Why Does My German Shepherd Growl At Me?

Why Does My German Shepherd Growl At Me

If you have a German Shepherd that growls at you, it is a serious concern, and you must stop this. There are several reasons behind this growling. Before treating this problem, it is important to notice why your dog is doing this in the first place.

If you want to know why your German Shepherd growls at you and how to stop this behavior, read this article, it will help you find the reason.

Why does my German Shepherd growl at me?

There can be several reasons why a German Shepherd growls at you, but aggression is not the cause of all the reasons. Sometimes your dog will growl at you even in relaxed conditions.

These are some of the reasons that will help you understand why your German Shepherd is growling at you.

German Shepherd is doing this due to past trauma

There may be some bad incident in the life of your German Shepherd, and every time he remembers it, he will end up growling at you. Growling is a warning to stay away and protect yourself.

It is not obvious that something bad could have happened to him. It may be that your German Shepherd has associated some negative emotions with those reasons. The German Shepherd may be growling at you because you remind him of someone who abused him in his puppyhood. So any past trauma could be the cause of growling.

German Shepherd is in hurt or in pain

This is the most common problem behind growling not only in German Shepherds but in all dogs. They are often in a situation where they get injured, and sometimes, they can’t tell you what’s wrong with them.

If your German Shepherd suddenly starts growling at you and is not feeling well, he may be in pain. You can detect the area, and the German Shepherd will feel pain when you touch that point on his body.

If German Shepherd growls at you due to discomfort, there may be other indications as well. There will be an obvious sign of injury, not eating, panting, and avoiding normal life activities.

German Shepherd is guarding his resources

When you attempt to take something away from your pooch, such as his toys, food, or treats. He will growl at you, and this growl is because he is protecting his resources.

German Shepherds are very possessive of their things, and every time you try to take them off, they will growl at you. Sometimes they will even growl due to things that are completely of no use to them.

This resource protection behavior in the German Shepherd is natural. It is a very primitive drive.

Your German Shepherd shows a dominant nature

By nature, German Shepherds are more dominating and try to take control of other dogs and people. They considered themselves alpha of the pack. An Alpha dog is more difficult to train because it will respond less to commands, and it is important to monitor these dogs from a young age.

Training from a young age has been found to be helpful, but if your dog is also aggressive with dominant behavior, you should contact a behavioral trainer.

German Shepherd is scared

Sometimes German Shepherd growls because he is afraid of someone or of any situation. They usually growl when taken to the vet because to them, vet means injections, pain, and an unpleasant examination. A veterinary clinic is a scary place for them, and this growl is their reaction to fear.

German Shepherd growls while having fun

You should not always associate growling with negative reasons; sometimes, your dog will growl at you when he is having fun. This growling behavior is commonly seen when they are playing Frisbee or tug of war. If you see such behavior from time to time, then there is no need to worry.

Growling while playing is completely natural. If you are concerned about this behavior, you can talk to your canine behavior specialist.

When German Shepherd is Anxious to See You

German Shepherds also start to growl when they are eager to see you. If you are away from home for a long time and when you return, they are waiting for you at the airport, and they cannot reach you, then they may start to growl.

Some people take this behavior as aggression, but they are actually cheerful to see you and are growling. In some cases, the growling is followed by howling, jumping, biting, and whining.

How To Stop A German Shepherd Growling At you/Their Owner? (Do’s & Don’ts)

Before you start treating German Shepherd to stop growling at you, you must first determine the exact problem he is doing it for. Here are some essential things to consider when dealing with this problem.

Remove the trigger at first

If your German Shepherd starts to growl at you, the first thing to do is discover the trigger for this problem and try to eliminate the problem causing it. For example, if your German Shepherd starts to growl when you approach your dog bowl, try removing the feeding bowl when they are not eating. It may seem unproductive to you, but to avoid injury, it is the best way.

Change the environment

If your German Shepherd is growling at you, have you tried changing his environment? Can any of the family members make your dog feel anxious? Is that why he growls at you? Or maybe your adorable companion is not feeling well in his daily routine.

If you could modify his environment and make some interesting changes to his daily routine, that can prevent your Pooch from growling.

Positive reinforcement training

Another important option that you can try is to do positive reinforcement training. As long as your German Shepherd behaves correctly, you should reward him for it.

Something you can do to stop growling in your German Shepherd are:

  • Pay no attention to them when they start to growl
  • Only pay attention if they stop growling.
  • Repeat this over and over and give your German Shepherd a treat when he is not growling.

Ask a trainer for help

If you’ve done all the possible things you know and your German Shepherd won’t stop growling at you, your best option is to seek help from a canine behaviorist. The trainer will be helpful if your German Shepherd becomes aggressive when growling.

Why Is Your German Shepherd Growling At Your Family?

If your German Shepherd growls an your family, it can be due to many reasons, such as past trauma, poor socialization, health problems, location or resource guarding, etc. You must first find out the exact reason and then try to solve this growling behavior with the help of a vet or canine behaviorist.

How To Stop A German Shepherd Growling At Your Family?

You can stop a German Shepherd from growling at your family by removing the trigger, counter conditioning, changing the environment, and medication. These are the effective methods of stopping this growling behavior. Never hit your German Shepherd as it can make the situation worse.

What should I do if my German Shepherd growls at a child?

If your German Shepherd becomes anxious in front of kid and growls at them, it is best to take your child away as soon as possible. You may think that your German Shepherd will not bite children, but don’t take such risks.

The German Shepherd usually growls at kids because they often do certain things that can scare them. Children do silly things like grab them, hug them, and run towards them. These things can scare your German Shepherd, that children usually like to do.

If you know that your child loves doing these things, teach him to use the proper method of interacting with dogs.

Will my German Shepherd become aggressive?

Your German Shepherd can become aggressive if proper training and socialization are not done at an early age. It usually starts at a very young age when the puppies are with their mother. If the mother is fearful or anxious, there is a greater chance of developing aggressive behavior in German Shepherd puppies.


A German Shepherd growling at you is a tricky subject, and you should take every precaution to prevent them from growling. Changing their environment, using a positive reinforcement method, and asking a trainer for help can solve this problem.

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