When your dog suddenly starts staring, growling and barking at the wall, it can startle you or it can downright scare you senseless. After all, you have to wonder what he is seeing that you can't. It can leave you wondering if your four-footed friend has developed a case of the crazies. Simply because he's growling at nothing isn't a cause for alarm.
Critters in the Wall
If you have critters in your walls, like mice, squirrels or other burrowing animals, your dog's sensitive ears will pick up their scratching even if you cannot hear a thing. Since dogs are territorial and hunters by nature, your dog will look at the unusual sound as threatening and this will result in him staring at the source of the sound and growling or barking. In most cases, the spot that he focuses on is where the critters are residing in between the walls.
Sometimes a dog will bark or growl just to get some attention because he knows that his owner will give it to him. Dogs don't always separate good attention from bad attention, so if you scold your dog for growling at the wall, he may just do it again in the near future in order to get you to pay more attention to him.
Senses an Outside Threat
Dogs can see and hear things beyond the scope of human perception, so it is not uncommon for a dog in the back room of a house to growl or bark when he "senses" someone, like the mailman, outside at the other end of the house. Although it may appear that your dog is growling at the wall, he may just in fact be growling in the direction he is sensing something out of the norm.
Certain breeds of dogs, like Jack Russell terriers and other small breeds, sometimes exhibit odd behaviors that can borderline on the compulsive. One such behavior is incessant growling at nothing in particular. Sometimes this behavior can include an obsession in which the dog licks one spot on the wall.
By Dave Donovan
About the Author
Based in Atco, NJ, Dave Donovan has been a full-time writer for over five years. His articles are featured on hundreds of websites, and have landed him in two nationally published books "If I Had a Hammer: More Than 100 Easy Fixes and Weekend Projects" by Andrea Ridout and "How to Cheat at Home Repair" by Jeff Brendenberg.