First, do not punish your dog for growling. Simply take your dog out of the situation.
Why did your dog growl? Most of the time, the reason a dog growls is due to fear.
When a dog growls, it is telling you that they are uncomfortable and they want to increase the distance between them and what they are growling at (the trigger).
Why shouldn’t I punish my dog? If you yell at your dog or jerk the leash when they growl, you are punishing the growl, one of the few ways a dog can communicate with you. You are also showing to your dog that when they are fearful, their best friend gets mad at them.
Instead, find a certified professional dog trainer to help your dog. A qualified trainer will help you create a training plan that will gradually decrease their sensitivity to the trigger and condition a positive emotional response to the trigger. Your dog will learn that it is safe to be in the presence of the trigger and if they are uncomfortable with the trigger, you will take them away from the situation. Remember you are your dog’s best advocate.
For more training advice, call or text us at 410.782.5862.
CPDT-KA and Animal Behavior Consultant