Dogs especially puppies go mad and bark at every person they do not know who is quietly walking down the street. Few dogs even bark when they see other people through the window, yard, or fence so in general, they bark when they see a stranger.
Before you decide that you want to stop this habit, you need to understand where their action is coming from.
Every dog has a different personality and preference so it can be a challenge to give an exact definition on why they are barking at strangers. However, with the help and research of dog trainers with animal behaviorist they crafted several educated guesses on the various reasons why the dog is barking at every stranger coming their way.
If you want to learn more about the actions and habits of your dog, below are some possibilities that explain why they keep on barking at strangers.
They are protecting their territory
Dogs have a natural instinct to protect their territory so if you see a dog barking at a stranger, they think that person is a threat to their territory. Some example of dog breeds that are very protective of their territory are German Shepherds, Dobermans, and Bull Mastiffs. One of the most protective dog breeds is a Pekingese because this type of dog would even go out of their way to protect their personal area.
The instinct that drives them to protect and defend their areas come from their deep-rooted feeling that strangers and other animals can pose a thereat to their territory. Wild animals even understand that when they allow an unknown creature to enter their territory it could pose a threat and end up killing them.
The instinct for self-preservation and survival is still present in the instincts of domesticated dogs because they want to protect their owners and guard other animals that lives in their territory.
A proof that the dog’s instinct for survival is evident when they are asleep and an unknown stranger knocks on your dog. The dog would immediately wake up to bark at the stranger because they want to make sure that their territory and owner is safe. Barking is the dog’s way to scare off strangers and defend their territory from harm.
They are giving an alarm
However, if the dog is away from your house or their territory and they are still barking at various its strangers, it means that they are giving their owners an alarm.
The best example of such situation is when you take your dog out for a walk and they kept on barking, they are trying to send you an alarm. Barking to protect their territory is different from barking as a way to send off an alarm an alarm bark is something observable to unsocialized dogs.
If the dog was not exposed to various people they do not know when they are still young, there is a huge possibility that they will get anxious when they meet a new stranger.
In general, barking to protect their territory is innate to every dog but barking to send off an alarm is due to the training and raising method of the puppy. The dog is barking because they get anxious and worried when they see a stranger approaching them.
Alarm barking does not mean that the dog would get aggressive when they see a stranger get close to them. Most of the time dogs only bark to pretend that they are brave and fend off strangers or alarm their owners of the existence of the stranger. Usually the dog would calm down if they person gets close enough and they feel that the stranger does not mean any harm.
A good way to prevent this type of barking is to boost the confidence of your puppy. Using positive reinforcement on your dog when a stranger is passing by, give them their favorite toy or treat to show them that strangers are not bad.
They are scared
Taking the warning bark to the extreme, dogs would also bark at a stranger if they were scared at them because it poses a threat to their wellbeing. During this type of situation, since the dog is emotional distress and they are feeling exceedingly unpleasant, their actions could be unstable. If the dog is frightened it could attack another person even if it is not necessary.
There are many factors why dogs are scared of someone they do not know which can come from their past experiences. If your dog has been hurt by someone in the past, they could remember it and it has an effect on their behavior. The dog can also lack social skills, so they get easily nervous and scared around strangers so try to improve the confidence of you dog.
Paying attention and observing the actions of your dog allows you to better understand the underlying reasons of their behavior. If you notice that your dog barks at unknown people due to fear, it is better to hire an animal behaviorist to help you figure out your dog. In hiring an animal behaviorist, make sure that you check their certification to ensure the safety of your dog.
They are excited
On the other hand, one of the most common reason why dog barks at a stranger are because they are extremely excited to see a new face. Such dogs like meeting other people so they want to greet everyone by barking excitedly.
The underlying reason why dogs bark when they meet new people is because they want the attention of that person. The dog thinks that if the bark loudly the stranger will see their effort and they would want to be friends with them. Also, the dog can bark because of frustration that the stranger is not paying attention or playing with them.
This kind of barking due to excitement is usually common on younger dogs and puppies because they have a lot of energy to play. They want everyone to be their best friend, so they are giving their best to capture the stranger’s attention.