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I agree with not scolding the growl. Growling has such a bad rap. But, really, it's the only way a dog has to communicate with you. If you scold or punish the growl, they may learn NOT to growl, so the next step to communicate would be nipping/biting.

Also, there are reasons in which you would WANT a growl. Dogs will growl if they are injured. My girl, Abby, had a scratch under her leg (arm pit area). It was in an area not easily seen. When we were giving her some evening cuddles before bed, she growled when we touched that spot, thereby alerting us that we hurt her when we pet her.
Also, dogs will growl when they don't feel well, or when someone gets too close to them or does something they aren't comfortable with.
All those things can be helpful.

Really, it's not a negative thing. What you do want to do is stop the NEED for growling, instead of stopping the growling.
 
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