Features December 2016 Issue

Dog Growling is a Good Thing!

Many tiny dogs seem to feel they have to be quite dramatic in order to have their message “heard.” This little guy’s growl, in combination with his stiff, braced posture; high, stiff tail, and snarl, is clearly warning that he’s uncomfortable with whatever the person is doing at the other end of the leash.

Dog Growling is a Good Thing!

Dogs growl for a number of reasons – and you should be thankful that they do!

Like my dogs in the feed room, dogs often growl while playing, just as they exhibit other behaviors in play that are often associated with aggression, such as bites, snarls, muzzle punches, and body slams. Whether the growls happen during a rousing game of tug or a more physical play encounter, the key here is that the dogs know they are playing. Often accompanied by play bows and other body language cues that telegraph to the playmates that it’s all in fun, pseudo-aggression is just part of the game.

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