What You Need to Know about Dog Growling

Growling is a behavior that comes naturally to dogs. Some types of dog growling are appropriate and can be safely ignored. For example, some dogs growl while they play. The dog's whole body is wriggling and the pitch of the growl rapidly rises and falls. This "play growling" can be ignored because it's only meant as play.

One of the most common times for a dog to growl is when he is approached by an unfamiliar person or animal. This growl typically communicates the desire to be left alone and if the person obeys and moves away, the dog usually stops the behavior and is satisfied.

It is important for people to understand this form of canine communication, especially people with small children. If someone continues to move closer to a growling dog, this may increase his anticipation and cause more adverse actions.

A dog in this situation may bark, snaps, and possibly bite the person approaching him if his growls are ignored.
How Should You React to Your Dog's Growls?

What if your toddler was walking toward your resting dog and the dog slowly turned away with a low, snarling growl? Would you understand your dog? Would you know what to do?

Growling is not necessarily a bad thing. In this scenario, your dog is most likely saying that he would prefer to be left alone and may be uncomfortable with your child nearby.

Many pet owners are confused in these situations and tend to take the behavior more personally than they should. You should never punish your puppy for growling at you or at anyone else. A dog that is chastised for their natural expression often shows more serious behaviors later on.

Growling is an important means of communicating for your dog. Punishing this behavior causes your pet to repress his desires and may become confusing. Continuing to reprimand your dog for growling may eventually cause the dog to stop growling, instead, he may immediately snap at someone or even bite with no warning.

Always tell children why a dog growls and explain how important it is to listen to the dog. Whenever your dog growls as you approach, it is best to simply respect his wishes and let him be.

Make sure your children understand what to do if a dog growls at them. They should stop anything they were doing that may have irritated the dog and slowly move away to a safe place away from the animal. Never run from an animal and tell your children to report any of these incidents to you so you can continue training your dog properly.

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