My Dog Growls at Me When I Move Him

If you have a dog, you may have heard it growl at you several times. Generally, it is normal for a dog to growl, and it does that for different reasons. One of these reasons is when you are moving it from one place to another. However, have you asked yourself why your dog would growl at you whenever you move it? Well, you should read this article to the end if you want to learn more about this topic.

Is Growling a Way of Communicating or Aggressiveness?

It is normal for your dog to growl at you with no intention to attack. So, it would help if you didn’t mistake this to be a sign of aggression. The idea that your dog has no social training should not cross your mind because even a well-socialized dog does growl.

In most cases, a well-trained and socialized dog usually growls as a way of communicating or passing information. It is upon you to find out why it is growling at you and handle it appropriately.

Reasons Why Your Dog Growls at You When Moving It

A dog is known to be a social and adjustable animal. However, when you disturb its peace, it will growl. Remember that when a dog is resting, it means that it is comfortable. So, the moment you try to remove it from its comfort zone, it will try to stop you from doing that by growling.

Also, note that dogs don’t like it when you take them by surprise. So, when you move it without preparing it psychologically, it will growl at you as a startle response. Remember that a dog, whether domestic or wild, has survival instincts. If you wake it unexpectedly, you arouse that instinct, which is why it will growl at you. Growing is a way of scaring and keeping off predators that may want to harm it.

Another thing that will make the dog growl at you is when it feels pain and discomfort as you move it. So, when you move a dog carelessly, you may, in the process, hurt it, and that could be the reason why it is growling at you. Since it is feeling pain, it will growl at you to tell you that it is hurting.

Dogs also like claiming their territories, and they do that by growling. It may have a place where it prefers lying or resting. So, the moment you move it out of that place, it will respond by growling. It is like it is telling you that the spot belongs to it.

To Punish the Growling Behavior or Not To

According to dog trainers, it is wrong to discourage or stop a dog from growling. Here are reasons why you shouldn’t do that:

First, dogs communicate their stress through growling. So, by discouraging, you may not be able to know if your dog has a problem.

Secondly, a dog growls to alert you when there is danger. If you stop it from doing that, you will never know when there is a threat.  

If you stop your dog from growling, it is a way of telling it not to warn you. So, it will develop aggressive behavior where it bites without warning.

What to Do Instead of Moving Your Dog

It is impossible to stop a dog from growling, even if it has had the best training. So, whether you want to move it intentionally or unintentionally, it is still a challenging thing to do. So, what you need is to try as much as you can not to move it. Here is what you should do:

You can make a crate and place it in a place where it can rest without disturbance. This way, you won’t need to move it.

Don’t disturb your dog when it is resting or sleeping. If it is not a must that you move it, don’t. Instead, allow it to rest, and it will move on its own when it is awake.

How To Handle A Dog Growling Habit

Since some dogs growl when they are unwell, visit your vet to determine any problem. Through proper diagnosis, the vet will establish if there is an underlying health issue and give proper treatment and medication.

Engage a dog trainer to help you develop behavior plans to help tame your dog’s personality. It would be best if you focused on training it to learn how to respond to moving appropriately. Ensure that you reward it when it exhibits an appropriate response whenever you move it.

If it is a must that you move your dog, don’t startle it, especially if it is taking a nap. Instead, call it by its name. You can also clap to wake it up. Doing this will make it wake up by itself and move out of that place.

A dog could be calmly resting but not asleep. Before moving it, you can pat it on the back gently to soothe it first. That way, it won’t be sensitive when you move it because it will be calm, and aware of your presence so that it won’t growl at you.


Though growling in dogs is normal, sometimes it can develop into aggressive behavior. It is, therefore, vital to discourage the behavior by training it to learn to respond appropriately.

1 thought on “My Dog Growls at Me When I Move Him

  1. Kristina Greenwell

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