Why do dogs growl? Is it because they are naughty? Are they being rude? Are they angry? Well, dog’s growl for a variety of reasons, but the underlying motivation is: Communication.
A dog will growl to communicate an underlying emotion, sometimes this is fear, sometimes anger, sometimes joy! It’s up to you to get to know your dog to determine the message behind the behaviour.
Look at the context, are they protecting a valuable chew toy or their favorite sleeping spot? Are they in pain? Are they playing tug with you and getting super excited? Is it a particularly hot day? Whatever the reason, it’s important to respect the dog’s boundaries and respond kindly.
TOP TIP: NEVER punish a dog for growling! This would be the same as saying to a friend “I’m scared of spiders!” and having that friend shout at you for being afraid. It will not make you less afraid of spiders, and will probably make you dislike your friend!