Cavapoos are considered friendly and loving lap dogs, so it can surprise many owners when they start growling at them.
There’s often a good reason for a Cavapoo’s growls, and it is important that you get to the bottom of the cause so that you can fix it.
Cavapoos might growl due to illnesses, being territorial around their food, past neglect, imminent threats, and hormonal imbalances.
Cavapoos aren’t usually aggressive dogs, so growling could be a warning sign of something not right.
Let’s take a look into the potential reasons for their growling and how you can remedy it as soon as possible.
Are Cavapoos Aggressive Dogs?
If your Cavapoo is growling at you, you might be worried that you misunderstood everyone telling you how kind-natured this dog breed was. Don’t worry, though – they’re normally very friendly.
A Cavapoo is a mixed breed between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle. Both of these breeds are fun-loving and full of energy.
Poodles tend to be a little more protective and territorial of their owners, but they’re not aggressive.
Likewise, Cavaliers enjoy a good bark every now and then, but they’re not considered aggressive.
Cavapoos are likely to inherit these traits from their parent breeds, making them loud and protective but not aggressive. They are loyal and eager to please, for the most part.
Potential Reasons For Your Cavapoo Growling At You
Now that we know it’s not normal behavior for Cavapoos to growl, let’s dive into the possible reasons for this behavior.
1. Illness Or Pain
Pain or illness is never fun for anyone, but especially for beings that cannot tell others what’s wrong.
Imagine not being able to tell your loved ones that you had a stomach ache and wanted to be left alone. Cavapoos have to deal with this situation.
Pain and illness put unnatural distress on dogs, which can lead to them being irritated or territorial.
Dogs are hardwired to believe that pain means weakness, and wild dogs used to hide away from everything when sick so that predators couldn’t get them.
Domestic dogs tend to hide away when they’re in pain for this same reason.
However, when you come looking for them and start touching them or talking to them, they might growl to tell you to go away.
You wouldn’t want someone touching your stomach when you’re in pain either!
If you think that your dog is in pain, consult a vet for the best advice and quickest treatment. The growling should stop as soon as your Cavapoo feels better.
2. Territorial Over Food Or Toys
Cavapoos are loyal dogs and they often inherit the protective trait from their Poodle parent.
However, they might not only be territorial over you. They could also be protective over their food or toys and growl at whoever tries to touch them.
Many dogs suffer from food aggression, and Cavapoos will very rarely bite. They’re more likely to snarl or snap their teeth, but they won’t try to hurt you.
They also might growl if they think you haven’t given them enough food or think that you have their toys.
You can train this type of behavior by feeding them regularly and giving them the right portion sizes. Make sure that you never try to touch their bowl before they’re finished, either.
Once they realize that you’re not a threat to their food or toys, the growling should subside.
If the growling is just an occasional issue, they’re probably just hungry. We’re sure we can all agree that we tend to snap when we’re hungry!
3. Past Neglect
Dogs are loving creatures – especially Cavapoos who are known for being loyal lap dogs. If your dog has been adopted or came from another family before you, their growling might be down to past abuse.
Justifiably, dogs can become wary of humans once they have been neglected. It takes a lot for this trust to repair itself.
Even though you’re not the one who has delivered the neglect, your Cavapoo might still be cautious of you as their new owner.
If your Cavapoo is growling due to past neglect, the most important thing to do is give them time and patience.
Don’t respond negatively to their growling as this will solidify their distrust. Instead, give them plenty of time to adjust.
Offer love and affection, but give them space when they growl. The growl might be a warning sign to leave them alone before they get aggressive.
There are plenty of training courses that can help dogs who have gone through abuse previously, so look into these to make sure you’re capable of treating them properly.
4. Hormonal Imbalances
Pets are not exempt from hormones, and therefore experience imbalances just like humans do. These imbalances can cause irritation and short tempers, which can then lead to growling.
Female Cavapoos who have to deal with their menstrual cycle will growl more often due to the changes in hormones.
You cannot do anything to help these imbalances – you just have to ride the wave and wait for them to settle on their own.
Avoid contact with your dog while they’re dealing with these issues as this could lead to snapping.
Spaying or neutering your dog could help balance their hormones out so that they don’t have to deal with the routine aggression that comes with them.
Other Remedies For Growling In Cavapoos
If none of the above reasons are behind your dog’s growling, you might just have a territorial dog on your hands. Here are a few things you can do to combat this behavior:
1. Mental Stimulation
Cavapoos are highly intelligent animals and therefore need constant stimulation to prevent them from getting bored.
Boredom is a common cause of destructive behavior and aggression, so you need to prevent it as much as possible.
To do this, use mentally challenging dog toys and treat cages. Keep training them to understand more commands, too, as this is a great source of stimulation.
2. Plenty Of Play
Again, we don’t want your Cavapoo to get bored. If your dog has lots of energy to burn but nowhere to expel it, it might turn into bad behavior.
Make sure you exhaust them throughout the day – we don’t want them relaxing throughout the day too much, as that is what nighttime is for.
3. Use Positive Reinforcement
Offering treats for anytime your Cavapoo shows good behavior is a great way to explain to them that positive behavior is rewarded while negative behavior isn’t.
It’s much easier to train your dog to know that good behaviors are rewarded instead of punishing them for bad behaviors.
Lots of dogs respond badly to negative reinforcement, which might spur on the growling.
There are many possible reasons why your Cavapoo is growling, such as hormonal imbalances and pain. Luckily, there are also plenty of ways to fix the issue and therefore stop the growling.
If you’re concerned about your Cavapoo’s sudden change in temperament, it doesn’t hurt to consult with a vet.
It’s better to be safe than sorry and you might get answers and, therefore remedies quicker.
Getting to the root of the problem is vital as every reason for growling requires a different remedy. Good luck!
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