Dogs don’t always express themselves in ways that humans can understand. We’re a different species, after all. But, while we don’t always fully grasp what our dogs are trying to tell us, there are reasons for the way they act.

It’s a rare occurrence that dogs will bark for no reason. For some, barking is a habit they’ve developed or a cure for boredom. Others bark because they’re communicating with the world around them.

There are plenty of instances that could cause your dog to begin barking in your face. It’s not the desired habit, that’s for sure. So, chances are, if your pup is barking in your face, you’ll want to eradicate that behavior immediately. 

Not only is barking in your face incredibly rude, but you wouldn’t want your dog behaving in such a way when you’re trying to entertain guests or if you have small children! In addition, barking can be incredibly loud, depending on the breed, and a large dog that barks in human faces can be very intimidating. 

If your dog is barking in your face, it’s time to figure out why and end the behavior for good. 

Why does my dog bark in my face?

Dogs typically bark to demand something from their owners or alert you to something they consider a disturbance. Think of the classic case of “barking at the mailman.” For example, there is a stranger in your yard at the same time every day. This concerns your dog, and so he barks to let you know. 

Barking in your face is a demanding bark. Your dog is taking an action that is impossible for you to ignore. There could be a few things behind this type of barking. 

Your dog wants attention

If your pup is barking in your face regularly, he might want attention. Of course, this isn’t the best way to go about asking for it, but you should take the time to try and understand why your dog is barking in your face for your awareness. 

Ask yourself if he’s gone out recently or getting enough exercise and mental stimulation in general. While demand barking can quickly become a nasty habit, there’s typically a good reason for initiating the behavior. 

The lack of mental and physical exercise will cause your dog to bark in your face. Please spend a few moments playing a game of tug or fetch, or take him for a walk around the block. You might find that a little one-on-one attention makes a huge difference in both of your lives!

Pain is an issue

Pain anywhere within the canine body has the potential to change the way a dog is behaving. Typically, pain and injury will show up in a physical ailment, such as whining or limping. 

However, it’s not unthinkable or uncommon for a dog to act out aggressively or desperately when he is in pain. If your dog has suddenly begun barking in your face, and you can’t come up with a logical reason for it, go about discussing it with your vet. 

Your vet will determine whether the behavior is pain-related or not and give you a game plan regarding how to proceed. Even if your dog demand barks for attention, you’ll have the peace of mind that nothing is physically wrong, and you can progress with the proper training. 

You give him what he wants

This concept is a significant realization for many dog owners that have an issue with their dog’s demand barking in their faces. In most cases, when a dog is barking in your face, you interact or even yell back at him. 

It may not seem like it, but even a loud, negative response from you will give your dog exactly what he wants at the moment; attention. Now, if your pup has had an efficient amount of exercise, he has food and water, and he’s medically sound, you don’t want to give him attention simply for barking. 

One of the first steps to training a dog that barks his demands is to ignore him. It seems impossible, but we assure you, it’s not! Once your pup stops getting the reaction from you that he wants, you’ll notice the behavior begins to dissipate. 

It’s important to note that a dog that has been inadvertently rewarded for attention will probably bark louder and longer when you first begin to ignore him. After all, you’ve been giving him what he wants for so long. He’s going to assume you didn’t hear him!

Stay patient. This phase will pass. 

Your pup is the pack leader

When we bring our dogs home, we envision having a wonderful, peaceful life together filled with love and mutual respect. All dog owners must remember that dogs are born with an instinctual pack mentality. 

Dogs cannot alter their evolution to think the way we think, so we have to think more like dogs! A great trainer will help you get in touch with that pack mentality and eradicate the intimidating attempts your dog is making by barking in your face. 

Dogs are rarely just mean. Most intimidating behavior comes from a place of fear and lack of direction. A reputable dog trainer will help you get to the root of the issue. 

How to stop my dog from barking in my face?

In most cases, you’ll be able to stop your dog from barking in your face by training it out of him. It will take time, but you’ll find that it isn’t as difficult as you anticipated if you dedicate yourself to it. 

Many owners with a face-barker will be able to discourage their dog by ignoring him. Yes, it will take time and discipline on your part, but it works. 

However, if you think you’re in over your head, there is no shame in reaching out for help. Your vet will connect you with the right trainer for you and your dog to achieve the desired (and quieter) outcome for all. 

Why does my dog get close to my face?

Unless you’ve experienced aggression from your dog in the past, he likely wants to get close to your face because he’s trying to greet you. Dogs sniff noses in greeting and nuzzle each other to show comfort, support, and love. 

Wolves routinely lick the face of their pack leader. You are part of his pack, and his reasons for getting close to your face are likely based on the best intentions. Of course, all dogs bite, so always remain knowledgeable regarding dog behavior and their communicative signals. 

Why does my dog bark for attention?

If your dog is constantly barking to get your attention, he’s either very bored; he really has to go to the bathroom, or more likely, he’s used to getting his way every time he barks at you. When you take away that attention, you’ll see his behavior begin to change. 

Remember, yelling at him gives him the reaction he wants from you, attention. In most cases, we throw our arms up in frustration and then give in. Much like a toddler, dogs don’t mind a bit of negative attention!

How to stop my dog from demand barking?

You can stop your dog from demand barking by refusing to give in to his demands. Always supply him with love, food, water, walks, mental exercise, and treats. Refuse to provide him with the constant attention that he is demanding. You can find a happy balance, but it will take time. 

Again, if you feel like you’re in a dangerous situation or the demand barking is entirely out of control, please reach out to a trainer. Getting the right help can change the way of life for you and your barking pup. 

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.