Why Do Dogs Bark?

Why Do Dogs Bark?

As An Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases At No Extra Cost To You

Does your dog understand you more clearly than you do? Or do you understand what your dog is saying well? Or perhaps you've noticed that your dog keeps barking for no apparent reason, or you've wondered if the fact that your dog keeps barking all night long is keeping you up at night. Then you should read this article.


Dogs communicate through both vocal and nonverbal cues. Barking is a fully typical behaviour for dogs. It's one of the best ways dogs can communicate with people, whether they are owners or strangers. Although dogs can communicate in a variety of ways, including body language, scent, and of course barks, whines, and growls, it's probable that when you think of canine communication, barks are what come to mind first. Dogs may bark for a variety of reasons, including boredom, excitement, fear, anxiety, and more. A dog's barking at strangers is typically an arousal response to express an alert, to demonstrate fear, or as a form of defence. Similar to how many times at night they bark out of loneliness or fear, and how some dogs just bark at nothing, all of these issues will be effectively emphasised in this article.



Even though Smart, my German Shepherd dog, is friendly and playful, he frequently barks at people, including strangers. Smart usually expresses his displeasure by growling subtly, but there are times when his aggressive barking prevents the rest of the neighbourhood from getting a good night's sleep. I would almost say that Smart never gets tired of barking, especially at night and occasionally when I go outside to see if Smart saw something. A few weeks after I got Smart, he started barking anytime I put him in his cage, but as soon as I let him out, the low-grade barking stops. However, with consistent training, Smart ceased that behaviour.


Here, we've listed six (6) typical causes of dog barking:

  • Anxiety Barks
  • Barks Seeking Attention or Food
  • Having a boredom tantrum
  • Territorial barking, fear, or anxiety
  • Pain barking
  • Reactionary or Startled Barking



  • Anxiety Barks

    When you get home, does your dog start to bark? Does it also start to bark when they hear the familiar sound of you collecting their leash? Those are barks of excitement, I suppose. In fact, one of the ways that canine packs express their pleasure to one another is by yipping and yowling. Your dog will occasionally let out one or two of these high-pitched or midrange-sounding barks until the excitement has subsided.

    • Barks Seeking Attention and Food

      A dog may bark at you if they desire your attention. This kind of barking usually consists of a long series of brief single barks. Depending on the dog and the circumstance, they can be requesting a stroll or food. Their posture is typically more relaxed and less animated. Their ears may be down/natural or at attention, and their tails may be straight or wagging.

      • The Bark of Boredom

        Dogs who are bored may bark to catch your attention or in an effort to play with you. A dog may exhibit destructive tendencies if he is not given the proper amount of mental and physical stimulation. Boredom can be avoided with regular walks, dog puzzles, quality time, and dog day-care. Some cunning dogs will bring an obvious cue, such a ball or a leash.

        • Territorial barking, fear, or anxiety

          When there is a clear trigger, such as a stranger approaching the house, another dog nearby, or being confined somewhere with no obvious way out, defensive barking is frequently heard. These barks are often deeper and may have a growl to them. Additionally, they will be persistent and very constant. Your dog is asking, "Hey, what's this? " In this manner. When an issue arises, we must be prepared. The typical body language of anxious or terrified dogs is a tail between the legs, heightened hackles, and a hunched over stance.

          • Pain barking

          When they are in agony, dogs will bark. This signals to their group to help them or that a particular activity is upsetting them and they want it to cease. When an animal is accidently bumped during rough play or is being attacked by another animal, this kind of barking is frequently heard. The bark may start off higher pitched and frequently staccato, or it may get softer as it continues.

          • Reactionary or Startled Barking

            Although it frequently only produces one bark, it occasionally is followed by others. To convey astonishment, it also frequently has a higher pitch. Similar to humans, it is primarily an automatic reaction to being startled or frightened.


            These are the main causes of your dog's night-time barking;

            • Warning/Alert

            Regardless of size, many dog breeds were developed to alert their owners to potential intruders or other disturbances that may be present on the premises. This is the reason your dog barks whenever a car or pedestrian passes your house. When a nocturnal animal, such as a possum or a raccoon, appears in your yard at night, your dog can also start barking.

            • Inadequate Supervision

            When left alone, dogs frequently bark. When you let your dog out at night, the same applies. Your dog can be intrigued about, terrified of, or just want to make sure you're aware of the weird and interesting sounds that might be heard at night, even in a fenced-in yard.

