There are 4 main reasons why a Poodle may become so perturbed that he growls:
- This is often overlooked, yet is not uncommon. Any sort of injury or illness that causes a dog to feel discomfort, also can make the dog feel vulnerable. Due to canine instinct, when a dog has a sense that he is weak and unable to function as normal, he may instinctively resist being approached or touched. If someone comes too close, he may growl and if so, this can and is often done via a prone position.
For example, a Poodle that is not feeling well may be resting in his bed, quiet as a mouse. Yet if a family member goes over to pat him, he may stay lying down but growl as the hand reaches out.
For this reason, if your otherwise happy and well-behaving Poodle suddenly begins growling without noticeable cause, having him evaluated at the vet for any health issues
should be the first step. Countless health conditions will have no outward symptoms.
- While many Poodles are adaptable and learn to handle themselves around a variety of stimuli, it is not uncommon for a Poodle to have a fear of other dogs or even other people. In many cases, a bite would not follow since the dog is afraid and the growl sends out a message of 'stay away'.
However, if cornered and the fear intensifies, a trapped dog may feel that he has no other choice.
For example, if a Poodle were afraid of being petted by a stranger and let out a growl to warn of this, yet the person ignored the signal and approached, forcing the Poodle to accept pats, the dog may then snap as his anxiety increases.
In most cases, growling of this sort can be gradually resolved by incorporating socialization training. This is a gradual approach to introducing a Poodle to situations and stimuli to the point of being so familiar with it that it no longer elicits a response.
#3 Territorial growling
- While the Poodle is not the quintessential watch dog, he does have an understanding of his territory; both the house and in many cases, the property as well. Some do mistake this for aggressive growling.
The difference with this is that if a Poodle growls to defend his territory, he does not do this to his owners or anyone who normally lives in the house and he stops once the perceived threat leaves.
It is an outside element, crossing onto what he perceives as belonging to his 'pack' (family). An example would be if a delivery driver comes to the front door and stands in the entrance way.
If a Poodle growls at him, this is most often done to say, 'You don't belong here'.