Why does my dog bark at certain people?


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Every dog barks, howls, and whines as it is the way they communicate with us humans. It is the way they communicate as they can’t speak as we humans do. They use their vocalization to tell us different things. But, sometimes it is hard or even impossible to find out which sound means what. Some dogs bark more than other dogs. Some dogs have deep bark while others have high-pitched bark. It is completely normal for that to bark in certain situations or even people. 

So, why does my dog bark at certain people? The most common reason for this is he wants attention from that particular person. Dogs want attention for many things like telling you that they want to play with you or want to be petted by you. Some dogs bark to tell you that they want food as they are hungry. Other reasons for such behavior are due to past bad experiences, to protect their owner, improper greeting, and due to bad body language of a particular person. 

Bark can mean different things. Dogs bark to show their excitement, fear, anxiety, and frustration. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out why your dog is barking. Some dog owners think that their dog is barking for nothing. It’s not true, dogs vocalize to tell you something or because they want something from you. 

If you have that dog who barks at certain people but not other people then this article is for you. In this article, I will tell and explain all the reasons for such behavior.

Reasons Why does my dog bark at certain people?

1. He wants attention

The most common reason why your dog bark at certain people is because he wants that person’s attention. He might be asking for playtime or some cuddles. Dogs observe people as well as situations. That particular person might be giving positive vibes which your dog sensed so that’s why your dog is barking at that person. 

But sometimes we don’t want your dog running around to every person they see. Some people are not comfortable with that. So you have to teach your dog that he cannot go asking for attention from every person he sees. He can meet those people only who you want him to meet. If you have encouraged this behavior, then it might be possible your dog is barking at every other person he sees. So don’t encourage this behavior as some people don’t like that. 

2. Hunger

If you have noticed your dog barking at someone at his meal time then it might be due to hunger. When dogs are hungry they tell them by barking howling and whining that they are hungry. This might be the reason why your dog is barking at a person. This could also happen if you have given your dog a treat or any kind of positive reinforcement when he was barking. This can show your dog that barking equals to treat. So don’t encourage this behavior and try to correct this behavior. 

If you know that your dog is still barking after he has eaten then it might be due to encouragement that he has received from you in the past. 

3. Past Experience

If you have some kind of traumatic past experience with a particular person then he might be barking at that person because of fear or is anxious. If you don’t know why your pup is barking at someone then you must see his body language. Body language tells a lot about how your pooch is feeling. That particular person might intentionally or unintentionally uncomforted your pooch that has left a trauma on your dog. 

They might have yelled, hurt, or punished your dog in the past which left a big trauma on your dog. So every time he sees that person or even a person dressed like him, he might start barking because of a bad experience he had in the past. 

4. To protect their owner

Some dogs are overprotective of their owner. They think that they have the responsibility to protect their owner every time they sense a threat. Some dogs do that out of jealousy because they don’t want to share you with anyone. Your dog might bark at that person as they come close to you or him. 

If you have noticed your dog barking at certain people suddenly then it might be due to lack of attention. You might not give your dog enough attention as he used to get because of a newborn baby or a new pet that you got recently. 

5. Bad body language

Dogs are great observers. They observe people by seeing their body language. Your dig might not get positive vibes from a particular person that he is barking at that person. He might sense danger from that person. And in order to protect himself and you, he starts barking. Your dog might bark at someone who looks different or walk differently. 

6. Improper greeting

Some dogs don’t like being touched or petted by strangers. If someone has approached your incorrectly by suddenly appearing in front of your dog and petting your dog’s head without his permission then it is because your dog didn’t like it. They might snap, growl and bark at that person as they might feel threatened around that person. 

If you know this could happen if someone greeted your dog incorrectly or in a scary way then you should tell that person the correct way to meet your dog to avoid hurting that person or your dog. 

Final Thoughts!

At last, I would say any bad behavior can be corrected by positive reinforcement. But first, you need to find the correct reason why your dog is behaving badly or strangely. Then only you must try to correct the behavior or take the help of the dog behaviorist. If you think it is a medical issue then you must consult your vet and get your dog checked by the vet to find out the problem and ways to cure the problem. 

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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