why does my dog growl at me in the morning

Isn’t it strange to see your very welcoming and friendly dog growl at you as soon as he sees you in the morning? What could be the reason behind his sudden change in character or what have you done to make him react aggressively towards you in the early hours of the day?

So, why does my dog growl at me in the morning?  he is protecting his territory. You must have waked him up forcefully or at the wrong time. It could also be that you have rewarded him unknowingly whenever he growls at you.

Having listed the major reasons behind your dog’s decision to growl at you in the morning, this article will equally unveil some of the steps you must take to stop the unhealthy behavior. But before then, let’s discuss more the factors responsible for your pooch’s behavior.

Page Contents

  • 10 Reasons why your dog growls in the morning
    • 1. He is protecting his territory
    • 2. You wake him up too early
    • 3. He is glad you see the dawn of a new day
    • 4. He probably doesn’t recognize you
    • 5. He is hungry
    • 6. He is eager to go out for his regular exercise
    • 7. He probably wants to pee
    • 8. You have encouraged the behavior unknowingly
    • 9.  He possesses excess energy
    • 10. He is sick or injured
    • 11. Separation anxiety

10 Reasons why your dog growls in the morning

1. He is protecting his territory

Your dog will growl at you in the morning if he sees that you’re edging closer to the spot he considers as his territory.

This is often common in a dog that has a separate room where he sleeps every night. He is liable to growl as soon as he heard the sound of approaching footsteps.

You should know that there is an urgent need to prevent him from growling as a result of the reason. This is because he is seeing himself as the owner of that territory and he could strike you if you go beyond the boundary.

Train him and let him know that you remain his lord and the lord of the whole building.

2. You wake him up too early

It could also be that you are waking him up very early in the morning.

You should expect this more often if your dog belongs to Chow Chow, Great Dane, Cocker Spaniel, Pug, Great Pyrenees, or any of these 15 dog breeds that love sleeping for a long period.

As much as a dog that serves as a source of security to you and your family isn’t expected to have a long nap, you shouldn’t be too eager to wake him up in the morning.

You should let your dog stay in bed until 6 am as that will help him regain all the strength he has lost in the previous day.

3. He is glad you see the dawn of a new day

Here is another reason why your canine could display this behavior towards you in the morning. Your friendly companion is very happy to see you and he is making a joyful growl towards you.

Some dogs might even jump at you — like he is aiming for your leg — as a way of expressing his happiness to see you once again after the separation at night.

This kind of growling isn’t a dangerous one because he still recognizes you as his lord and friend.

Just take it as your dog’s way of saying: “Good morning boss, I’m extremely happy to see you again”

4. He probably doesn’t recognize you

My dog — a German Shepherd — sometimes growls from his sleeping position whenever he hears the sound of my feet. He would, however, stop growling as soon as he realizes that I’m the one. Then, I noticed that my dog can not perceive my body scent while sleeping.

So possibly your dog growling at you could be because he didn’t realize you’re the one.

5. He is hungry

Hunger knows no friend! Your dog could be forced to ignore your appearance whenever he is hungry.

At that moment, the only thing on his mind is seeing his breakfast and he can make a whole lot of growling until is demand is met especially if he didn’t have enough before going to bed.

This is why dog owners are advised to give their dogs a quality meal late at night so that it can sustain them till their breakfast will be ready. Furthermore, you are advised to keep up with your dog’s daily routine. Ensure that his food is readily available as at when due.

6. He is eager to go out for his regular exercise

If your dog growls at you very early in the morning, it could mean that he is showing his readiness to go out for his regular exercise.

So, maybe he is just eager to embark on a road walk and other kinds of exercises with you. In the same vein, it could also be that he is extremely eager to get out of his sleeping room.

Just like most of the aforementioned reasons, this type of growling is neither harmful nor intense.  Hence, you have nothing to worry about.

7. He probably wants to pee

Your dog is obviously in discomfort because he wants to pee. He growls strongly telling you to give way for him as he finds a perfect place to pass out the waste.

You can help your dog ease his discomfort by ensuring that he has a permanent spot where he can pee or poo. This will go a long way in reducing the time he spends seeking a good position to urinate.

Another way to help your dog prevent this kind of growling includes ensuring that he pees before going to bed.

8. You have encouraged the behavior unknowingly

It could be that you have encouraged the behavior unintentionally by rewarding him when he first growled at you.

Probably you gave him much attention, toy, or treat when he growls in the morning. Unfortunately, this has created the impression that growling at you is the best way to attract your maximum attention.

9.  He possesses excess energy

Your dog could portray this behavior if he is full of energy and strength.The best way to stop this attitude in your dog is by engaging him in adequate exercise that will probably drain his energy before going to bed.

Nonetheless, you might need to consult your vet to know the amount of exercise suitable for your dog breed in order not to overdo things.

10. He is sick or injured

Injured dogs are prone to growl at any time due to pain and discomfort. In the same vein, sick dogs have a huge chance of growling at their owners as they can’t help but feel uncomfortable in the present state of health.

Taking him to your vet is the best option at this point because he or she is in the best position to know what’s wrong with your dog.

11. Separation anxiety

The last reason why your dog could direct this strange character towards you could be as a result of separation anxiety.

Naturally, dogs love to be with their owners all the largely impossible times. Your dog would be too anxious and worried whenever he feels like you are about to leave him for some days.

He sometimes growls in the morning to show his displeasure and sadness over the imminent separation between him and his lovely lord.


It’s not impossible or abnormal to see your dog display his growling prowess against you in the morning. It is left to you to figure out the major reason behind his behavior and help him overcome it.

If this appears like an uphill task to achieve, then you should consult your vet for help. Don’t forget to take absolute care of your dog by taking him to his vet doctor for a regular check to ascertain his health status.

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