Min menu


Tips to Stop a Growling Dog

 Tips to Stop a Growling Dog

dog training near me

For whatever reason, some dogs have a tendency to growl. In some cases, the growl is simply teasing or playing but in other cases, the dog is telling you to back off. Most people have been told if they approach a dog and it growls, quickly walk away to avoid being bitten. Typically, dogs that feel fear, anxiety, or are protection will use growling as a warning before they take action so the growling should always be taken seriously.

Of course, the best way to handle a growling dog is while still a puppy but this is not always possible. If you bring a new puppy home, start working with him by taking things from him. This might be removing a favorite toy from his mouth, moving his food dish, or some other possession. Just keep the item for a few minutes and then give it back while offering praise. The purpose is to show the dog that you are the alpha, the boss.

In addition, you want to teach your dog to “give”, or “drop”, which will help along with the other techniques for getting the dog to stop growling. After you provide the item back and give him praise, he is learning that you will give his item back if he is patient and then in return for his patience, he gets rewarded with loving words and petting. Typically, a puppy will learn quickly not to growl whereas adult dogs may need a little more work.

Just remember that it is never too late to work with a dog. Just because he is five does not give him any excuse for learning. However, because he will be set in his ways, you will likely need to be more patient. The one time you cannot accept a dog growling is with food. Although growling should never be allowed, possessiveness over food can be dangerous, especially if there are children in the home. With this, the dog would growl and ultimately snap if anyone comes near his food. This behavior is one that needs to be brought under control immediately.

In the case of the dog growling with the food dish, start by taking everything away from him, toys, bedding, food, etc. Then, block off any entrances into rooms where he likes to go. Putting his leash on the collar, you are showing him that you have control over his possessions and over him. Next, take a small handful of dry dog food. Place the empty bowl on the floor, placing one piece of food inside. Allow him to eat it and as he eagerly waits for more, reach down and drop one more piece in.

By giving him small pieces, he will be looking at this as a special treat, not a battle over possessions. Soon, you can start having him eat food from your hand near the bowl. With time and work, your dog will reach the point where he knows that when your hand is near his bowl, there is nothing bad happening. Remember, you will need to work with him for weeks to months. Of course, you do not want to test fate but you do want to let your dog know that your intentions are not to remove his things but to reward him for doing right.