Why Do Dogs Bark at Other Dogs?
Many joys come with being a dog owner, but dealing with excessive barking isn’t one of them. This is especially true if your pup loves to become overly vocal when meeting other dogs.
Socializing is an important part of life for a healthy and well-adjusted pup, and that can be tricky to do when their first impulse is to bark at newcomers.
If you’re having a problem with your dog barking at other dogs, don’t despair: There are plenty of ways to get them to act more friendly and inviting to other pups. But first, you need to know the answer to the question why do dogs bark at other dogs.
To help you do that, we’ve compiled this simple guide to why your dog barks at other dogs, along with some helpful tips for correcting the behavior. One of these tips is our very own Pet Pawsabilities™ humane no-shock bark collar. This device won’t hurt your pup and will humanely stop them barking with a little sound and vibration.
What Makes Dogs Bark?
There are several reasons why your pup may want to vocalize, and many of them are similar to why we humans like to use our own voices. Barking is your dog’s primary means of communication, so you shouldn’t look at it as an all-around nuisance. Most of the time, they’re just trying to tell you something!
Your dog is most likely barking because they:
- Have an unmet need
- Want attention
- Are happy to see someone
- Have unspent energy
- Are bored
- Are startled or frightened
- Are in pain
- Have separation anxiety
It’s important to know the many reasons dogs tend to speak up. This way, you can address the issue at its root and determine an effective solution from there.
The Reason Dogs Bark at Other Dogs
Your pup may be the sweetest, gentlest creature you’ve ever met when it comes to interacting with humans, but that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily act the same when it comes to other dogs. If your dog is prone to excessive barking in the presence of other pups, it’s most likely for one or more of the reasons listed below.
Dogs are territorial by nature, so when they’ve determined a certain area to be theirs, they’re likely to defend it any time they feel it’s being encroached upon.
A dog's first line of defense? Barking! When they see another dog approaching their territory, it’s a bit like an attack from an invading army (to them, at least).
They’re Feeling Excited or Playful
Barking can sometimes sound a lot more menacing than it really is. Your pup may just be excited to have a fellow canine to play with, and they simply can’t contain themselves.
Most dogs love playing with other pups, provided they have been properly socialized. So when you hear them speak up in the presence of another dog, that may just be a sign that they’re happy.
They Want to Say Hello
Again, a dog’s primary means of communication is their bark. In the same way you’d say “hello” when running into another human, dogs may say their own version of “hello” when they see other dogs.
Strange dogs may startle your pup, causing them to activate that first line of defense and start barking up a storm. This may be due to poor socialization or a lack of socialization altogether.
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking at Other Dogs
Whether they’re excited to meet a new playmate, feeling threatened, or lacking social skills, your dog barking at other dogs can be a serious headache. Below are some tips on getting them to tone it down.
Teaching your dog how to speak and how to keep quiet with different commands is perhaps the most effective way to reduce barking behavior, but it does take a lot of commitment. You may want to speak with a professional trainer to get started.
You should start socializing your pup with other dogs from as early as seven to eight weeks old. If you’ve missed that boat, don’t worry; there’s still hope. Just remember that you need to be careful about how you socialize, as a dog that has learned bad social skills may be fairly unpredictable around other dogs.