Instead of a dog, does it feel like you have a teenager at home…
Who’s sassy and always talks back like they’re in puberty?
Or a small kid who responds and interrupts you whenever you talk?
Oh my! Can Fidos really understand our language? Or…
Is it only a pure coincidence?
Keep reading to find out:
- What makes your pooch bark as you speak.
- Why do they do it when you’re talking to someone.
- If they’re responding to you or only expressing their feelings.
- 7 helpful tips on how to handle their excessive vocalizations.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog bark when I talk?
- Common situations:
- 13 reasons why your dog barks when you talk
- #1: They understand you
- #2: ‘Chatty’ genes
- #3: ‘Temper tantrums’
- #4: Your dog is complaining
- #5: You’re being repetitive
- #6: Your dog is intimidated
- #7: Your dog picks up your emotions
- #8: They’re still young
- #9: You’re talking with a stranger
- #10: They’re being possessive
- #11: Your dog is ‘jelly’
- #12: ‘Demand barking’
- #13: They think you’re talking to them
- #BONUS: Your dog is ecstatic
- 7 tips on how to get your dog to stop barking when you are talking
Why does my dog bark when I talk?
Your dog barks when you talk because they understand you, can sense your emotion, think you’re talking to them, don’t like your tone or what you’re saying. It could also be due to genetics, reinforcement, boredom, loneliness, jealousy, resource guarding, your body language, or lack of socialization.
13 reasons why your dog barks when you talk
#1: They understand you
“What? You told someone that I peed on my bed?
You said it’s only between the two of us!”
Have you been in a conversation but then your dog reacted after you talked about them?
They’re intelligent and good at relating things. That’s why they might know some words. And for sure, their name is included on it.
And they can really respond when you ask them something like: “Where’s your toy?”, “Are you hungry?”, or “Want to go outside?”
In fact, a study shows that canines can have 200 human words at most in their vocabulary.
That’s due to the frequent usage of those words. As well as by connecting them to what humans usually do after they said it.
Look at this adorable Sheepadoodle communicating with their parent:
#2: ‘Chatty’ genes
Does being talkative get inherited?
Yes, it’s possible in the doggy world.
Rovers who are naturally vocal might not seem to be angry about something when they bark. They would make many sounds too – like howls, groans, and whines.
They might even sit close to you and have a serious discussion about how the Earth was made. Or join in any conversation you’re having with other people.
And if yours also does these, you might have gotten yourself one.
You can also check out: 17 Reasons Why Your Dog Is So Vocal + 5 Tips
#3: ‘Temper tantrums’
Sometimes, dogs could act like a kid who talks back as they’re frustrated about their parents not allowing them to play outside.
So your dog will bark so much and drive you crazy. And no talking can make them stop.
This might be due to many things and could happen all of a sudden.
They could be bored and want to play so badly.
Or you’re not giving them enough quality time. And they’re misbehaving to tell you they aren’t satisfied.
#4: Your dog is complaining
“- Get off that couch now.
No, human. I’m not doing it!
– I have some treats here. It’s your favorite!
Does your dog often argue with you like this?
Your pooch could also act up when they don’t want to do something. So they’ll bark and whine a lot – expressing a firm “no.”
You might be asking them to do the things they hate or they might be tired. Like taking a bath, clipping their nails, or sleeping.
#5: You’re being repetitive
“Human, calm down!
Why do you keep on saying that thing over and over again?”
How many times do you say “stop” or “no” before they talk back to you?
Because dogs could also become annoyed if they’re being told so many times.
You might have continuously told them to stop what they’re doing. But they won’t obey you. And they’re not really going to.
It could also happen if you tease them with the same word repeatedly.
#6: Your dog is intimidated
This could happen if you raised your voice at them. And even made some provoking gestures which made them bark at you right after.
Your Fido might be angry and doesn’t like the tone of your voice or they’re frightened. So they yap as a defense mechanism.
Research shows that dogs really prefer being talked to sweetly. And they respond to it positively rather than being yelled at.
Because no one likes to get scolded, right?
VCA said that your pooch might not understand all the words you’re saying. But they know if you’re not happy based on how you said it.
