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Dog Blog Article: Pet Peeve - People Barking at My Dog!

My friend and our four dogs were enjoying our day at the beach when an older man began to bark at our dogs. For some reason he thought it was quite funny. The shyest of our dogs was scared. Luckily, her owner is a trainer and has worked hard on her shyness and she was able to ignore him. In my irritation, I wondered "why do people bark at dogs?" It seems like such a rude thing to do from a dog's perspective. Generally, it will be kids that do this. You would think that this would just about never happen, but it has happened to my dog at least five times in his 4 years. So, yes, pretty rare but still something that he has experienced and something I would like to teach him is nothing to worry about.

The fact that this happened reminded me that it would be a good idea to purposely socialize our dogs to this kind of behavior and that I should add the tip to our dog socialization article. You can teach your dog that being barked at is nothing to worry about by asking a friend to bark at your dog and then feeding your dog treats. Make sure your dog is not frightened by this. If your dog is frightened start out with the person making less noise or being farther away. I also think that we need to communicate people that this is not an appropriate way to communicate with dogs.

So, I suggest two things: First, teach your dog that people barking at him equals treats. Second, if someone barks at your dog please ask them not to do that to dogs as it confuses them and give them a treat for complying

Happy Training!


Jess Rollins, Owner and Dog Trainer
Pet Expertise

Jess Rollins

The Author:

Jess Rollins

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  • Thank you for writing this! Ever since I moved to a city I have had multiple people bark at my dog. It makes me insanely angry and I can’t get past why they do it and it’s always grown adult men. My dog never seems too agitated by it, but definitely becomes on edge and not to mention it creeps me out as well.

    Riley Simpson
  • How relieving it is to see someone with some common sense and basic decency. I was searching online for confirmation to my personal position on the current (stupid) internet trend of barking at your dog and filming its reaction. I made a comment on a video of this to express my disgust at how rude (& shitty) this is to do to a dog and I ended up in an argument with some social reject who was defending the act, calling me “Karen” repeatedly and accusing me of calling the dog rude & shitty. I noticed that of the approximately 12 comments that were posted, none of them reflected my sentiment. I was surprised to learn that everyone seems to be ok with this new internet challenge and nobody seemed to see how obnoxious this would be to the beloved pet nor that it could likely be perceived as someone shouting in your face, because that is exactly what they are doing. I appreciate your insight, wisdom and empathy that tragically seem to be qualities lost on today’s internet users. 👍😊

    Erin Nelson

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