Why Does My Dog Growl When Tired 6 Reasons, 1 Solution

Why Does My Dog Growl When Tired? 6 Reasons 1 Solution

Last Updated: August 20, 2023

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Why Does My Dog Growl When Tired? 6 Reasons 1 Solution“.

Do you wonder why your dog growls when tired? Are you worried that hes being aggressive?

My dog was about 3 months old when I brought him home. He is a real joy to have around. Petting him regularly which is many times a day is my favorite thing to do!

Why Does My Dog Growl When Tired 6 Reasons, 1 Solution

However I did notice that he tends to growl when he is tired especially at night. The growl is not playful but it is low. 

I wondered if he would bite me or something because he sounded like he really meant business. I was shocked. “Hes really mean!” It scared me a little bit.

What does your pet do the same way? Do you find it worrying? Are you concerned that it is a warning? Alternatively you may simply be getting a message from your pet saying “Stay away from me.” Am I tired?

Find out why dogs growl when they are tired by reading on.

Do Dogs Get Cranky When Tired?

Even dogs have their off-days just like their human companions. Its inevitable that your pet will be grumpy or irritable from time to time.

This can be attributed to several factors such as boredom pain illness lack of exercise lack of attention heat humidity and yes even fatigue. If they are sleep-deprived or exhausted they may growl at you.

Does this seem normal or is it concerning? Its perfectly normal. Just as we said earlier dogs are just like us.

People get cranky when they are tired whether they are children or adults. Dogs also get cranky when they are exhausted.

It is in your best interest to allow your furry companion to get the rest he needs.

Why do dogs growl when they are tired?

Suppose you are trying to get some sleep but someone in your house keeps slamming the door behind them or maybe your family member starts asking questions. Naturally you become irritated.

Probably you would yell at them and say “Stop bothering me! ” or have these facial expressions. Leave me alone! Well dogs behave the same way. One way that they communicate is by growling.

In this case it would be best to leave your pup alone when hes pooped so that he can rest. Eventually this would result in aggression.

Dogs need different amounts of exercise depending on their age. When you’re dealing with a tiny puppy you can expect him to sleep a lot.

You should let your child sleep if he has been up for a few hours especially if he has played. The low growl he makes is an indication that he needs to rest. 

Six reasons dogs growl when moved or touched while sleeping?

Have you ever moved or touched your dog while he was sleeping? Have you ever heard him growl at you? There are several reasons why this happens.

It could be that he feels uncomfortable when you move him; he does not want to be disturbed or perhaps you startled him. There is also the possibility that he is ill.

You probably have experienced being growled at by your dog many times if you have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom get a glass of water or set your alarm clock and need to move him away from your face.

It might be too tired for him to be moved or disturbed.

Here are some of the reasons why your dog may growl when you touch him or move him when he is tired or sleeping:


In the same way that you are most relaxed when you are sleeping so is your dog. When he is tired and sleeping you would cause him to wake up if you moved him. This usually comes in the form of a growl.

Claiming Territory

When our dogs fall asleep on the couch the floor or our bed instead of their personal space we usually want to move them.

Although some pups are okay with this others may try to resist and growl. Their actions indicate that they are asserting their territory.


When something is wrong your dog may growl to let you know. You might be making him uncomfortable by moving him.

If you want to prevent this it is highly recommended that you train him to go to his sleeping area when he is tired. Afterward you will not have to disturb him.

Medical Conditions

When you are in pain and someone touches you or tries to move you you may moan a bit.

The same is true for dogs. It is common for them to growl at you when they are tired sleeping or have some medical conditions.


Overtired dogs may fall into a deep sleep and they may even be dreaming. This causes them to howl growl or make other noises especially when their dreams appear real to them.

If this is the case you should just let your pet sleep.

Super Tired

We become grumpy cranky or grouchy when we are tired. Your dog is no exception.

Their goal is to get as much rest as possible and when you disturb them they might growl at you to let you know they do not want to be disturbed.

What to Do When Your Dog Is Tired

It is a sign that your dog is tired when he yawns lies down or does not seem interested in playing.

What are your next steps? Allow him to sleep without interfering with his sleep cycle. Prior to going to sleep make sure he is in the right place.

In this way you would not have to worry about moving him later which would only make him cranky.

It is best not to disturb someone who is tired and in a deep sleep.

6 Other Reasons Why Dogs Growl

 What causes dogs to growl in the first place? Just like children dogs growl for various reasons. When they throw tantrums they growl one of the ways they do so.

Growing are a dogs method of communication. They can communicate one of the following:

They Are Having Fun

You have probably seen dogs of all sizes and breeds playing together if you have spent any time at the dog park. Youhave probably also heard the cute little growls they make. This is because they are enjoying themselves and having fun. You should not take this as a sign of aggression. Keep in mind that this is their way of verbally expressing their emotions. And of course when dogs play together they have fun.

They Are Pleased

It is also common for puppies to growl affectionately. For instance when they get treats or are petted. Typically this type of growl is low and the dogs body is relaxed.

They Are Giving a Warning

If you hear a deep rumbling growl thats another story. Its your puppy warning you. It occurs when a dog feels threatened or possessive especially when it feels like you are invading their personal space.

It is never a good idea to ignore warning growls because they are not meant to be aggressive. Take a closer look at what your dog is uncomfortable with. Otherwise he might become aggressive.

They Are Frustrated

Growing of frustration is often misinterpreted as aggression by pet owners. Truth be told this type of growling is very similar to aggressive growling. There is only one difference: the dog wants to be closer to whatever the object of its desire is whether it is a toy another dog or you as the parent. Growing of frustration has no malicious intent.

They Are Made

In contrast aggressive growling is accompanied by long and loud rumbles. Additionally you’ll notice that your dogs posture will change typically with lunging movements and raised hackles. If you look at this right here you can see that your pet is angry and might attack at any moment. You can also see the power in his growling.

They Are in Pain

When dogs are in pain they tend to be more vocal. The yelping snarling howling or growling may occur. When this occurs you know that something is wrong.


When dogs growl they are expressing themselves. Their growl may get a little louder when they’re tired especially if they’re being disturbed. It is therefore important for pet owners to be considerate of their pets’ sleep needs. Provide him with a comfortable sleeping environment.

Growing from dogs is natural when they are tired. You must also pay attention to ensure that this really is the reason and not something else.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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