Why Does Your English Springer Spaniel Growl at You?

Every pet owner wants to have a great bond with their dog. Sometimes that is possible, while other times, it isn’t. Unfortunately, dog breeds like English Springer Spaniels can act out and growl at you on occasion. 

Your English Springer Spaniel growls at you to communicate its needs or to display aggression and dominance. To find out why your dog is growling at you, evaluate the circumstance appropriately.

Continue reading the remainder of this article on English Springer Spaniels to learn more about why this breed of dog may growl at you and how you can take preventative measures to help stop this behavior.

What Is My English Springer Spaniel Communicating by Growling?

One of the most significant traits about the English Springer Spaniel is that they respect and honor their owners. In fact, they are known for being very loyal. Because of this, they are excellent communicators, even when frustrated. 

By growling, your English Springer Spaniel is trying to communicate its needs in a specific situation and set proper boundaries. Sometimes, growling is in response to another person, animal, or situation, while other times, it is to assert dominance and protection. 

The English Springer Spaniel is not known for growling often, but it is one way they might communicate their needs in certain situations. If your dog is growling at you often, chances are they are acting from a place of dominance and protection rather than communication. Owners should pay attention to this.

Factors That Lead to Growling

If you notice that your dog often growls, pay attention to the following: 

  • Your surroundings. Check to see if there are specific triggers or a pattern in your surroundings that might be making your dog feel unsafe. This is the first clue that your dog is warning you of something that they do not like. 
  • Items surrounding the dog. Sometimes, growling is a strict warning sign for you. Hunting dogs like the English Springer Spaniel can be defensive and protective over things like toys, bones, and food. 
  • How you are interacting with the dog. One of the most common reasons why English Springer Spaniels act out is because you are asking them to go in a crate or leave a particular dynamic. This type of growl can lead to aggression from dominance. 
  • If other pets are nearby. English Springer Spaniels interact wonderfully with people but not as well with other pets. This is especially true when it comes to cats. Your dog may growl when near other animals. 

How Do I Respond to My Dog’s Growling?

Dominance is a significant concept to keep in mind when training your pup. Dogs must know their owner is in charge and that you set the rules at the end of the day. This way, when your pup growls at you, you can respond accordingly, and your dog will listen. 

Respond to your dog’s growling by distracting them from the situation that is causing conflict. If they are insistently acting aggressively, it’s best to calm them down and remove them from the situation. Individuals can also assert dominance through their body language and voice. 

Respond Firmly and Assert Dominance

The best way to confront your dog’s behavior is to assert dominance and teach them that you are in charge. Individuals can take the following steps to assert dominance: 

  • Stand tall and strong, showing your pup that you are in charge. When growling, your pup will back down if you assert dominance and establish what is allowed and what is not. If there are external factors at play, individuals should use their authority to change the situation as well. 
  • Raise your voice and change the tone. Dogs react best to the tone and energy of your voice. If you talk with authority and with a serious tone, they will understand that something is wrong. 
  • Stand firm in your rules and boundaries. Set rules with your pup at a young age and hold firm to them. Your dog will learn that you are the master, and you decide what is allowed. 
  • Use training tools, if necessary. Sometimes, growling can become a big issue because of aggression. If your dog was not trained at a young age, incorporating specific training tools can be helpful. Consider using a training collar. The DeluPet Training Collar is the most popular on Amazon.com due to its price, it’s waterproof and has a decent range up to 1600ft. 
  • Online Training. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend picking up this online based training program that will walk you through the steps to train your dog. At just $47, you get a structured and detailed training program from a professional trainer for just a fraction of the cost of a local trainer.
  • Change the scene and distract. Sometimes, certain factors in your surroundings are at play and creating issues with you and your dog. This can create a wide variety of issues. Removing external people and pets, changing the dynamic, and creating safety for your dog is a great way to respond. Your dog will appreciate you for it. 

How Do I Stop My Dog From Growling?

It’s never fun when your dog growls at you. It can be confusing and scary for owners regardless of the situation. Luckily there are solutions that individuals can take to stop their dog from growling. 

You can stop your dog from growling by implementing positive reinforcement training and evaluating their reasons for growling. Adequately communicate with the dog to find the root of the problem. Dogs always have a reason for growling, and it is usually not to act out aggressively.

English Springer Spaniels are brilliant dogs. They do not usually growl unless there is a good reason for it. Most times, they are trying to communicate a very specific need to their owner, as previously mentioned.

Growling, however, usually indicates communication in a negative way. Dogs will growl when they do not like something or someone nearby. Growling is also a form of resistance to authority and a warning.

Solve Growling by Addressing the Root of the Problem

The best way to prevent growling in your dog is to first understand why they are growling. You can discover triggers and situations that may initiate moments of growling in your dog and create change from there. 

If your dog does not stop growling during particular situations, there are specific training methods that individuals can implement: 

  • Discover the underlying problem and solve it. If the trigger is gone, the growling may also disappear, too. 
  • Try desensitization and counterconditioning training. This can help change your dog’s perspective on the triggers present in your surroundings. This process may take some time, but it can be incredibly helpful if accomplished successfully. Individuals may want to consult with a professional for this type of training. 
  • Incorporate positive reinforcement training. Although this type of training cannot eliminate growling, it can help your dog understand the boundaries that you set. Most times, growling is a warning sign. However, if dogs become aware of set boundaries, they will know they cannot have dominance within certain dynamics. A popular training treat my dogs love are the salmon flavored Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Wild Bits (available on Amazon.com).


Dogs like to use their voices just like people do. Although it isn’t always fun to hear your dog growling at you, it’s important to identify and address the root of the problem. 

If you can, educate yourself on your dog’s body language and forms of communication. This will make a world of difference at the end of the day. 

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