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Why Does My Dog Growl At Night?

why does my dog growls at night

Are you feeling embarrassed just because your dog growls at night? Are you missing the nights of peaceful sleep when your dog had a sound sleep and let you have the same? Well, if your answer is yes, do know that while your dog is growling at night, there is something he wants to tell you.

Sometimes we misinterpret this behavior of dogs and start to yell at them. This is not the right way because it lets them growl more and makes us face more difficulties. To help you out with this, we are sharing all the relevant information considering the behavior of dogs. Let’s get started!

Why Do Dogs Growl at night?

Several reasons are there for letting your dog growl at night. These are as follows:

Sleep aggression

Sleep aggression is the condition when you are trying to pick them up, but they are not in a state to get up. This can be due to any reason like you want to put them in their bed or want them to have their meal. If they are tired and don’t want any disturbance, they will start growling. This also leads to lip-licking, biting, yawning, and turning their heads too.


Nightmares are common in humans and, likewise, in dogs. Your dog may be having bad dreams as a result of the way he began growling at night. For example, they could be having a flashback to their first visit to the veterinary doctor, where something unusual occurred. Dogs under one year of age majorly growl at night. Don’t misinterpret because this can happen with adult dogs too, but probably the reason will be different with them.

Sleeping problems are common with dogs

Sleeping problems are very common, and no doubt, these let your dog growl at night. For example, if your dog is not able to sleep peacefully in the surroundings due to any disturbance due to your activities, any function in the nearby surroundings, or unnecessary voices from the neighbor’s house, they will start growling. To avoid this, it is your responsibility to make them feel at ease in their surroundings and to make arrangements for them to feel peaceful.

Dog sense unusual things immediately

Dog’s sensory system is quite responsive, and they can sense any unusual thing in the environment rapidly. It hardly takes a few seconds for them to know there is something unusual available to trouble them. If they sense something unusual in the night, they will start growling.

You are not giving them attention

For every canine, attention plays a big role. You cannot ignore them. If you try to ignore them, they will engage in some activities that you had not expected. Among all those activities, growling is a common one. They’ll start growling at any time, and you’ll have no idea when it happens.


Possession is also common with dogs. For example, if they see some other animals utilizing their things, they will start growling because this is not likable by them. They warn them in their language to leave the stuff immediately.


Trauma is the state when your dog is mentally upset. It can be due to any nightmare or darkness. As a canine friend, you need to know what they are going through. This situation can develop for any reason, like exposure to some unnecessary and shocking events or because they might be dealing with some past issue.

Frustration is common with dogs

Humans easily get frustrated, and likewise, dogs. If your dog is confused and feeling frustrated, they will try to express it. Sometimes you see they are not even responding to your commands and not even paying attention to what is happening in their surroundings. They start to growl at any time of the day, no matter whether you are warning them or not.

Group barking

Dogs do everything in unity. Growling is their way of responding to other canines in the area. If you have ever noticed, when one dog is barking, the other dogs also start to bark, and that too, one by one. Basically, they are following what the other dog is doing.


Dogs always love to be with their mentor. If you leave them outside the house, they might feel alone due to the fact that they start growling. The reason behind this is that they want you to pay attention to them and let you know that they are feeling alone.

They are warning you

Dogs can sense danger very easily in their surroundings. Growling, is there a way to tell you to stay alert that there is something that can cause damage to you or anything else?

They are in need of something

Every dog comes up with some needs and wants, and it is important to pay attention to the same. For example, if your dog is hungry or thirsty, he or she will exhibit certain behaviors that will alert you to the situation. You can consider growling as an activity to showcase the same.


Dogs can face discomfort for any reason. If you notice a sudden change in their behavior, they may be suffering from a medical condition such as an upset stomach or allergies. In general, it could be any injury or illness that may be troubling them. It is up to you to analyze the situation. If everything is fine and you are not noticing any particular injury or illness, it may be that there is something else troubling them.

