Dog Growls When Tired [Updated]

If your dog growls at you, it might be terrifying. Growling is generally associated with violence and biting, although it’s rare if treated appropriately. Growling indicates a problem, but not as most think. Do you ever wonder why your dog would growl when they are tired? Is this an indication of an aggressive nature?

The most likely cause of your dog’s growling when tired is “guarding behavior.” They don’t want to leave the comfortable location they’ve chosen, so they’ll growl at you if they think you’re about to relocate them from that spot. This helps them protect their territory.

dog growling when tired

Growling from a dog is annoying and scary for everyone. Growling is a common reaction from sleeping dogs when they are awakened from their sleep or prompted to get up and move. A sleepy or fatigued dog is instinct-driven, so handle with caution.

Dog Sleeps in Crate with Door Open – Is It Ok? Ultimate Guide

Why Do Some Dogs Growl When They Are Tired?

Growling is a common sign of guarding behavior in dogs since they don’t want the comfortable position they’ve chosen to be disturbed in any way. Crate training may be of great assistance in situations like this one. Choosing a big, comfy crate may make a great “bedroom” for your dog.

You should gradually introduce your dog to the crate, rewarding him with lots of good treats and praise. Keep the door open until he is at ease and willingly enters the container on his own.

Dogs like routine and comfort, so they may have a favorite sleeping area. If your dog is sleeping in the crate you choose, you won’t need to disturb or move him.

Reasons Dogs Growl When Tired

These are some of the common reasons your dog may growl when tired.

See also  What Is the C5 Vaccination for Dogs? [A Comprehensive Guide]

He Wants His Sleep

Dogs sleep a much. Puppies have an even greater sleep requirement than adult dogs, often between 18 and 20 hours a day. They require this amount of sleep because both their bodies and their minds are developing at a rapid pace. Not only does that growth require a significant amount of effort, but a good deal of it occurs when you are asleep.

growling dog when tired

Adult dogs will require less sleep than puppies, but you can still consider that a healthy adult dog will require around 12 to 14 hours of sleep each day. And if your dog is not getting enough sleep, he may become restless and even destructive if he does not receive enough sleep. 

Guarding Behavior

Guarding is a relatively prevalent problem for people who own dogs, and a dog’s tendency to guard can be increased when the dog is overtired.

Why does your dog show guarding behavior? Generally, it is the same as it sounds. Your dog is attempting to guard something that he does not want any other person or animal to approach or touch.

Your dog may have found an exceptionally cozy spot to lie down. If he believes you will attempt to relocate or remove him from his comfortable location, he may growl.

While growling is a normal method for your dog to transmit critical information to you, you should not promote guarding behavior. Guarding dogs might develop a reactive or violent disposition.


Consider the moment you first awoke from sleep. Do you have a clear thought process? You’re likely on autopilot while your brain wakes up. It’s the same with dogs.

When they are asleep, they rely on their highly developed instincts. These instincts protect them from danger when they sleep in the wild. If a potential threat wakes a sleeping dog, the dog will have no choice but to respond quickly. It won’t have the opportunity to reflect. The response must be instinctive. Due to instinct, a sleeping dog may growl if disturbed.

See also  The Cleanest Pets in the World


You could notice that your dog’s legs twitch while sleeping. Even if their eyes are closed, some dogs will still move their eyelids because they are exploring the environment in their dreams. Dogs, like people, sometimes produce sounds when they are sleeping. These sounds might range from whining and barking to growling. The sounds that your dog makes while they are dreaming can give you a good idea of the kind of dreams that they are having.

They are most likely going through a nightmarish experience if they are whimpering or growling. Many people, including scientists, think that dogs dream about the things they did during the day, but nobody knows for sure.


Like you, your dog is most relaxed while sleeping. When he’s exhausted and asleep, moving him will shock him. Growling is what you’ll hear most of the time.


Your dog may try to alert you by growling at you when anything is wrong. The fact that you’re transferring him may be making him feel uneasy.

Training him to go to his sleeping place when he’s sleepy can prevent this. This way, you won’t disturb him later.

Medical Conditions

If you aren’t feeling well and somebody touches you or attempts to move you, you could scream a little bit, especially if you’re in a lot of pain.

The situation is the same with canines. They can growl at you if you touch them while they are tired, asleep, or suffering from a medical condition.

How to Stop a Dog From Growling at You When Tired

A dog growling at you may make you feel very uneasy and potentially put your safety in danger.

See also  Are Lumabones Safe for Dogs? [Guide]

Growling shouldn’t be punished. If your dog doesn’t believe he may growl at you to convey his discomfort or unhappiness, he may proceed directly to more aggressive actions.

dog agressive when tired

Instead, you should investigate the cause of the issue. Your dog is growling because he’s overtired. Here are some things you can do to assist your dog:

Stay Calm and Recognize Boundaries

Maintaining your calm is required whenever your dog lets out a growl. Maintain a mild yet strong tone. You should give them some room, but you shouldn’t entirely avoid the area out of fear.

Make Sure He Gets Enough Sleep

Because he’s worn out, your dog is growling at you. Therefore, you should take steps to ensure that he is receiving an adequate amount of rest.

However, if you want your dog to be healthy and happy, one of the most crucial things you can do is ensure that he gets enough sleep.

Dog Panting & Restless? Understanding Hypervigilance In Dogs

Prevent Them From Getting Too Tired

If your dog only growls when exhausted, give them more rest. It’s possible that their exercise routine, mealtimes, or bedtimes need to be adjusted. They may require a period during the day during which they are not disturbed to get some rest. Remember that a dog might tire out without physical exertion. Dogs can become exhausted from mental and physical stimulation.