Why Do Dogs Growl When They’re Tired? How Do You Handle it?

Pet Care


May 3, 2022

Unconditional love, incredible loyalty, great entertainment, there are so many reasons to love your furry companion. You never feel alone in their company, and they will always be there for you even when your friends won’t be. The emotional support that they provide does wonders for your well-being.

With that out of the way, just as their cuddles comfort you, their weird behavior may intimidate you. Excessive barking, shaking, rapid blinking, and growling are signs that indicate that something is wrong. But why does a dog growl? Is it a sign of aggression? Most importantly, how do you handle it? Having a more profound understanding is vital so you can deal with it.

Why Do Dogs Growl?

At one point or another, you have probably heard a growling dog and instinctively known to keep your distance. It is usually associated with aggression and even biting (if not handled appropriately). Well, it turns out that it’s the dogs’ way of communicating with you. Of course, they can’t speak like humans. So, when they growl, it’s usually an indication that they need space.

Most dog owners regard growling as a warning, which it actually is. However, it turns out that there are several types of growling. For instance, puppies often growl when playing or cuddling, which is not alarming for you at all. Warning growls tend to be a bit deeper and are often taken as a warning before a dog bites.

In addition, dogs also tend to growl when they are tired, or you ask them to wake up and move. So, if your dog growls when tired, know that you are not alone.

How to Do with Dog Growling?

As mentioned earlier, growling is the dogs’ way of communicating, that is, it’s a sign of an underlying problem. They growl to let you know that they are afraid, suffering from some pain, or they also growl when they want you to back off from their territory or possession. Furthermore, they growl when they are asleep and you disturb them.

As a dog owner, your first instinct is often to run away from a growling dog or to punish it for growling. Growling is the first sign of more severe aggression, and if not dealt with in time, it can escalate to biting in no time. So, it is crucial to handle a growling dog immediately and appropriately.

When your dog growls, it tries to tell you something. Rather than teaching your dog not to growl, a dog owner should determine why the dog is growling and try to address that problem. Once you address this issue, the chances are that your dog will either reduce the growling or stop growling altogether.

Do Dogs Growl When They Are Suffering From Pain?

If you notice that your dog has started growling more lately, it could be your furry buddy telling you that it is in pain. If your dog is growling as a reaction to pain or illness, you may notice that it only growls when you touch particular parts of its body.

The dog may also show a few other symptoms of disease or pain, such as decreased appetite, lethargy, weight loss, biting or licking certain areas of its body, and a few others.

What If My Dog Growls Because of Pain?

If your dog is growling because of pain, immediately reach out to your vet. Your dog needs medical treatment, so consider seeking help from a professional. The proper medical treatment should alleviate the pain, and as a result, the growling will be eliminated or reduced to a great extent.

Why Is the Dog Aggressive When Tired?

Your dog will inevitably be grumpy when it’s tired. It’s perfectly normal, though, and dogs are just like humans. Imagine having a hectic day and trying to get some sleep in your bedroom, but someone starts slamming your door. Of course, this will offend you, and you’d express it verbally.

However, since dogs can’t speak, they communicate by growling. If you are trying to move them to another place, they won’t want to leave their cozy place and move elsewhere. Any dog owner would agree that comfort is essential to dogs, and they love sleeping in the place they find most comfortable.

So, what to do if your dog growls when tired? Well, it’s recommended to leave its territory and let it sleep peacefully. This way, your dog will stop growling at you and enjoy a sound sleep.

Since dogs get attached to their sleep spots, creating their own “bedroom” is also a great idea. For this purpose, find a spacious crate and fill it with foam and your dogs’ favorite toys. Now, begin the crate training and introduce your dog to its bedroom.

Enticing your dog by offering its favorite food can also work for you. Eventually, your dog will start sleeping in the crate, and you won’t need to bother it while sleeping. Furthermore, teach your dog to sleep in different places.

How to Move a Sleeping Dog

If your dog is sleeping, moving it somewhere else could be quite challenging. Sleeping dogs could be aggressive, especially those with abusive backgrounds. So, grabbing it and maneuvering it won’t be a good idea as it may offend your dog. Instead, consider talking to it and waking it up gently. Using its favorite food items and toys to lure it may also work.

If you have kids at your home and are concerned about their well-being, there are many ways to help them befriend your dog. Consider giving your dog gifts so they interact and get along. Make sure to teach your children how to interact with the dog.

Be mindful that suppressing the growling by scolding or punishing the dog is not the way to go. It may backfire and lead to even more aggression. By teaching your dog that growling is unacceptable behavior, you are actually taking away its ability to warn the person before it bites. In most cases of biting, dog owners don’t teach their dogs to give a warning growl.

Final Thoughts

It goes without saying that being growled at is always a scary experience for every dog owner. It’s often taken as a warning from the dog before it may bite.

Tired dogs often growl when you wake them up and try to move them elsewhere. The key to getting a dog to stop growling is not to suppress the growls by scolding it but rather to deal with the underlying problem.