If your dog is growling at you, it means they have a strong emotion or desire that they would like to communicate to you. While most times the growl is as a result of negative emotions, dogs can sometimes growl for positive reasons.
Here are some of the main reasons, both good and bad, your dog may be growling at you for.
If your dog growls at you while showing you their teeth it is a stern warning to stop whatever you are doing. It could be anything from you mindlessly playing with their favorite toy to petting the dog when they are not in the mood.
Growling could also be a warning to strangers that the dog is not comfortable with any closer advancement towards the dog or their territory is not welcome.
Your dog could also growl at you and get aggressive with you when they feel afraid and threatened. This is very common with rescued pooches that have a traumatic past.
As with the warning, the growling here may be accompanied with bared teeth. However, the demeanor of the dog is generally more subdued than aggressive. This may include a tucked tail, hiding their face, or hiding.
Another reason your dog may be growling at you all of a sudden is because they need your help.
Physical distress from pain or other discomfort causes dogs to vocalize in different ways including growling.
Growling in this case may be associated with other behavior changes like loss of appetite and reduced enthusiasm for physical activity.
The other not-so-scary reason behind your dog growling is contentment. This may come as a surprise but dogs sometimes growl to show their happiness in the same manner that a cat would purr to show their contentment.