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Top 8 Reasons Why Schnauzers Growl + 4 Tips To Stop It

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There are quite a few reasons why your schnauzer will growl. Some situations your schnauzer will growl and it’ll be completely harmless. 

Other times it’s a signal something bad might happen.

Why Do Schnauzers Growl:

When your schnauzer growls it’s another way for them to communicate with you, other people and other dogs. Not all growls are for aggressive reasons. While growling can be from fear, frustration, pain and when being protective they can also happen when playing or enjoying something.

In this post you’ll discover:

  • 8 real reasons why your schnauzer growls
  • When your schnauzer growling is something to worry about
  • 5 tips to help stop your schnauzer from aggressively growling (Tip #2 is the best thing you can do!)
  • And much more

Let’s jump right in.

why do schnauzers growl

Top 8 Reasons Why Schnauzers Growl

1) Resource Guarding

Some schnauzers are completely fine when people or other dogs interact with them when eating or playing with a toy.

However, there are some schnauzers that’ll growl whenever someone comes near them when they have something they deem is theirs.

It’s also known as possessive aggression.

If you notice that your schnauzer only seems to growl when other people or dogs go near them when eating or enjoying one of their toys, they’re resource guarding.

This is definitely a behavior that needs to be addressed as it can lead to aggression if not corrected.

Related Reading: 7 Simple Strategies To Help Quickly Calm A Reactive Dog

2) Territorial/Overprotective

It’s instinctual for dogs to want to protect their home and family.

Even more so for schnauzers given their working background.

Some schnauzers may be more territorial than others which can lead them to become overprotective.

Which typically means growling at anyone that comes near you or someone they love.

It’s usually paired with a deep, low bark as well.

This is another behavior that needs to be nipped in the bud as it can quickly escalate to something much worse.

If your schnauzer is displaying this behavior, it’s important to get professional help from a certified trainer or behaviorist.

Territorial growling can easily turn into biting if not corrected.

Related Reading: Are Schnauzers Protective? The Truth + 6 Reasons & 4 Tips

3) Playing

Growling during playtime is perfectly normal behavior for schnauzers.

In fact, it’s one of the ways they communicate with other dogs.

You’ll typically see this type of growling when your schnauzer is playing tug of war with you or another dog.

It’s their way of saying “I’m enjoying this!” or “Don’t stop, this is fun!”.

As long as the growling stays at a moderate level and isn’t accompanied by any other aggressive behaviors, there’s no cause for concern.

However, if the growling does escalate, it’s best to take a break from playing.

Your pup might just be getting a little carried away with their play.

Related Reading: 13 Reasons Why Schnauzers Are Good Family Dogs + Tips

4) Pleasure/Affection

Yes, schnauzers can growl out of pleasure or when they’re feeling affectionate.

It’s often seen as a sign of contentment and happiness.

You’ll typically see this type of growling when you’re petting your schnauzer or giving them a good belly rub.

They might even close their eyes and lay their head down into your hand.

It’s their way of saying “I love this, don’t stop!”

If you ever hear your schnauzer growling while you’re petting them, don’t worry.

They’re probably just enjoying the moment.

Some dogs are more expressive of how they’re feeling than others.

And you might simply have an expressive schnauzer who likes to communicate how good their belly rub or ear scratch feels.

Related Reading: 12 Surprising Ways Schnauzers Show Affection (#3 Is Funny)

5) Frustration

Like people, dogs can get frustrated too.

And schnauzers are no different.

You might see your pup growling if they’re trying to get your attention and you’re not responding fast enough for their liking.

Or if they want to go outside and you’re keeping them inside.

Or if you’re taking their toy away when they don’t want to be finished playing.

It’s their way of expressing their frustration to you.

In most cases, a little growl is no big deal.

It’s when the growling starts to escalate that you need to be concerned.

6) Fear

If your schnauzer is feeling afraid or intimidated by something they may respond by growling.

This is their way of trying to make the thing they’re afraid of go away.

You may see this type of growling if your schnauzer is around a loud noise or if there’s a strange person or animal nearby.

Fearful growling is usually accompanied by other body language cues such as cowering, tucking the tail, or trying to hide behind you.

If your schnauzer is displaying any of these behaviors, it’s best to remove them from the situation and help them calm down.

Fearful growling can quickly turn into aggressive growling if they stay in the situation too long without a positive distraction.

