How to Stop My Dog From Barking at Strangers

By Coty Perry

Barking is a form of communication for your dog. It can mean many different things, like greeting, expressing that he missed you, warning you about danger, letting you know he is scared, and wanting a treat. 

However, barking can sometimes be excessive and annoying, especially if your dog barks at strangers. 

To get your dog to stop barking at strangers, train them. Keep your training sessions positive overall, and reward your pup when they make the right choice. 

Try to identify why your dog is barking at strangers and find and help your pup find a different way to communicate, especially if your pup is barking at strangers near your home. 

How to Stop My Dog From Barking at Strangers?

Your dog most likely barks at strangers because it feels territorial. If a stranger approaches your home; like a delivery person, your dog may not want them there. Pay attention to your pup’s body language

Your dog is expressing territorial barking if its body is stiff and growling. You could see a stranger as a threat walking by your home. Another common reason dogs bark at strangers is excitement. Some dogs are excited to see anyone.

Excited barking is not a threat, but it can overwhelm others. Some strangers might be afraid of the barking, even if your dog is just barking because they are excited. Some dogs bark at strangers because they do not have enough human interaction and are unsure of how to act around others. 

This behavior usually stems from a lack of attention as a puppy, and your pup might not trust others. Barking because of lack of socialization is common amongst rescue dogs who may not have experienced enough human interaction and experienced trauma.

To help your dog stop barking at strangers, you should train your pup using these methods.

The Quiet Method

Let them bark about three or four times when your dark barks at strangers. Then, stand over your dog and calmly tell him, “Quiet.” Go to your dog again, gently hold their muzzle (if applicable), and gently tell him “Quiet” once again. Step away from your dog and reward them with a treat if they follow your command.

Remove the Motivation to Bark

Suppose your pup barks at a person walking by outside. Put your dog in another room or close the curtains. If they bark at strangers outside at home, train them to jingle a bell when they see a stranger instead of barking.

The Distraction Method

Distracting your pup from barking is a great way to stop the barking issue. An excellent way to distract your dog is to shake your car keys. Shaking your keys will distract your dog’s attention toward you and away from the stranger. 

Once they are focused on you, tell them to “sit.” If your dog successfully listens to you, give him a treat. Your pup will begin to learn that barking at a stranger will not earn him a treat, but listening to you will.

Final Thoughts

If you are concerned about how to stop your dog from barking at strangers, this thought is more common than you might think. Many dogs bark at strangers because they feel threatened, they are excited, or just because they lack human socialization skills. 

With the proper training, your dog will learn not to bark at strangers, and you can worry less about your dog’s behavior.

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Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.