As much as we might wish it, dogs can’t talk like you or I. They have to use barks and growls to communicate with us and other dogs. But what do they mean? Here is how to identify a few different types of growls and what they mean.
Growling as a Warning
A dog who is afraid of something may growl to fend off potential harm; the message he’s sending is that he will defend himself if necessary. Some dogs may growl at any unfamiliar person, while others may respond only to specific types of people, like men with beards, or to sights they are uncomfortable with, such as a horse. If your dog growls only at specific people or things, remedial socialization help is needed.
Or your dog may growl at another dog as a way to tell him to back off before a confrontation occurs. Many times, the other dog will heed the growl and give your dog the space he desires. There are dogs, however, who will not back down when they are growled at; in this situation, a fight may ensue.
If your dog’s warnings to back off go unheeded, his growling may increase into other aggressive behaviors, making it difficult for him to be around other canines. Some dogs do best with only select doggy playmates, while others should be limited to socializing only with humans.
Gresham Animal Hospital is equipped to provide the service and treatment your pet needs under one roof. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog or cat needs a checkup, shots, or vaccines. Give us a call at 503.666.1600 to schedule an appointment today.
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