Dogs can be expressive creatures; after some time with your pet, you will learn how it communicates with you and what all its sounds and gestures mean. Barking can signify excitement, happiness, nervousness, or warning. Other cues, such as growling or tail position, will indicate what the barking could mean. In some cases, dogs bark at strangers habitually even if they are not a threat. What could it mean? Let’s take a look at the possible reasons and how you can help your pet stay calm.
Why Do Dogs Bark at Strangers?
Not Used to Strangers
One reason could be that your dog has not had enough socialization to be okay whenever strangers pass by them. They could be wary or territorial. It could be that your dog is nervous because it has not seen many different types of people and fear what could happen. Training can help your dog not bark or growl at strangers, even if it remains cautious.
A bad experience with a similar-looking stranger could cause your dog to bark. Their fear could hone on anyone, from men to people wearing hats. If the dog associates a particular type of person as a threat because of a previous interaction, it might bark and growl at this type of stranger. Knowing your dog’s history can help you know if this could be the case.
Your Reaction to Strangers
Pets can pick up the feelings of other people easily. If you, as its owner, are producing nervous or tense energy toward a particular stranger, your dog will likely take on the same stance. Your pet takes cues from you, so your feelings could cause them to react in a very specific way without you even trying. Even so, if you are excited and happy, your dog might also start barking out of excitement.
Ways to Help Your Dog Stay Calm
There are multiple ways to train your dog to stay calm around strangers. One strategy is to use one or more games that help your dog keep its attention on you rather than on the stranger. Expecting a treat when it obeys a command to focus on you is the best way to do it.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!