why does my dog huff at me

Why Does My Dog Huff At Me?

Hounds display specific behaviors that make us curious or even anxious sometimes.

Why do they unreasonably hate your neighbor’s children, run in loops pursuing their tails, and eat their poop?

Why do they make pungent noises that resemble a sick goose? You might be speculating why does my dog huff at me?

They can make a huffing or puffing sound due to nasal mites, allergies, breathing problems, workout intolerance, or they perhaps ate or drank faster.

It is also one of their ways to communicate with us, to show their happiness, excitement, stress, fear, uncertainty, and disappointment.

If you see your furry baby huffing frequently, you must bring him to the vet to investigate any potential core causes.

Fortunately, canine huffing is often harmless and most of the time, it does not require any medical intervention.

This condition most commonly occurs in dog breeds that have short snouts and flat faces such as Pugs, Shih Tzu, etc.

In this guide, we will explain in detail why do dogs huff when they lay down, what are the potential causes of huffing in mutts, how to treat this behavior, and much more.

What Is Dog Huffing?

Huffing, reserve sneezing or inspiratory paroxysmal respiration is an unexpected, rapid, and alarming forceful inhalation of air through the nostrils.

It triggers them to produce recurrent snorting sounds, which may give the impression like they are choking. It noises like they are trying to inhale a sneeze.

Sometimes, it is a long noise and filled with saliva. Their lips may fold as the air comes out of their mouth, and they perhaps drip some saliva on the ground in front of them.

A muscle spasm at the back of the canine’s mouth causes this problem. Huffing typically lasts for a few seconds.

It constricts the trachea opening, making it challenging for them to inhale. When they huff, they normally stand stagnant with their front legs and neck stretched.

Their belly and chest also move in and out quickly. It may also sound like your four-legged friend exhaling backward or a honking cough.

They huff for a variety of reasons. To determine why does my dog huff at me when playing, you will have to observe the environment around you and what you and your little one are doing at any given time.

To conclude, you will also have to take into account his unique personality.

Why Does My Dog Huff At Me?

He may be trying to get rid of an irritant or allergen that he cannot remove with a regular cough or sneeze.

Maybe the irritant is too far down, somewhere in his throat right beyond his nose. The allergens or irritants can come from numerous things.

Too much physical activity or excitement can also make him huff.

It could also be an underlying health problem that would require the assistance of a vet to locate. These problems include nasal mites, allergies, or Brachycephalic Syndrome.

If you tug on his chain during the walk, it could put pressure on his throat and cause huffing. Furthermore, if they eat or drink too fast, they could huff.

Sometimes, they huff to display happiness. If he just came back from a walk, he might feel tired.

He will lie down on his abdomen, put his head on his paws, release a relaxing huff, and then go to sleep. This sort of huffing is done with closed eyes.  

When a dog huffs and begins to sound like a bark, it means he is becoming aggressive about something.

For example, he may start making huffing noises when you try to get him to sit still for nail cutting or in the bath.

Separation stress can also make them huff. It stems from an inaudible huff followed by a long whine.

He may walk around restless or sit near the door. If the stress intensifies, he may chew his paws or pee on items in your house.

Which Dog Breeds Are Susceptible To Huffing?

As we mentioned earlier, the extended soft palate is the major cause of huffing.

Unfortunately, some canine breeds are more predisposed to this because they are born brachycephalic.

The hounds with flat faces and short noses such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Boxers will sometimes suck the extended palate into their throat as they breathe in.

Other tiny mutts, including Yorkies and Beagles, are also disposed to huffing because of their face’s structure.  

why does my dog huff at me

What Should You Do To Inhibit Your Pooch From Huffing?

If your beloved doggie huffs, it is normal to feel worried.

You may mistake it for coughing, but you must know that huffing typically does not need any medical treatment.

It is a benign behavior in your precious one and also, it occurs infrequently.

If he has never huffed before, visit the vet to confirm he is huffing and there is nothing hazardous such as wheezing.

If huffing becomes severe and repetitive, take him to the vet to find out the underlying cause.

The vet will perform chest X-rays and rhinoscopy, where the camera is implanted into the nasal cavity and throat to look for any deformities.

You can cover his nose to elicit him to swallow for a little huffing. It will aid in the removal of irritants that caused huffing.

Otherwise, massage his throat to help eliminate the irritant or relieve discomfort in the region.

If you think he has reverse sneezing because of airborne allergens such as scent or cleaning spray, then you should keep these products away from him.

Be attentive when he begins to huff. Does he huff when you smoke near him or after you light a candle? Were you spraying an air freshener or using cleaning items?

If this is the scenario, try to utilize a fragrance remover to lessen the space’s irritant presence.

While picking an odor eliminator, make sure it is safe to use around kids and pets.

If you feel like climate-related aspects initiate the huffing, place a heater or humidifier in his area.

If Your Dog Huffs When Lying Down, Don’t Panic

Huffing is a disturbing occurrence in which canines make alarming breathing noises, like a honking sound.

It is most commonly instigated by palate or nasopharyngeal irritation and it causes spasms in pharynx muscles which lasts only for a few moments.

If your hound begins to huff or reverse sneezing while lying down, there is no need to fear or be anxious.

You can prevent spasms by closing their nose for a few seconds until they swallow it or massaging their throat.

Most often, it is activated by allergic reactions or external objects in the nasal cavity.

Therefore, you should not spray scent or smoke near them.

Also, try to use pet-friendly cleaning items to inhibit huffing due to irritation from allergies or irritants.  

why does my dog huff at me
Why Does My Dog Huff At Me?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Do Canines Breathe Out Loudly?

They normally breathe out loudly when they are exhausted or when they are extremely hot. However, when you play with them, they might get over-excited and exhale loudly.

2. Do Hounds Huff When Upset?

Yes, they growl when they are annoyed and don’t acquire their way. Some pooches are quick to huff, while others reserve it for times when they are extremely frustrated.  

3. How Can I Determine If My Dog Is Mad At Me?

He might be mad at you if he shows these signs:
Ignoring you
Peeing on the things in the house
Pawing at you
Hiding under the couch, sofa, or any other place

4. What Does It Mean When A Dog Growls?

They growl when they are feeling intimidated, defensive, or scared. Some hounds growl while playing. You can effortlessly distinguish happy scoffs from scared scoffs because of their body language, which will be loose and non-hazardous.

5. Why Does A Dog Huff In His Sleep?

When they huff in their sleep, they are probably dreaming. Science recommends that dogs’ brains go through identical phases of electrical movement while sleeping as human brains.


So, now you know why does my dog huff at me? They huff to express their excitement, contentment, fear, stress, uncertainty, disappointment, or to communicate with us. 

If they huff, don’t take it personally and give them the attention and love they desire. However, if they huff more often, take them to the vet.

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