Do Dogs Purr? Dog Purring Growl

Purring is not something dogs do; if you hear a sound like that from your dog, then it might be a soft growl. Dogs only make that sound when they feel extreme emotions like excitement, anxiety, and even sadness. There are many reasons dogs make this sound that’s peculiar to the feline family.

There’s a difference between the timing cats purr and dogs release their soft growl. Usually, cats only purr when satisfied, but in dogs, the reverse is the case. Even though dogs only softly growl, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re adorable when they do it. Here, the reasons why dogs make that sound will be shared.


Excitement is one of the reasons that a dog–especially a puppy, would make that purring sound, and dog lovers and owners would agree that it’s a heartwarming sound to hear. Five reasons why your pups would make such a sound when excited are below.


Dogs love their playtime; their playtime is as essential as food. They jump around with excitement, wagging their tail and making the purr-like sounds when you get them a new plaything. Dogs make the purring sound when they play catch with you and their plaything. Having other dogs can be cool, although at first, your dog might feel irritated, that doesn’t change the excitement that overflows when it gets to play with the other dog; they even growl together.

Food Time

Food time is the most exciting time for dogs. It’s normal for dogs to growl when you’re putting it’s right in softly. It’s a doggy bowl. Dogs love food, and it is important you feed your dog very well, so they don’t whine.

However, if your dog begins to whimper while you eat or begs you during mealtime with your family, this is not a habit to encourage. To ensure you avoid this whimpering when the family eats, ensure you don’t feed your dog when at the table. This may seem like a difficult thing to do, but the benefits in the long-run will be worth it. 

Some owners place the dogs in a crate when they are old anytime they want to have supper. This is a stress-free method of preventing begging by the table. 


We love when our loved ones come home, don’t we? So do dogs; they get excited when their owner returns home. The excitement will make them give that sound that seems like purring but isn’t.


Despite being domesticated, a dog’s instinct of hunting other smaller animals might set in. This makes them excited. The pups, whenever they go out backyard hunting, might make this sound. However, it’s your duty as its owner to protect it from itself–that is, from being wild.

Triggering Words

Dogs are smart animals; due to this, they can quickly associate some words to action, especially when the words are used often. Words like “catch” used when telling a dog to fetch a toy can be extremely exciting for it. Also, words like a treat, sit, or even its name can make the dog excited.


Something else that can make your dog softly growl or make the sound similar to purring is sadness. Although the sound isn’t exactly a soft growl when the dog is sad, it’s more of whimpering the dog does. Somethings that can make a dog sad are;

  • Being Left out: Always leashing your dog outside so it doesn’t come in can make it make whimpering sounds because it’s discontented that it is being left out from all the fun going on inside the house. Also, locking your dog inside while the whole family is outdoors chilling would make the dog sad.
  • Toilet Time: When your dog is being caged over a long period, without being taken out to use the toilet, it will make your doggy sad. Hence, it’ll whimper to show you its displeasure.

Delayed Meals

Dogs make the whimpering sound as a reminder sometimes, for you to feed them when you forgot to.

Water Break

When a dog’s water bowl is empty or dirty, it will whimper to tell that it needs water or you to clean up its bowl. It shouldn’t be ignored because dogs need water too, and when its bowl is dirty, it can lead to some sicknesses you wouldn’t want to spend money in the vet clinic for.


The third reason that can make your dog whimper is anxiousness and fear. A dog will whimper in fear and anxiety due to the following reasons;

Unfamiliar People

When your dog is left with people they are not familiar with, they often make whimpering sounds. The kind of whimpering sound depends on the kind of pitch. If it is a high-pitched sound, it is because they want to play with that person. If it’s a low whimpering sound, it’s more likely that they are scared, anxious, and uncomfortable with the person’s presence.

Weird Noises

If there’s a sudden change of routine in your neighborhood and there’s a sudden constant loud, weird noise, it would make your dog anxious because it doesn’t know what is going on.


Similar to weird noises, dogs are also afraid of thunderstorms. Humans might see thunderstorms as a time to Netflix and chill, but there is no chilling for the dog during thunderstorms. Its anxiousness rises, and it’s usually restless because of the loud unexplainable sound the thunderstorm makes.


Gunshots are also loud scary sounds to dogs who are not familiar with continually hearing them. Hence, the season of hunting can bring lots of anxiety to a dog.


Fireworks can be loud and uncomfortable. Celebrations like new year or New Year’s Eve with lots of fireworks can cause a dog to be afraid.


Being detached from your dog can cause lots of anxiousness. Like us humans, our dogs also need us to be there with it all the time; being away from it causes sadness.

Handling Anxiousness

It’s pretty easy, too, with a dog; there isn’t much to do. You are getting your dog acquainted with people, nature and keeping it close to you at times when you are at home. When you aren’t available, putting up sounds it can listen to can also be quite helpful.

Other things to do include:

  • It is impossible to avoid strange sounds around you. However, there are times it’s best to take your dog back to the country where there is calm so it can rejuvenate. 
  • Dealing with storms isn’t exactly easy, as thunder can affect the entire house. The best way to provide comfort for your dog during this period is to embrace him. 
  • Give your dog some calming gummies. These tend to work wonders in a dog. 

Other Dog Sound and their Meanings

  • Barking: This is the sound we commonly know, and dogs do it for various reasons. It could be due to fear, demand, suspicion, pleasure, or a way to alert you. There are different forms of dog barks, and learning to differentiate between each one is a great way to understand what your dog is feeling at any given point. 
  • Baying: This is an extended and deep-throated bark. It is common when your dog is chasing prey or when it comes across an intruder. Scent hounds are known for these baying noises. 
  • Growling: In most cases, this is a sign that the dog may attack if you continue doing what you are doing. Instead of becoming angry as to why your dog is growling at you, find out the root cause of the problem and provide a solution. Sometimes, growling indicates happiness. When dogs play with each other, they tend to growl in joy. There are also dogs that have been known to growl in pleasure when you pet or play with them. If you notice there is no stressor around the dog, then this is a great sign that you should keep doing what you are doing. 
  • Howling: This is often caused by a sound with a high-pitch. One notorious trigger of this sound is sirens. Other times, dogs may howl as a way of communication with one another. Others may do it when they are sad or alone. 
  • Whining: Dogs produce this sound without opening their mouths. Instead, it comes from their nostrils. This sound has a high-pitch, and a dog does it when it is frustrating, wants to play, is separated from someone he loves, or craving attention. Typically when a dog whines, it is a sign that its level of stress has escalated beyond normal levels. 

Wrap up 

Dogs aren’t cats, so they don’t purr. They would only whimper or growl softly. The reason why they would do this isn’t usually far-fetched; that’s why they are friends of man because they are easy to understand.

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