A dog that growls is not being a bad or vicious dog. In fact by growling, a dog is simply trying to prevent a bite.
While some dogs will growl in play, it's important to pay attention when a dog is growling because they are afraid, angry, or upset. These are all emotional conditions that could precede a bite and are a perfect cue for us to change our behavior so that the dog does not need to escalate to the next step - biting.
Please don't get embarrassed or angry with your dog when they growl. They are not being mean, they are just trying to say "I'm very uncomfortable, please help me and don't do that."
Even more importantly, NEVER punish your dog in any way for growling. This may cause the dog to stop growling and to just proceed to biting.
If you have a dog that growls frequently, a veterinary checkup and an appointment with a certified dog behavior consultant is in order.
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