Why Do Dogs Bark At Certain People

Why Do Dogs Bark at Certain People?

Dogs don’t communicate with words like humans do, so they bark when they have to tell us something.  If you have ever wondered why dogs bark at certain people, this article will help you gain an understanding of this dog behavior.

Reasons Why Dogs Bark at Certain People


One of the reasons why dogs bark at certain people and not others, is that one person may make them nervous.  Just like humans sense things about other people, so can dogs.

There could be something about the person’s walk, movements, or voice that make your dog nervous about them.  Or that particular person could remind them of someone they had a bad experience with.  Since our dogs can’t talk to tell us something is off, they bark.

Territorial Instinct

Many dogs can be territorial.  Territorial behavior can extend beyond just the boundaries of your home, it could also extend to places they go to often that they see as “theirs”.

Dog barking at someone behind fence

If you are walking your dog or visiting someplace, they view as their space, and a stranger shows up, they may see that person as a threat.  They will then bark to let you know there is a potential danger in their space.


Some dogs bark at people because the person makes them insecure in some way.  Just like people can be insecure, so can dogs. An insecure dog can be shy, have anxiety, and be untrusting of many people.  This could happen because of a trauma in their past, because of an illness, or because they are easily nervous.  A dog that is insecure is more likely to bark at certain people out of fear of the unknown that they bring.


Another reason why dogs bark at certain people is excitement.  If your dog sees someone they know across the street they will start barking out of excitement to get their attention and because they can’t contain themselves. 

My dog barks like crazy whenever she sees her favorite people off in the distance, and this barking will carry on until they come and give her attention.  Barking is often a way our dogs express their exactment to do something or see someone, barking isn’t always reserved just for alerting you of threats.

Alerting You

A big reason why dogs bark at certain people is to alert us of their presence.  Dogs are naturally protective and when someone is approaching you or their home, they will bark to let us know potential danger is approaching.

Even if you are away from the house, your dog could bark at a stranger approaching to alert you that someone is coming so you can look out.  Many people love when their dogs alert them of someone approaching even if the person is not a threat just knowing someone is around is good for safety.

Body Language of the Person

Sometimes dogs bark at a person because their body language is suspicious.  Dogs are a good judge of people, and if someone is exhibiting signs and body language differently than the norm, they will sense something is off.  They may not know the reason why, but just something being off is enough for them to bark.


There are many reasons why your dog barks at certain people and not others.  Dogs have good senses and sometimes they sense something that isn’t evidence to us.  Other times they could be excited, nervous or their territorial instinct could be kicking in.

Try and determine the reason why your dog is barking at certain people in different situations, the answer may be different each time.