When deciding on buying a dog, we can all agree that we consider them as part of our family. We will do anything and everything for them. One part of dog behavior that can resonate with we humans is their ability to read and feel emotions.
Just like every family member, dogs also feel and react when sensing bad energy from their loved ones. When it comes to this, dogs can be compared to small kids. They can sense something is wrong, but aren’t completely aware of what is going on or how to behave in those moments.
The best example that every dog owner has seen from their dog when it comes to reading emotions and reacting to them is excitement. When you speak to your dog in a higher and happier voice, you can see them also get happy.
They will probably bring you their toys, start wagging their tail, or start jumping and running. While this is something that is amazing for both dogs and dog owners, there is another side to this aspect.
This is when the question, ‘Why do dogs bark when humans fight?’ occurs. We are here to teach you why dogs behave strangely when they see humans fighting, some tips for when this happens, and what some other signs are that your dog senses tension besides barking.
7 Reasons Why Dogs Bark When Humans Fight
Through the domestication process, dogs have been able to learn how we react in certain situations, and they partially adopted that behavior. Sometimes, we dog owners might think that our dogs have some behavioral problems, but in most cases, this isn’t true.
Sometimes, their reactivity is a showcase of our behavior. This is why it is also important for dog owners to learn their dog’s body language. One of those situations is when you end up having an argument with someone.
You need to make sure that your dog isn’t around you when there is fighting going on because you can end up with an anxious dog that won’t leave your side.
There are a couple of reasons why dogs bark when humans fight, and not just bark, but show other signs as well. We are here to present you with the most common reasons why dogs react when a fight is about to happen or is happening at the moment.
1. They Feel Bothered
Some natural feelings with we humans when being around a fight is wanting it to stop and feeling agitated. Well, dogs aren’t that different. When they see their best friend arguing with either a stranger or another friend of theirs, they will want it to stop.
Since dogs can’t verbalize this with words, they use their way of communicating, and that is barking. But, excessive barking during a fight isn’t a good combination. All that tension can make us even more agitated and irritated.
Because of this, we can turn to our dogs and start yelling at them as well, and tell them to go away. This can make the dog feel like you are angry at them as well. This is not done on purpose, it’s just the emotions that are bottled up, but it can make your dog feel even worse.
2. You Being Upset Is Not What They Are Used To
If you are a calm person who lives a steady lifestyle, your dog is probably used to that. But, if something counterconditioning happens, you can be sure that your dog will react to that. The most upsetting thing is a fight.
If your dog sees you having a fight with another person, their first instinct is either to protect you or to get really scared. Just like in dog fights, there will be dogs that will try to protect one of the dogs, try to stop the fight, or will get really scared and hide.
In this case, barking isn’t an aggressive behavior, but a protective behavior. It is a normal dog reaction to bad energy. They are just trying to save you from a fight.
Your dog will probably be confused when it first hears you yell, especially if you are a rather quiet person. They will try to help you either by intimidating the other person by barking, or they will pull on your clothes to isolate you from that situation.
You can expect them to try and calm you down afterward, especially if they see you crying. They will bring you a toy or will want to cuddle with you.
3. They Don’t Know Or Like The Person You Are Arguing With
Dogs are generally suspicious of strangers, but when they see a person that isn’t known to them fighting with their owner, it can trigger them. You can be sure that they will bark, make eye contact, or even attack the person in order to move them from you.
This also applies to people who they don’t like. They will probably have a different type of barking when they want to protect you from a stranger or a person they don’t like. It will sound more aggressive, and will probably be followed by lunging toward that person.
If you know your dog’s body language, you will know that you don’t have an aggressive dog but a dog that wants to protect you. You want to make sure to solve this problem as soon as possible because you might end up with a dog that is restless at night.
4. They Got Used To The Constant Fighting
This applies to situations where there is frequent fighting. You might think that they will get used to that and get over it, but it is the opposite. They do get used to it at some point, but they usually mimic the behavior.
They adopt the behavior, and this is why a dog needs a calm environment. You can expect to end up with a barking dog. But, the worst thing is that they can sometimes turn aggressive because they are used to the constant chaos.
They might start to fight with other dogs, bark at other people for no reason, or even lunge at the mailman or anyone entering your property. If it comes to this, you should consider dog training, and to be more precise, obedience training.
5. Your Dog Isn’t Socialized Enough
Dogs that aren’t socialized enough can react to almost anything, let alone fighting. These dogs don’t really know how to handle some of the basic stuff and situations. Imagine a dog coming to a home where they will experience fighting.
This is why it is important to expose your dog to different emotions, louder sounds, and some situations that might be scary for them. These dogs can become extremely anxious, and can even develop separation anxiety and become attached to you more than before.
You may also end up with an attention-seeking dog. They are in constant fear, so they may get either depressed or aggressive. It can be hard to socialize an aggressive dog, so it is better to prevent it than to fix it. Sometimes, even if you raise your voice a bit, not because you are angry, it can become stimuli that will make them triggered.
It is good to use positive reinforcement to calm them down. If you see that you can’t help your dog, try to hire a professional dog trainer.
