5 Reasons Why Dogs Bark At People & How To Stop This Behavior

5 Reasons Why Dogs Bark At People & How To Stop This Behavior

Author WDF Staff


Dogs bark and there is nothing strange in this behavior. Your dog could bark at other dogs, animals, and even people. At this moment, you most probably asked yourself: what are the reasons why dogs could start barking at people? Well, you'd be surprised to know that many dogs will show this behavior, but for different reasons.

As we all know, different dog breeds are bred to have specific characteristics and characters. While one dog could start barking at people, others may look away with no interest in that person. Dogs are different, and so are the reasons why they could start barking at people.

It would help if you didn't allow barking to get out of control since this situation can create more problems for you and your dog. Let's start and check all the possible reasons why do dogs bark at people.

1. Greeting – excitement

Most dogs will start to bark at people because they want to greet them or because they are too excited to see their favorite person. There is nothing aggressive in this act, and you can easily notice this type of barking.

In most cases, barking at people because of greeting or excitement will be accompanied by

  • Jumping
  • Tail wagging
  • Tip toing
  • Howling

These things will indicate that your dog is happy and that he doesn't have bad intentions. Most well-socialized dogs could show this behavior, and if your dog is one of them, you have nothing to worry about.

german shepherd barking

RELATED: 7 Possible Reasons Why Dogs Bark

2. Territorial instincts

As we said in the beginning, different dog breeds serve different purposes. Some dogs were bred to protect their property, and if you notice your dog barking at people walking next to your house or a yard, maybe his territorial instinct has kicked in.

With barking, your dog will let the strangers know that he is in charge and that it is best if they don't come near. Again, this is normal dog behavior in these situations. However, if your dog starts to get territorial about what he shouldn't and constantly starts to bark at people, you should seek professional help.

Here you can check the best guard dog breeds in the world that were used for protecting property - Best guard dog breeds 

3. Lack of socialization

The sad truth is that not all dogs receive proper care and socialization in their lifetime. Some could be because of a lack of knowledge, while others for the lack of time. Either way, if dogs are not properly socialized, don't be surprised if they start to bark at people and strangers.

Since they don't know how to properly act, they will react with the thing they know best – barking.

If this is the case with your dog, you must find a way to properly train your dog to remove this bad behavior from his life. If you need help with how to do it, we advise you to seek professional help.

patterdale terrier-barking

RELATED: Is Your Puppy Barking Constantly? Here's How to Stop it

4. Stress or anxiety

More and more dogs are suffering from stress or anxiety in the modern world. If your dog started to bark at people from the sky and didn't show this behavior before, maybe something is causing stress for him.

You must understand that this isn't something that dogs will do on purpose but rather as a natural reaction to stress or anxiety. To remove this behavior from your dog's life, you must find a thing that is causing him stress.

This is a situation where your vet can help you a lot. Many dog owners are often shy to ask their vet for help, but we advise you to do it. They have much more experience and will gladly help you and your dog.

Calming dog treats can help with stress and anxiety with your dog. You can check them here and choose the best for your dog - https://worlddogfinder.com/blog/dog-product-reviews/calming-treats-for-dogs

5. Alarming

This reason is closely connected to territorial instincts and protection. Some dog breeds were used for alarming if someone was approaching your property. These dogs are not designed to fight the intruder but rather to alarm you that someone is coming.

Most usually these are smaller dogs that can be pretty vocal. This is inherited dog behavior, and you must understand that it can be pretty hard for you to remove it from your dog's life.

dog barking

RELATED: 6 Possible Reasons Why Dogs Bark At Other Dogs

Should you stop this behavior?

Since there are different reasons why your dog could bark at people, you will first have to understand why he does it. Depending on the main reason, you can determine if you should stop this behavior in your dog.

If the barking occurs because your dog is happy and excited and wants to greet other people, there is no reason why you should stop this behavior. There is nothing dangerous in this act. However, if your dog barks at people due to stress or anxiety, you must help and find a way to remove this behavior from your dog's life.

Stress and anxiety could have a massive impact on your dog's health, and it is your duty as an owner to help him feel better.

How to stop this behavior?

If you are unsure where to start, we bring you the 5 best steps you can perform to remove barking at people from your dog's life. You must be consistent and have much patience with your dog. Only that way you can be sure that you did your absolute best to help your dog and to remove barking from his life.

1. Socialize

The first step is to socialize your dog properly. With the correct socialization, you can be sure that your dog will learn what he can and cannot do.

We always advise you to start socializing your dog as soon as possible, but if you own an adult dog that needs to be properly socialized, you will have to put more effort into socialization. Keep going even if you don't have success right away.

RELATED: How To Stop A Dog From Barking?

2. Exercise

Many dogs have high energy levels, and you must provide them with proper exercise for them to be happy. There is a saying – a tired dog is a happy dog- and this is absolutely true.

If the dog has accumulated energy, you can expect that he will show behavior problems. Depending on your dog, he may show different behavior problems, and one of them could be barking at strangers.

You must ensure that your dog always receives proper mental and physical exercise, and you can be sure he will not show behavior problems.

3. Distract the dog

The simple trick that can help you and your dog if he likes to bark at strangers from his yard or home is to remove the ability to notice other people. If you know that your dog will react to strangers that are passing by your house, you can restrict the dog from barking at people by not allowing him close.

However, this is not a permanent solution and will only partially remove barking at people from your dog's life.

RELATED: Why Does My Dog Bark at Nothing?

4. Reward good behavior

Whatever you do, you always have to be patient and reward your dog for good behavior. Whenever your dog manages to hold his bark while training, you should provide him with some tasty treats and much praises.

Most dogs will work best with food stimulation; if your dog is one of them, you must prepare some tasty treats for every training session.

5. Professional help

If nothing above seems to work with your dog, we advise you to seek professional help. Hiring a dog trainer can help you and your dog since experienced dog trainers can easily detect what will work best for your dog.

You shouldn't be ashamed to ask for help if you cannot help your dog. They are professionals, and it is their job to find the best solution for your dog.

When to be worried about dogs barking at people?

Barking is a part of every dog's life; if your dog barks every once in a while, you have nothing to worry about. If you notice your dog starts to bark excessively and show this behavior constantly, you will have to find a way to help your dog.

Excessive barking should be stopped, and depending on the main reason why your dog does it, you must find the right approach and way to help him.

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo