Why Do Dogs Bark?

December 16, 2022 in Dog

Once you fall in love with a dog, you accept your friend for everything they are. Yes, that includes all the barking, and if there's anything we know, dogs sure do like to bark. Sure, some bark less than others. These are stoic canines, the ones who hear a siren go by the house and simply lift their head from their nap before regally returning to their slumber. And the other dogs hear a feather land on the ground approximately 7,586 miles away and go into a full-blown impression of Andrea Bocelli.

Whether you find this adorable (raises hand) or annoying, you've probably always been curious about our canine's communication. What are they barking at? Why are they barking at it? Are they mad? Happy?

Here, we'll go over everything you've ever wanted to know about why dogs bark!

Why Do Dogs Bark At Other Dogs?

This seems like an excellent place to start. When our four-legged best friends see someone else who looks like them, whether through the window or on a walk, why do they bark at each other? Are they talking about the weather? Are they sharing the news that the best sticks in the world can be found on the street just two blocks over?

Well, it could be a mixture of things! For some dogs, it is a friendly greeting. Even if it seems aggressive—especially on walks when they are leashed and so is the other dog—it is a dog's way of expressing interest. Our social friends are simply saying, "Hey! I want to go meet that dog!"

However, it could be a sign of aggression or a warning for our less social or more nervous friends. Some signals can tell us this. For example, if your dog is baring its teeth at another dog, likely, they aren't looking to play.

The trick here is to pay attention to your dog's behavior and to understand behavioral patterns. If they are typically friendly, it's probably a "hello!" It could signify that they want the other dog to go away if they are not.

Why Do Dogs Bark At Strangers?

While a dog barking at another dog might signify a friendly greeting, a dog barking at a stranger is generally the opposite. Dogs can be very protective of the humans in their lives, and if they encounter someone who seems threatening, they think it is their job to alert their human. You'll notice a big difference in how your dog barks at a stranger and your dog barks at a friend who regularly comes over to your house.

You might also notice that their behavior feeds off yours. If you show hesitation towards a stranger or feel uncomfortable towards another person, your dog will pick up on this and their desire to protect you will intensify. If this is a behavior you do not like, there are ways to train your best buddy to minimize this response.

Why Do Dogs Bark In Their Sleep?

This one is not a cause for alarm and, in some cases, is quite cute! Dogs will sometimes bark in their sleep because they are so deep in the doggy dream world that they simply can't help it! Like some people, dogs will sometimes try to act out their dreams as they happen. This is an unconscious physical response. So, if your dog is barking in its sleep, it is likely because it is barking in its sleep!

Why Do Dogs Bark At Nothing?

There are a few reasons this happens. The first could be that your dog simply wants attention. They might bark to let you know if they have felt incredibly lonely. It could also communicate that they are hungry, bored, thirsty, need to go out, or even that something is hurting somewhere.

The other thing to consider is that dogs have very good ears. What may seem like a dog barking at nothing could very well be the dog barking at something you cannot hear.

If you'd like to learn more or want help training your dog to bark less, please contact Forever Vets today!