If your dog has been wagging its tail and barking, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog wag its tail and bark? Likely reasons why your dog wags its tail and barks are that it is feeling threatened, it is excited, it wants something from you, it is being aggressive or that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded.

There are many different reasons why your dog might wag its tail and bark and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about them.

Why does my dog wag its tail and bark?

Below are likely reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.

It is feeling threatened

A dog wagging its tail does not always mean that it is friendly. The reason why your dog has been wagging its tail and barking could be that it is feeling threatened. This would be more likely if your dog has been doing it more at a time when it is likely to feel threatened such as when you are shouting, when there are certain people nearby or when there are loud noises inside.

Excitement

It is also possible that your dog has been doing it due to excitement. This would be more likely if it does it more at a time when it is likely to be excited such as when taking it for a walk or before feeding it in the morning.

It is being aggressive

Another possible cause is that your dog is actually being aggressive. This would be more likely if your dog also does things such as snarl, show its teeth and have a stiff posture.

It wants something from you

It could also be the case that your dog is trying to get something from you. This would be more likely if your dog does it at a certain time such as when you are eating or before you would normally give it something such as food or exercise.

Encouraging the behavior

It could also be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as extra attention or treats, when it wags its tail and barks, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your dog has always wagged its tail and barked

If your dog has not always wagged its tail and barked, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to a change in its environment, a change in its daily routine causing it to bark to remind you of things or learning that the behavior is rewarded.

The timing of when your dog wags its tail and barks

It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog wags its tail and barks. If it does it more at a certain time, it would be likely that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if your dog does it at around the same time you would normally walk it, the cause would be more likely to be that it is trying to remind you to walk it.

The body language your dog shows

It would also help to consider the body language your dog shows when it does it. If it does things such as snarl and growl, it would be more likely that it is being aggressive and warning you to leave it alone. Whereas, if it does things such as jump up and lick you, the cause would be more likely to be due to excitement.

What to do about my dog wagging its tail and barking?

Below are some things you can do about the behavior.

Get help

If it seems like your dog has been doing it due to being aggressive the best option would be to get help from a dog trainer or behaviorist in your area. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to see how to deal with it safely.

Avoid intimidating it

As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has been doing it due to intimidation. Instead, it would help to be calm around it and to use positive reinforcement training or similar training methods to get your dog to behave the way you want it to instead of using threatening measures.

Avoid rewarding the behavior

It would also help to avoid rewarding the behavior by not giving it attention until it stops barking. Doing this should teach your dog that barking does not result in it getting rewards.

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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.