northwood animal hospital employee hugging a dog

Why Your Dogs Barks at Strangers

If you own a dog, then have you ever wondered why your pet is aggressive and very afraid of strangers? If you think about it, most dogs are naturally friendly and not afraid of strangers unless their owners are. So then why are some dogs fearful when meeting new people? What makes your dog act in this way? Are they frightened because they feel threatened? Or maybe they have had negative experiences that made them wary. 


The main reason why dogs can be aggressive towards strangers is that they may feel threatened. Canines sense if the other person/people are threatening them and as a defense mechanism, they will attack and bite to protect themselves. 


When a dog is fearful or aggressive toward strangers, this is demonstrated by their body posture: ears laid back, tail between their legs, loud barking or growling. If a stranger comes close enough to the pet, they may try to bite the person to keep them away from them.


Dogs bark for many reasons, including territorialism and perceived threat. The likelihood of your dog barking at someone depends on several factors:


  • Is he used to seeing people around the house? If not, the stranger may seem like an intruder or threat. A well-socialized dog should show no aggressive behavior toward unfamiliar people.


  • Does he have his own yard or space? Dogs that have their own space generally know their territory and are less likely to feel threatened when others come into it.


  • Outside dogs are more likely to protect their territory from unknown intruders than inside dogs who are accustomed to having multiple people in the home all day long. 


  • Are there other dogs in the household? If so, they may be eliciting a response from your dog by barking themselves or by acting aggressively toward your pooch (a form of canine communication).


The first step to stopping a dog’s barking is to do something about the underlying cause. There are a host of possible causes ranging from boredom to fear. You’ll need to get your dog to a vet or consult a professional trainer if you can’t identify the cause on your own.


Northwood Animal Hospital is Here to Keep Your Pup Healthy 

Northwood Animal Hospital provides pet wellness exams in San Antonio and the surrounding area. Your furry friend is precious to you and we’re here to help him or her be healthy and happy for as long as possible. Call today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.


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General Hours

Mon - Fri: 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sat & Sun: Closed

General Hours

Mon - Fri: 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sat & Sun: Closed