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Dog myth 13: It is okay for my dog to growl as long as it doesn't bite

Dog myth 13: It is okay for my dog to growl as long as it doesn't bite

Most if you should have heard your dog growl in one way or another, and many owners who've yet to be bitten believes that their dog will never turn on them no matter what happens, this becomes very dangerous if you think this way, which may endanger yourself as well as other people around you. Growling is one of very few ways your dog can communicate with you "verbally", if you're not able to understand it's intention then there may be a day when your dog will get so frustrated that biting becomes it's next option.

Growling has many meaning, to understand what your dog is trying to say depends on a couple of things - situation, body language and the tone of the growl, for example, if your dog is having its paws onto a toy/food and starts growling in low tone, then it is item possession, which will lead to other guarding problems if not rectified. Growling during play time can means a lot of things too, sometimes it can just be a play growl, but most owners are not able to differentiate between playing, guarding and aggression signs, up till one day when they get bitten (or their friends and family), then it might've just been too late to deal with, the dog would've been so confident and used to showing aggression that correction will take a very long time before results can be seen.

Always remember that dogs don't act, if it's not biting you now doesn't mean that it won't in future, your dog is just tolerating you as much as it can and you should not take it's patience for granted. Growling is very NORMAL for dogs and most of the time they are actually giving you a warning, do not take this for granted and learn to understand the reason behind the growls. Take the early advantage to convey the message to your dog that there is no need to be aggressive, and that more things will come if it behaves.


  1. Hello, there's a serious concern about my pup that I can't help but take note. You mentioned about growling and biting. My pup likes biting us a lot. I like wearing slippers at home and he tends to want to take them off, growling when he can't do it. Is there a way to stop that action? He only does this at home tho. When he's out, he doesn't bite.

    1. HI Noeleen, it can be hard to differentiate between warning growls and play growls. If the puppy learns that growling is the way to solve problems it will use this method on other situations in future, then it might proceed to biting if not rectified.

      The best way is to first find out what type of growl your puppy is showing.


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