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Have you suddenly noticed a problem with your puppy barking at people?

Puppies can begin barking at people at seemingly random times. Today, we will cover reasons your puppy has begun barking and ways you can deal with it. This will include socialising your pup and tips to control excessive barking before they mature into adulthood. 

A few common reasons your puppy barks at people:

  1. Excitement

For a puppy, it can be hard to contain the excitement of new situations and people. Wanting to romp around and play can lead to barking. Maybe your puppy is giving their version of a welcome greeting? All of that pent up energy needs to go somewhere!

  1. Bathroom breaks

This might seem obvious, but maybe your puppy is barking for attention to pee. Puppies have different cues to show their need to go out. Some scratch the door, some whine, and others bark at you or your human friends.

  1. Guarding or protective behaviours

If someone comes into an area your pup considers their territory, they may bark to warn the “intruder.” A puppy barking at people because of territorial or protective reasons may require training to eliminate aggression early.

  1. Fearful of new people

Vocalisation is an easy form of communication with canines. Your puppy may bark to show they are anxious or scared. A fearful puppy may show other signs of nervousness such as a tail between the legs, raised fur, teeth baring, or trembling. 

My puppy is showing aggression and fear. How do I change these behaviours?

It’s important to take care of aggression and fear early on.  The best way to eliminate these behaviours is to associate positive experiences with people. Your puppy barking at people can be intimidating to some. If you can find the right people to help you practice some of these tricks, your puppy will become a well-balanced dog:

• Ask strangers who are comfortable with dogs to give your puppy treats. High-value treats are your best option.
• Training your puppy to “speak” can give you the upper hand since you can now train them the “quiet” command.
• Take your puppy everywhere. This helps them become comfortable with strange people and places.
• Do not shout at your puppy. They will think you are joining in on their barking. Calm assertiveness is more effective.
• Walk your pup every day to socialise them with strangers. Exercise will also calm their nerves.
• Carry treats with you at all times, rewarding your pup when they greet strangers calmly.
• Distract your puppy from barking and try again in a moment. Their initial mindset can make a difference.
• Obedience training will familiarise your puppy with other people and dogs, giving them confidence as well.
• Check your own emotional well-being. Are you putting off any anxious vibes or nervousness?
• If all else fails, see your veterinarian. Some puppies bark due to medical reasons. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Anxiety affects humans and puppies alike! A puppy barking at people is a common sign of anxiety. For helpful tips, check out our article, “Useful Ways to Calm an Anxious Puppy.”


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