Sundowner syndrome

Sundowner syndrome is the condition when your dog is having some problems with its memory. It starts around the late afternoon and continues into the night, and you might have noticed your dog constantly looking at the wall hopelessly. This is the condition that they are trying to recall something, but unfortunately, they are not able to get it. It leads to increased confusion, anxiety, disorientation, and wandering as well.

Is growling bad?

For Dog

Growling is a way dogs adapt to showing fear, fear of possession, aggression, pain, and territoriality. It is also adapted when they are playing with each other (showing they are happy with each other). If they are growling gently, it is not bad. But if it is accompanied by some other sign, like aggression or confusion, you need to pay attention and look at the possible reasons behind it.

For Humans

Growling is a natural process for humans integrated with digestion. There is nothing wrong with that. But if it is frequently happening, maybe you need to choose a gastroenterologist for a checkup.

How to get your dog to stop growling at night?

If you want to stop your dog from growling at night, there are some possible steps that you can take. These are as follows:

Don’t reward them for this behavior

You probably rewarded them for this behavior, due to which they started doing the same frequently. If the same happens, don’t reward them at all. Instead, try to ignore it. When you ignore it for some time, they will understand that it is not the right way to behave and they will stop behaving so.

Feed them properly

If your dog is feeling hungry, it may start growling. It is important for you to check out whether they are having their meal properly or not. Maybe the dog food you have chosen is not liked by them, so you need to know which food they like.

Yelling is not a solution

If your dog is growling at night, they are probably in need of something, and you need to pay attention to it. If you start yelling at them, they will get angry, which may cause you some difficulties, and they will growl more. Try to handle the situation calmly so that the outcome will be favorable.

Train your dog

Training a dog is a time-consuming process but worthwhile. Always train your dog to stay quiet. Let them be mindful so that they can behave accordingly to the situation. For example, if they start growling at night, pay attention to the reason and train them in some other behavior for the particular situation.

Let them speak

Dogs also use their language to speak. If they are refraining from doing so, they will feel anguish, too, due to which they may start growling. If you don’t want your dog to do so, let them behave and speak as well. For a while, it appears to be annoying, but it will be helpful for you to know what they are up to.

Check out their sleeping patterns

Dogs’ sleeping patterns have a major impact on their overall health and behavior. You need to pay attention to whether your dog is sleeping well or not. If they are not sleeping well, then growling is a very common behavior you may have encountered.

Spend some time with them

Maybe your dog is feeling lonely, and you are not paying attention to it. Well, in this case, they will adapt to certain activities through which they can attract your attention. If the same is happening, try to know whether this is happening due to any other issue or due to loneliness.

Make them feel comfortable

If the surroundings seem new to them, try to comfort them with some moves. If they are uncomfortable, they will start growling.

Contact an expert

If nothing is helping you out, approaching an expert is the only solution. Do see the veterinary doctor available so that you can easily conclude the major reason behind it and fix it accordingly.

Why is my dog growling in my room late at night at nothing and waking me up?

As we have discussed above, there are so many reasons for which they can growl at night. But if there is nothing in the room and they wake you up, it’s probably because they have a sense of fear or maybe dealing with some health issues. Sometimes, when your dog is hungry at night, they start growling.

Along with that, darkness and nightmares can also be a possible causes of this behavior.

How to Deal with a Dog Growling When Asked to Get Off the Bed?

Well, if you are tired, you probably want your dog to go to bed with you, but they are not in the mood to do so and have started growling. If this is the case, handle this situation calmly. Handling it with anger can create trouble for you and make them angrier.

Also, try to engage in some healthy conversation with them so that they can know that you are also tired and this is the right time to go to bed. Don’t forget, dogs are your best friends and are capable of understanding you too.

The takeaway from all this

Growling is a common behavior shown by dogs. But it is your responsibility to know what the actual cause behind it is. Suppose you are not able to find out any cause, do approach the veterinary doctor so that they can conclude how to deal with the same. Also, if there is something else that is triggering them, try to find out about it. For sure, after seeking veterinary help and paying attention, you will be able to find out the actual reason behind it and help them get rid of it!

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