Having a dog growl is nothing unusual as it is their way of communicating and showing that they are uncomfortable with a situation. Most of the time it is a brief and perfectly natural way for them to express themselves without getting into trouble. However, your dog’s growling can become a problem is if it is happening too often.
Find out how, with some patience and the right training, it can be turned around so your dog only growls when it is absolutely necessary.
Why Will Your Dog Growl?
No dog is going to growl without there being an actual reason for them to do so and one of the things you must do as an owner is to work out the reason that lies behind it. Quite often it is linked to them feeling under threat in some way and this is why they will often growl when they come close to another dog.
Alternatively they may feel threatened by a child that is not leaving them alone and the main concern here is that the child may continue to push the dog up to a point where it will nip them as a warning so clearly you need to assess the situation before this happens.
It is quite natural for a dog to growl if you are trying to take away their food or a toy as they see it as their possession and will quite rightly try to protect it as best they can. In this instance, you are always best to leave them to eat in peace or play with their toy without you interfering and the moment will pass and the dog will be quite happy.
Finally, you should know that if your dog starts growling a lot basically overnight, then there may be a medical condition behind it that is making them cranky and in a way altering their personality so you are best to have them checked out by the vet. This does not mean that there is something seriously wrong with them, but clearly if treatment is going to result in them getting better and stopping growling, then it is worth having your dog checked out.
What To Do In Order To Stop It Becoming A Problem
When you hear your dog growling, most people will automatically think that they need to reprimand them so they will stop doing it in the future. The problem with this is that it will only stop them doing it at that moment in time, but it will not actually solve the problem in the long term and indeed it will often make the problem a lot worse instead as they can start growling when nothing is wrong and this is where it becomes a nuisance.
What you are best to do is simply ignore them and they will see that they do not get a reaction from you either good or bad and dogs are very sensitive souls and they will quickly realize that they are wasting their energy when growling.
Apart from that the main thing you have to do to stop it becoming a problem is to learn how to identify the root of the problem they have and deal with it accordingly.
If there is another animal nearby, then move them so the situation calms down and the same with a child or just let them eat their food without any problems and learn the difference between a playful growl and a serious one if you have one of their toys. What this means is that it is up to you to learn the nature of your dog and it is only through this that you will be able to stop their growling from spiralling out of control.
So that is what you need to look at doing when dog growling becomes a nuisance, but do not start to try to train them not to do it right from the beginning as it is only natural for a dog to growl at certain times. The problem is that dogs are very quiet dogs in general so people are often taken by surprise when they do growl as much so get to the root of the problem and tackle it when they are hopefully still quite young so the problem does not rise up again later on in their life when it may be harder to teach them to do otherwise.