Why does my dog growl at me in the middle of the night?

There are so many aggressive actions and sounds that dogs make, they bark, growl, lung and even bite. However, the more intense it gets, the more it begins to worry you as the owner. Maybe you've noticed this too and have been asking yourself what the cause could be.

But isn't it strange if your dog growls at you in the middle of the night? There are some conditions or reasons that could cause your dog to growl at you at night in bed.

So, why does my dog growl at me at night? Some common reasons include fear, your dog hearing some sounds you could not; he has separation anxiety, you're feeding it the wrong diet, he may be ill or just being possessive.

Dogs growl and make certain sounds when they are nervous, but if your dog does this more at night time, then it most likely that something is wrong.

Read further as I discuss some things that may be causing your dog to growl at you when the sun goes down:

1. You're not allowing enough exercise time:

Your dog may be growling at night because it has so much extra energy. The particular breed of your dog greatly influences the length and bulk of physical activity that it requires. Hence, you would need to provide your dog with the recommended amount of exercise to stop your dog from growling or being overly active at night.

2. Something is probably wrong with its diet:

 Your dog always staying up late at night and growling at you is likely caused by an improper diet. You just might be feeding your dog too little, too much or even be giving it the wrong food.

In this case, you would want to pay closer attention to its meals and also to ensure that no one else is feeding it without your knowledge. You can also practice feeding your dog at an earlier hour in the evening, rather than feeding it late into the night if you've already been doing so.

3. Your dog is frightened:

Another reason your dog may be growling at night could be because something or someone is making it afraid. Observe your dog to find out if it's only growling when it's in a particular room, If it's also growling at certain objects like the window, or perhaps a dark shadow. Your dog might just be trying to do its duty to protect you by being on alert for any danger.

4. Your dog has separation anxiety:

Most dogs love to sleep in the same room as their owners and tend to feel anxious when asked to lie in a different place. Separation anxiety from the thought of not being around you might be why your dog is growling at you at night. Notice, does it only growl when you're about to go off to bed?  Does it do it when you're about leaving the room?

Dogs quickly get uncomfortable when their environment doesn't suit them, and they can get extremely picky. Hence, you might want to check your dog's sleeping area. Is it too bright, or too cold or hot, or if it's generally not comfortable, as this might be the reason your dog is growling at you at night.

6. Your dog has an injury or is feeling ill:

This is usually the case when your dog is showing other signs of sickness or injury, like whimpering or limping. You might want to contact a veterinarian if your dog is sick and injured.

7. You have encouraged the behavior:

If you tend to offer your dog rewards, extra attention or treats when it growls at you at night, then it would come to see it as something that you encourage and something that would get it more stuff. To correct this, you would want to only give it things in the morning, when it is quiet and better mannered.

8. Your dog hears sounds that you can't:

It's no news that dog's naturally have better hearing than we do. Your dog may probably be growling at certain sounds too far off, or too low for your ears to pick up. It could be that another animal found its way to your background or the dog down the street is making noises as well.

9. Your dog needs to go pee:

It should be a regular habit for you to get your dog to pee before it's bedtime. Hence, your dog growling at you at night might be that it needs to pee and wants to go outside to do so.

10. Your dog is showing ownership and being possessive:

Your dog may just be growling at you only when you touch or take certain things that it believes are its. Hence, you would want to pay closer attention to when it growls at you. Does it only do it when you touch its toys, or it's space on the bed?

How to correct your dog from growling at you at night

You might want to practice crate training. Crate training is the act of training your dog to feel comfortable and safe inside a crate that's been specially created for dogs. Crate training your dog the right way would mean you provide it with a particular space where it feels safe and secure. This would significantly reduce its fear and anxiety when the sun goes down and allow it to go to sleep effortlessly.

You should also avoid feeding your dog with just any food and at any quantity. You might want to have a lengthy discussion with your local vet about the correct diet that's suitable for your dog, the right proportion and the appropriate timing you should allow in between meals. Also, ensure you're the only one feeding your dog to prevent complications due to improper diet.

Another thing to pay attention to is its exercise time. Studies have shown that dog's that do not get enough exercise as is recommended are more likely to suffer from depression, withdrawal and apathy towards everything. The physical activity requirements of dogs vary based on certain factors like overall health, age, size and breed. Hence, this is something you would want to discuss with an expert.

Things to put into consideration.

You might want to consider when your dog first started growling at you at night, and it would most likely be that events that occurred during that period are the reasons behind the behavior.

Make a mental note of what changed when it first started, did you change its diet, or it's sleeping space. If your dog just started doing it suddenly, then it could be that it is injured or ill, or you've most likely been rewarding the attitude.

You should also pay attention to if it growls more or less at certain times. A closer look at the timing might be a good leap in narrowing down the problem. For instance, if your dog only growls at nights when it is windy. It would mean your dog is only growling to the sound of the wind.

Also, notice if your dog shows aggression when it growls at you. If your dog is growling aggressively, then you might want to contact your local dog behaviorist, to help you correct your dog in the safest way possible.

You should also be cautious and careful when dealing with your dog when it growls even if it is not doing so aggressively. If you can't seem to get your dog to stop growling, or cannot seem to figure out the cause of its actions, then contacting an expert might be the best option.

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