#7: Your dog picks up your emotions
If dogs can’t understand what you’re saying, they still have a way to do it.
How? By analyzing the tone and volume of your voice.
So if you’re on the loud side and tend to get excited, your Fido might get fired up too.
That’s why they might suddenly bark at you or the person you’re speaking with.
They might think, “Oh, my mama seems angry. She’s raising her voice. Imma help her with this rude man she’s talking to.”
Even when you’re just so thrilled to tell your friend that you got a new job or a new haircut.
#8: They’re still young
How old is your pooch?
Well, their ‘grumpiness’ might be part of their puppyhood.
Same with kids, they could be a chatterbox at that age too.
So your little fluff might be voicing out a lot of complaints. Such as their empty food bowl and your neighbor’s dog.
Due to being playful, they think that you’re always talking to them when you’re not. So they’ll respond every time you say something.
Some might outgrow it. But not always, as there are breeds who are vocal until adulthood.
#9: You’re talking with a stranger
“Human, I’m scared.
I didn’t know there are other people in this world.”
At a rate of 1-10, how exposed is your pooch to other people?
If it’s very low, they might be anxious about meeting someone unfamiliar.
As they weren’t socialized well. So what more if there are strangers talking to you.
Your Fido doesn’t trust anybody other than you. So they’ll see others as a threat. And they’ll bark as loud as they can to scare them away.
#10: They’re being possessive
“Move away from my mama! She belongs to me!”
If this usually happens when you’re talking to someone, they might be guarding you. Especially when they growl and snap in the air.
Wow, I’m touched. Protecting me from what?
Uhm, from getting stolen by some stranger, maybe?
Yes, it might sound weird. But it could be possible.
Aside from their food and territory, dogs could also guard their humans. Because they’re an important resource.
You’re giving them everything they need – from kibbles to affection.
So they’ll let out loud and aggressive barks. As they’re upset that someone might take you away from them.
#11: Your dog is ‘jelly’
No, not that sweet thing made out of sugar and fruit juice.
They’re actually bitter…as they might just be jealous.
Wait, are they really capable of feeling it?
Yup! It was proven in a study.
According to it, Fidos will show jealous behavior when their parent’s attention is on someone else. Then, they’ll snap and get in between them.
So that’s why they bark and misbehave when you’re talking to somebody.
But why does my dog act up when I’m on the phone?
Your pooch might think you’re ignoring them. So they feel insecure and become grumpy.
They only want you to focus on them at all times. And they view the person you’re talking to as a rival.
This isn’t cute as they could be really aggressive to strangers. And also bark at certain dogs who are receiving affection from their parents.
Luckily, there are ways to correct this behavior. And they’ll be discussed shortly.
#12: ‘Demand barking’
This is when dogs learned they can get what they want if they yap and bug someone.
And your pooch might be doing it to you.
It could be that you’re giving them attention when they snarl and jump on you while you’re speaking on the phone.
You’ll be surprised by it and somehow get annoyed by the sudden attack.
And they’ll like any reaction as long as they make you stop what you’re doing.
#13: They think you’re talking to them
“Oh, are you asking for my opinion?
Finally! I’ve been wanting to tell you my thoughts about this….”
Is your dog barking during a phone call?
If that’s always the case, it might be that your pooch thinks you’re talking to them.
It could be just the two of you at home. So they might just be courteous enough to answer you back.
Or they’re in the mood for some gossip or heart-to-heart talks.
#BONUS: Your dog is ecstatic
“Is there a party? Are my friends coming over?!”
You’re talking to your friend over the phone. And your Fido seems to be listening in your convo.
Then they rush towards you and bark like crazy. They’re wagging their tails and panting with excitement.
Why could it be?
It might be because they heard you speaking to someone they like. And they want to meet that person so badly. Or…
They might have associated you talking on the phone with having visitors into your house.
And if they’re a ‘social butterfly,’ they’ll be overjoyed. So your dog barks when you’re on the phone.
7 tips on how to get your dog to stop barking when you are talking
#1: Be aware of your tone and emotions
You may also need to watch out for your feelings when you’re with your dog.
