What does a growling dog mean to us?

Everyone who has a dog needs to know what a growling dog wants to tell us. After all, this is a common situation in these animals.

There is no doubt that most people’s dream is for their little friend to be sociable and to choose well the moments when they feel nervous.

But the truth is that most animals grumble in different situations, and not just at people with bad intentions.

However, this situation can be tolerated when referring to strangers, but this is very complicated with the owner.

So, keep reading this post to find out what a growling dog wants to tell us and how to get around this situation.

What could a rumbling dog want to tell us?

Most often, the growling of dogs is associated with aggressiveness, and therefore this behavior is perceived as frightening and inappropriate.

However, there are many reasons why a dog growls, and it is always important to monitor your dog’s behavior to understand what is going on.

A growl is undoubtedly a sign of aggression, but it may also indicate other things, including that the dog is enjoying or enjoying being cuddled, for example.

Therefore, consider the following topics what are the main reasons why a dog growls:

The roaring dog wants to tell us he is having fun

Starting with the premise that growling does not always indicate aggression, growling can occur when a dog is playing and having fun.

It is common for them to make noises while playing, especially if they are playing a fight or competition game with another dog.

When this happens, both dogs understand that appearance is harmless, and this growl does not usually lead to a fight.

However, it’s always a good idea to take care to make sure the growl doesn’t turn into something more aggressive, leading to a fight.

What a growling dog wants to tell us: Fear

A very common situation is that dogs destroy when they feel threatened by something and then get very frightened.

Dogs often grumble, for example, at strangers, because they are afraid of them.

This is a way for animals to signal to this unknown person to stay away or an attack may occur.

Dogs roar to protect things, food and land

Puppies are experts at protecting everything that belongs to them. Thus, these animals growl to show that they will not allow another animal to approach and seize what is theirs.

It is very common to see this situation when a person or some animal approaches a food bowl, water bowl, toy or bed.

This becomes more expressive in relation to food, because the resources are essential to the survival of dogs, and therefore they are innately protected.

Therefore, it is very difficult to reverse the growl to protect the food and keep it away from the animal’s character traits.


Dogs are instinctively territorial creatures, because in nature they need to survive to defend their space.

So if someone tries to invade the animal’s space, they are very likely to growl. This happens when the dog understands that this person should not be there and cross the boundaries of his territory.

This fact is very common with postmen and garbage collectors when they approach the fence. At that moment, the dog roared to avoid the invasion.

A roaring dog may want to let us know that he is in pain or discomfort.

When we think about what a growling dog wants to tell us, we should have a clear idea that this situation could indicate that he is in some pain or discomfort.

It is clear that dogs do not talk, and therefore, they must show when they are faced with a problem through different sounds and situations.

In this case, the growl comes as a combination of factors, which include the animal being in pain and people trying to understand what is happening to it.

Especially if an animal in pain goes to an appointment with a vet, and this is moving in its small body, it is very likely that it will feel uncomfortable and sometimes make a sound.

In addition, fear here can be mixed with pain, which will exacerbate the animal’s problem and discomfort.

White dog walking. photo

How do you understand the difference between the types of roar

To understand what a growling dog wants to tell us, it is very important to know how to differentiate between a happy and harmless growl and a stressful and aggressive one.

First of all, understand what is happening around the animal, as well as pay attention to the signals of the dog’s body.

If the animal is relaxed and in a calm or submissive position, the growling is likely to have a positive motive.

On the other hand, if the animal takes a solid posture and has a serious expression, it is possible that the growl is really aggressive.

If you know your dog well, you will be able to determine the type of growl even by sound, since it is possible to distinguish soft and low easily.

Either way, if in doubt, take the growl as a threat and stay away from the animal, respecting its space.

Then, you have to act to reverse the situation and make the dog comfortable again.

Do not punish a dog for growling

It is very important to understand that a roaring dog wants to tell us many things and that this is a normal behavior of animals.

But it is very important to find out the cause of the growling and then try to keep the animal as comfortable as possible.

However, you should never scold your dog for this behavior. This is because growling can indicate that the dog is happy or that it could be an important reaction to him.

By suppressing the behavior, the animal can exacerbate its stress, making it worse than it was before.

By punishing a dog that growls at another person, the animal may become even more upset about the situation.

Also, if the animal growls from stress, this is a warning to keep your distance.

Therefore, this serves as a warning before a fight or a more dangerous situation. Therefore, growls are also very useful in this regard.

dog with tongue

A dog sticking out its tongue – Photo: Freepik

What does a dog’s roar at its owner mean to us?

As mentioned earlier, barking, snarling and grunting are part of animal communication, and therefore, this behavior cannot be suppressed.

Even a growl can have several meanings and that’s not necessarily a problem.

However, if you rule out the rest of the problems and recognize that the animal is roaring because it is nervous, it is best to intervene.

A dog growling at the owner means that he is not satisfied with people and when this manifests itself with the owner, it is necessary to understand the situation.

Undoubtedly, the most common is that growls directed at a teacher appear in the case of suspicious dogs who do not have a good relationship with the people with whom they live.

This usually happens with pets who are constantly punished, so that they end up losing the trust they had in the teacher and other people.

It can also happen that highly territorial animals that defend their resources will end up wasting on the master, trying to prevent him from invading their territory or taking their things or food.

How do you reduce the dog’s rumbling behavior?

A roaring dog wants to tell us many things and it is essential that you are able to understand this in order to deal with the problem in the best possible way.

As mentioned earlier, the behavior should not be completely reprimanded, as it is normal and important for communication.

However, it is important to note when it begins to occur more often, as well as when it occurs.

In this way, you should look for a solution to the grumbling, always keeping in mind their origin.

In the case of dogs competing for resources in the same environment, for example, you should separate their belongings, such as the feeder, drinker, bed and toys, for example.

In more complex cases, where the dog shows extreme aggression, it is interesting to seek help from an animal behavior counselor.

No matter what a growling dog wants to tell us, an animal should never be punished, and alternate methods are necessary.

Taking care of the physical and emotional health of the pet should be the starting point for this. In addition, proper socialization and routine are also essential to the animal’s health and happiness and to maintain a good relationship with the owner.


As you have noticed, a growling dog wants to tell us many things and it is essential to understand the reasons for acting based on the reasons.

Regardless of the reasons, to avoid these events, it is necessary to fight to maintain the physical and mental integrity of the dog, so that he feels comfortable and relaxed.

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