Grunts in dogs: what do they mean?

06-06-2020
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When dogs growl, it means they are trying to communicate with us. But can you understand grunts?

We now know that dogs are much more complex animals than we might have believed in the past. We are studying their behavior more and more, and the reason for it, in order to understand what they want to transmit to us. Dog growls are nothing more than a small part of the set of ways dogs communicate.

Grunting is considered a form of aggression and we tend to blame it. By doing this, it is very likely that we worsen the situation because we do not listen to what the animal wants to say to us. We finally end up with a biting dog, and the end is usually euthanasia, abandonment, stigma of the breed or the bad image of dogs in general.

Are growls in dogs synonymous with aggression?

Grunting in dogs does not have to be synonymous with aggression. They are part of the set of behaviors that a dog can display to communicate. Depending on the situation, the education of the dog , his character, his emotional problems and his past experiences, a grunt may involve:

As we can see, grunts in dogs can even be positive. Many dogs, in play situations, when they are with other dogs or in our company, can growl. This growl does not pose any threat because it is one of the positive behaviors linked to play.

Defense of resources

One of the reasons that many dogs growl is that of defending resources, such as food, toys or other objects of interest to the dog. Faced with this conflict, some masters are used to scolding the dog and taking away what it is protecting because they think that the animal is showing its domination .

However, it is not the case. Here, the dog only sees that his master is taking away something that is very valuable to him,  and that is why their bond is deteriorating. Furthermore, because of his frustration , the dog could even end up biting at one time or another.

The best way to deal with these situations is to make the dog lose interest in the resource. For example, if he gives too much importance to a toy, we must take it away from him and give him many similar toys which, because of their large number, will lose value.

The grunts of two dogs

Can a growling dog bite?

Yes, any dog ​​can bite . The grunt is not always the anteroom of the bite. Very often, the dog growls and finally decides to go away. This is another form of communication.

And, on the contrary, other dogs,  after the growling, if the stimulus that provoked it continues, will decide to bite. However, even before the growl, the dog shows, through other bodily gestures, that something is bothering him. It is therefore essential to know how dogs communicate. Unfortunately, some dogs have stopped displaying these prior behaviors because they see that they have no effect on us; they therefore bite directly.

Growls and aggression in dogs

How to avoid growls in dogs?

We cannot prevent a dog from snarling or barking. These are two natural forms of communication: it is therefore normal and perfectly healthy for them to do this from time to time. However, as always, an excess may not be normal.

The anxiety , stress, poor management of frustration and other problems can suffer a dog are states that support behavior such as growling dogs. So, we should not try to correct the grunts but rather look for the reason why our animal does so.

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