Having a dog that barks and growls excessively may be a very frustrating situation for dog parents. and figuring out the reason behind this behavior and finding a solution may be a huge challenge if you are new to dog parenting. But before you give up all hopes, take some time to explore this handy guide which will provide some useful info.
Why dogs growl?
Before you can tackle the problem and figure out efficient ways to help stop your dog from barking and growling excessively, it is necessary to understand why your dog is growling. And there are a host of reasons to consider. Some of these reasons are acceptable, but there are some common dog behavior problems that are unnecessary and needs to be cured.
Boredom: Boredom is one of the common reason behind several behavior problems. When dogs are left alone for extended periods of time, they can become bored and end up expressing their frustration by barking.
Dog growls for many reasons, for example when you touch certain parts of their body, and if dog growls that’s a clear sign of pain around that area. Sometimes dogs tend to growl during illness. Observe your dog’s behavior and check if there is any loss in appetite or energy level.
If you feel that your dog is in pain or has some kind of illness symptoms, then you must schedule a visit to get veterinarian checkup.
You must have noticed that certain dog growls and barks at people passing by the house. It shows that dog is trying to mark territory by barking or growling towards that person to convey they do not belong there.
If dog growls due to territorial aggression then most likely you will notice same behavior when someone approaches their sleeping area or favorite couch.
Territorial aggression is dangerous, so it is recommend to get help from the dog behaviorist to discipline your dog and break territorial aggression behavior.
Loneliness or Separation Anxiety
Loneliness or separation anxiety is one of the most common issue when it comes to barking or growling. When dogs are left alone for longer period of the time, separation and loneliness can lead to excessive barking and growling behavior.
If the dog feels like he is in a situation where he should protect you, then he will growl or bark to warn and show you that he is ready to protect you where he deems to be a threatening one.
When dogs experience encounter with strangers at unfamiliar places, they tend to growl in fear. It is very common way for fearful dogs to bark or growl express the fear.
You may also notice that your dog might be growling and barking in fear in certain situation such as thunderstorm or during fireworks.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if a dog is excited it can bark out to express gratitude and welcoming happy mood. It’s dog’s way of expressing that it likes seeing a familiar face again or meeting new people.
Out of Need
There is a great possibility that when the dog needs something, he will bark for letting you know.
Your dog will growl and bark when they see any unknown delivery person at the door. Anybody who has Amazon Prime will understand this one, many dogs are inclined to let you know if a delivery person is arriving or if there is someone at the door.
How to stop Dog growling?
Have a plan prepared
A growling dog is near to biting. If your dog growls at you, then it is essential to know what to do next, so that accidents do not trigger an attack.
Stop what you are doing Stop in your tracks
Avoid making direct eye contact with the dog. Wait unless he relaxes slightly, then slows back away.
Think about triggers
Now analyze what occurred and what you were doing that made dog to growl. For instance, the place where you about to remove his food bowl, move him from the couch, and put his leash on? This could give you valuable clues about the motivation for his behavior. Do not ignore anything, instead make sure to learn every single behavior and surroundings associated with barking.
If your dog is getting aggressive and growling at delivery person or mail man all the time, then make sure to use window shade or secure area to avoid sightlines. Work on changing barking behavior by socializing your dog and avoid sightlines until behavior is changed.
Consult Dog Behaviorist
If your dog’s aggressive growling and barking behavior doesn’t change then it is time to get help from dog behaviorist. They’ll watch the behavior of your dog and put a plan in place to retrain the dog and eliminate triggers.
Do not push your dog over his tolerance threshold
You should eliminate stressful situation that causes growling behavior in your dog. If your dog is not socially well trained then do not introduce your dog to people or new dogs at park until it is very well trained around people and other dogs. It will prevent a risk of dog bite.
Analyze the reason for dog growling
Why is your dog growling? Does your dog growl when you groom her? Growling when restrained? Does the dog growl when you make direct eye contact? What about when you take something away from him? And making him do something? If your dog growls at you, think what in the shared environment has changed.
Find ways for your dog to do something that will not provoke aggressive communication
You should try your dog to behave without eliciting a growl. Lure him instead of physically pushing and pulling him. Have somebody else feed him treats though you touch, groom, as well as restrain him. If you do not have to do whatever it was that elicited the growl, do not unless you can convince him that the activity in question is the best thing instead of a bad thing.
Evaluate the stressors in the dog’s world and remove them.
For instance, if your dog is not used to with strangers around, then having guests in your home will undoubtedly stress your dog. Noise-phobic dogs can be stressed if there is a huge noise in the city street or a thunderstorm. The vacuum cleaner is the common stressor for the dogs.
Also, sometimes a loud argument between humans can stress the dog. Harsh verbal and physical punishment, fence fighting with another dog, and the list can go on and on. You need to remove all these stressors from your dog's life.
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