dog barked and growled as a puppy and got what he wanted. As an adult, he has learned that growling gets him the attention he wants. Often, extra playtime and exercise can get rid of this problem. Instead of your dog coming to you for a walk, start him on a daily routine. Daily routines are a way for your pooch to know that he will get attention without excessive growling. Exercise will also rid him of extra energy that may be adding to his growl.

Is your dog protecting his favorite toy and growls when you come near it? Like dinner, your dog feels threatened by an approaching person. Only give him the favorite toy if he is alone, outside, or inside a crate. Don’t provide and encourage the opportunity for your dog to bite someone because of a toy. If isolation doesn’t work, then you may have to take the toy away.

Sometimes dogs just do not like certain people. There is no reason to fear the situation unless your dog must be alone with the person or spend a lot of time with the person. But, what if he suddenly doesn’t like someone? Maybe while you were away from your home, the neighbor’s children antagonized the dog. Now, when the children come over, the dog doesn’t stop growling. Don’t get angry at the dog. There is a reason he is growling; and, in this case, he feels the need to protect himself. If your dog doesn’t get along well with certain people, then always make sure the visits are supervised, or place you dog in his crate when these people are present.

Like barking, if you interrupt the growling with something positive, then this can help stop the growling. Interrupt him; and, once he stops, give him a treat or his favorite toy to play with. If your dog is growling, and you cannot figure out why, then you may need to talk to your vet or a behavioral specialist. They can offer further suggestions.

These were only a handful of ideas to help ease a growling dog. There are a number of reasons why your dog growls. It’s up to you to listen to him, and figure out what he is trying to say. If your dog is exhibiting aggressive behavior, then you need to talk to an expert before your dog resorts to biting. Often, the growling can be interrupted and deterred with a reward. Other times, your dog may need additional training. Don’t get discouraged with your dog. A little growling problem is easily fixable!

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