Why Do Dogs Bark at Me?

Having a dog as a pet can be a fun and rewarding experience, but there are certain behaviors your dog might possess that you have no idea what it means. One behavior that a dog has is that it will bark at certain strangers or people while at the same time be completely cool with others. There are several reasons as to why your dog is barking at certain people and not others and most of it has to do with being protective.

The smell could be intimidating to them or just awful, and the dog will not want to interact with that person and might even bark at them. Pheromones that the person is giving off could be alerting the dog of a threat as well.

Beyond that, dogs also have an aversion to certain smells such as rubbing alcohol, vinegar, citrus, and even moth balls. For example, a stranger might be standing in a way that appears aggressive for your dog. This could be in terms of gender, height, race, and any other physical characteristic that the person has.

When someone is behaving oddly around the owner, the dog will pick up on this and often times decide to not have anything to do with that person. A dog will pay attention to many details such as tone of voice, body language, and interactions with the owner. If the other person is seemingly angry or aggressive towards the owner, the dog in turn will begin to bark at that person or simply avoid interacting with them.

The person could also just be ignoring the owner or keeping distance, and the dog will pick up on these cues and avoid them. Even during a first interaction, your dog might be picking up on something that is instinctual and chooses to stay away from a person due to these gut perceptions. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Why do dogs bark at you for no reason?

There are several potential explanations as to why your dog may bark for what seems like no reason. These include boredom, frustration, anxiety, or excitement. Some dogs do exhibit compulsive barking which is the closest to barking for no reason. This is usually accompanied by pacing.

What to do if dog barks at you?

Ignore the barking. If you believe your dog is barking to get your attention, ignore them for as long as it takes for them to stop. Don’t talk to them, don’t touch them, don’t even look at them; your attention, even just asking them to stop, only rewards them for being noisy.

Why do dogs bark aggressively at me?

Most often a dog’s aggression is motivated by fear, anxiety, conflict about what to expect and what to do and the anticipation of possible punishment (see Aggression – Diagnosis and Overview, (Dominance, Alpha, and Pack Leadership – What Does It Really Mean?, and Canine Communication – Interpreting Dog Language).

Whether youre happy or sad, need food or a hug, or want to express a desire to go for a walk or take a bath, the only thing that anyone hears is banana.

Barking is driven by a whole bunch of things, says Dr. Kristina Spaulding, a certified applied animal behaviorist from upstate New York, and while some dogs dont bark much, theyll sometimes find other ways to show their emotions or signal that they want somethinglike pawing at you, jumping, mouthing, stealing things, or finding other ways to get into trouble. Thats because caving and giving dogs what they want can reinforce the behavior and encourage them to demand bark more in the future.

Alarm barking is associated with something catching the dogs attention, says Sandra Sawchuk, a primary care clinical instructor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. If you want this type of barking to stop, Sawchuk says the most important thing is to not yell at the dog. Instead, divert the dogs attention as quickly as possible by taking him outside or giving him a favorite toysomething he can chew on will work especially well to get him to stop barking.

Sawchuk also recommends considering training your dog to go to a spot away from the door whenever the bell rings. People are often confused by that because if dogs lunge and bark at the same time, that must mean theyre aggressive, but often, it seems to just be a display to keep them away from something they find scary. The fine line between fearful and excited can be especially difficult when youre dealing with on-leash reactivity, and Spaulding says leash-reactive dogs should probably be evaluated by a certified professional.

Dogs are always alert, especially when it comes to meeting new people. With their incredible sense of smell, its impossible to know just how they perceive the world around them and what additional information they get from people.

If the dog is jumping in anticipation, wagging their tail or showing signs they are happy ; their barking is likely to be an extension of how they are feeling. While barking at people shouldnt be treated as bad behaviour, its helpful to recognise why your dog may be doing it.

With positive reinforcement training and ensuring you dont inadvertently encourage them, your dog can learn that barking at people is not acceptable and wont benefit them. After graduating with a degree in Journalism, she worked in marketing and PR before becoming a Mum and embarking on a freelance career.

