Why Dogs Bark

Having a dog has a lot of benefits, but dogs have negative behaviors and barking is one of them. Being a dog owner, you must know why dogs bark, to make sure you understand your dog’s behavior and train him not to do this. Dog barking problems are among the most frequent reasons why pets are left in shelters.


One of the main reasons a dog barks is to identify himself. Even if we don’t notice, each dog has a unique barking sound which makes him distinct from other dogs. By barking, he lets other dogs know about his location and the other dogs will know how far away he is.  


Dogs can use barking to alert their owners about different events. These events include:

  • The intrusion of a stranger on the owner’s territory
  • A vehicle parking
  • The arrival of mail
  • Other cats or animals invading his territory

Alert barking is also known as territorial barking, and it will start with a long growl. As the dog becomes more agitated, the growl turns into a noisy barking.

Attention-Seeking Bark

If your dog seeks your attention and you ignore him, he will start to bark. Dogs like to get your attention whether it's to show you something, to ask you to open a door or do something for him, or he could simply want to be patted. Attention seeking barking is different from alert barking. The dog will bark several times without growling and will look at you, waiting for your response. Attention seeking barking is manifested only if there are people around. Only mature dogs bark to seek attention, as this is a behavior that dogs learn.


If dogs are happy or excited, they can manifest this through barking. Typically, excitement barking is short and will stop if you give your dog a treat or simply talk to him or pat him. Dogs often bark while playing. Your dog might signal that he wants you to throw the ball and that he's ready to fetch it.

Signaling Needs

If your dog needs to urinate or to eat, he will signal this by barking. You’ll know what your dog wants, as he will be standing in front of the door or food bowl.

Separation Anxiety

A dog that is left alone may start to bark because he fears that the owner is not coming back. Dogs that have been abandoned are more likely to bark due to anxiety.

Solve Dog Barking Problems

If your dog is barking excessively, you need to find out why he displays this behavior. Barking can keep you and your neighbors awake and is a disturbing behavior. Obedience training may stop your dog from barking.

If your dog barks to signal or alarm you of something, you need to find a distracting stimulus to prevent him from barking. A squeaky toy or a treat can be suitable. If your dog barks when he is left alone, you need to get him used to staying by himself. Offer him toys to play with while you're gone.