Why Is My Dog Growling at My Feet?

Why Is My Dog Growling at My Feet

It’s believed that dogs naturally growl at every opportunity they see, especially if strangers are threatening them or they are exercising their dominion over something.

But isn’t it strange if a dog is growling at his owner’s feet? There are some conditions or factors that could force your dog to growl at your feet.

So, what are the reasons for this behavior? It is possible that your dog mistook your feet for incoming danger. He is displaying his prey alertness; Your dog is preventing the reoccurrence of an unfortunate incident. He might be exercising dominion over your feet, or it could be that you are withdrawing your feet while he enjoys playing with them.

Having mentioned the possible reasons why your dog might feel like growling at your feet, it is essential you know how to react and what to do to prevent him from continuing the behavior. All these will be discussed extensively in this post.

Why does my dog growl at my feet

dog growls when playing

1. He mistook your feet for an incoming danger

Your canine companion is known for his smart and active way of detecting danger or incoming threats. Your dog will surely growl at your feet as soon as he hears any unusual sound coming off your feet.

Having mentioned the possible reasons why your dog might feel like growling at your feet, it is essential you know how to react and what to do to prevent him from continuing the behavior. All these will be discussed extensively in this post.

2. He is displaying his sharp instinct to detect the presence of prey.

dog growls when playing

This reason is almost the same as the first one, but there’s a slight difference between them. If your dog could growl at your feet, it means he is actively ready to bring down any incoming prey.

Growling at your feet is just another way deployed by your dog to tell you that “I haven’t forgotten my mission to protect you because my prey discovery instinct is very much active.”

I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do to help if your dog growls at your feet as a result of this condition. This is because it’s everyone’s joy to see that his or her dog is ready and willing to protect the family against intruders or harmful strangers.

3. He is preventing reoccurrence of bad or ugly Incidents

You might have unknowingly stepped on your dog in the past which caused him so much pain. He is most likely to growl at every sight of your feet as he is telling you to “watch me” or “be careful with the way you walk around the house.”

This reason is mostly seen with puppies that are not too visible and can easily be stepped on.

Try to calm his nerves and help him know that the previous Incident won’t repeat itself. Cuddle him when necessary and give him the chance to play with your feet.

4. He is playing with your feet.

Your dog is prone to growl at your feet if he is deeply involved in playing with them. Considering the playful attitude common to all healthy dogs, your pooch is expected to growl at your feet while playing with them, especially if you are taking them away from him.

You should prevent your dog from having constant contact with your leg if he gets to a point where he quickly growls at your feet whenever you are about to take your leg from him.

However, you can still allow him to spend little time – probably twice a week – with your feet unless he growls aggressively.

Also Related: Why Does My Dog Smell My Breath? (3 Reasons)

5. He is bossy over your feet.

The fact that your dog often plays with your feet could make him feel like he has total control over them. And once he develops this mentality, he will surely growl at your feet whenever you are not ready to release them to him.

This is his way of letting you know that he has every right to play with your feet at his convenient period.

At this junction, you are expected to stop him entirely from touching your feet as he could nip your feet aggressively, which will undoubtedly lead to fatal injury. Get him toys or other playing materials instead of giving him your feet.

6. You are probably new to your dog

Your new dog has a high rate of growling at your feet if he is yet to get used to you as his boss or owner. Your puppy or new dog requires a considerable length of time to know you as his new ‘family member’; hence, you should expect him to growl at your feet during his acclimatization period.

Help in increasing his acclimatization process by staying at home with him, taking him out for a road walk or exercise, providing him with a quality bed, and giving him sweet treats or meals.

You can visit here for more clues on how to help your dog get used to his new home in no time.

7. You aim at kicking his food or treats away.

You are literally ‘looking for trouble’ if you aim at kicking your dog’s food away while he is eating it. Your friendly canine will surely growl as soon as he notices that your leg or feet are getting closer to his meal.

He growls to warn you to “keep off” or “maintain your boundary” because he doesn’t joke with his precious meal.

It would be best if you tried not to interrupt or disturb your dog whenever he is battling with his delicious meal. Meanwhile, you can find another way of stopping him from finishing his food if there is an urgent need for such a decision.

8. You applauded him when he first growled at your feet.

You applauded him when he first growled at your feet

Another reason why your dog continues to growl at your feet could be traced to the fact that you applauded him when he first displayed such behavior.

It is either you kissed him, cuddled him, or stared at him when he first growled at your feet.

Try not to give him your attention whenever he growls at your feet. Instead, train him on how to dump the habit. You can consult your vet for more options.


The one joy in having a pet is that you have someone to play and communicate with. When it comes to dogs, there is nothing compared to having an active and playful pooch who knows when to play and when to serve as a security guard.

Therefore, you are advised to take complete care of your Fido to help him maintain quality health and impressive overall performance.

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