            • Apathy

            Unfortunately, a lot of dogs do not get the playtime or exercise they require during the day for their bodies and minds. Lack of play and exercise results in a dog with a lot of pent-up energy who is unable to release it in healthy ways. Dogs that are bored have trouble sleeping at night.

            • Solitude

            When they feel lonely at night, dogs frequently bark. This is especially true if you spend the entire day away from home working, leaving your dog home alone. A social animal, your dog. They can suffer from long workdays just as much as you do! Loneliness in your dog might result in unpleasant habits like night-time barking.



            The following are the main causes of your dog's persistent barking towards strangers;

            • Instincts for territory

            Dogs are territorial animals by nature. When strangers enter an animal's domain in nature, they constitute a threat. Despite being tamed and sociable with people, your dog still has territorial impulses. Therefore, even though you may consider your mailman or new yoga partner to be harmless individuals, your dog sees them as invading strangers. Visitors cause panic and anticipation of a threat in dogs who are particularly committed to protecting their areas. This prompts them to warn their pack and frighten off intruders by, well, making a lot of noise. This habit is particularly prevalent in guard dog breeds like German Shepherds and Mastiffs.

            • Setting off the alarm

            Sometimes dogs will bark at strange individuals only out of fear! The phrase "stranger danger" can actually be lived by puppies. Canines who have not been socialised to persons outside of their human family and dogs who are usually insecure tend to exhibit this behaviour. You can change this behaviour, so don't be alarmed. A frightened dog will begin acting with a little more assurance in unfamiliar situations if you use positive reinforcement training to increase their confidence.

            • Greeting

            Your dog might, however, genuinely like meeting new people. A dog that wants to welcome everyone, including the gardener or a complete stranger in the park, may bark. Tail wagging, whimpering, jumping, and other friendly behaviours go along with welcome barking. These social dogs really want to cover everyone in affection! To prevent this type of behaviour, teach your dog something else to do when they meet new people (such as the "sit" or "place" commands), even while you are aware that they are saying "hello! how are you! I love you!" to them.


            Your dog starts barking out of the blue. Is your dog barking at nothing if you can't see or hear anything? We included it for the following reasons:

            • High-pitched Sounds Can Be Heard by Dogs

            Dogs can detect higher-pitched sounds than people because of their predatory ancestry. resembles the squeaking of mice. And at higher frequencies, dogs are able to hear sounds that are much quieter than what human ears can hear. This implies that your dog's eardrums are being flooded with a variety of sounds that you aren't even aware of. As a result, while it appears that your dog is barking ineffectively, it may actually be in response to sounds that you are unable to hear.

            • Dogs have good night vision

            Dogs have much better night vision than people do. Your dog sees shapes and movement in what appears to be a completely dark backyard. This is because dogs' retinas contain a far higher number of rods (tapetum lucidum) than do humans. These are the low-light-operating light-detecting cells. Therefore, if your dog barks at something in the dark, they might be able to see it that you can't.

            • Dogs Have Amazing Smell Senses

            Dogs, of course, have an exceptional sense of smell. Dogs rely on scent to experience the environment, but humans use vision as our main sense. First, compared to humans, they have many more olfactory sensory neurons. Second, they have a nose with a substantially bigger surface area for odour detection. All of this adds up to an incredible universe of aroma. Even disorders like cancer that require sophisticated gear to detect can be detected by dogs. Who knows what undetectable scents have led your dog to joy, prey, or a danger

            • Final thoughts

            Dogs mostly use barking as a means of communication with their owners or other humans (strangers). They might be barking for apparent reasons including pain, discomfort, shock, excitement, and more. Additionally, they may occasionally bark in the middle of the night out of loneliness, warning you of a possible threat. They have also demonstrated the ability to bark at outsiders to defend their territory, signal an emergency, or extend a friendly greeting. As demonstrated above, dogs barking ineffectively does not imply that they saw nothing.

            Dr Marvelous Ibiniyi, DVM

            A pet enthusiast and young veterinarian in the making, who loves writing and giving educative information about pets especially dogs and cats. Dr Marvelous has a German Shepherd dog named Smart and likewise a Persian cat named Rolex.

            Back to blog

            Leave a comment