What does it mean when puppy barks at you? Let’s Explore

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When your dog barks at you, it means he is try to tell you something. What that something is will vary. He could be demanding food, asking for attention, being protective, telling you he is in pain, or alerting you to what he perceives as danger.

Dogs bark for many different reasons, so the fact that he is barking at you is usually no cause for concern. If the bark is low-pitched and accompanied by growling, that can be a sign of aggression. Keep in mind, however, that aggression is often caused by pain or an illness—especially if it comes on suddenly and isnt normal for your dog. So putting aside aggression, here are a few things your dog may be trying to tell you:

Ensure Your Dog’s Needs are Met

Many of the reasons your dog may bark at you are to fulfill their needs. For instance, a dog that is barking because they are bored requires more mental stimulation. A dog that always barks because they want to play may need more physical exercise. Fulfilling these needs can prevent the barking before it even starts.

If your dog needs more physical exercise, take them on long walks. Alternatively, some dogs may have very little stamina but still need to run around quite a bit. These dogs may benefit from many relatively short walks or play sessions. Greyhounds and Siberian Huskies are a good example of this.

For mental stimulation, provide puzzle toys or do more training sessions with your canine. Many dog breeds are intelligent and need something to do with their minds, or they’ll get bored. If you aren’t home, puzzle toys are an easy way to combat this. For times that you are home, try training or even games, like hide-and-seek.

You may hear this if you walk up to a dog that wasn’t paying attention or has poor hearing, or if they think they see something move quickly in the grass.

Similar to attention-seeking behavior, the body posture can include having their ears drawn back with their tail straight out, or they could display neutral positioning.

These barks will usually be deeper and may have a growl associated with them. They will also be fairly continuous and incessant. This is your dog’s way of saying, “hey, what’s this? We need to be at the ready for a problem.”

In some cases, a dog may lower themselves into a play bow (front legs down with their bottom in the air) to signify they are ready to play.

The barks will often be accompanied by a wagging tail and an alert—but happy—body position (ears perked and head held higher).


Dogs are members of the canidae family, which also includes wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals and hyenas. Just as their wild counterparts, dogs communicate with other animals and with us through the sounds they make.

Most dogs have a variety of vocalizations that are associated with what they want and how they are feeling – from happy to fearful, content or excited, annoyed or agitated.

The meaning of a dog’s sounds are varied and sometimes curious. The team at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center is here to decipher some of these barks, growls, mumbles, and yips into a discernible dictionary for us humans.