If your dog keeps grumbling, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your dog might be doing it and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog grumble? Possible reasons why your dog grumbles are that it is bored, excited, scared, it might be looking for attention, it could be protecting its food, it might be doing it as a warning, or it might be ill or injured.
There are actually a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog grumbles. Once you have a good idea of why it has been doing it, you’ll have an easier time getting it to stop.
Why does my dog grumble?
Each of the different reasons why your dog grumbles will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons that it might be doing it and what would make them more likely.
It could be the case that it grumbles because it is bored. This would be more likely if it is not getting much exercise especially if it is an active breed.
Most dogs are meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. Depending on the breed they can require as much as an hour of exercise per day and some times that isn’t even enough. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to develop behavioral issues.
If your dog is not getting the recommended amount of exercise for its breed then it would help to make sure that it does.
The reason that your dog grumbles could be that it is excited. This would be more likely if it does it in situations where it is likely to be excited. They could include when it is about to go out for a walk, when playing tug of war or when you come home.
It wants your attention
The reason that it grumbles might be because it wants to get your attention. It might want to get your attention because you haven’t been giving it any, it might be alerting you to danger or it might be trying to get you to feed it.
Related: Why does my dog sit on my chest?
It’s protecting food or possessions
It might grumble because it is protecting its food or possessions. This would be more likely if you go near it when it is eating and it grumbles. In this case, dogs can get quite aggressive when protecting food so it is important to be cautious in that situation and you might want to get the help of a professional dog behaviorist.
The reason that it grumbles could be because it is frightened. This would be more likely if it also hides when it does it and if it does it when something might be causing it to be frightened. Things that might frighten it could include sirens, thunder or lightning.
Illness or injury
Illness or injury could also be causing it to grumble. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it shows other signs of being ill or injured.
If it does seem like it might be ill or injured then it would be the best option to take it to a vet.
It could also be that it grumbles due to being aggressive. This would be more likely if it shows other signs of aggression when doing it such as showing the teeth and having stiffer legs.
If it does seem to do it aggressively then the best option would be to seek the help of a certified dog behaviorist.
Things to consider
Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog grumbles. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will be easier to take the appropriate action.
The way that your dog grumbles
It would help to consider how it grumbles. If it seems to be doing it aggressively then it would be advised to get professional help. Whereas, if it doesn’t seem to do it aggressively then it could be due to any of the reasons mentioned above but being cautious is still advised.
When your dog first started to grumble
The timing of when it first started grumbling would be helpful to consider. It could be that there was an event that triggered it to start doing it.
Things that might have happened could include:
- You rewarded it one time for grumbling
- It ate something it shouldn’t have
- Someone was mean to it
When your dog grumbles
The timing of when it grumbles would also be helpful to consider.
For example, if you notice that it only grumbles when you would normally walk or feed it then it might be trying to remind you of that. Whereas, if it does it at random times then it could be that you have inadvertently rewarded it or that it is ill.
How to stop your dog from grumbling
There are a number of things that you can do about your dog moaning a lot. The best option for your dog will largely depend on the cause of it doing it.
Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about it.
Positive reinforcement training
One option would be to try positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward your dog for behaving the way that you want it to.
To use it to get it to stop grumbling you would do something such as:
- Stop giving it attention when it starts to grumble
- Give it attention when it stops grumbling
- Stop giving it attention again if it starts to grumble
- Repeat the above and reward it with treats when it does not grumble when it normally would
Avoid negative reinforcement training
Negative reinforcement training is where you inadvertently reinforce bad behaviors by giving it things that it wants when it misbehaves. If you tend to give your dog things such as attention, treats or toys when it grumbles then it might have been negatively reinforced.
Instead of rewarding it, when it grumbles, it would help to avoid doing so and to use positive reinforcement training to get it not to do it.
Make sure it isn’t ill or injured
Since illness or injury could be the cause of it grumbling, it would help to take it to a vet. This would be especially important if it has started doing it suddenly and it shows other signs of being ill.
Give it attention throughout the day
It would help to give your dog attention throughout the day so that it is less likely to seek it from you. Ways that you could give it attention would be by giving it exercise, training it or playing with it.
Get the help of a dog behaviorist
If you can’t figure out why your dog grumbles or it does it aggressively then it would help to get help from a certified dog behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored to your specific dog.
Why does my dog grumble for no reason?
If your dog grumbles for no apparent reason, it could actually be because your dog is hungry, bored or needs to pee or poop. If your dog still does it after eating, exercise and getting the chance to pee or poop, it could be because your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded, has an injury, is intimidated or can hear or smell something. It would help to consider the timing of when your dog does it since the timing will likely have a lot to do with it.
Why does my dog grumble when I pet him?
If your dog grumbles when you pet him, it could be because your dog feels intimidated. This would be more likely if your dog shows submissive signs such as lowering its head and making itself appear smaller. In this case, it could help to try petting your dog differently or more calmly.
It could also be the case that your dog is trying to show affection back to you which would be more likely if your dog also does things such as wag its tail and lick you.
Why does my dog grumble at night?
If your dog grumbles at night, it could be because your dog has separation anxiety, needs to pee or poop, or does not like the room it sleeps in. If your dog sleeps on your bed, it could be the case that your dog is being possessive and trying to protect its spot on the bed. If your dog grumbles while sleeping, it would be more likely that your dog is dreaming.
Why does my dog grumble at me?
If your dog grumbles at you, it could be because your dog is trying to tell you that it is hungry, bored, needs to go outside, has learned that the behavior is rewarded, or is intimidated. It would help to consider the timing of when your dog does it and the body language that your dog shows.