Why Does a Dog Bark at a Certain Person?

How do I get my dog to stop growling at my husband?

Dogs bark at people to express emotions like fear, joy, frustration, or to warn others that they are invading their territory.

In most cases, dogs will bark simply to warn their owners that they  have intruders or they are simply uncomfortable in the presence of that other person.

If your dog barks in your front yard, he or she may be guarding their home or warning others to stay away.

When dogs are fearful or suspicious, it’s difficult not to notice how your dog suddenly bursts into hysterical barking fits at certain people but not others.

There are many reasons why a dog barks at a specific person only, and it is critical that you understand why your dog is doing this so that you can stop it.

This post discusses some of the possible causes and how to stop the behavior.

Some of the most common possible reasons why your dog is barking at a certain people include excitement, poor treatment, feeling threatened and more. Dogs usually express their emotions using their body language as well as their behavior.

Barking at people is not necessarily a bad thing, however it is essential to know the reason why your dog is doing it. When you use methods like positive reinforcement, you can easily try to make your dog know that barking at people is not a great behavior.

Knowing the reason why your dog is behaving this way can help you to get your dog to stop this behavior. The following are the reasons why your dog may bark at a certain person:

Dogs Barking Due To Excitement

A dog can also bark simply because it is excited upon seeing a certain person. This usually happens because of people that it sees constantly and knows. It can also happen when it sees people that it has interacted with at some point.

If this is the reason that your dog is barking at a particular person, you will see that its body language is excited. Signs include tail wagging, wide opened eyes as well as licking the person.

Dogs Barking Due To Encouraged Behavior

This is caused when you encouraging your dog to continue the barking behavior by rewarding it or giving it treats when it barks at the people.

Your dog ends up getting used to this kind of thing and will do it so that it gets the reward. To avoid encouraging its behavior, you should not give your dog rewards or treats when it barks at someone.

Dogs Barking Due To Sense Of Fear From The Body Language

One of the reasons why the dog may bark at a particular person is due to their body language. For instance, if the person is making very strong eye contact, it may cause the dog to start barking.

This is usually the case when the person trying to make eye contact with the dog is a stranger. Threatening body language is also another reason why the dog may start to bark at these people.

They may also bark at a person because they are in their territory or getting too close to them. This is because such things make the dog to feel intimidated.

Dogs Barking Due To Seek Owner’s Attention

Most of the time, when a dog barks at someone, it is usually regarded as the dog is being aggressive or does not like the person. However, sometimes the dog may bark at a certain person in order to simply get their attention.

This can be because the dog wants food or wants to play with the person. Some of the signs can include jumping or wagging of their tail. If you notice that your dog is showing you happy signs then this may be the reason why it is barking at a certain person.

Dogs Barking Due To Mistreatment

A dog can bark at people because they did not treat the dog well in the past or because they do not treat it properly. Another reason could be that the person the dog is barking at is very similar to the person that mistreated them.

If you notice that the dog is barking at most people that look very similar or sound in the same way, this could be the reason why it is behaving in that way. Some of the signs that you can see are the dog trying to hide from the people, showing of its teeth, stiffening of the tail or curling of its nose.

How to get the dog to stop barking at a particular person

The following are some of the tips you can use in order to make your dog to stop barking at certain people.

Use Positive reinforcement methods during training

Using positive reinforcement techniques, you can encourage your dog to behave in a better way or in a way that you want. This involves giving your dog treats or rewards when it does something that pleases you. As a result, your dog will do this more in order to please you or to get the rewards. With this technique, you can also make your dog stop barking at certain people.

You can do this by rewarding it when it does not bark at people. Avoid giving it rewards or treats when it barks at people because this will encourage it to do this more.

Using this technique will help your dog understand that not barking at people results in it getting rewards and treats from you. This also helps to ensure that your dog does not feel defensive or feel threatened around certain people.

Use Dog Training To Help Your Dog To Cope With Strangers And Listening to you

This involves training your dog so that it can be a le to listen to you when you give it commands. This also makes it very easy for you to control it when it does certain things that you do not like.

When it barks at someone, you can easily command your dog to stop. If you are having trouble training your dog, you can go to a dog behaviorist that can help you to train your dog. The dog behaviorist will be able to analyze why your dog is behaving that way as well as some of the things to do so that it can stop the behavior.

Use Dog Training Collars To Condition Your Dog

Training collars can be very helpful in making your dog to stop barking for a short period of time. You can also make use of the muzzles to prevent the barking. However, this does not change how the dog feels about that particular person and therefore when you remove the collar or muzzle the dog will go back to doing the same thing.

Things to consider to know your dogs’ behavior

It is also important that you figure out the reason your dog is barking at some people and not others. The following are some of the things to consider in order to find out why your dog is behaving that way around certain people.

  • What Happened for your Dog to Start Barking at Certain People?

You first need to find out if your dog has always been acting this way or not. You should also consider when this started and other things that took place when the dog started doing this. For instance, did the dog start barking at the person after it was mistreated or after you were mistreated by the person.

Therefore, the barking may be a result of being threatened or intimidated by the people that mistreated you or it. If your dog started barking at a certain person after they played with it, then the reason might be because it wants to play again with that particular person.

  • What happens when the dog does not bark at other people?

You also need to consider the things that are different when your dog is not barking at other people. For example, does it bark because they are too close to you or because they are invading its territory. If this is the case then the dog may be doing this because it feels that the person is being threatening.

  • Does your dog know the person?

It is also very important to consider if your dog knows the person that it is barking at. Most of the time, a dog may bark at a person that they know because they are excited to see them or because they want to play with them.

On the other hand, if the dog is barking at a stranger or a person that they do not, it may be because they feel threatened by the person or the person is too close to them and invading their territory.

  • Why doesn’t the dog bark at other people

The reason why your dog does not bark at other people is because the dog does not see those as a threat. Another reason why your dog may not bark at the people is because it does not see those people as a source of excitement, the dog may like the person but is not overexcited upon seeing them.


There are so many reasons that your dog may bark at one particular person. It may be that your dog is very excited to see the person or because it feels threatened by that person. Your dog may simply be seeking attention from a person and so on.

Some of the things that you can do in order to stop the behavior is by using positive reinforcement methods during training. You can also train your dog to listen to your commands.

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Mc Farren has been proudly advocating for pets and animal welfare for countless years and he's been doing so with passion and commitment to excellence. Because of that commitment, he helps Pet Referred.com maintain a completely friendly support team who help you navigate the complex choices you have to make for your pet food, best dog travel beds, skincare products for your pet and many more. Being on the constant hunt for 100% best pet supplies and service satisfaction for your pet is a task we approach with unprecedented intensity. Eddie also helps with the selection of our partners of choice and are carefully vetted to make sure that you get the best results possible for your pet.

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