Barking is one of the few ways that dogs communicate with their owners. Barking is normal for dogs but non-stop barking can be irritating. A more serious problem can be that your dog barks only at you and not your spouse or anyone else in the family. The frequent, loud and annoying barking at you may make you feel that your dog doesn’t like you. This may not be true because there can be several reasons why your dog barks at you and not your spouse.
You might not realize this but your dog may be playfully barking at you. Playful barking is easy to identify. When your dog barks playfully, their body will be in a relaxed posture and they are usually wagging their tail. Their barks will also have a soft and deep tone. This is the type of barking that happens when you come back from work or are in the middle of playing. Playful barks are nothing to worry about unless it escalates to aggressive behavior.
Dogs are naturally territorial animals. Dogs’ perception of the territory is very loose and that could lead to unwanted barking. They could perceive anything as their territory, like a room or an area in your backyard, and possibly even the entire backyard. Your dog can even view your spouse as their territory. If this is the case, your dog will start barking when they see you interacting with them.
Dogs have strong instincts to guard things and they are generally protective of their family members. Their protective behavior can be stronger towards specific family members that they feel are important to them. If your husband feeds the dog, takes them for a walk or plays with them the most, your dog might become very protective of him. So they may bark at you when you are trying to interact with your husband. This type of barking could become intense if they think you are not backing off.
One of the reasons for your dog barking could be to get your attention. They may bark when they want to go potty, to go out for a walk or to play. They know barking will help them get your attention and it will generally stop after their desire has been fulfilled. Rewarding them with praise or treats can stop the barking but could incentivise them to bark whenever they want something. This type of barking is known as demand barking and should not be encouraged.
Your dog might bark if they are afraid of something. When they fear something your dog barks as a warning to others and also to protect themselves. You might think that you are the one who is scaring your dog but the reason could be something else. Something that they’ve never seen before or an electronic toy that you use could scare your dog. They may bark whenever you come near them with the “scary” object. Dogs can also bark at unfamiliar noises you make or objects or unfamiliar smells.
Dogs are companion pets and leaving them alone for a long time can cause boredom. This can cause anxiety or separation disorders. Your dog may start barking at you if you are playing with them after a long time away from them. If you can avoid leaving them alone for too long this will reduce the chances of boredom barking. Your dog will love it if you can spend time with them each day playing with them or running them around.