Why Do Dogs Bark at Each Other?

Some breeds of dogs have a greater tendency to bark than others, but no matter what type of pup you have, you’re likely to see and hear your dog bark at another dog at some point.

There are many reasons why dogs bark at one another, and not all of them are cause for concern. However, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your dog’s body language to get a sense of the root cause for their barking. 

Today, we’ll look at some of the most common reasons why your dog might be trying to “speak” to others. 

Protecting Their Territory 

If your dog barks at other dogs passing by your home through a window or fence, they might sense a threat to their territory. They might also simply want to alert you to the fact that a strange dog is passing by. 

This is your dog’s way of communicating to the other dog that this is their home and they’re protecting it. 

Anxiety or Fear 

Anxious or fearful barking is most common with smaller dogs, as it’s their primary weapon against potential threats that are likely much bigger than they are. 

Usually, fearful barking will trigger when another dog gets too close to your pup and they don’t feel safe. This might also happen if play between the two pets has become too rough. 


In many cases, dogs will bark at other dogs as a sign of playful excitement. Usually, these kinds of barks will be accompanied by joyful body language, like a bow at the front legs and a wagging tail. 

As long as both dogs are communicating in the same way and play is friendly and reciprocated, these kinds of barks shouldn’t be a cause for concern. 


Many dogs bark when they’re bubbling over with excitement and simply can’t contain themselves. You’ll notice a vigorously wagging tail accompanying this reaction. 

Usually, when these barks are aimed at another dog within sight, they will turn into playful barks or die down on their own as the other dog gets farther and farther away. 

As a Greeting 

Greeting barks are generally similar to excitement barks; your dog sees another dog and wants desperately to go say hello! 

If this interaction occurs out on a walk, they may turn into frustration barks if the two dogs are kept apart by leashes.


When a dog hasn’t gotten the mental and physical stimulation they need, they’ll likely turn to other behaviors to entertain themselves. One of these behaviors just might be barking. 

Once your dog starts boredom barking, take the signal and give them a walk or a nice play session. Otherwise, they might turn to more destructive behaviors to get their energy out. 

What Can I Do About This Kind of Barking? 

Though barking at other dogs can come from a deep instinct, there are still several steps you can take to encourage your dog to bark less when they see a potential playmate. 

Teach a “Quiet” Command 

Just like you would teach another command like “sit” or “stay,” you can teach your dog to “quiet” when prompted by using treats. 

Practice at home by prompting your dog to bark (perhaps with a doorbell or someone coming in the front door) and rewarding them as soon as they stop barking with a “quiet” prompt. 

Stay Calm Around Your Dog 

Dogs have keen senses of smell. This means that they can pick up on pheromones, which all animals (including humans) give off when they’re feeling strong emotions. 

Your pup is also familiar with your body language. If you’re stressed out while your dog is barking, your dog will have a harder time coming down from their excitement. Try to remain calm and encourage your pup to quiet down with a soothing tone of voice.

Try a Bark Collar 

No-shock bark collars are a perfectly safe, humane option to dissuade your dog from excessive barking and other unwanted behaviors, and our one at Pet Pawsabilities is great. It encourages your pup to stop barking by issuing a warning beep followed by light vibration. This causes nothing more than mild discomfort but is often more than enough to correct their behavior.