Why Does My Dog Growl at Me for No Reason?


A small dog growling at you may seem kind of funny for a time, until you realize that it might actually bite you, or even worse, bite a child or other dog. Of course, when a big dog growls, everybody starts quaking in their boots.

You may have noticed your dog growling at you, apparently for no reason at all. Maybe you approach it, maybe you pet it, or maybe you’re just doing something around the house, and it starts growling at you. Why is it doing this?

It’s important to note that while you may thing that the dog is growling for no reason, there is always a reason. No dog growls just because it likes the sound of its own voice. If your dog is growling, although it may not be perceivable to you, there is a reason.


Let’s not forget that dogs have a limited amount of noises which they can make. Between growling, barking, and yelping, the selection is not very large.

If you have a dog that usually never growls at you, and then all of a sudden growls when you touch it in a certain spot, there may be some kind of injury or medical condition to blame.

If you touch your dog in a certain spot and it growls, it may be in pain, in which case you will want to take it to the vet.

Guarding Its Property

Another reason why a dog may growl at you is to protect its property, or what it perceives to be its property. Dogs can become possessive of things such as water, food and food dishes, toys, couches, and other objects.

If you go to touch the dog’s toy and the dog perceives that toy to be their toy, it may growl. Moreover, dogs are natural competitors. In the wild, dogs live in packs and they always compete with each other for resources.

If you go to touch the dog’s food dish and it growls, especially if there is food in the dish, it’s telling you that “this is my food.” This kind of behavior is not ideal as dogs who are possessive of belongings may escalate things and bite you if you try to take something away from them

Therefore, you need to ensure that the dog views you as the pack leader so it won’t try and challenge you for the ownership of items. You also need to ensure that the dog feels comfortable in your home. If the dog feels like it needs to fight for resources, it will do so.


One of the most common reasons why dogs growl at people, apparently for no reason, is due to fear. Now, this is not all that common in dogs that were raised in good homes, especially from a young age. After all, a puppy raised in a good home with kind owners, traumatic experiences aside, should have no reason to be fearful or anxious of their owners.

This issue is much more common in dogs that are adopted from shelters, particularly when they came from bad homes where they were abused. Simply put, your dog may be afraid of people and feel threatened by them.

A dog growling is a warning sign that they don’t like something, and they want it to stop. If you have a fearful dog, it’s going to take a lot of patience for it to come around, but it should eventually become comfortable in your home, if you treat it right.


This is one of the types of growling that you really don’t need to be worried about. If your dog is growling during play, this is totally normal.

Once again, there’s a number amount of sounds a dog can make, and it will want to make some noise when playing. It’s normal and nothing to worry about, as long as it does not appear to be dominant or possessive during play.


Yes, some dogs are just aggressive. Aggression in dogs can be caused by a number of factors including a lack of socialization, fear and anxiety, frustration, and to a lesser extent, the breed of dog.

An aggressive dog that does not have good social skills is one that is likely to growl, bark, and bite people. As the owner, you therefore need to curb the aggression, or else things will end badly.


The important point to remember is that dogs don’t growl for no reason. There is always a reason and you need to figure out what it is. If you can figure out why the dog is growling, then you can work to solve the underlying cause.

***SmartlyPet is supported by readers. If you click one of my links, I may earn commissions. I am also participant in the Amazon affiliate program and I will also make a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you***

Field Dogs 300 x 600
Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated
Is Chicken Breast Good For Dogs?

Is Chicken Breast Good For Dogs?

If you have ever read the composition of different food brands, you may have noticed that chicken is a primary ingredient in all feed formulations made for dogs. As far as “Chicken breast” is concerned, YES, chicken breast is good for dogs; in fact, it is the...

What Causes Dog Diarrhea At Night?

What Causes Dog Diarrhea At Night?

As a dog owner, there is nothing more annoying and frustrating than if you have to clean up dog diarrhea after you wake up in the morning. In fact, it's never good for your dog to have diarrhea; however, diarrhea at night is a worse scenario. Diarrhea is an indication...

Can Dogs Eat Corn Starch?

Can Dogs Eat Corn Starch?

Corn starch is one food ingredient that most dog owners have never agreed on whether it's good for dogs to eat.  Some corners say corn starch contains no nutritional value to a dog.  While others, mostly dog food manufacturers, disagree since it is a great...

How To Stop Dog From Begging For Treats?

How To Stop Dog From Begging For Treats?

It can go without saying that people tend to enjoy being able to give their dogs treats throughout the day. Not only do the dogs enjoy it, but they tend to be cute and their reactions have their humans coming back to give them more treats. At least, that is ideally...

How Do You Calm a Hyper Dog In a Car?

How Do You Calm a Hyper Dog In a Car?

Driving is a task that requires immense concentration, and the more distractions you have in the car, the more complicated it can become. In cases such as these, you may dread the idea of bringing your pet into the car, especially dogs that become agitated once they...

Do Dogs Get Cranky When Tired?

Do Dogs Get Cranky When Tired?

One of the most accurate comparisons that people make to their pets is when people compare their dogs to young children. There are many similarities between the two, ranging from both of them being able to learn words and concepts to behavioral issues that both young...