What Does a Growling Dog Mean?

Total Shares 3.3K

When a dog growls, he or she is doing so for a reason. This is a form of dog language all humans, and especially dog owners, need to learn how to understand.

For instance, often times puppies and adult dogs growl while playing with another dog or their owners, and this is very normal behavior.

However, it is those times when a growling dog means something else that we want to focus on in this article.

Most people associate a growling dog with the times they have approached an unfamiliar residence, and the dog living there barks and growls. This is the dog communicating to this person they have intruded on the dogs turf and should leave. Again, this is perfectly normal behavior from a healthy adult dog.

Here’s an important clue: what if an otherwise very friendly dog begins to growl at his owners for no apparent reason? Why has such a dramatic change in the dog’s personality taken place? These events are most likely indications the dog is injured or ill.

Continued on page 2…


  1. I have a 3 year old mini Dachshund bitch that I rescued several months ago. Her previous (older) owner dropped dead and “Tara” was found laying next to the body sometime after.
    Because I’m also a retired older guy, we bonded very quickly.
    2 or 3 weeks back my ex-wife started spending more time here (sleeping in the spar room each night).
    Tara loves to be around her, sitting next to her and generally digging all the extra attention she gets.
    When my ex walks away or even walks toward Tara, she growls. Pretty much any time my ex is NOT touching Tara she’s growling at her.
    Is this because dogs are a good judge of character?
    I know it sounds funny, but I’ve never seen a dog act like this.