Every sound a canine makes is different.
Because each has its own meaning – depending on its pitch, timing, and intensity.
So, if they’re in their ‘own world’ and having a long doggie talk…
Could it be that they’re gossiping about the new neighbor’s cat?
Or are they just annoying each other?
And are there ways for you to stop it?
Well, keep reading to find out:
- When do they choose to ‘talk back’ to other doggos.
- If they’re only following them or they’re answering back.
- Whether they’re having a positive or a negative conversation.
- 7 helpful tips on how to manage their excessive vocalizations.
- And many more…
Table of contents
Why does my dog bark when other dogs bark?
Your dog barks when other dogs bark because they’re stressed out, not in the mood to play, scared, being aggressive, excited, correcting their behavior, socializing, or being encouraged. It can also be due to genetics, lack of socialization, barrier frustration, alarm barking, and social learning.
13 reasons why your dog barks when other dogs bark
“I’ve had enough.”
If dogs can lack stimulation, they can also have too much of it and get overwhelmed.
That’s why some might withdraw during a play all of a sudden. It might have started as a fun time, but then the other dog got too pushy.
And even though they already said, “I’m done,” their pal still annoyed them.
So, your pooch might be in discomfort, so they’re more vocal. And might also side-eye the other dog.
My dog, Lissa, is very vocal when she wants to communicate something to me. I’ve taken her to some puppy parties when she was little.
Apparently, these gatherings were not her cup of tea. So after a few minutes passed, Lissa would look me in the eye and start barking.
Because she had dogs circling her, sniffing her, and she’d feel like she’s had enough. So at some point she’d simply say “I want to go! Now!”. Then we’d go for a walk and she’d quiet down.
#2: They’re not in the mood
Do you often overhear your dog having an argument with another pooch?
Are they having a heated discussion about global warming? Maybe politics?
Or about whose parent is better!
Well, if you usually notice that yours is laying down while the other is so vocal and excited…
It might be because your doggo doesn’t want to play. Yet the other one still insists on it. And it became so annoying.
So they got no other choice but to bark back and say, “No, thank you. Don’t bother me anymore.”
“Stay away from me!”
Some canines might be aggressive or pushy. And it might be that your pooch has met one outside. So, their defense mechanism is to snarl back.
A scared one will usually pace a lot, have flattened ears, and dilated pupils.
They might also be nervous about meeting other dogs. And it might be due to little exposure to them.
#4: Holding their ground
Sometimes, your dog may not be the one who feels threatened. It might also be the opposite.
They might be confident enough and accept the challenge of an opponent.
So they let out barks and growls as signs they’re not yielding. They’ll also do it over and over again with increasing volume.
They could be as aggressive as the one snarling at them. Or…
They might hate each other. So they bicker like two kids in grade school who don’t get along well.
This can be due to resource guarding or territorial instincts. The other canine might be getting near their food bowl or stealing their favorite toy.
#5: They’re being playful
Do they bark in high pitch and with short pauses?
If so, your pooch might be so excited to see their great pal. Or they met another playful hound.
The other dog might have yapped happily and wagged their tail like crazy. Which can translate into, “Hello! Nice meeting you!”
And your doggo will also woof back and do a paw slap. Which is a sign of trust.
So what seemed to be “screaming” sounds might be them shouting at each other out of joy.
It’s like when two good friends finally meet in person after months of facetiming.
#6: ‘Barrier frustration’
Did you see your pooch having a fierce debate with another hound by the gate?
Then when someone opened it, they became quiet? It’s like nothing happened a few seconds ago.
That’s because dogs might be more aggressive if there’s a barrier. Or if they’re on a leash.
A study says that it might be due to the feeling of being trapped.
Being restricted frustrates them so much. They couldn’t meet the canine in front of them and do what they’re supposed to do.
If they’re on a leash, it might be too tight. So the other dog is uncomfortable. And that’ll send confusing signals to your pooch.
Watch these two doggos who are so frustrated about this:
#7: To make peace
“Hey, calm down…
I’ll gladly share my toys. What do you want?”
If there are dogs who are fierce and don’t easily yield, there are also advocates of peace.
They’ll humbly submit to hounds who are confronting them. And that’s to avoid any fight or argument.
Your dog’s yapping back might be out of surrender if they avoid eye contact and lower their head and body. This is to make themselves smaller and show submission.
They might also do the ‘pretzeling.’ It’s when their body forms a knot or a ‘C-shape’ like the biscuit.
It’s also a way of showing they’re not resisting. And that the other one can take or do what they want.
#8: ‘Disciplinarian’ duties
If your dog is already an adult and they’re faced with a loud and hyper puppy, this may likely happen.
They might be correcting the behavior of a youngster who isn’t aware that what they’re doing isn’t nice.
So your pooch has decided to teach the little one some lessons.
They’ll avoid the puppy and snarl for a bit. This will serve as a warning for them to stop. And that they’re not liking it.
“Sorry, human. It runs in my blood.”
