Why Is My Dog Growling At Nothing?

It can be worrying for you to see your dog growling at nothing for no apparent reason.
If only you could read your pet’s mind to know what’s bothering him!

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Why do dogs growl at nothing? Dogs growl at nothing because they have an acute sense of smell and an excellent hearing ability. Therefore they can sense things that escape our human senses. What may seem like nothing to you could be a rat in the wall or an animal outside the house that only your dog can sense.

Here are some possible reasons why dogs might growl out of the blue.

Cognitive Dysfunction or Canine Dementia

Certain health problems can cause your canine companion to stare at a wall or at other objects and start growling. Cognitive dysfunction can be one of those problems, it’s like when humans get the Alzheimer’s disease.

Observe if your pup is sleeping more during the day, has become antisocial, experiences shaking, is lethargic, has difficulty navigating doorways, paces or wanders aimlessly and has major behavioral changes. All these are indicators of cognitive dysfunction or canine dementia.

Poor Eyesight

This could be a reason especially if your four-legged friend is getting on in years. Poor eyesight may cause him to see objects or shadows differently that he can feel threatened by.

Another Animal

Your pup can hear and smell other animals in the house before you can. Like a rat in the wall for example.

Observe whether your canine companion is acting weird at a specific place or if he just does it out of nowhere.

The former may be due to another animal present that he can sense while the latter is most likely because of a health issue.

Better Senses

The most obvious reason is that animals have a superior sense of smell and hearing.
They can see better in the dark too. Sometimes, even small movements can be detected by a doggy radar.

You just can’t see what they can, hear as well as they can or smell as well as animals can either.

They can sense a wild animal out in the yard or a guest approaching the door which you may never even see but your pup knows it’s there.

Something Supernatural?

While we believe what we can logically prove, it’s a common belief that our four-legged friends can sense ghosts or see the supernatural.

So, you decide whether your veterinarian’s diagnosis is right or if your pup’s sixth sense is not too happy about an unwelcome guest in the house!

gleeful pooch

What to Do if My Dog Keeps Growling at Nothing?

First, consider taking this as useful information rather than a bad behavior.

A dog growl is it’s way of reaching out to you.

Something is obviously bothering him, and he is choosing to communicate this to you.

You should try to figure out the reason behind this behavior as opposed to just punishing him.

Here are a few ways you can deal with the issue:

Don’t Test Your canine companion’s Patience

If your pup is upset with something that you or someone else is doing, make it stop at once. Don’t push your pooch over his tolerance threshold.

Often the growl is a warning that your pet is reaching his bite threshold. Therefore it’s better to leave him alone until he relaxes.

Observe Why Your Furry Friend is Upset

Analyze what may have upset your canine buddy. Is he bothered because he senses another animal or when you take something away from him?

When you know the cause of this behavior you can deal with it better.

Provide Necessary Medication

If these sounds have been found out to be due to a health condition, get your pet the medical help he needs.

Get Your Pet into a Training Program

Sometimes the aggressive behavior cannot be dealt with on your own, which is why you can stop your dog from being annoying by engaging him in a training program that makes him calmer with training exercises.

Reduce Stressors

Stress and fear can cause aggression in your pooch. Observe what bothers your pet in your environment and surroundings then try to remove those items to reduce his stress triggers.


What About A Dog Barking At Nothing?

You love your dog, you really do. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be annoying at times. Like when he starts barking and growling for no reason.

And like a crying child, a constantly barking dog can try the patience of a saint. But, unlike a child, a dog may be harder to quiet.

If you’re wondering : why does my dog bark and growl at nothing? than you should consider the following.

First, you must understand that barking is a natural function in the canine world. It’s the way they speak to one another, and to us.

A major problem occurs when we simply don’t understand the language. A child, no matter how young, can usually express their meaning in a few simple words. This is not the case with our canine companions.

So, in order to understand how to deal with the problem, we must first investigate the underlying causes of the behavior.

You can figure out which may be the case with these reasons.

Territorial Barking

A dog will make a noise when it is behaving in a territorial or possessive manner.

This is usually a shorter, higher pitched sound. Something may have alarmed him, which will lead to a defensive series of loud, fast barks.

The answer may be as simple as the fact that your pup thinks you are encroaching on his territory. He could be fighting a territorial war that you didn’t even know existed.

bordem & Anxiety

If your pet is simply bored or anxious, he may emit a series of monotonous and repetitive sounds. These type of voices are frequently seen in dogs who express separation anxiety.

Frustration & Fear

Your pup can be frustrated with something that is making him bark. For example to warn a nearby animal to stay away, territorial bark or to tell you about something that your senses are not strong enough to detect.

Maybe he’s afraid for some unknown reason, and is trying to warn you of the imagined threat.


This can be rather easy to understand as your pooch will be barking while looking at you. Pay attention to what may be the cause of this. Maybe he is trying to warn you about a danger. Like you left your toaster on in the kitchen and forgot, your furry friend can pick up the slightest burning smell and warn you before an electrical short circuit starts a fire.

Odds are he simply wants you to play rather than relax, and barking is his primary way of getting your attention.

Social Barking

You may not be able to see another dog nearby but your furry friend has superior senses.

Your pet may be greeting a friend passing by with a bark. If your house has a backyard or a porch that leads to a trail or road where other animals walk and play. Your pooch can be able to pick up familiar scents and communicate with his friends with a bark.

A dog barks also when he wants to greet someone, or is trying to engage them in play. He may even do it to attract your attention.

Wild Animals

Dogs are very territorial and have an amazing hearing ability. They can sense wild animals lurking around the house and rats or squirrels living inside the house walls. If you find your pooch barking at the wall, maybe he can sense a mice inside.

