Doggie communication

Wonder why Fido is so yappy? Here's why dogs bark at other canines.
By Pets Team
Published on Wednesday, 08 October 2014

You adore your pooch, but you often get embarrassed by his incessant barking. He barks at every dog that walks past your yard and every single dog in the area while you're out for a walk. Humans interact through conversations and since dogs can't talk, they communcate through barking.


If Fido seems relaxed and wags his tail while barking at the dog walking on the other side of the street, he just wants to say 'hello'. Observe his body language. If his tail goes between his legs or if the hair stands up along the back of his spine, he may be afraid of the other dog. In this case, it's probably not a good idea to let the two dogs meet.

Stake Territory

Your barking buddy might bark at other canines to alert them that your house and yard are his turf. He's simply alerting you that another unfamiliar dog is nearby and telling the foreign foe to stay away. Buster's territory is also your car. He may bark nonstop if the car next to you at a red light also has a dog inside. This strange dog is a threat and is too close to Buster's familiar area.


When you react to Fido's incessant barking by running over to him and telling him to stop, you are actually reinforcing his behaviour. Knowing that you will shower him with attention when he exhibits a particular behaviour (in this case barking), Fido will learn that every time he sees another dog all he has to do is bark. Instantly you'll drop whatever you're doing and run over to him. Even though the attention only lasts for a few seconds, it's still better than nothing.

Stopping it

If your first reaction is to yell at your canine when he's barking, he might think you're barking with him and bark even louder. Rather then yelling at him, start ignoring him. Praise him and give him attention when the barking ceases so he learns that silence makes you happy. Otherwise you may be encouraging his annoying habit. 


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