Dogs are highly intelligent and social animals. They form strong bonds with their owners that can often lead to jealousy or possessiveness when they see someone else getting affection from their owner. This is known as co-dependency, and it’s common in many relationships, not just those between humans and dogs.
Dogs are protective in nature. If your dog is barking when you huge, cuddle or get close to someone else (including another animal) then it’s setting off his fight/flight instincts. He is barking, most likely, as a protective reaction. His bark is a warning that he’s being triggered by something.
Protective Instincts Are In Your Dogs DNA
Why do dogs want to protect their owners?
Dogs are a man’s best friend. They are loyal, protective and they will always be there for you when you need them. But why do dogs behave this way towards us?
Dogs get their protective instincts thousands of years ago when humans first domesticated wolves into pets. In order to survive, early human tribes needed protection from predators and wild animals. The people who were most vulnerable were those who could not fight or defend themselves very well – like women, children, and the elderly. So it made sense that these groups would travel with large aggressive breeds.
Early dogs were bred to guard livestock too, such as cattle, sheep, or goats. These larger dogs also became known as ‘sheepdogs’ because they worked with smaller dogs to herd and move livestock around safely from place-to
Why does my dog bark when I hug someone?
Your dog is likely barking out of fear or excitement. If he seems to like the person you are hugging he might want a hug too. If it seems like he does not like the person than the closeness is triggering his protective, fight or flight, instinct.
6 Reasons Dogs Bark When You Get Close To Someone Else
We know that the dog’s protective instincts are being triggered but now we will explore the specific things that can trigger a dog in this scenario.
#1 Your dog is be jealous
A dog that is jealous and insecure about your relationship with other people or pets is not a good thing. jealously often caused by Co-dependency and improper dog training.
It can lead to behavioral problems, such as excessive barking, aggression towards people & animals, urinating in the house, or separation anxiety.
If someone else touches your face, hair, or any part of your body and your dog reacts by barking he might be jealous you are paying attention to someone else. They don’t want anyone threatening their bond with you.
The first step in changing this behavior is to identify whether you have an overly attached dog and then acting accordingly.
If you do it might be time to set some boundaries and find a professional dog behavioral specialist/trainer to help you. The only way to fix this is to diagnose the problem, find a solution, and then be consistent with it.
If you haven’t been consistent in training your dog and have allowed him to bark and react negatively to other people (including your family) then there are some serious changes you need to make.
There is no shame in this as dogs can form strong bonds with humans. Some breeds are more prone to form these one-on-one bonds than others.
For example, I am the love of my Beagles life. He loves me above everyone. He likes most strangers but I am his favorite person.
My labrador, on the other hand, loves everyone. He could be with me, someone in my family, or even a stranger, and he would be in heaven–because he loves spending time with people–no matter who they are. He’d make a lousy guard dog, but then again so would my Beagle.
#2 Your dog feels threatened by unfamiliar people
Some dogs are naturally suspicious of strangers, but some breeds are especially wary. Fear of strangers can also be caused by traumatic events the dog has experienced.
Many dog owners see that their pets can be defensive around unfamiliar people at times, but they may not understand why.
The answer is simple – dogs feel threatened by new people and situations because they don’t know how to handle them. When a stranger approaches you (or your dog) he feels confused and worried about what will happen next.
He doesn’t want to make the wrong move or do the wrong thing so he just stands there looking uncomfortable and barks while you try to figure out how to break through his barrier of fear.
So what should you do?
Give him time! Let him get used to changes in his environment, especially new people. If your dog is fearful or anxious it’s important that you give him space until he calms down and stops. This behavior can be managed and dogs can learn to accept new people and animals through proper socialization.
#3 Your dog’s pack instincts are strong
Dogs are pack animals. There is the Alpha dog at the top followed by a hierarchy of higher and lower ranks. If a dog barks or is aggressive towards you when you hug or get close to another person or animal, he may view himself as being higher in the social hierarchy.
This is not usually a sign of dominance. Rather, it’s an indication that your dog has become fiercely loyal to you and views himself as being part of the “pack.”
If him barking at your friends (or other dogs) is a problem It may be in his best interest to socialize him with other people and animals.
If he’s a guard dog then this is desired behavior.
#4 Your dog might smell another dog
Dogs are very territorial. There are many things that could trigger a protective reaction. The scent of other animals is one of them. So if your friend has an animal at home, that could be a possibility.
One situation that could occur is: you have a friend over and your dog is barking at him because he smells another dog on his clothing. Your friend feels uncomfortable and embarrassed, so you don’t invite him over again.
Dogs are able to smell other dogs on clothing for up to 3 days after the initial contact, which means that if your friend had been wearing a specific piece of clothing during an interaction with his pet, it would still be on his clothing (if not washed) if he wore that around your dog.
The smell could bother him
#5 Your friend is making too many sudden movements.
It’s important to be mindful of how your movements can trigger fight-flight responses in dogs. If you’re hugging a dog or friend and it’s too sudden it may cause your dog’s protective instincts to become alert.
Dogs’ bark instinct goes back thousands of years when wolves would warn other pack members about intruders through territorial barks. Your dog has this built into his DNA.
#6 Your dog has past abuse
If your dog has had traumatic experiences in the past your friend might remind him of the perpetrator that abused him. This could trigger your dog’s defense mechanism to react the same way he reacted when attacked before.
Your dog barks when you get close to someone because they are either excited or scared. Dogs can be overstimulated by the proximity of people, which is why it’s best for them to meet on neutral territory like a grass field with some space in between.
If your pup has anxiety and finds comfort in barking at strangers, try doing more training exercises with them so that they learn how to react without fear.
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