If they get easily nervous and they sense you’re anxious too, it might result in a barking frenzy. Same when you’re too excited or loud.
Also, be careful of your tone when speaking to them. Being playful and teasing them with words might be cute at times.
But if it’s too frequent, they might get so agitated by it. And will yap every time you say something.
So, try to always talk in your ‘dog-speak’ voice. And avoid constantly telling them to do something. Especially if you’re making your dog do commands.
See how important this is by watching this short video:
#2: Help them with their fear
If you have an unsocialized pooch, it would be best to get them used to unfamiliar people asap.
But, remember to avoid any close interactions and crowded places at first.
You don’t want to ‘flood’ your Fido with too many stressors that’ll make it even worse.
So you may want to try these in your yard or anywhere with fewer people:
- Get your dog on a leash. Take them outside.
- Ask someone who could help you with training. Then make them stand far away from where you are.
- Once your pooch spotted the person, give them treats. Do that as long as the stranger is there.
- Next, signal the person to go away. And stop the treat-giving.
- Then, make them return. If your dog seems calm, feed them again.
- Now, slowly get closer to the stranger.
- Observe your Fido’s body language. If they seem stressed, step back. But never force if they’re still not ready.
Just keep practicing these daily. And if they’re still nervous, don’t fret. It won’t happen immediately. You can try again next time.
#3: Correct the behavior
What encourages your dog to bark when you’re talking?
If it’s attention, you may refrain from giving it to them. Ignore them when they yap. Or when they jump or paw at you. Don’t look, pet, or talk to them.
Have someone talk to you in person or on the phone. Then stay calm when they demand bark.
When they stay silent for a few seconds, reward them. Let them realize that they need to be quiet for you to give them attention.
Note: Be aware of ‘extinction burst.’ It’s when their behavior will worsen before it gets better. So it could be noisier for the first few days.
#4: New options
If you made your dog stop barking, you’d also need to replace it with new behavior.
Teach them what you want them to do instead of just telling them “no.”
Commands like “quiet” and “leave it” might help them to stop. While “sit,” “down,” and “stay” would be an excellent substitute for yapping.
Then use positive reinforcement and avoid punishments.
What makes your pooch excited?
Is it a piece of ham, a ball, or a bone? Use it as their motivation.
Doing this will make them have a trainable mindset. Instead of using force which only creates fear.
#5: Teach them to enjoy being calm
Once a bad behavior is ignored, a good behavior shall be reinforced more.
So, keep on encouraging their calmness.
If you spot them lying or sitting on the ground, surprise them with treats.
Do this only if they’re in a relaxed state. Like if they quietly sit beside you or rest on the floor.
But make sure they aren’t doing it for the sake of the snacks. So avoid rewarding them when they’re waiting for it.
They’ll not only learn to settle down on their own but will enjoy it as well.
#6: Curb their jealousy
For overprotective dogs, it’s also best to ignore them when they bark for attention.
If they’re stressed, they might go on and destroy things in the house. So, you can tell them to stop but do it calmly.
You may also avoid it by removing any stuff they can reach in the first place.
But what if they’re jealous of other people I talk to?
If it’s someone you’ll be interacting with most of the time, you can make them earn your Rover’s trust.
Train them with the person inside a room. Keep your dog at a safe distance and talk to the ‘stranger.’
Remember to always make it a positive experience. Give them treats and make sure they aren’t riled up.
If the person got closer and they started barking, take a few steps back.
Once their relationship improves, you can ask them to feed or walk your pooch.
Warning: If they’re aggressive towards others, you may need to ask for help. And consult a positive reinforcement trainer for this.
You might also be interested in: The Truth About “Curb Your Dog” (Meaning, Facts & Signs)
#7: More stimulation and attention
Take them for more frequent walks. Playing tug or fetch after will also do.
Mental stimulation gets overlooked sometimes. So provide some puzzle toys or teach them tricks every day.
Also, consider a treat or toy dispenser to keep them entertained. If you’re a busy person, this might help.
They might also bark because they miss bonding with you, so allot a ‘cuddle time’.