How to Know if Your Dog is Angry

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 13, 2016
How to Know if Your Dog is Angry

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Although we may be unable to speak the same language, this does not prevent dogs from actively communicating with us. This can be done through their bodies, ear positions or barks, as well as other more subtle indicatons. Although we don't share the same vocabulary, it's possible to decipher various moods simply by observing them. There are a range of signals which let you know if your dog is angry, or if there is something else the matter.

Keep reading to find out how to know if your dog is angry and what you should do about it. Keep following AnimalWised to learn everything about the world of animals.

You may also be interested in: How to Train Your Schnauzer

Why do Dogs Get Angry?

To start a discussion about anger in dogs, we should first make it clear that dogs are animals which are capable of feeling various emotions. Conveying these emotions is part of a dialogue with their human counterparts. For example, dogs can interpret your mood and attitude through your tone of voice.

Just like you, a dog can get angry for various reasons: a lack of attention from its owners, pent-up stress or because you are trying to make it do something that it doesn't want to.

Aggressive behavior in dogs is often due to fear or some upsetting element during socialization.

How to Know if Your Dog is Angry - Why do Dogs Get Angry?

Signs of an Angry Dog

In order to work out when your dog is angry, all you need to do is watch closely and see how it acts. Here are some tell-tale signs so that you know when your dog is angry:

  • When it barks loudly in your direction, your dog is angry.
  • When the bark is sharp and short, the dog is trying to say something like "that's enough". The dog uses this type of bark to bring an end to a situation that displeases and annoys it. It might also use this type of bark when it needs to go outside immediately and can't wait any more.
  • A soft and constant growl doesn't only mean that the dog is angry, but it's also a warning for you to stop doing whatever it is that might be annoying it. When the frequency of a dog's bark increases and it shows its teeth, it's getting ready to fulfil its warning and attack.
  • When a dog howls repeatedly in a rising pitch, getting louder every time, it's trying to get your attention. If this happens, it is important not to ignore your dog as these howls could lead to other more aggressive manifestations of anger.
How to Know if Your Dog is Angry - Signs of an Angry Dog

Is Your Dog Aggressive?

There are many reasons why a dog might be aggressive, but the most important thing is that you realise this is not the behaviour of a healthy dog.

So what should you do about it? If your dog is scared, stressed or suffers from any other factor which causes aggression it's very important to go to a specialist, because the behaviour of the dog could worsen if you don't.

Ethologists and dog trainers are trained professionals who are equipped to guide you and help you to overcome any serious anger problem in dogs. In the same way that you would take your child to a psychologist if they had a problem, you should follow a similar procedure with your pet. This way you have a better chance of improving their quality of life and relationship with the surrounding environment.

How to Know if Your Dog is Angry - Is Your Dog Aggressive?

If you want to learn more about canine behaviour, check out these articles on How to Know What Your Dog is Saying and What Should I Do if My Dog is Afraid of People.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Know if Your Dog is Angry, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.

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