Dog Only Barks at Certain People & Strangers – Top 3 Reasons Why
Dogs can sometimes sense things that we wouldn’t. This could be one of those cases when a dog starts to bark at a certain person and that person only. Here are the most common reasons that may explain this behavior, whether it’s to a stranger or to a person the dog knows.
1. Your dog had a bad experience with the person
The dog might be barking at a certain person because he or she recalls a bad or stressful experience. You may not have been there at the time stressful experience happened. This could be a number of things such as if the person scared or punished the dog. Keep an open mind to this as what the person did may have been completely accidental.
2. The person reminds the dog of a traumatic experience
Alternatively, the person may not have done anything wrong. The person’s demeanor and smell might just remind the dog of someone else that created a traumatic experience. This might happen more often with rescue dogs that have come from an abusive background.
The dog could also just be being silly. One dog owner mentioned his dog wouldn’t stop barking at his long-hair child until the child cut his hair short. Not all reasons for this barking behavior are due to something concerning.
3. The dog is being protective
The dog could also be sensing something off about the person. The dog could be perceiving the person as a threat to his “pack”. Perhaps it’s the way this person approaches you or the way he talks. Body language can share a lot of things about a person and the dog might be picking up small but threatening signs.
How to stop a dog from barking at one person
This barking behavior is probably something you wouldn’t want your dog to continue with if the person the dog barks at isn’t a stranger. There are a couple of steps that may help.
Reactive dogs, for example, are known to bark at certain people. It doesn’t help if this happens in an outdoor setting where there are a lot of strangers. Reactive dog training may help in this instance.
Letting the person give the dog some tasty treats may help if the person is innocent of any wrongdoing. This can help break a dog’s anxious fixation as long as it’s not too severe.