Why Do Dogs Bark at Nothing?

One of the most common questions I heard my humans say around me is ‘BAILEY, WHAT ARE YOU BARKING AT?!’ and if truth be told, sometimes I can’t even answer that, mainly because my human family doesn’t speak canine but also because we floof balls will bark at everything and anything just because we feel like it sometimes.

I haven’t been very pawlite, I’m sorry I didn’t even introduce myself. Hello there, I’m Bailey and I’m an 8-year old Beagle living with my two humans in a place they call Connecticut, but I just call it home.

I have a big yard with lots of grass and holes (the holes were my contribution) and because of my boisterous beagle brain, I do like to make lots of noise with my strong bark.

My park pals and I have come together to unleash our secrets about why we bark at ‘nothing’ so we can help you dumb humans out.

In return for sharing confidential matters of the canine community, we’re asking for two extra treats a day and also the provision of extended belly rubs.

Dogs Rule, Humans Drool

I don’t know if you’ve already heard, but we pups are superior to you humans.

Our ears can hear the quietest sounds around us, even detecting frequencies up to 60,000Hz whereas you guys can only hear sounds up to 20,000Hz.

Our noses are not just for boop-ing but also for sniffing out the most discrete smells out there, hence why we are the top dogs in the police academies.

Why Do Dogs Bark at Nothing in the House?

Infestations & Critters

If we can sniff out dangerous stuff for the cops, then you bet your fluffy bottom we can sniff out gross critters in our home.

Our noses and ears can detect the scuttling of vermin underneath decks and floorboards, it sends us crazy not being able to find them and get our paws on them.

As a beagle, I have a hunting instinct and am not being able to catch what I want to set me off into long barking sessions until my humans come to take a look.

Faraway Noises

Like I mentioned before, we poochies have incredible hearing and can hear a door slamming a few streets away whilst you may not even notice a thing.

We can also hear creatures rustling in the distance, even if we can’t spot them, so our instinct is to bark to make them come into sight.


I’m super fur-tunate in that my humans have given me so many toys in my basket to play with during the day when they’re too busy doing boring stuff to play with me. I love taking my squeaking toy pig Penelope out into the garden.

My favorite activity is digging Penelope pig a mud hole and covering her up so I forget where I put her and my humans have to find her.

However, this is not the case for all my fur friends. Some are left to their own devices in the back yard all day without anything to do or no one to speak to.

Humans do sometimes leave my friends in their crates all day whilst they go to work to earn more money for crunchy dog treats.

It can sometimes get lonely being on our own all day, so we bark in the hopes someone will come to pay attention to us and cheer us up.

Whilst we do love our independence, dogs are pack animals and love being around other dogs or people. When we’re not, we start to feel lonely and our way of expressing this is by barking.

Separation Anxiety

You might get boredom barking confused with barking due to separation anxiety, however, the two are very different.

Separation anxiety is caused when there is a major change in the time we get to spend with our wonderful humans or something traumatic has happened which causes us not to want to leave your side.

This condition is completely out of our paws and we can’t control it. My good friend Milo the Maltipoo from the big park cries and barks at his front door all day until his human returns from work.

His human used to be self-employed and worked from the living room with Milo right by his side, but now he works in a big office with important humans and doesn’t get home till 6 pm each night.

Milo barks to himself so he doesn’t feel alone and sometimes even paces back and forth the front door until his human arrives back home.

The neighbors complained about Milo’s yapping and now his human has hired a dog walker to come to take out Milo for an afternoon play and walk to cheer him up whilst he’s out at work.

Barrier Frustration

This is not an admission of guilt on my behalf… but dogs sometimes bark because we can’t reach what we want or there’s something in the way.

For example, we can’t reach our favorite ball that’s rolled under the couch and we bark for 15 minutes straight until a lovely human, yes, a lovely kind human comes to grab it for us.

Injury or Illness

We can’t speak good human language, so when we are not feeling our best we bark to try and get your attention so you can check on us.

Why Do Dogs Bark at Nothing Outside


Our duty as pups is to protect our humans, so when a cat, bird, or even a spider tries to climb into our territory in the backyard, then we need to bark as loud as we can to assert our dominance and shoo them away.

By the time you humans come out, the intruder has gone and you complain at us for barking at what appears to be nothing – thanks for nothing hey!

We Get Scared

Sometimes we get spooked by the simplest of things around us, we hate being unexpectedly startled and it makes us angry so we bark in anger or fear.

I was once taking my afternoon snooze fest in my favorite spot in the yard when a leaf from the big tree fell on my boopster and it scared the cats out of me, I thought it was someone trying to pounce on me, so I barked as loud as I could to scare them off.

Fortunately, it was just a leaf. Damn, I did show that leaf who’s boss.

How to Stop Excessive Barking?

If we’re being too loud, try and remain calm with us, please don’t yell as that will make us feel worse. We’ll come to understand the word ‘quiet’ after time and respond well when treats are involved.

I’m paw-sitive that some of this information will help you know more about your perfect pooch and will stop you from getting mad when yapping away in the backyard.

Remember, don’t be alarmed if we jump up and bark when we meet you, we just love saying hello and barking is our way of expressing our happiness.