Why Dogs Bark

Dogs are man’s best friend. You can cuddle your pet dog, jog and play with them. But there are also many pet owners who find the barking of their dogs alarming, making them anxious about having dogs at their homes for a long time.

Barking is a form of communication for dogs along with growling and howling. It is perfectly natural for dogs to bark since they want to convey a particular message when they bark.

There are different reasons why dog barks, and here are some of them.

Seeking for Attention

Dogs are active animals by nature. And often they bark because they are demanding for the pet owner’s attention. Notice how dogs make those barking sounds when they want to go outside, when they are hungry and want food or when they want you to simply pay attention to them.

Many dogs also bark at their owners out of either boredom or frustration. This is especially true for dogs that have been left outside or confined in one place all day or all night long. Dog barks to tell their owners that they are feeling neglected.

Notice how your dog yelps when you come home after a long day? Many pet owners mistake this barking as a form of affection from their pets. But contrary to popular belief, dogs do not bark when you get home because they are affectionate. According to Cesar Millan, a dog trainer who has hosted television shows and written books about dogs, dogs that bark upon seeing their owners are not showing affections, but rather are demanding for attention.

“But in a natural setting, dogs don’t bark, yelp, or jump on pack mates in a burst of affection. Dogs that greet their owners in this way are trying to communicate. But rather than professing undying love, they are probably trying to tell you that they are lonely and bored; their needs as a dog are not being met. The excitement is your dog’s way of burning off the excess energy that has been building throughout the day” – Cesar Millan


Dogs are naturally inclined to protect their territory and they bark when they feel that someone is invading their territory.This behavior is commonly seen when dogs get all excited when a stranger or someone they do not recognize, for example, goes inside the house. Or when a dog who stays at the garage yaps when a person gets near the gate or when someone rings the bell.

Dogs that interact with a stranger or foreign objects bark and display an offensive posture as they may feel threatened. The dog’s tail is up, and the nose will be wrinkled with the offensive threat posture. Plus, dogs that feel threatened are slightly leaning forward and standing tall, displaying their ears and mouth corners.


Canines also bark when they are feeling fearful. There are several stimulants that can trigger fear among dogs such as fireworks, thunder, a foreign object or even people. The dog may appear stressed, and this is often shown in the dog’s posture, as well. Dogs who are feeling fearful and stressed may pant heavily. Plus, their ears are back, and their tails are down. Stress can sometimes even make the dog’s eyes dilated.


Of course, dogs also bark out of excitement. Notice how dogs bark when you are playing with them? Dogs that are feeling excitement or playfulness display the alert posture. These canines that are in the alert mode are often standing straight and on their toes with their ears forward.

Excessive Barking

Barking is a common behavior among canine given that it is one of their forms of communication. But there are also dogs who excessively bark. If this is the case, then you, as a pet owner may want to think of ways to curb the excessive yapping sounds of your pet.

There are different ways of dealing with excessive barking. Owners can consult dog trainers or make use of anti-barking device such as anti-barking dog collars, among others.