Your Dog Doesn’t Like the Person’s Smell

A dog has a very keen sense of smell so it would make sense that the person’s smell could be off-putting to the dog. When a dog first interacts with someone or another dog, the first move they make is to sniff. If the smell is acceptable to the dog then the interaction goes well. You might notice this at a dog park where a dog will first go up to another and smell them before deciding to play with them.On the other hand, if the dog doesn’t like the smell then the situations becomes more tense. The smell could be intimidating to them or just awful, and the dog will not want to interact with that person and might even bark at them. Pheromones that the person is giving off could be alerting the dog of a threat as well. When someone has a dog of their own, your dog might bark at them due to the other dog smells. Beyond that, dogs also have an aversion to certain smells such as rubbing alcohol, vinegar, citrus, and even moth balls.

They Want Something

Demand barking, Spaulding says, occurs when a dog wants attention of some kind. Maybe that’s a walk or just to be pet. It could also signify that your dog wants food.Unlike other types of barking, demand barking has a specific and identifiable cadence to it, Spaulding says.“Demand barking tends to be shorter—a single bark or a few in quick succession. There are more pauses in between, and the dog is usually looking at you or the thing they want. It’s much more controlled,” she says.The million dollar question with this type of barking is whether you should respond to it.“I tend to ignore it or actively get up and walk away if a dog demand barks at me,” Spaulding says. That’s because caving and giving dogs what they want can reinforce the behavior and encourage them to demand bark more in the future.If you decide you want to give in, however, Spaulding says it’s best to do that after the first or second bark, if you can, because waiting teaches dogs they have to bark a lot to get what they want, and they may become very pushy in the future.

They’re Alarmed

Most dog owners have likely experienced this when the doorbell rings and their dog just freaks out.“Alarm barking is associated with something catching the dog’s attention,” says Sandra Sawchuk, a primary care clinical instructor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.If you want this type of barking to stop, Sawchuk says the most important thing is to not yell at the dog. That just tends to rile him up even more.Instead, divert the dog’s attention as quickly as possible by taking him outside or giving him a favorite toy—something he can chew on will work especially well to get him to stop barking.Sawchuk also recommends considering training your dog to go to a spot away from the door whenever the bell rings. This might be something you can do yourself, or you may have to hire a certified professional in your area to assist you.

They’re Anxious

The emotion behind this is similar to alarm barking, but the context can be very different.Sawchuk says anxious barking may occur when you’re leaving the house for the day. You might also see it on walks when a stranger or another dog is approaching.To that end, Spaulding says this type of barking often gets confused for aggression.“Typically, if a dog is barking in an aggressive context, it’s actually fear based,” she says. “People are often confused by that because if dogs lunge and bark at the same time, that must mean they’re aggressive, but often, it seems to just be a display to keep them away from something they find scary.”

They’re Excited

During walks, a dog may let out an excited bark if they see another pup along the way, Spaulding says. “You’ll also see excitable barking when dogs are doing something they enjoy, like chasing a small animal or for agility dogs when they run a course.”The fine line between fearful and excited can be especially difficult when you’re dealing with on-leash reactivity, and Spaulding says leash-reactive dogs should probably be evaluated by a certified professional.In most other situations of excitable barking, however, the context is usually pretty clear.“If they’re backing away from something, they’re probably afraid,” Spaulding says. “If they’re jumping up on you when you come home from work, they’re probably excited.”

Why do dogs bark at certain people?

Dogs may bark at certain people because the individual mistreated the dog in the past or they look like or smell like someone who mistreated them. It could also be that your dog finds the person’s body language or tone of voice to be threatening. But barking doesn’t always mean something negative. It could be because the dog is excited to see the person. After all, they remember that they rewarded them in the past with treats, playtime or attention.

Why don’t dogs bark at some people?

If there are some people who your dog never barks at it could that your dog doesn’t view them as any threat, but also doesn’t view them as a source of excitement. That’s not to say your dog doesn’t like the person; they just don’t get over-excited in their presence.