Health Problems

Behavioral changes can also be caused by health conditions. Even if your pup was calm before, he can start he can start acting differently out of nowhere because he is in pain.

But, no matter what the cause, before this behavior gets out of control, requiring the purchase of multiple pairs of ear plugs and the fielding of several noise complaint calls from the neighbors, you will find it necessary to deal with the problem.

And, unless you plan on becoming fluent in canine dialect, you must learn to understand his signals and how to read and control them.

What To Do When Your Dog Barks At Nothing?

So, what to do when your pup just can’t get enough with his unexplained barking?

The methods are as complicated as the reasons behind the behavior in the first place. But, no matter what the reason for the barks, there are a few things that are common to all types of training.

General Guidelines

First, never yell. This will give the wrong idea to your four legged friend. He will assume you are interacting with him vocally, and will continue the conversation with more and more doggy voices .

Second, remain positive and upbeat. Dogs can pick up on your mood and act accordingly.

And lastly, BE CONSISTENT. Not only you, but every human in the family must follow the same training method.

You can’t let your pet get away with inappropriate misconduct on one occasion, but hold him to a higher standard the next time. This will only confuse him and undermine any progress you have made.

Now, it’s time to address his motivation.

If your canine companion tends to make a fuss about those he sees as intruders, such as passersby on the street, simply remove him from an area where he has a view of that street. Or simply close your curtains.

If the behavior occurs when he is in the yard, bring him inside. And remember, your pup should never be left unattended all day in the yard. This can add to his insecurity and territoriality, and bring on neighborhood complaints as well.

If your canine companion is one of those needy creatures, you must be careful not to reward him. Let him bark. He will eventually stop, if only to catch his breath. Once he does, immediately reward him with a cuddle and perhaps a little play time.

If you allow him the negative attention of speaking harshly to him, it will simply reinforce the notion that his disturbance has been successful.

But for this method to be successful, you must have patience. Remember, you must ignore your canine companion until he stops. And that could be quite some time.

But if you lose your patience and try to shush him after a period of time, odds are the next time he will carry on even longer, You simply must show who has more willpower and stamina – and that must always be you to complete a successful training session.

If your dog barks around other animals, you should start a training regimen that involves introducing him to other pets .

Invite a friend to bring their dog over. As soon as the intruding animal comes into view, start giving yours treats and positive attention. Continue this until the other pet leaves.

This may take a number of introductions and visits, but eventually your canine companion will cease making sounds at the intruder.

It may seem counter intuitive to train your pup not to make loud sounds by teaching him to bark on command, but it works. Simply by using the word SPEAK, and rewarding him with a treat when he complies, you can achieve amazing results.

Once he has mastered this behavior, teach him the QUIET command. As your pup is barking, hold a treat in front of his nose and stay QUIET. Once he stops to sniff the thing, give it to him as a reward for complying.

Practice using the new command in increasingly trying situations until it becomes natural for your pet to comply.

This command can be used in virtually all situations.

Your pet goes crazy at the doorbell? QUIET! Does he bark when you sit down? QUIET! This one learned behavior can solve a multitude of problems.

Another way to deal with the issue, especially in a well trained dogs, is to distract them with another incompatible behavior that they have been trained for; barking and whining too much? Toss him a toy and tell him to go lie down. Don’t let him until he sits . A well trained animal will comply.

Another basic thing to remember is that a tired animal is a quiet one. Make sure your furry friend gets enough exercise. And never allow the unwanted behavior to go on for an extended period of time, as it will only become ingrained and more difficult, or impossible, to rectify.

Keep in mind that there are some physical reasons why your four legged friend makes a noise too much. He could be in pain from anything from a bee sting to arthritis.

He could be suffering from a form of canine senility. If the behavior develops suddenly and your pet has proven resistant to training, a visit to the vet may be in order.

And there are other ways to train your pet not to be quiet. Some people will employ an anti-bark collar, which delivers a small jolt to your furry friend. Some will even employ a muzzle.

Other methods to Prevent A Dog From Barking

Dogs communicate through barks and growls. You must firstly learn to tell the difference between a friendly bark and an unexplained bark.

If your pup is apparently barking for no apparent reason, here are a few ways you can deal with it.

White Noise

If your pooch starts barking at night, maybe he can hear faint noises that are bothering him. These sounds are not really a problem during the day as various familiar sounds in a home tune them out but at night your pet’s superior hearing ability catches it all.

White noise is the best way to deal with the issue of your dog barking sounds at night. Just turn on a fan at a low setting that will faint out these sounds and help everyone sleep peacefully.

This practical solution can be quite beneficial when you have a dog growling at nothing at night.

Increase Exercise

Pups that are frustrated and anxious by nature tend to get triggered easily. You can rectify this behavior by making your furry friend do calming exercises that stimulate his mind.It does not mean you have to sit your pooch down and play chess with him. Just take him out for a quick walk or a short play session every day which can reduce barking significantly.

Ignore Attention Barking 

Sometimes dogs bark when they are bored, hungry or just for the sake of your attention. Just like dealing with kids, such behavior should not be encouraged.

You can deal with it by not looking your pooch directly in the eye and ignore attention barking until he stops. Also it is better to ignore than punishing or scolding him.


Despite what horror movies have taught you.

Next time, if your dog is randomly growling at nothing, don’t be alarmed. It doesn’t mean that there is a ghost lurking around in your house. So rather than looking for a new house, figure out the reason behind your pup’s aggressive behavior.

A dog behavior is somewhat logical. It’s full of ways of communications. Your fearful dog is telling you that all is not well in his doggy world.

Or it is simply the fact that your furry friend has more advanced senses than humans do and he is seeing, hearing or smelling something that you cannot which is causing the discomfort.

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