It is usual for a dog to grow before settling down. It can be an expression of delight after a day well spent roaming around the house, digging around the house, or even barking. However, if you notice your dog groaning too much and cannot sleep, it can be a medical issue. In such a situation, it is essential to take it for a medical checkup to be sure. In this regard, you need to have studied your dog’s behavior to differentiate the usual groaning from when it is growling out of pain. 

Why Does My Dog Growl When Lying Down?

As an expression of delight

When a dog makes sweet noises as it lies down, it is an expression of comfort and delight. It is an indication that they are enjoying their relaxing time after a long day of running around and barking. Besides, even human beings grunt as they lie down on the sofa or bed to relax. In this case, your dog will be sighing with pressure. After a while, you will also notice that their eyes will start to drift and shut as the feeling of contentment settles.

An expression of disappointment

If you notice your dog growling as it lies down, but its eyes remain wide open, it can be an expression of disappointment. It might be that the dog is not full or it is thirsty. Therefore, it is an excellent non-verbal cue that can help you understand your dog’s emotions.

It can be a natural thing.

If you notice that it is growling even when the dog is sleeping, it can be a natural thing. It may roar when it shifts to the sleeping position. If its eyes are open and glancing at you, it can be a casual but friendly sign of hello and that it is happy to see you. It is essential to observe your dog’s behavior for the most prolonged period to understand what it is communicating to you. How does it growl when happy, when it needs your attention or when sick? With such understanding, you will stop worrying so much and take the necessary actions. It can also be a sign that your dog is having nightmares, especially if it is sleeping.

The dog might be experiencing pain.

For puppies, they might growl due to panosteitis, also known as puppy growing pains. When their bones grow faster, the experience can be awkward and painful. They can therefore growl as they sleep as an expression of discomfort. During the day, you might find them limping as they avoid exacting pressure on the leg. It is expected that it will continue to grow until they are fully grown in such a situation.

It can be due to old age.

As the dog gets old, it becomes susceptible to diseases like arthritis. If your dog has not been growling and only started to adopt such behavior recently, it might be a sign that it is experiencing joint pain. This type of sickness can cause a lot of discomfort.

Why Does My Dog Growl When I Lie Next To Her?

Self-defense mechanism

Have you realized that when you lay next to your sweet dog, it jumps up swiftly as it growls? Do not take this behavior offensively. It is instead an innate defense mechanism that dogs use to express their discontent with the situation. It is simply telling you to stop, as it is uncomfortable.

It is essential to understand such warning signs. If ignored, it might end up biting you later. While some dogs like it when you lie next to it or even hug, some feel uncomfortable, resulting in expressing themselves by growling.

You need to recognize what it is communicating and respect its decision of not wanting to be hugged or lying next to it. Give your dog its space, and you will remain friends for a long time. Understanding why dogs dislike such acts is essential to prevent them from becoming too aggressive.

Medical problem

Did your dog start being aggressive and hugging out of the blue? If this is the case, it might be because it is feeling pain around that area. As a result, it will try to express its discomfort through growling. Avoid disciplining it due to its misconduct and instead try to understand it by visiting a vet. Let the veterinarian examine it and offer the necessary treatment if need be. If there is nothing wrong with it, the doctor will also give you some tips on the best way to handle it.

How can you teach your dog to like hugs?

Instead of yelling at your dog whenever it growls after trying to hug it, is there a way to teach it how to like hugs? Yes. A trainer can train dogs to appreciate hugs by acts of kindness as opposed to reprimanding them.

To get your dog to be comfortable with hugs, you can start initiating simple tips like massaging it behind its ears and praising it as you touch it. In this way, it will learn and get used to close touch whenever it does something remarkable with time, progress to touching it to other parts of the body, and observe its reaction. In other words, start with baby steps until you become comfortable with the whole thing of touching and hugging. Consistency is what will make your dog get used to hugging.

Why Does My Dog Growl When I Lay My Head On Him?

It is a sign of a health problem.

Your dog may growl if it is in pain or has an injury. If it has an injury in the stomach, it might express its discontent by growling. Instead, when it portrays such unacceptable behavior, look closely through its fur to find possible injuries or unhealed wounds.

If it yells and runs away as you try to find the wound, take it to the vet for a professional checkup. The health issue might worsen, and trying hard to find it may cause more discomfort than offer a solution. Also, the problem might be internal, like stomachache, which can only be diagnosed by a professional. A distressed growl is an indication of discomfort.

It can be because of fear.

A dog might express fear of close contact with a human by growling. This is common when a dog meets strangers. This can be common, especially if the dog is adopted. However, it can also happen if your dog is shy and does not appreciate close contact with humans.

