Dog Growls When Petted : (4 Menacing Reasons)

A dog growls when petted is a very common term for a dog barking sound made by an excited dog. A dog may be growling when it is about to go on a walk or it might be growling at you or when you are just walking home from work. A dog can also start growling when it is upset or afraid.

You might have felt that your dog growls when petted while eating. Ever wondered why your dog growls when petted while sleeping? And do you know that your dog growls when petted with toy? The answer to all these questions is that dog growling is natural. It is common when your female and male dog growl when petted.

Dog growls when petted
dog growls when petted


Dog Growls When Petted

Dog owners should learn about the different behaviors of dogs and the possible reasons due to which the dog growls when petted. While petting the dogs it is mandatory to understand about growling that can be observed under different situations. It is a defense mechanism that is used by dogs to show their owners that they are present and are a potential threat.

Dogs mostly use their growls as a warning system to alert their owners of possible danger. Unfortunately, these same dogs can also display other nasty characteristics like aggressiveness and even violence if they are not disciplined appropriately.

For clarification, it is not only about the growl that a dog emits when being teased or attacked. It’s more of an affectionate gesture than an indication of aggression. Therefore, some dogs will display the growl in response to certain circumstances. When petting correctly, the dog will be calm and will not growl unless invited to do so.


Why Does My Dog Growl At Me When I Pet Him?

There are many reasons for the growling of pet dogs. The pet dog doesn’t normally growl at people unless they are annoying to him. They do it sometimes when they are frustrated or really scared.

Sometimes, the dog growls when petted as a sign that your dog is uncomfortable with what you are doing and that he wants you to hurry and leave. Sometimes he is displaying confidence. Most of the time though, he is simply bored and wants to go out and play.


Way to Communicate

Some dogs will growl at you if you show fear or panic. Growling at a dog is considered a normal behavior and is a way to communicate to the other dogs in the pack where there is a dominant position.


Excitement or Frustration

The dog growls when petted when he is excited or frustrated about something. The barking is usually louder when the dog is angry. Sometimes, all you have to do to stop the growl is to ignore the dog and he will stop the barks on his own.


For Attention

You need to give your dog attention and spend time with him. If he is not having any attention then he will want to growl or bark to get some attention.



A warning growls whenever the dog feels that something is a threat, whether it is a person, a vehicle, an animal, or something else. An aggressive bark is mainly for display. The purpose of these barks is to let the dog (or dogs) know that they are in the dominant position and will have to either submit or fight.


Why Does My Dog Growl When I Hug Him?

Let’s take a look at his posture when you touch him. Does he have any spurs on his legs? You’d be surprised at how easily your dog will turn his back if you bring your hands too close to his face – not good when you’re trying to pet or cuddle him. He may also growl if you start talking forcefully or suddenly lean in close to him.


Behavioral Problems

He is likely having more behavioral problems than usual, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only one with them. Chances are, your dog could be having separation anxiety or he may be shy around other dogs and people. Sometimes the dog growls when petted are normal and quite cute, as long as they do not become destructive.


Jealousy by Some Factors

If your dog is growling when you hug him, he’s probably feeling threatened by you. Jealousy is often an instinct that he can’t control and that’s why he’s having those feelings. You should try calming your dog down before you try to help him with his problem.


Can A Dog Growl When Happy?

The dog doesn’t need to growl only when they are aggressive but they can also show their happiness by growling. Let’s look at if the dog growls unhappily and then how to make him feel good and at the same time, find out how we can make them happy again.


Changing the Mood of Dog If He Is Not Happy

When you want to stop a dog from getting angry all you need to do is change his way of thinking. Dogs have no real way of telling us that they are happy or sad.

When you are around a dog, you can either raise your mood or you can give your dog something that will help him feel a little happier. If you want him to feel a little happier, then you can certainly do this by distracting him with a new toy.


Why Does My Dog Growl At Night When I Pet Him?

The nighttime is a lonely time for a dog. He does not have anybody to play with or chase around in the evening. Of course, you think about why does my dog growl at night? when I pet him in the daytime. Dog growls when petted are complained about and faced by many dog owners and it is not easy to deal with. There are many reasons for a dog to bark at night, some of them are as follows


To Get Attention

It means there is a threat or danger near him. Another reason is to get attention. Dogs want attention. If you are standing over them when they bark at night, they will growl.


Trying To Find Place To Hide

Nighttime is also the most active time of the day. During this time, your pet may be trying to find someplace to hide. They need to feel safe and protected. So, the reason for his growl during nighttime is just to let you know where he is.


