Does your dog growl? Growling is a communication from the dog that can mean several things. It may mean “I can’t handle that!” (fear), “That’s mine!” (resource guarding) or “I’m playing with you/them.” (play mode).
It’s important to understand what the communication is at the time the behavior is displayed. We need to understand it, work with it and never silence it. If it is caused by fear and we silence the growling because it makes us uneasy (and it should) we stop the dogs ability to communicate by using the growl as a warning. Taking away the ability to communicate that they are stressed by something can result in communicating in a stronger way, such as snapping or even worse a bit.
If you are experiencing growling, and are unsure of the cause, or know it is due to stress or fear, please seek help from a professional dog trainer to help work on modifying the behavior.
By Nan Long
Now And Zen Dog Training