Top 3 Reasons for Dogs that Suddenly Growl at Your Son or Daughter

Disclaimer: The content on is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Is your dog suddenly growling at one specific person in the household with that person being your son or daughter? While aggression is a common intent for growling, there could also be other reasons that may explain why your dog is suddenly growling at your son or daughter and no one else in the family.

1. Your child is bothering the dog

This can happen with a young child or toddler who have yet to learn about boundaries. Your son or daughter could be all over your dog. Getting up to the dog’s face, pulling his fur, and poking him. Your dog isn’t going to like this for obvious reasons. Over time, your dog might snap and start to growl at your son or daughter as a warning to stay away.

It’s important to teach your child the concept of boundaries and respecting personal space. If your son or daughter is still too young, you may want to give the dog a ‘safe’ space so that he can avoid an uncomfortable situation when he wants to. The growling behavior can happen more often with dogs that haven’t built up a lot of positive experience with kids during puppyhood.

2. Recalling a traumatic experience

The dog might have some kind of traumatic experience with your son or daughter. For example, they may have punished the dog in a negative way. The dog most likely found this stressful and is growling at your son or daughter to stay away. Pet care education is important if you are a family with little experience with dog care. It’s important to remind everyone in the family that punishment is never the answer when a dog exhibits a bad behavior.

Sometimes, it might have nothing to do with the direct actions of your son or daughter. Rescue dogs, for example, may growl if they think your son or daughter reminds them of someone else that triggered a stressful experience. Perhaps the dog was adopted from a previous family with a kid that constantly bothered the dog.

3. Your dog is jealous

Yes, dogs have been known to get jealous when a new family member joins the household. As social animals, some dogs may want undivided attention of their owners. Behaviors can go astray when that attention is now split between the dog and the son or daughter. Growling might be a sign the dog doesn’t approve of your child’s presence.


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