6. They Don’t Want You To Hurt Each Other
This is for the situation when you are arguing either with another family member or a friend that your dog sees frequently, and also loves. They need to love you both for this to be the case.
They will bark uncontrollably just to make you stop because they think you might hurt each other. This doesn’t need to be an intensive argument. You can raise your voice just a bit and show some angry facial expressions in order for them to get concerned.
You can expect your dog to do anything to calm both of you down. Some of the things they might do are pulling you on your clothes to distance you from the situation, or even start licking you to try and calm you down.
If you notice your dog getting frustrated and starting to bark a lot, stop the fight. The best thing is to give them some treats, use positive reinforcement, or even take them to the dog park so they can play and calm down a bit.
7. They Are Scared And Confused
This is the core of all the other reasons that were mentioned. Confusion and fear are always present. Depending on the situation, they can be protective, angry, or even sad.
But, if these two are combined, you can expect your dog to bark but try to hide at the same time. They can even bark with a mix of crying. If you notice your doggy doing this, stop the fight immediately.
Make sure to follow their behavior after the situation because just like humans, dogs can also develop some traumas. If you see that your dog isn’t as happy as it used to be, and seems more fearful, you should contact an animal behaviorist.
Other Signs That Your Dog Will Show Besides Barking
Just like humans, dogs don’t show their emotions just by doing one thing. It is usually a mix of various behaviors. There can be one main thing, like barking, that is combined with other behavioral aspects.
We already mentioned some of these things, but we prepared a list of behaviors that your dog might show when humans fight.
This is something that dogs will do if they sense danger, and if they think that the person you are fighting is unknown or bad. They do this to intimidate the other person. If we are talking about bigger dogs, this can be intimidating.
Tucking Their Tail
This is a sign of fear and anxiety. By doing this, they are showing you that they are overwhelmed and don’t know what to do to stop the situation. It is mostly combined with either barking or crying.
This can be a sign of either fear or anger. But, the main thing that you should know when you see this is that they are, for sure, overwhelmed.
Giving You A Toy To Distract You
This is usually if they see you fight with another person they know and love as well. They will bring the toy as a peace offering. Even people with the hardest hearts will melt from this gesture and stop fighting.
They Can Become Overprotective
This can include many things like them following you to the bathroom, always looking if there is any potential danger around, or not letting anyone near you. This can become a problem in the longer run because they can also become too dependent on you.
This is the main sign that your dog is full of fear. This is usually combined with some barking, tail tucking, and ear dropping. If this behavior continues other than when an argument is taking place, you can have a real problem. Your dog’s quality of life will not be so good.
This is a common sign with we humans as well. They feel too much pressure to stop it so they just start walking around really fast. If you have a herding dog, this might be a way for them to try and calm the situation down.
Crying At Night
Crying at night is not something that happens in the moment, but your dog can be left with some traumas, which can make them cry in their sleep.
The main thing we want to emphasize is that if you fight frequently, your dog might end up with some trauma, and their behavior can be drastically changed. Dogs don’t just become barkers and that is it.
Usually, barking is just a way of communication that is followed by another behavioral sign that can stick with dogs for a long time. Always try to consider your dog when there is a more serious situation happening.
Solutions For Dogs Barking When Humans Fight
There are always ways to calm the situation and your dog. It is important to consider your dog’s feelings as well. This might be hard when you are in the moment, but try to snap out of it for a second and see if your dog is alright.
If you can’t do this by yourself because you feel overheated, we are sure that when you hear your dog barking or crying, you will realize that this is affecting them as much as it is you, and that you will manage to calm down a bit.
Here is a short list of some things you can do when you feel that your dog is getting upset and bothered by you fighting with someone.
This is the most logical, but sometimes hardest thing to do at the moment. We all can get overwhelmed sometimes, and when this happens, we tend to get out of our heads. But, when you see your dog barking at you while you are fighting, try to stop it immediately.
Try To Make The Fight Low-Key
This is an option if you live in a bigger house and you can isolate yourself from the dog. You should stay quiet and make sure that your dog can’t hear anything. When you think about it, it’s better to stop the argument than to do all this.
Use positive reinforcement
This is the best way to calm your dog after it has seen you fight. They need some love to compensate for all the tension. Cuddling your dog while soothing them with nice words in a soft tone is something that you can both enjoy and find calming.
NEVER IGNORE YOUR DOG!
We understand that fighting can make anyone not think straight, but never shut your dog down, drive it away, or start shouting at it. These can cause them big trauma, and they can start doing some things like licking you or they might even nibble on you
Your family dog is your best friend, and all of us will do anything to keep our dogs safe, calm, and happy. Unfortunately, in life, there will be some situations that are harder than others. There will be times when things get heated and an argument starts.
If you have ever wondered why dogs bark when humans fight, we hope we helped you. The main thing is to try and calm down. You should think of this in a way that you probably wouldn’t like to fight in front of other family members or friends.
Our dogs will never judge us. They can seem like they are neutral, which is why sometimes we forget that they are around us until they start barking. It happens to the best of us sometimes.
But, we, for sure, hope that any fight you may have is just a minor argument that can easily be solved, and we hope and wish that you and your dog live a calm and happy life. Arguments at times are normal, but just try to isolate your dog from them.