Why Do Dogs Bark at People?

You’ve just brought home a beautiful new dog, and you’re extremely excited for your friends and family to meet them. But when they finally come over to say “hello,” they’re greeted by an earful of loud barking. 

This is a pretty common problem for dog owners, and it can be particularly troublesome when the strangers your pup loves to bark at are uneasy around the canine species.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to discourage barking behavior and turn your dog into the well-mannered and polite pup you hoped that they’d be; but first, you’ll need to know the likely causes of their barking.

To help you do that, we’ve created this easy guide to why dogs bark at people, along with some helpful tips for training them to take a quieter approach when greeting new friends. If you want a quick and easy way to help your pup lower their barking check out Pet Pawsabilities™ humane no-shock bark collar

What Makes Dogs Bark?

For the most part, your dog isn’t simply speaking up because they love the sound of their own bark. It’s highly likely that there’s a useful message behind all that noise, and understanding what that message might be is the key to reducing barking behavior.

When your dog speaks up, it might be for a good reason, it could be something that has frightened them. Or they might bark because they are bored and want attention, or they just have a little extra energy to spend.

Chances are one of these reasons will help explain your dog’s behavior when they bark like crazy in the presence of another person. Pinpoint that particular reason, and you’re well on your way to a calmer and quieter relationship with your pup.

The Reason Dogs Bark at People

Dogs usually bark at other people for a handful of reasons, which we’ve listed below, along with explanations about the different sorts of strangers that your pup may greet with one too many booming barks.

Strangers in Public Places

If your dog tends to bark at other people when you’re taking them out for a walk, it’s likely because they’re feeling threatened. When dogs are outside of their territory and restrained by a leash or harness, they may feel vulnerable. So when a stranger comes near them, the alarms start blaring, and they start barking.


If your pup is just like all the other pups in the world, they’re territorial, and their home is their territory. 

A stranger entering their home will set off those territorial instincts and cause them to bark to alert you of the incoming threat and ward off the stranger. This is very useful when the houseguests are unwelcome, but it’s mostly just a nuisance when they’re not.

People Outside the Window

Many dogs have a tendency to bark when they see strangers passing by from the windows of their homes. This is also the territorial instinct in action. They want you to know that someone they’re unfamiliar with is nearby.

You and Your Family

Even if your dog is well-acquainted with a person, they may very well still feel inclined to bark at them. This bark is likely a greeting if you’re seeing them for the first time in a while, but it can also mean that they’d like to eat, use the bathroom, or get some much-needed attention.

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking at People

Below are some of the most effective techniques for getting your pup to keep quiet in the presence of friends, family, and total strangers.


If your dog barks at strangers out on walks or at house guests, your best bet may be to train them with the “speak,” “quiet,” and “heel” commands so that they remain obedient even when someone they’re unfamiliar with approaches.


When dogs are used to meeting people, they’re less likely to feel alarmed around strangers. You can begin socializing with them as early as seven or eight weeks, but it’s never too late to get them started. Just be cautious when acclimating them to meet-and-greets, as they’ll need some time and practice to become good at socializing.

Bark Collars

One of the most effective ways to curb barking behavior is with a bark collar. If you’re like most pet owners and you’d like to avoid painful shocks, consider the No Shock Bark Collar from Pet Pawsabilities™. It’s a pain-free method for getting your pup to keep quiet whenever an unfamiliar face pops up.