Another reason behind canines’ growling is to express frustration at being unable to achieve a goal or get to a desired location.
Imagine returning home from a long day at work, but you’re then separated from your pooch by a fence or barrier. A growl in this situation – usually accompanied by frantic movement – means your dog knows you’re around, but is frustrated at being unable to reach and shower you with licks.
When a pooch is threatened by an object or by a person, it will growl to discourage the perceived threat from coming nearer. Doggies bite only as a last resort, and a threatening growl is to warn intruders to stay away. A threatening growl is sometimes accompanied by the doggie making an attempt to escape or barking.
Also, due to super sharp hearing, it isn’t uncommon for dogs to growl at ‘threats’ that aren’t located in their immediate vicinity.
It is not uncommon for pooches to give out a low growl when receiving back or belly rubs, and in this case, growling is simply an indicator that they enjoy what you’re doing, and encouragement for you to continue.
Arguably the most dangerous of all dog growls, an aggressive growl is an indicator that a doggie intends to cause harm to the object of its aggression. And it is usually accompanied by stiffening of the body, snarling and baring of teeth, plus attempts to lunge at the target.
Aggressive growls are typically loud, but they can also come in long, low rumbles.
Dogs also give out low growls when in pain from either injury or an illness. A doggie in pain will typically become moody and snappy. And as a further indicator that a pooch is in pain, it’ll growl only when you poke injured parts on its body or attempt to move it.