Have you ever wondered if dogs can purr like cats? This question has puzzled many pet owners. To shed light on this topic, I delved into the insights of Dr. Bonnie Beaver, DVM, who wrote a lot about the different sounds dogs make to communicate in her book, Canine Behavior Insights.

So, let’s see what Dr. Beaver has to say about the sounds dogs make and whether any of them resemble purring.

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  1. Do Dogs Purr
  2. Why Does My Dog Purr
  3. Dog Breeds That Purr
  4. FAQs
  5. Conclusion

Do Dogs Purr

The short answer is no, dogs do not purr like cats. Research shows that cats have a special physical adaptation in their larynx, with extra pads of fatty tissue on their vocal cords that allow them to vibrate at a low frequency, producing the purring or “buzzing” sound we all adore.

Dogs simply don’t have these pads on their vocal chords, so technically, they cannot purr. However, they do make sounds that can be mistaken for purring, like moaning, grunting, or even growling.

If you want to keep an eye on any strange sounds your dog may be making, a Petcube camera can be a great tool to monitor and understand their sounds and activities.

Why Does My Dog Purr

While dogs can't purr in the same way cats do, they can make a lot of sounds that are very similar. According to Dr. Beaver, these include:


Newborn puppies grunt as a non-protest sound for greeting or seeking care. As dogs grow older, You’ll often hear grunting in moments of relaxation, like when they are being petted. This is usually what’s happening if you’re wondering why your dog seems to be purring like a cat.


Sometimes, dogs moan when they are experiencing pleasure, such as when their owner rubs their ear. This sound is more common in certain breeds and can be easily confused with purring.


Often associated with aggression, growling is actually pretty complex in the dog world. They can do it to greet other dogs, and they also have a “play growl.” When a dog is giving a warning, they may give a low growl, which is usually a sign that it’s a good idea to move away.

One of the most famous examples of "purring" in dogs is the Rottie Purr, also known as the Rottweiler rumble or grumble. Rottweilers often make this rumbling noise when they are happy and being petted.

However, it's important for owners to be careful not to confuse this sound with actual growling. Knowing the difference between a happy rumble and an aggressive growl is crucial for dog owners.

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Dog Breeds That Purr

Certain dog breeds are more prone to making sounds that resemble purring. The most common one is the Rottweiler, who can have a distinct “Rottie Rumble,” a purring sound they make when they are happy.

Other dogs like French Bulldogs and Pugs are known for their snorting and grunting, especially when they are content or being petted. While these sounds aren't true purrs, they can make you think your dog is purring when they are happy and relaxed.


Do dogs purr?

No, dogs cannot purr like cats due to anatomical differences in their larynx. But they can make sounds that are similar are also a sign of contentment.

Why does my dog purr?

What you might perceive as purring could be growling, grunting, or moaning. Some dogs will make low rumbling noises when you stroke them, and this is usually a sign they are happy.

Why does my dog purr when I cuddle him?

Your dog might be grunting or moaning out of pleasure and relaxation.

How do dogs purr?

While dogs don't purr, they make other sounds like growling, grunting, and moaning that can be mistaken for purring.

Do dogs purr when sleeping?

Dogs might make soft noises like grunting or snoring while they sleep, which can resemble purring. You’ll hear this most often in dogs with short noses like pugs.


While dogs don't purr in the same way cats do, they make a variety of sounds that can be easily confused with purring. Remember that by understanding these sounds can help you better appreciate and respond to your dog's needs and emotions.

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