Message Us

The Importance of Understanding Your Dog's Growl

One of the most misunderstood forms of canine communication is your dog's growl. For a dog, growling is a way that they are able to get across to the people and other animals around them that they are feeling uncomfortable.

  Growl Actions of Dogs and What Does It Mean?A dog cannot turn around and say to you "I don't like that can you please stop" or "I'm really tired and just want to be left alone" instead he lets you know by growling. The problem is that many people interrupt the dog growling to be an unwanted behaviour and so they start to punish the dog whenever he uses this form of communication. When a dog is continually punished for growling he is going to eventually stop performing this behaviour. Some may see this as a good thing, however you have now successfully got rid of the most obvious warning behaviour before a bite. This means that the next time your dog is feeling uncomfortable or stressed, he no longer growls because you've been punishing him for that, instead he will snap or even bite.

The reason a dog growls is because it is under stress; either from a particular event, because it is feeling scared etc.

  Growl Actions of Dogs and What Does It Mean?Take for example a dog that is already under stress when he is then confronted by an angry owner who is yelling at them or raising their hand; he growls again to let everyone know he is not comfortable but this just annoys the owner more and so the dog resorts to snapping. Another example could be a child interacting with their pet dog. A parent allows their child to clamber and climb all over the dog, as he doesn't move away the parents think he is okay with it. The dog exhibits a number of stress signals such as lip licking, yawning etc but those are ignored. The dog resorts to growling, but instead of the child being taught to respect their dogs space or the adult addressing why the dog is growling, instead the dog is punished. The dog has now learned that both stress signals and growling do nothing to help the situation and so the next time the child crawls over the dog he resorts to the next step; snapping or biting. Many a time these bites are quoted as "the bite just came out of nowhere" when instead the dog has just been ignored.

No one likes it when their dog is growling at them, sometimes it is unexpected, scary even but rather than punish our dogs we should take time to try and understand what exactly is making the dog uncomfortable.

  It is important to understand why our dog's growl, and to see if there is anything that we can do to change the dogs' response; can we turn a negative association into a positive one. A great way to do this is to start a behaviour modification programme using counter conditioning or desentization. And remember if you need any help with your dogs behaviour contact a qualified behaviourist that uses positive reinforcement methods. Growl Actions of Dogs and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers
Jayde Davey_2Jayde Davey M.ISAP CTDI Jayde Davey M.ISAP CTDI - I am an aspiring dog trainer, supporting positive reinforcement methods. I currently am studying an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management and have just passed my test to become a Certified Trick Dog Instructor. I have my own blogsite with connected social media and I also run a Facebook Dog Trick group where I help people to teach their dog lots of fun tricks. I am a member of ISAP or the International Society for Animal Professionals and also have a diploma in small animal care. I own a deaf Dalmatian called Logan who I do most of my training with; he knows lots of tricks like take my socks off, fetch my a tissue and wipe your feet but I also regularly work with a miniature poodle, a cocker spaniel, a jack Russell and a border collie. I one day hope to become a professional dog trainer. Links: Blog site: Facebook: Twitter: Youtube:


Signup/Login to post a reply


Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.

bought two of these

Searched for different ones, decided on this one. Exceeded all expectations. Bought one for a new care and another for our 2004 4 runner. Provides good protection for vehicle and our 140 dog. We travel and camp extensively also good for bringing thing back form garden shop.

George Linhardt

Great product!

Does exactly what we wanted. We can easily raise a part of the seat to give our dogs better access to the rear seat of our pickup. And it's easily removed or installed when we need to put humans back there!

Michael Dean

Back Seat Cover for Subaru Impreza

Excellent quality and great customer service!

Alex Garcia-Osuna

Great covers

Not only are they great covers, 4knines has great customer service. Truly deserving of more than five stars.

Carmela DiCristofano

Great Cover - Great Company

The covers are absolutely the best and I have had quite a few over the years. I had a minor issue with my cover and asked if I could get it repaired. The response was: "Thank you for reaching out to us. Your cover is absolutely covered by 4Knines Lifetime Warranty!" I received a new one.

Bud Conner


This liner was so easy to install!! I love the way it fits and looks. My puppy also loves it.

Susan Frick

dog loves it

i don't have to fuss a the dog for clawing the door panels,a much more enjoyable ride for both of us.

Steven Walker

Perfect gift

I purchased this rear bench cover for a friend with two dogs that frequently accompany her to her barn. No problem with wet, muddy feet. Fits well and protects her investment in her car. The cover arrived promptly as promised.

Maribeth Hartin

For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy