Why do dogs bark at nothing

So, why do dogs bark at nothing? Well, you may find it unusual if you see your dog barking or growling at nothing. But one of the reasons why they are doing it is that they have an intense sense of hearing and an excellent sense of smell, making them more sensitive than us humans. They could sense things that we cannot feel, like snakes under the bushes or even some animals inside the house. 

However, dogs may also growl at nothing because it has an underlying health issue. Maybe they do not feel good, which is the only way they could communicate with you.  We are going to talk about other reasons why your dog tends to growl or bark at nothing. Please keep on reading below.

Poor Eyesight

Having poor eyesight is one of the reasons why your dog growls at nothing, especially if your dog is already in its elderly years. Most of the aging dogs also have cataracts in their eyes. The cataract may not affect the dog’s eyesight, but it can still lead to partial to total blindness. It will lead them to see objects or shadows in a different light, and they will be threatened by it hence the growling.

Some dogs are even suffering from glaucoma. A type of disease that can directly affect the eyes of your dogs as it will have trapped the fluid or tears inside the tear duct. You will know that your dog has glaucoma if its eyes turned red and dilated pupils and bulgy eyes. 

Just like glaucoma, having dry eyes can also affect the eyesight of your dog. Once the eyes of your dog dry up, it will prevent it from removing dirt inside its eyes and will cause discomfort and irritation. It may sometimes be painful, the reason why your dog will continuously growl or bark. 

Canine Dementia

If your dog is experiencing canine dementia or cognitive dysfunction, it can affect the behavior of the dog. Just like when a person is being affected by Alzheimer’s disease, a dog will be affected in the same way. This may cause them to stare and growl at a wall or any other objects that the dog may find distracting. Another sign that you need to look at if your dog keeps on sleeping more during the daytime. The dog may also experience some shaking and may find it challenging to navigate your own home. 

They will also have changes in their behavior like antisocial and distant from their owners and their dog friends. 

Upset or Sad

Dogs do bark or growl at nothing when they feel upset or sad. Dogs are just like humans, too; they tend to hold a grudge when someone wronged them. This will also feel sad if a person or another animal inside your household keeps on annoying the dog. If they think that the person or the animal that they find annoying is approaching them, they will bark or growl even without the dog making eye contact with them. 

Anxiety & Fear

Some dogs will create a sound by growling and barking if it is boring or suffering from separation anxiety. Sometimes they will growl if they feel frustrated, just like when they feel like someone will approach them while they are eating or doing something important. There are other times that they are just afraid of some unknown reasons, and they are trying to warn you even if nothing is going to happen. 

They will also bark or growl when they feel threatened with their surroundings. For instance, if your dog is from a shelter home and first arrived in your home, they will bark or growl as they are still adjusting to their new environment. 

Social Barking

Since dogs have superior senses, they can feel when someone is approaching even if it is still far away from their territory. Barking is their way of greeting some of their friends that are going to pass by their area. They can sense them passing by your place because they are able to pick up the scent of the other dogs. They also bark to them when they want to play with their dog friends. 

Do they see ghosts?

We are not particularly sure if dogs can see ghosts, but we know that they have a sixth sense. We may not see something with our naked eyes, but since the dogs trust their guts more than us humans do, and that is one of the reasons why they may seem to bark at nothing. 

If the dog owner recently passed away, the dog will still have a strong connection with the things that its past owner possessed. You may see your dog standing near your doorstep as if they are still waiting for their deceased owners to take them for a walk. 

How can you stop it?

Please note that you do not need to yell at your dog when they are growling at nothing. The yelling will send wrong information to them, making them believe that you are trying to engage a conversation with them, and they will then produce more dog noise. You can do certain things to stop your dog from barking or growling at nothing by merely training them to stop doing it. One of the best things that you can do is to train then reward them afterward. 

Since growling at nothing is also a sign of your dog being upset, you also need to spend more quality time with your dog. 

So next time you find your dog growling at nothing at night, there’s no need to be scared or feel alarmed. Just try to figure out why your dog is aggressive at nothing, and spend more time with them so that they will not feel like they are being separated from you. 

Anyway, if you still have any more questions, feel free to leave them at the comment section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


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