If your dog keeps barking when you shout, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you six common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog bark when I yell or shout? Possible reasons why your dog barks when you shout are feeling threatened, feeling scared, it is defending you, or having learned that the behavior is rewarded.
It is actually possible that there is a combination of causes at play. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Why your dog barks when you yell or shout
Below are six common causes and what would make them more likely.
It finds it threatening
It could be the case that it does it because it thinks that you are being threatening. This would be more likely if you show threatening body language by doing things such as standing over it, staring at it and pointing. Instead, it would help to be calm when interacting with it and to train it to behave the way you want with the use of positive reinforcement training.
It is scared
The reason why it does it might also be that it is scared. This would be more likely if it shows signs of being scared in its body language by doing things such as hiding, crying or making itself appear smaller. Again, to prevent this, it would help to be calm around your dog since it is likely very aware of your emotions.
Mistreatment in the past
The cause might also be that it was mistreated in the past by someone that shouted at it a lot and was aggressive towards it. This would be more likely if you adopted your dog when it was an adult. It would also be more likely if it shows signs of being scared when you do it and if it is not very trusting of other people.
It thinks it will be punished
The reason might also be that it does it because it thinks you are going to punish it. This would be more likely if it barks when you are shouting at your dog directly and if it happens after it does something that it shouldn’t. Instead, it would help to get it to change its behavior with the use of positive reinforcement training when possible.
It is defending you
It might also be the case that it does it because it is actually being protective. This would be more likely if it does not seem to be barking directly at you and if it does it when you are being loud at someone else or on the phone.
It has been encouraged
It might also be the case that you have encouraged it to do it by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you give it things such as toys, treats, extra attention or other things it wants, when it barks, it will likely do it more for more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to behave, to stop rewarding it when it does not and to give it lots of positive reinforcement training.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when figuring out what has been causing your dog to do it.
If your dog always barked when you used to shout
If it did not always bark when you shout, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since an event might have caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it might be because you punished it one time causing it to now feel threatened when you shout. It could also be the case that it realized that it gets rewards when it does it.
What is different when your dog does not bark
If it does not always bark when you shout, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not do it.
For example, if it only barks when you are shouting at your dog, it would be more likely that it feels threatened by it especially if it also shows threatening body language.
How to get your dog to stop barking when you shout
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. It would help to make use of positive reinforcement training in order to get your dog to stop barking when you want it to. You can watch the video below for tips on how to do it.
Interact with it calmly
If your dog has been barking when you shout, it is likely that it causes your dog to feel discomfort in some way. They also tend to be highly aware of their owner’s emotions. As a result, it would help to interact with your dog calmly and to get your dog to behave in a certain way with the use of positive reinforcement training and by not rewarding bad behavior.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been barking because it has learned that it gets rewards for doing it. Instead of giving it things it wants, when it barks, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want to and to stop rewarding it when it starts barking.
Avoid punishing it
If you punish it, when it barks when you shout, it could actually be encouraging it to bark more. This is because it might find you threatening when you are shouting or it might actually consider the extra attention as a reward.
This is why it would help to try to ignore it when it barks and not to give it attention while it is barking and to give it rewards when it is not barking.