As a new dog owner, you may be confused as to why your puppy is growling when sitting with someone. You may immediately jump to conclusions about the dog being aggressive, but there may be more than meets the eye. Whether your dog is experiencing fear or playfulness, there are a number of emotions that can cause puppies to growl. Discover why your little one is growling so that you can make the necessary changes to make him more comfortable.
One of the biggest reasons puppies growl is fear. If the puppy is a new addition to the household, he may be frightened by the change in his surroundings. If the person petting him isn't one of the household members, he may also be afraid of the stranger. Regardless, growling can be a sign that your puppy is about to be pushed too far and needs to be taken seriously. Stop whatever you're doing to the pup and determine what his fear is.
Too many changes can make any animal anxious. Throw training into the mix and it's no wonder your furry friend may be growling. Remember to give your new pup time to adjust. While there are several types of training that need to start immediately (such as housebreaking), remember that your puppy is just a puppy and accidents will happen. Don't expect greatness immediately. Praise your puppy when she does good and give her time to relax by herself, if that's what she wants.
Sometimes puppies growl because they want to play. If the puppy is bouncing around or batting at your hand, he may just be trying to tell you that he wants to play. Play a round of tug-of-war with your puppy and see how the growl sounds. This will let you know when your dog is just wanting to play or when there is another reason for the growl.
Your new puppy may also have already developed a guarding behavior. Dogs often growl when guarding people, property or food. If the puppy growls when sitting with the one who cares for her most, it may just be that she's trying to tell people to stay away. You need to correct this behavior because it can become more and more dangerous as the dog ages. A firm "no" and then turning your back on the puppy will teach her that the behavior will not be tolerated.
By Amy Brantley
About the Author
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.