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Why do dogs bark at strangers

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  • Post last modified:19 December 2023

Barking is a natural character in dogs that is usually expressed because of several reasons like happiness, anger, defense, anxiety, and more.

It is not strange to see why dogs barking at strangers but you may want to know why this occurs and how to change the situation.

Dogs bark at strangers for several reasons, which may be related to frustration, excitement, fear of the person approaching, strange feeling of the person’s presence, or to notify the household of a stranger.

Many a times, they bark in the front yard to protect the home or warn trespassers to stay off.

No matter what the reason may be, it is good to understand the rationale behind your dog barks at strangers and also learn how to calm them when such need arise.

A dog owner, after several attempt to calm his dog from barking at visitors asked “why do dogs bark at strangers.”

Well! The rationale behind such behaviour cannot be expressed in one sentence, so we advise you to continue reading to learn from our experience.

Why do dogs bark at strangers? Reason Below

We are going to discuss some reasons why dogs bark at strangers and see if that conforms to your experience as a pet owner.

You can add more or tell or what you think through the comment section.

When they are not used to strangers

Dogs access passersby and respond according to how they look and sound (whether they are shouting or speaking softly), how they move while approaching (running, walking slowly or calmly), how they smell (quick sniff of the stranger while approaching can tell your dog if they person is a friend or enemy) and respond with barking to sound the alarm.

It may be that your dog isn’t comfortable and nervous because it doesn’t see different people often and worrisome about what could happen.

Perhaps, your dog hasn’t socialize enough over time and needs to be trained to accommodate other people.

Whatever the situation maybe, training your dog to accommodate others is compulsory,that will help it to bark less when strangers approach.

When wary of children noise

Dogs bark sometimes when children make noise in the environment.

This happens when children from neighboring houses come closer to make noise in your house or nearby, their noises may infuriate your pet and propel them to bark at them.

Previous trauma from strangers

The term first experience last long is also applicable to dogs.

When they have a bad experience meeting a particular figure, it’s always almost impossible for them to stay calm when seeing such figure again.

They may want to bark to wade-off such individual from their environment.

Sometimes, the experience they have with a particular strangers may propel them to bark at all strangers coming near.

So, you should try to understand your pet and help them to stay calm when strangers are approaching.

To help your dog, keep them close, on a lead, and help them to understand that you know the stranger and nothing bad is going to happen.

Give a few treats to calm your dog and let the strangers give treats too.

You should also let your dog know that it’s good to stay calm when strangers are approaching or in your environment.

The way you react to a particular stranger

The way you react to a person visiting your home will determine how your dog will respond too.

Dogs love to respond friendly to people loved by their owners, they may back furiously if the person isn’t wanted by their owner.

They understand the receiver’s body language and may want to give the stranger same signal.

Sometimes, your dog bark out of excitement when friendly people approach and you will notice that in their reaction.

However, if the person coming is well hated by the household, they will bark to deter your from coming closer.

Territorial behavior/ instincts

Dogs are naturally known to defend their territories.

They poses territorial instincts and don’t let other animals or humans trespass their territory, especially strangers.

While you may see your new team mate or instructor as harmless beings, your dog see them as territory intruders.

So, they often bark when such intruders are trying to infiltrate their territory.

In dogs that naturally possess territorial defense instinct, strangers and passersby trigger fear and anticipation of threat, which propel them to alert their pack and scare off intruders with lot of barking and attention.

The territorial instinct is well common among guard dogs, such as Mastiffs, and German shepherds.

They are mostly reared to defend their territories, so their fear should be understood.

Barking as a form of greeting

Many a times, dogs bark to greet strangers, especially those that are loved by the household.

Other times, it’s not the love for the stranger that propel them to bark happily at the stranger, it’s the training that has been inculcated in them or the breed of the dog.

In such cases, you will see the dog jumping, tail wagging, whining, and performing other friendly gestures that translate to being at peace.


With all that have been said, we have understood that dogs bark at strangers due to a variety of reasons, which range from defending their territory to greeting people at sight.

It is worthy to understand the reason why your dog is barking at your visitor before moving for a solution if you require one.

Dogs are domestic animals that have lived with humans for several centuries.

Many people from different part of the world can almost not live without a dog in their vicinity.

Some use the dogs to understand the type of person approaching and to stay alert in times of danger.

The behaviour expressed when barking give owners some understanding of the stranger and help them to relate with that person.

So, it’s not a total bad thing when your dog is barking at strangers, just stay calm and be in a position to defend yourself if problems arise.


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