People are used to having their dogs' get excited when petting them. But what happens when your dog growls instead of showing affection? It's a complex issue that many dog owners experience during their dog's development stage. Some owners even mentioned, “that it feels like my dog is disapproving of my company.” It is considered strange behaviour when your dog starts to growl at you when you are petting them. When this happens, it would be better to analyze the causes of dog growling, to help you find the proper solutions.

Reasons For Dog Growling

There are usually no particular reasons for a dog’s growling. Every dog is different, and the reaction to petting could be spontaneous and variable. However, constant analysis of the responses shown by dogs when an owner pets them has helped the experts identify the main reasons dogs start to growl during petting. These reasons are included in the following shortlist.

Wrong Petting Patterns

Have you ever thought that you may have the wrong petting pattern? For example, if your petting included some scratching, this could bother some dogs and trigger their growling reaction. When you identify the petting pattern that makes them growl, it's better to stop it right away.

Some dogs enjoy massaging when petting them, while others like some easy slaps on their belly. With time you will alter the way you pet your dog, and the growling will eventually stop.

They Are In Pain

Dogs don't always growl because they don't like petting. They sometimes do so because they feel pain when you pet them. That's a serious reason for growling, and you need to visit your vet immediately. Many dogs may feel abdominal pain when you touch their bellies. Your vet can give them X-rays or an ultrasound to ensure that no tumour makes them feel pain when you touch them.

Other dogs could also have a toothache and react by growling at you when you pet them close to their mouth. Once you feel that pain is the reason for growling, it's better to take your pet to a vet.

Dogs May Feel Scared In Your Presence

People who have recently adopted their dog could experience a lot of growling during the first weeks of their everyday life. That's because petting is an act of trust, and you haven't bonded yet with your dog, which increases that trust.

Dogs could feel afraid of you and react with growling when you try to pet them. Therefore, spending more time with them and giving them some space would stop the growling in a matter of weeks.

What To Do When Your Dog Growls During Petting?

Dog experts have forged a certain guideline to help other dog owners. Here is what you need to do to pet your dog to avoid growling.

Stop Petting Your Dog

First, you should stop petting your dog right away. It's more likely that your dog will allow you to pet it again when it has forgotten your first attempt.

Create A Less Stressful Environment

If you have recently brought your dog home, it's better to leave it so that it can get used to your place. You need to introduce your dog to its new home, have some extra lighting, and create a less stressful environment. This will make your dog more submissive to petting and help stop the growling.

Give Them A Treat While Petting Them

Petting may not be enough to persuade your dog about your good intentions. It's always better to combine petting with offering the dog a treat that it likes most. That will make your pet feel better and more secure every time you pet it, and it builds a bond of trust between you.

Take Them To A Vet

If you have recently adopted your dog, it would be better to pay a visit to your local vet and have it carefully examined. A vet examination will always show if your pet has some prior wounds that have not healed so far. Minor wounds that are not entirely healed could trigger growling when you pet your dog. Your vet may give proper treatment, and eventually, the dog would be willing to play with you and accept your petting without any growling sounds.

Take The Experts' Advice

Finally, many forums about dogs are available online. Dog owners express the same inquiries about petting and growling. You can find the proper behavioural treatment for growling without the need to see an expert. Dog owners who face the same issues are more than willing to help you and give you their insight into this persistent problem.