Why is my dog growling at nothing? Learn Why

Have you ever imagined why your dog growls for no obvious reasons? 

What do you think about this attitude? Hey, you don't have to stress yourself thinking about the right answers to these questions. This is because this lovely write-up has the best answers and many more facts to share with you.

So, why is my dog growling at nothing? Based on my long-term experience as a dog owner, the possible reasons are frustration, health problems, unclear sights, fighting with other creatures, if he senses danger. 

However, how can you prevent your dog from growling at nothing when you don't even know its meaning and how dog growls? This is why reading every sentence in this article is extremely important to you and your dog.

So, stay calm and be attentive as I help you uncover the unknown truth about your pooch as regards to growling.
Why is my dog growling at nothing for no reason

Growling, according to vocabularyis the act of making a low sound which signifies discomfort in most cases.

Growling is common among dogs, which is why you see your dog give an unpleasant 'grrrrrrrr' sound whenever he feels uncomfortable or unpleasant. It’s different from barking and dogs bark for some various different reasons.

Contrary to popular belief that dogs only growl whenever they get annoyed, dogs growl for different reasons as there are different types of growling, which we shall be discussing below.

Types of growling

1. Play growling

This is a harmless growling that your dog will make whenever it is having a fun time with you. Many new dog owners often misinterpret this growling by saying 'my dog is tired of playing' thereby, putting an end to the playing session.

This is far from the truth.

Play growling signifies that your dog is having the best of time and wants you to continue. Nonetheless, you need to understand your dog's behavior and make sure you don't go too hard or rowdy while playing with him.

2. Pleasure growling

This growling is attached to dogs that are enjoying the treatment their owner is giving to them. It is a bit longer than play growling and it is known for its rumbling and very slow sound.

You should expect this growling from your dog if you are giving him a very passionate rub at the stomach or back. 

Your dog is practically telling you not to stop any time soon because he enjoys the pleasure and comfort of your service.

Another way to determine a pleasure growling is that your dog growls in a loosed body language while you are petting him.

3. Threat or Warning Growling

Some call it threat growling, while others choose to call it warning growling. I love to call it a warning growling because it is a bit pleasant to the ear — I suppose.

This is the type of growling produced by your dog when he feels like you are moving too close to its possessions or territory.

It also makes a warning growling to create a considerable distance between itself and a stranger, which could be human or an animal.

Your dog will always make a warning or threat growling if you are stepping closer to his food, bones or any of his properties. It is more or less like warning you to 'get out of my sight!'

A warning or threat growling is known of its slow, deep and low sound that is accompanied by a closed mouth, unfriendly or ready-to-bite body language and enlarged eyes.

4. Aggressive Growling

This is the most dangerous growling your dog would ever exhibit because he is ready to exercise dominance over everything.

This type of growl comes with a massive intensity as it is loud, long, and deep. Your dog will look fierce as he will change its posture and movement, looking like a battle-ready dog.

It means you — or any strange animal — are getting on its nerves and he's more than willing to exercise his destructive power.

You should heed to its warning as soon as possible by creating the needed distance. This is because he can go wild if you take a step closer to his territory or possessions.

5. Fight Growling

This type of growling occurs when two or more dogs are fighting. It also occurs when playing sessions among dogs is fast turning to fight.

This growling has almost the same features as aggressive growling because dogs are fast losing their temper and tolerance.

Your growling dog could end up in a severe fight that will lead to injury if you don't find a way to stop him from fighting as soon as possible.

6. Frustration Growling

This is the type of growling your dog if you're trying to keep him away from the things he so much desire to have.

For instance, if you hold a piece of bone in your hands and you make a 'come-and-get-it' signal to your dog. He will eagerly rush towards you, aiming at the bone.

If he fails to get the bone due to your desire to hold it for more than expected, you should expect your dog to express its frustration through this type of growling, although, he may never hurt you.

Strangers might take frustration growling to be aggressive, but your pet is only displaying his disappointment over his inability to have what he so much desires.

Why is my dog growling at nothing? And for no reason?

why does my dog growl at nothing

Some conditions can make your dog growls at nothing, these conditions include:

Health problems such as Cognitive dysfunction

Your dog will likely growl if he's feeling some pain or health disorder such as cognitive dysfunction.

Other symptoms of cognitive dysfunction apart from growling include dog's anti-social behavior, lethargic, inability to easily navigate doorways and uneasy movements.

So you need to monitor your dog very closely to detect these symptoms as soon as possible.

Unclear Sight

Your dog is liable to growl at nothing if it's finding it difficult to see clearly. This is the reason is mostly seen with old dogs because their eyes are not as sharp as it used to be during their young age.


Vibration is another factor that can make your dog growl even when you don’t feel or see any reason for his action. Your dog possesses very active and sensitive skin and ears.

Hence, he reacts to any slight vibration around his environment whether you see notice the cause of the vibration or not.


As mentioned earlier, dogs have very sensitive, sharp and active ears, which enhance their ability to hear any whispering sound that could be too low for humans to detect.

Your dog will surely react to the inaudible sound by growling but you will only look around and won’t find a reason for his action.

If it senses any danger

It is more than a myth that dogs perceive an incoming danger as human beings, thanks to their superior sense organs.

Your dog can growl if he senses any form of incoming danger or threat either from humans or animals.

It is, however, important that you try everything possible to figure out why your dog growls at that time. 

The movement of other animals within its vicinity

Your dog is expected to produce a growling sound as soon as he sees the appearance of any animal within its habitat. He will be engaged in a long growling to scare other animals from his territory.

What can I do to stop my dog from growling at nothing?

  • You must be sensitive enough to understand and discover the reasons for his action. Once this is achieved, try everything possible to prevent them.
  • Provide a very healthy and clean environment for your dog to reduce the influx of strange animals that could lead to growling.
  • Involve your vet doctor to know other professional ways of stopping your dog from growling.

Wrap Up...

Never take the growling of your dog for granted, it can protect you and your dog from unforeseen dangers.

Know your dog’s attitude as much as you can.

Please, don’t punish your dog for growling because it could make him go wild on you.

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