What Causes a Dog to Cry & Growl When Someone Pets Them?

by Amy Brantley
    Crying and growling when being pet could be the result of pain.

    Crying and growling when being pet could be the result of pain.

    PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

    It can be confusing to the dog owner to experience her dog both crying and growling when being pet. Put simply, your dog may be experiencing a mix of emotions. Your dog may be upset by something and also scared of the situation. Learning what causes this behavior can help your dog be happier. The key is taking the time to look for triggers that cause your pet to cry and growl when someone pets her.

    Fear

    One of the No. 1 reasons dogs growl is fear. A dog that growls and cries when someone pets him may be scared of that person. The person may have hurt him in the past or he may have a trigger reaction to something that happened in the past. For example, dogs are sometimes afraid of males because a man once was mean to them. Your dog may also smell another dog on the person and be afraid of the odor.

    Pain

    If your dog has started crying and growling recently, she may be in pain. Dogs can pull muscles the same way humans can. This can cause your dog to cry due to the pain and growl because she wants you to stop petting her. Give your dog a good inspection to try to determine where the pain is located. If the pain doesn't go away in the next couple days, take your dog to the vet for a more thorough checkup and pain medication or muscle relaxers.

    Anxiety

    Your dog may also be suffering from anxiety. When your dog starts crying and growling when you pet her, stop everything that is going on and try to determine what's causing the anxiety. There are a number of things that can make a dog anxious. It may be a noise, the way you're touching her or even odors on your skin. It's important to find the cause of anxiety so you can make your dog more comfortable and reduce the chances of someone getting bitten.

    Stress

    Dogs can certainly experience stress that pushes them to the edge. A good example is a dog who is constantly bothered by a child. If your dog cries and growls when being pet by your child, consider whether or not your child is causing harm to the dog. Your child may be petting the dog too hard, interrupting nap time or even pulling her ears and tail. Regardless, this can put an enormous amount of stress on your pet.

    Photo Credits

    • PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!