To Reunite With You

The other reason for his growl at night time is to reunite with you. He wants to say hello to you again because you were the one that was missing him during the day. During the day, you were probably busy doing something else. However, at night, your pet wants to see you so he can give you a kiss or a hug.


Solving this Problem

If you ever wonder the same question, “Why does my dog growl at night when I pet him?” try to get over it by talking to your vet. They will be able to help you determine which of the reasons above might be what’s causing it.

Dog growls when petted
dog growls when petted


Why Do Dogs Growl When You Kiss Them?

If you are wondering why do dogs growl when you kiss them? It is probably a sign that they are unsettled. They are protecting their turf, feeling threatened, and looking for an outlet for their energy.


Uncomfortable With Your Actions

The most likely reason for a growl is that they are uncomfortable with your actions. They may feel threatened and their defense system kicks in. You may be able to train your dog to be more relaxed about certain things, such as going outside.


Jealousy by Other Dogs

It may be because they are jealous of other people playing with your dog. If your dog sees another dog playing with his playmate, he may try to get attention by growling. This is why you may see growling coming from your dog when you kiss them.


Making them Feel Relaxed

How can you train your dog to be more relaxed about other people? One idea may be to hold your hand or stay by your side. Try to put your hands behind your dog’s head while giving them your full attention. When you want to touch them, put your fingers in between their toes or under their bottom. This can relax them.


Should I Growl Back At My Dog?

The most obvious reason that you should growl back when your dog is misbehaving is that he is hurting you or others. Dogs that don’t follow simple commands and rules aren’t responsible people. Therefore, you should not Growl back at your dog.


Dog Will Feel Threatened If You Will Growl Back

Dogs that don’t follow simple commands and rules aren’t responsible people. You might growl back because the animal feels threatened or because you fear for your safety. This can be a very valid reason, especially if the behavior in question has been going on for a while.


Resolving the Problem of Dog Growls When Petted

A lot of times, a lot of the time, the problem can be resolved by simply taking your hand and putting it on his back. What you are doing is reasserting your dominance. He knows that you are the leader and he should listen to you.


Should I Punish My Dog For Growling At Me?

Growling and Barking are natural and most dogs do it sometimes without realizing what they are doing. However, if you let it keep on and trouble you, then it becomes a big problem for both of you. So how should I punish my dog for growling at me?

You should try talking to him calmly until he understands what you want and that you are not trying to hurt him. Punishing him will make it harder for him to stop.


Give Him Attention

The best thing you can do is to give him attention when he starts it. If you pet him and give him attention when he starts to bark, he will eventually stop and will not do it anymore. Also, do not snap at him when he does it.


Use Short and Easy Commands

You should try to remember that whenever you want to discipline him, you should use short and easy commands. When he growls at you, say “NO” and put your hand on his neck to distract him.


Are All Dog Growls Aggressive?

Some people think that dog growling is just part of the breed. But the truth is that all dogs have the predisposition to be aggressive. It is just suppressed by a certain amount of training. So it is not true that all dog growls are aggressive, There can be many other reasons for dog growls when petted.

A dog that growls and barks unnecessarily can display hostile behavior. Other dogs growl unnecessarily but the good news is that they rarely do anything aggressive.


Dealing With Aggressive Behavior of Dog

If a dog is showing aggressive behavior, stop whatever you are doing and return to normal activities. It is best to reprimand the animal through a loud noise such as a clicker. However, it is not advisable to pull or hit the animal physically. If you do so, it will just teach him to fear you and will trigger even more aggressive behaviors.


Why Does My Dog Back Away When I Try To Pet Him?

What are the reasons why my dog backs away when I try to pet him? There could be many different reasons for this behavior. To keep your pet under control at all times, you should know the root of the problem. You will then know what to do about it.


Bad Temper of Dog

One of the most common reasons why dogs act this way is because they have a bad temper. Dogs that have a bad temper usually act this way because they don’t get along with other people very well or don’t get along with their toys.

If you are trying to pet a dog with a bad temper, it is very important to give it attention and make sure that other people in the house are not getting in his way.



Dogs tend to become nervous when they are around people. They want to make sure that they don’t make anyone mad. They want to make sure that they look good and that they can move around easily around your home.

Dog growls when petted
dog growls when petted – dog growls when petted at home – friend’s dog growls when petted – dog growls when petted while playing


How To Make Dog Feel Safe?

One thing that you could do when this happens is to make him feel safer. If he is a puppy, then you can put a dog bowl somewhere that he can hide and make himself feel more secure. You can also give him a toy to play with that makes him feel safe.

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