If your dog has been talking back to you, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog talk back to me? Possible reasons why your dog has been talking back to you are that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded, intimidation, it does not want to do what you want it to, possessiveness, or social bonding.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Why does my dog talk back to me?

Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog talks back to you and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Encouraging the behavior

The cause could be that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats, or extra attention, when it talks back to you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. If you do not want it to talk back to you, it would help to avoid rewarding the behavior and to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to instead.

Nature

The cause might also be that it is in its nature. In the wild, it is common for dogs to bark and howl together. The reason for this could be that it is a social bonding activity and it might be why yours barks back at you as well. This would be more likely if your dog does it when you are not trying to get it to do something.

Intimidation

The cause might also be that it gets intimidated when you talk to it. This would be more likely if it barks when you shout at it or have aggressive looking body language. In this case, it would help to be calmer with it and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you want.

It doesn’t want to do something

The cause could also be that it does not want to do something. This would be more likely if it barks when you are telling it to do something. In this case, it could help to train it to learn to enjoy doing what you want it to do using positive reinforcement training.

Possessiveness

The cause might also be that it is being possessive. This would be more likely if your dog barks when you tell it to give you something or to move from a certain spot.

It would be important to be careful in these situations since dogs can become aggressive when they are resource guarding. If your dog is a puppy then it would be very important to train it out of this behavior now while it is still young.

Things to consider about your dog talking back to you

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

The timing of when your dog talks back to you

It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog does it since the timing could have something to do with it. For example, if your dog tends to do it more when you are telling it to get into the car, it would be more likely that it is telling you that it does not want to get into the car.

If your dog has always talked back to you

If your dog did not always talk back to you, it would also help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as learned that the behavior is rewarded or your dog started being possessive.

The body language it shows

It also would help to consider the type of body language your dog shows when it is talking back at you.

If it shows other signs of aggression such as showing its teeth, snarling, growling and a stiff posture, it would be more likely that it is being aggressive and/or feeling threatened.

Whereas, if it shows signs of excitement such as wagging its tail, jumping up and down and having wide-open eyes, it would be more likely that it is excited.

What to do about your dog talking back to you

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Avoid encouraging it

As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.

Be calm with it

If your dog only talks back to you when you are being intimidating, it would help to be calm with it and to use positive reinforcement training to change its behavior instead.

Get help

If your dog talks back to you in an aggressive manner, it would also help to get the help of a dog trainer in your area. By doing so, you should be able to see what has been causing the behavior and what you can do to get it to stop safely.

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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.