Well, yes. Genetics could also play a part in this. As some dogs might tend to bark more than others.
Those are vocal breeds like Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and Beagles. They might yap at almost anything.
Also, boldness can be passed on too. That’s why some are more prone to aggression.
#10: It’s reinforced
It’s also possible that you or someone is rewarding your dog whenever they talk back.
Seeing them having a ‘serious conversation’ with others might look cute and funny. So you might have reacted excitedly.
Also, you might be giving them extra attention when they do it. Or offer them treats right after.
And those made them think that you liked it. Which then motivated them to do it again.
#11: To socialize
Wait…why are we barking?
Never mind. Hello, everyone!”
Ever wonder why your dog joins other hounds who are barking?
They might only want to interact with others so badly. So they don’t mind even if they’re several houses away. Or if they’ve just met.
It’ll also don’t matter if they see them or not. Once they hear them, it won’t hold them back to butt in the fun.
#12: Alarm barking’
“What? There’s danger nearby?
I’ll also help in spreading the news.”
Your dog might also chime in the group barking. If the one who started it is alerting everyone of something.
Of course, they won’t have a clue on what exactly the fuss is all about. They’ll recognize it right away.
It can be a suspicious stranger walking in the street. Or a coyote is wandering your area.
In fact, an experiment was made to know if canines could understand what others of their kind are saying.
Experts recorded different kinds of barks and played them to some hounds. And they proved they can recognize each of them.
They said that when dogs heard the ‘stranger barks,’ they reacted and jumped right away. While most of them didn’t even care when ‘alone barks’ were played.
#13: Social learning
Mimicking others’ is also observed in dogs, and that’s also how they learn the ropes in life.
A non-barker might turn into a talkative one. Or someone who doesn’t use the litter box might start to make use of it.
So, it might be that a dog nearby always joins or yaps back at the other canines. And your pooch observed it and had a eureka moment like, “Aha! So that’s how it should be done.”
Experts say that as early as 8 weeks old, a pup can already have this skill. And that they learn faster when they watch a stranger dog do it than their mother.
That’s because they tend to pay more attention to someone unfamiliar. Making them watch closely and pick it up easily.
5 tips on what to do if your dog barks when other dogs bark
#1: Avoid and acknowledge
Avoid encouraging them
Whenever they do it, you might need to stay neutral. Don’t comfort them by touching or offering snacks.
Also, avoid yelling at them to make them stop barking. They’ll not understand it and think you’re joining them.
Acknowledge when they bark
This is for dogs who yap a lot to alert and scare off unfamiliar canines.
If their efforts to warn you are constantly ignored, they’ll be frustrated and do it nonstop.
So, you may reassure them by thanking them when they bark. You can say “alright” or “thank you” and take a look outside. Then offer them treats.
If they stayed silent right after, give them more. And do this until they learn how to guard and stay quiet in command.
#2: Safe spot
If your pooch often gets anxious or feels uneasy around other dogs, you may provide them with a ‘safe place’ to retreat.
You might prevent them from barking nonstop. And it might even help in calming them down.
It can be a crate, bed, or mat placed in a room. Just make sure that it’s cozy enough.
You can also train them to go to their place by making them go in their spot. Then entice them with treats.
Also, put some chewy and busy toys in there like puzzles or kongs. Those will keep them engaged and relax their mind.
#3: Be attentive
Observe your dog’s body language. And be careful when introducing them to other hounds.
Stay distant from them. It’s because most pooches may feel uncomfortable with it.
If it seems like they’re getting nervous or stressed, stay away at once.
You can make them go to their safe spot. Then give them space and let them settle down by themselves.
You can walk them outside. Or see your friends’ or family’s Fidos. But if they’re too aggressive, you may need to seek the help of a trainer.
Just make sure to keep a safe distance from them. And don’t force any interactions right away.
So, let your dog decide if they want to sniff or interact with them.
If other dogs want to get close, make them come politely from behind. But if your pooch seems uncomfortable, step back a little.
It’s also important that the hounds you’re training with are calm and social.
If your buddy is not nervous or angry, you may slowly get them to interact with each other.
They may choose one particular dog they’re interested in. So, focus first on that single canine before you go along and meet all of them.
Keep the interactions short and safe. And call them back. Then repeat and make it longer as you progress.
Just be patient and reward them for being calm until they seem comfortable.
#5: Block the frustrations
If they tend to be more vocal when they see another dog by the window or any barrier, you may try to play some music.
Blocking it might not be a good idea. Because their sense of smell and hearing are way better than their sight.
So, it would be best to make the outside sounds less audible.
You can play some classical music for them.
Research shows that it soothes dogs the most out of all music genres.
By doing that, it was said that they’ll rest and lie down more. So they’ll wander and bark less.
It may not even matter if it’s Mozart or Bach. Search for any piece and see how they would react.
Note: Tiring them out will also help in getting rid of their excess energy. You can do it by physical exercises, mental games, and giving them interactive toys.