How to Stop a Puppy From Growling When Scolded

by Amy Hunter
    Puppies need help learning the rules for good behavior.

    Puppies need help learning the rules for good behavior. Images

    Puppies often growl when scolded. It is a defensive behavior they learn from their litter mates. If you watch puppies interact, you will see them growl over toys, treats and other treasures. Even the most kind-hearted puppy may growl until he is taught otherwise.

    Step 1

    Growl back. Say your puppy is chewing on a shoe. You reach down to take the shoe away and tell him no and he growls at you. Take the shoe and give him a firm "Noooo" to go along with it. The time to break this habit is now, while he has a puppy brain and puppy teeth.

    Step 2

    Work with other members of your family. Children, in particular, may need coaching in how to react to the puppy's growling. They are more likely to run up and grab something the puppy has claimed, like their own toy, leading to the puppy growling. Show them how to growl in a low, deep tone, that will show the puppy they aren't playing and mean business.

    Step 3

    Start obedience training. While your puppy may be a little young for long workout sessions, some gentle lessons in coming when called and sitting on command go a long way in teaching your puppy that you and your other family members outrank him, and he doesn't get to growl at anyone. Involve all the family members in training sessions.


    • While growling may seem cute in a tiny pup, it is a habit you don't want to allow in an adult dog. The general rule with raising puppies is to never allow them to participate in a behavior as a puppy that you don't want as an adult.

    Photo Credits

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    About the Author

    Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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