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Why Does My Dog Bark at Nothing [5 Reasons + Solutions]

If your dog is barking at nothing, it might seem really weird. Why would a dog bark at empty space? It might be quite concerning for you.

Why does my dog bark at nothing?

It might seem your dog is barking at nothing. But a dog senses a lot more than we do. Dogs have superior hearing, sight, and sniffing. They notice these more than we do. And to alert the dog’s position, the dog barks. It is completely normal if your dog barks even if falling leaves make noises. 

There are more to each part of the reasons why a dog barks. We have given full details about them below. 

Let’s learn about everything!

Why Do Dogs Bark at Nothing?

For dogs, barking is considered the main form of communication. Dogs cannot communicate like us humans. They express their needs and wants through barking and body language. 

But it might seem like your dog is barking for no reason. But dogs’ senses are more sensitive compared to humans. Sometimes dogs feel, hear, see, and smell more than we do. 

We have written about each sense in detail below. 

Reason 1: Dogs can Hear High Pitch Sounds

Dogs can hear more than we do. A human can hear up to 20k hertz. But a dog can hear many higher-pitched sounds. It’s kind of like having superpowers for us. 

Sounds such as mice squeaking or the bark of your neighbor’s dog. Oftentimes we don’t even hear these sounds. For that, we assume the dog has supernatural powers like spiderman.

That’s why dog whistles are silent to use. The frequency of dog whistles is so high that only dogs can hear them. Dog whistles work like this. 

Also, dogs can howl in sirens because they find similarities with the sirens. Might be thinking that’s just another animal. 

Reason 2: Dogs can See in Low Light

Like hearing higher-pitched sounds, dogs can see in low light or at night. Dogs have a predatory heritage. This means, once dogs used to hunt for their food, like wolves. And they used to hunt at night. For that they needed to see in low lights.

Dogs nowadays are not like wolves. But they still do see at low light and or in the night. For that, if your dog’s barking looking in the dark, it is quite ok. Maybe the dog saw a squirrel or a bird. 

Also, finding your dog staring at a blank space is normal. It just might be because he noticed a spider or such. Dogs have a tendency to notice even a minuscule amount of difference. 

Dogs are curious animals and stay aware of their environment. They are also really loyal, and they will notify you in advance if some sort of danger is coming. 

Reason 3: Dogs can Smell Really Well

We can detect if the food we left at night has gone bad or not. The same goes for dogs but it’s multiple times stronger. For this reason, police use dogs to search bags to see if people are smuggling drugs. 

If the dog smells something different in the air, it’s normal for them to bark. Each animal carries a distinctive type of smell. If any other animal such as fox or coyote is near your dog can detect from far away. 

The dog barks to let them know the dog’s position. It’s kind of like giving them a final warning before entering the dog’s territory. 

You might find your dog breaking in the middle of the night. Again, it might be nothing dangerous or to be afraid of. Maybe your dog got the scent of a rat or mice. 

Reason 4: Barking Dogs

There are a lot of different types of breeds of dogs. And sometimes mix ups between breeds make a totally different kind of dog. Not all types of dogs are the same. You won’t pick a chihuahua to guard your ranch, right? 

There are certain dogs that bark more than others. Even though all dogs bark, they don’t bark at the same level. 

Dogs such as german shepherds and labradors are known as barking dogs. They get alerted really easily and brak really loudly. If you pet a barking dog, it can bark really frequently. 

Reason 5: The Dog is Expressing Emotions

Dogs are not only your protector. Dogs are really good friends. And when they express their emotions, they can bark or squick. 

Usually dogs bark really loudly and rattle their tail when they are excited. They squeak and can also bark when they are sad. Dogs bark to get your attention. 

Next time your dog is barking looking at you, maybe it’s mealtime. Go out for a run. Try to observe different types of barks to understand what the dog is trying to say. 

Understanding your dog’s mood can be difficult, but it is possible. 

How to Stop the Dog From Barking

As we have said before, dogs are really loyal and can be really good friends. But dogs need training. Both you and the dog need to understand each other. If you understand your dog’s needs and wants, the dog will listen to you.

Simple commands such as, “stop”, “shush”, “hush” are understandable to dogs. Dogs need to understand you through different kinds of gestures. If you are having a hard time dealing with your dog, there are trainers. 

When you are commanding the dog, express through your hand and smile. Dogs need to see your moves for better understanding. Dogs can memorize certain sounds and words.

This will give you control over your dog. And you can tell the dog to stop barking when you want them to. Although, if the dog is barking while sleeping, it’s probably because of a bad dream.

There are people you can hire to train your dog for you as well. In such a case, you don’t need to take the hassle. 


Questions: Do dogs bark when scared of other animals?

Answers: Barking is one of the defense mechanisms of dogs. Dogs try to scare off other predatory animals 

Question: How many types of barks can a dog do?

Answer: Behaviorists say there are 8 types of barks. Territorial, alarm, attention-seeking, greeting, social, frustrating, illness, anxious type of barks.  

Question: Do dogs communicate with other dogs through barking?

Answer: Like us, dogs express their state of mind or expression through barking and body language. So they do kind of communicate through barking. 


That’s everything you need to know about why my dog barks at nothing.

Dogs are curious and loyal animals. One of the methods of communication for them is to bark.

Have fun with your fluffy friend!