What should you do if your dog growls at you?

Growling Dog

I recently came across this article in Whole Dog Journal that I wanted to share that talks about what to do if our dog growls at us. Although, we don’t like when our dog growls at us it’s good to know what approach to take.

Growling is a form of communication for dogs and we should appreciate and respect that rather than punishing them for it. It’s important to recognize that if our dog is uncomfortable he has to be able to express that.

If we punish our dog for growling this often suppresses the growl and eliminates his ability to warn us that he’s about to snap.  It’s also good to keep in mind that by punishing our dog for growling can also trigger him to escalate into full-on aggression.

Some examples on how to handle the situation when your dog growls:  If there isn’t much time between your dog growling and biting be safe and stop what you’re doing.  If his growl doesn’t mean his bite is imminent stop what you’re doing but stay where you are and once your dog has calmed down into a relaxed state get up and move away to reward the relaxed state rather than the growl.

Analyzing the situation is also a good idea to determine what provoked the growl. Did you take his toy away from him? Were you restraining him?

You can learn more about natural dog care and training at: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/.