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Posted on 10-24-2017

Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic Answers:  Why Is My Dog Growling So Much?

Dogs communicate with their owners and other animals in a variety of ways, and it’s often challenging to learn how to interpret these unique communications. Here are a few ways dogs use growling to communicate and whether you should be concerned about this normal form of canine communication.

a husky walking in the snow in Canton, GA

The Anxious Growl

This type of growl is used when a dog is awakened from a deep sleep or when being examined by the vet. In these situations, the animal is trying to communicate anxiety and uncertainty. Reassuring him or her with a calm voice can usually make these animals feel more secure.

The Aggressive Growl

These growls are generally longer in a time frame and deeper in tone. This communication is meant to be taken seriously. A dog may use the aggressive growl to guard his food or warn other animals that they are too close for comfort. Pay attention to this growl and act accordingly. It’s usually best to remove the animal from the situation to allow him to calm down.

The Playful Growl

However, a growl is not always an expression of warning. Many dogs will growl when playing with their owners or with other animals, with no sign of aggression. In fact, these animals show clear signs of knowing how far to take the “game.”. Some dogs are more “vocal” than others and look for opportunities to use their voices for interactions with people and other dogs.

Ensuring Good Communication with Your Dog

If your dog growls more than usual or the situations in which he growls changes significantly, you should make an appointment with your vet to make sure there are no physical problems that are causing the animal pain or distress. Your Canton veterinarian can give your dog a thorough examination to ensure that an injury, arthritis or other problem is not causing tenderness in the body that is making him anxious about being touched during interactions.

Make Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic Your Canton GA Veterinarian

We help dog owners understand the subtle points of canine communication and behavior to ensure your pet has the care they need. Contact Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic today at 770-479-1905 for an appointment to discuss growling and other facets of canine behavior with an experienced veterinarian.

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