How can you tell it is a fearful growl and not aggressive behavior? A fearful dog always starts low while the mouth is closed, with no breathing and stiff body language. If you fail to lift your head off its belly, it can build to a snarl with teeth exposed if the threat has not left. This can progress to a conflict if not addressed immediately.

The best way to handle the situation is to remove your head from its stomach immediately when it expresses its discomfort. The next thing is to try to initiate simple contact, like massaging it slowly round its neck until it becomes comfortable with close human contact. Try to appreciate it through physical touch to get used to the touch.

Why Does My Dog Growl At Me When I Pet Him When He’s Lying Down?

Affectionate growling

Your dog might growl as you pet him/her as a sign that he loves the experience and wants more. They, therefore, growl to indicate affection and contentment. In this case, the growl has a low sound and is sweet. When they want more petting, they will growl in the same way. It is essential to understand this communication skill to deliver the service to satisfaction.

How do you know it is an affectionate growl? One of the issues most people face is not differentiating their growl and what their pet is communicating. Misinterpretation may result in increased fear and can lead to discipline. It is, therefore, to understand your dog’s non-verbal cues and act accordingly. You will notice that the body is relaxed, and it is trying to touch you instead of moving away. With this type of growl, you have nothing to worry about.

If you pet your dog regularly, and you still notice it demands more petting, it can indicate that they need more stimulation. For this reason, you can provide some toys for your dog to play with. Alternatively, if you have more time, you can opt to take your dog for a walk.

A sign of aggression

If you try petting your dog while sleeping and it starts to growl, it can indicate aggressive behavior. This is common among newly adopted dogs when a stranger massages it or is in a new environment altogether. All these factors can raise fear in a dog, causing it to be aggressive.

How do you know if your dog is exhibiting aggressive behavior while petting it? If it is growling and yelling and trying to bite, it is essential to stop petting immediately. Allow your dog some time to interact with new people before they can start petting it or even get comfortable with its new environment.

Fearful growling

If your dog is sleeping and when you pet it, it starts to growl, it can be a sign of fear. This may happen when your dog is surprised. It is essential to avoid surprising your dog while sleeping. Try to maintain distance between the dog and the threat.

A fearful dog usually does not want to bite or start a fight but always growls to indicate they need their space. In such a situation, it is essential to avoid the stressor, which is you.

Stop petting him as he lies down and allow him to have his time alone.

Why Does My Dog Growl When I Touch Him While Sleeping?

It is a sign of irritation.

When a dog needs to sleep, it does not entertain petting. As such, if you try to pet it, it might growl at you, an indication that it does not appreciate your kind gesture. This kind of growling is usually with a harsh tone. It even acts as if it wants to bite you if you continue petting it.

If you notice your dog growl and then go back to sleep, from time to time, it is an indication that it is not interested in being touched. If you do not want to be bitten by an irritated and sleepy dog, avoid touching it while sleeping. Besides, dogs do not like surprises, especially when sleeping. Their response is usually defensive and can bite you.

The good news is that your pet is communicating to you and giving out signals that he does not appreciate your kind gesture. Otherwise, if it does not growl, it can snap and bite you without warning.

 A sign of relief and contentment

Your dog might growl as you touch it while sleeping as a sign of relief. When a dog is trying to sleep after a long day, it can appreciate a soft and tender touch from its master. In this case, your dog will give a smooth and sweet growl instead of an aggressive and irritating one.

While you might appreciate your loving gesture, it is essential to continue with caution. Avoid exaggerating and touch it with moderation. Exaggerating the touch might become irritating, triggering aggression in your dog.

You have touched a sensitive area.

There are some areas where a dog is comfortable being touched or petted. If you feel such places, your dog will respond with a sweet growl. It is essential to study your pet and understand its likes and dislikes.

However, if you touch your dog’s sensitive areas like the ears and around the mouth, it can respond with a harsh growl. It can even bite you if you are not careful. It is better to understand your pet’s likes and dislikes and respect that to avoid confrontation. Keep your hands off the sensitive areas of your dog much more while sleeping if you do not want to irritate your pet.

Is Pleasure Growling A Thing?

If you are wondering whether dogs find pleasure in growling, the answer is yes. Growling is a thing, and dogs use it as a way of communicating. Through growling, you understand your pet’s needs and move towards meeting them.

There are numerous reasons why dogs growl. They include a sign of irritation, medical problems, strangers, a new environment, a symbol of relief, and a warning sign.

Thus, it is something that dogs are used to do under different circumstances. The best thing is that with other body languages, you can tell if your dog’s growling results from the pain of contentment.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.