Related Reading: Do Schnauzers Make Good Guard Dogs? What To Expect

7) Fighting

Sometimes, schnauzers will growl when they’re fighting with another dog.

This is usually accompanied by barking, snarling, and lunging.

If you see your schnauzer engaging in this type of behavior, it’s best to break it up immediately.

Fighting can quickly escalate and result in serious injury.

This type of growling is the most scary one to hear.

It often happens when playtime escalates into something more serious.

Playful growling will turn into fighting growling if your schnauzer, or the other dog, wasn’t socialized and learned how to show restraint when playing.

Whenever your schnauzer is playing with a new pup it’s always best to keep an eye on their body language.

When a dog is being playful their body language is very different from when they’re starting to become angry.

8) In Pain

If your schnauzer is in pain anywhere on their body and you or someone else isn’t being gentle or even simply gets too close to their sore spot, they may growl.

This is their way of trying to tell you that something doesn’t feel good.

You might see this type of growling if your schnauzer gets hurt while playing or if they have an injury that’s starting to bother them.

In most cases, a schnauzer in pain will also have other body language cues such as whimpering, crying, or trying to move away from the source of their pain.

If you think your schnauzer is in pain it’s always best to take them to the vet just to be sure.

5 Tips To Help Stop Your Schnauzer From Growling

1) Help Them Cool Down

If your schnauzer is starting to get too excited or worked up, it’s best to help them calm down before they start growling more seriously.

Whether it’s from playing, being territorial or becoming frustrated.

If you notice your pup is starting to get a little too worked up and starting to growl more aggressively, do your best to help them cool down.

You can do this by stopping play for a few minutes, taking them for a walk/moving them to a new environment, or simply putting them in their crate for a few minutes.

Doing this will help diffuse the situation and hopefully stop the growling before it escalates.

2) Find Their Trigger

If you’re not sure what’s causing your schnauzer to growl, it’s best to start by trying to find their trigger.

Is there a certain time of day when they start growling more?

Or is there a certain activity that seems to make them more likely to growl?

Once you’ve identified their trigger, you can start to work on a plan to help them feel more comfortable in that situation.

For example, if your schnauzer starts growling when they see other dogs outside, you can start by working on their socialization skills.

This might involve taking them to the dog park more often or enrolling them in a doggy daycare.

If you can’t seem to find a trigger, it’s best to talk to your vet or a professional trainer for help.

They will be able to help you figure out what’s causing your schnauzer to growl and how to stop it.

3) Increase Socialization

One of the best ways to stop your schnauzer from growling is to make sure they’re properly socialized.

This means exposing them to as many different people, places, and things as possible while they’re young.

The more exposure they have, the less likely they are to growl out of fear or anxiety.

Ideally, you should start socializing your schnauzer as soon as you bring them home.

But it’s never too late to start.

You can socialize an adult schnauzer by taking them to the dog park, enrolling them in doggy daycare, or even just introducing them to other dogs in your neighborhood.

The key is to expose them to as many new experiences as possible.

This way they’ll better understand how to behave in unfamiliar situations and not feel the need to be defensive/aggressive.

4) Seek Help From a Trainer

If your schnauzer is growling for reasons outside of playfulness or pleasure, it’s a good idea to get help from a professional trainer.

Whether that’s online through video walkthroughs and explanations or in person.

Typically growling stems from only a few different emotions, but when you haven’t studied dog behavior it’s not so simple to come up with a solution on your own.

Which is why working with a professional can be very helpful.

They will be able to help you identify the root cause of your schnauzer’s growling and give you specific tips on how to stop it.

5) Have a Vet Look At Them

If you’ve tried all of the above and your schnauzer is still growling, it’s time to take them to the vet.

There could be an underlying health condition causing them pain or discomfort which is leading to the growling.

Some common health conditions that can cause a dog to growl include arthritis, hip dysplasia, and neurological problems.

If your vet does find an underlying health condition, they’ll be able to provide you with treatment options to help improve your schnauzer’s quality of life.

And in some cases, their growling will stop completely once the health condition is being treated.

Other posts you might find interesting:

9 Weird Reasons Schnauzers Stop Eating + 5 Helpful Tips

9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Follow You Everywhere + 4 Tips

9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Get So Hyper + How To Reduce It