Why Do Goldendoodles Growl?

by Kern Campbell

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Why Do Goldendoodles Growl

I bet some of you wonder why your Goldendoodle growls. I know I do!  For those of you who are curious about this topic, I did some research today and came across some interesting details.

Why do Goldendoodles growl?

Goldendoodles growl because it is their way of expressing how they are feeling.  Growling for Goldendoodles allows them to vocalize and communicate to those around them various emotions that they may be feeling.  Growling is most often thought of as a way to express aggression for dogs, including Goldendoodles, but this is not the only emotion expressed when they growl.   Growling for Goldendoodles can also be the way they express fear, pain, or playfulness.  

If Goldendoodles growl, it is but one way for them to express themselves vocally.  Goldendoodles cannot communicate with words, so they will use various sounds, including growling and body language, to express emotion, thought, wants, and needs. 

Understanding why Goldendoodles growl requires a thoughtful connection on the pet parent or caregiver’s part to figure out what is causing them to growl.  A strong connection or bond between pet parents or caregivers and Goldendoodles allows them to respond appropriately and discover the issue. 

Goldendoodles growling can have many sources in the Goldendoodles’ immediate environment or within themselves.  Perhaps they heard a strange sound outside, or maybe they hurt on the inside. Whatever the reason Goldendoodles growl, it is not always linked to aggression.

Goldendoodles growl as a way of expressing themselves like other dogs.  Growling is one way for them to express their thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs because they cannot communicate with words that we can understand.

Goldendoodles use growling and other sounds that include barking, whimpering, and howling to communicate along with their body language.

While many people always associate growling in a Goldendoodle or any dog as showing aggression or expressing territorial or aggressive tendencies, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Growling for any dog, including Goldendoodles, can also be related to how they feel as a dog.  This growling could mean that they are hurting or feeling sick somewhere in their body.  Since they can not communicate with words, it is our job to discover what their growling and other sounds mean.  These sounds and meanings can vary from one Goldendoodle to another.

Another reason why Goldendoodles growl is to express fear.   If Goldendoodles are frightened or scared of something, they may use growling as a way to ward of whatever is scaring them.  This growling isn’t a show of aggression. Instead, it is a means for them to attempt to protect themselves or someone else.

Sometimes still, why Goldendoodles growl can be because they are excited or feeling playful.  This is most likely to happen during physical playtime when they are excited and happy.  It is not a reason for concern if they growl when playing unless accompanied by other body languages such as biting or nipping.

Goldendoodles and other dogs have to be creative in expressing themselves to us—their inability to use words and have conversations limit their communication to sounds and body language.

Perceptive pet parents who know their Goldendoodles well and have a strong bond will find it easier to interpret these sounds and their body language.   This allows them to respond appropriately to the need, want, or feeling the Goldendoodle might have.

There are numerous reasons why Goldendoodles growl that can be directly related to their environment and what is happening in that environment.  Growling can also be related to how they feel or something else entirely.

What should be done when Goldendoodles growl?

When Goldendoodles or other dogs growl, the pet parent or caregiver should stop what they are doing if possible and attempt to figure out what is happening.

This troubleshooting can include watching the dog’s body language and listening to the growling and perhaps other sounds.  It can also include searching the immediate environment and watching what the Goldendoodle looks at.

Each dog is unique in how they will express themselves. A Goldendoodle who growls might be upset that the house cat is near their food bowl.  A wise pet parent might notice this by looking around.  A Goldendoodle who growls when facing the front door might smell that someone is near the entrance or outside of it.

Even still, a Goldendoodle who growls while licking a specific body part over and over again might have an undiagnosed injury that is bothering them.  By stopping for a few moments to address the situation, the pet parent or caregiver can sometimes stop the dogs growling and even restore harmony in the home environment and their dog.

If the pet parent cannot determine why the Goldendoodle is growling by looking around and watching the dog; if they are able, taking a more in-depth look at the situation can sometimes provide answers.

The most important thing for any loving pet parent to do is to be compassionate to the Goldendoodle that is growling and maintain a positive attitude.  Dogs are very perceptive and can pick up on our own emotions.

If a dog is scared of something and tries to tell us, we may react to their fear with fear of our own, increasing their fear and making it more challenging to troubleshoot the problem.

Some Goldendoodles or other dogs will even growl when they are excited or being playful with others at certain moments.  In these moments for pet parents playing or spending time with their Goldendoodle, who suddenly growls, there is no need for concern unless it is accompanied by other body language such as biting.

Being responsive in the moment is a short term solution to growling.  In the long term, knowing and understanding the individual Goldendoodle will allow pet parents or caregivers to provide a loving, harmonious home life conducive to happiness for everyone involved, including the Goldendoodle.

This requires time, patience, understanding, trust, and a strong bond or connection between dog and human.

Is growling in Goldendoodles or other dogs acceptable?

Yes, growling in Goldendoodles or other dogs is acceptable as a means for them to communicate if it is not continual or directed at another.  It also must not include negative body language.  Biting, lunging, and other body language are connected to aggression and should be addressed immediately.

If the growling appears to come with other negative qualities such as lunging or attacking others, including other dogs, animals, and people, it should be remedied.  This type of growling and aggression can quickly escalate and become a problem if left unchecked.

The best solution for this situation is to remove the growling Goldendoodle.

Does training and socialization help with growling?

Yes, Goldendoodles or any dog’s training and socialization will teach them what types of behaviors are acceptable in various situations.  These can include not growling when the mailman comes to the door, or when the cat walks past their food bowl.

When it comes to growling, socialization is vital.  Through social interactions, Goldendoodles learn to live with and get along with others, including other dogs, animals, and people.

Socialization also teaches Goldendoodles how others behave. This can teach them that it is okay for another dog to have a treat when they get one or that they are still loved when their pet parent picks up the house cat for a snuggle.

Why Do Goldendoodles Growl

Early exposure to various life situations, animals, and people create a well-rounded dog that can handle what life brings.  It helps Goldendoodles be less stressed, fearful, and anxious at certain times in their lives.

Goldendoodles are naturally social, friendly, and gentle, so training and socialization should go smoothly.

Are Goldendoodles aggressive?

No, Goldendoodles are not aggressive dogs.  Goldendoodles have a very loving and gentle nature due to their breeding, which reduces the likelihood that they will feel and show aggression at any time, even when provoked.

It must be said that whether Goldendoodle or other dog if they have been neglected or abused, or have not been appropriately trained and socialized, they can become aggressive whether accidentally or due to upbringing.

This situation is not their fault but a byproduct of their upbringing and home environment.  In these situations, why Goldendoodles growl is related to what they were exposed to or how they were treated.  These dogs didn’t receive the training, social exposure, or love they should have and don’t know how best to behave.

Proper training and socializing at any stage of life can reduce aggression and create a happier, healthier, and more gentle dog, regardless of whether they are a Goldendoodle or other breed.

In Conclusion

Whether dogs growl, Goldendoodles or otherwise, varies from dog to dog and is based on their immediate environment and feelings.

While many people automatically believe growling is always a negative quality linked to aggression, this is not always the case.  Fear, pain, and playfulness can also be reasons for growling.

Whatever the reason Goldendoodles growl, if it is accompanied by biting or other negative body language, it should be stopped immediately.

Thankfully, Goldendoodles are gentle and sweet by nature, so this should rarely be an issue!

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