Why Does My Dog Bark At Nothing?

It Can Be A Frustrating Problem

There is no getting around the simple fact that dogs bark.

But it can be rather trying when your dog seems to be barking at absolutely nothing. You’ve probably gotten up several times to try and figure out the reasons behind their barking, only to frustratingly discover zilch.

It can be a little irritating, but there are actually a few different reasons that your dog might be barking for seemingly no reason at all. So, let’s get right into it.

They Hear Differently Than We Do

Dogs have a much better sense of hearing than we do.

We humans can detect sound frequencies between 20 – 20,000 hertz. A dog can hear between 40 – 40,000 hertz.

Sounds like dog whistles or even the tiny squeaks of mice can be very obnoxious to them, but completely undetectable to us.

So, the reason for your dog’s barking might just be due to the fact that it hears something you can’t.

They Smell Differently Than We Do

Not only do dogs have a superior sense of hearing, but they also have a superior sense of smell.

Humans have about 5-6 million olfactory receptors in our noses, while dogs have a whopping 220 million!

They can smell so much more than we can, which is why many dogs have been trained to sniff for drugs and detect explosives.

They can smell out things that a human simply would never be able to smell on their own. So, another reason for your dog’s barking could be that it smells something out of the ordinary.

This could be something your neighbors are cooking, it could be a nearby wild animal, it could be a number of things.


Just like we sometimes struggle with, your dog can also experience anxiety. Perhaps you’ve just had a difficult veterinary appointment or maybe there was a squirrel that they just weren’t able to catch.

If your dog is stressed out about something, it may bark for what seems like no reason at all. But, it’s very similar to how humans sometimes vent when we’re stressed. When we get stressed, we go out and grab drinks with our friends and talk about what’s bothering us.

When a dog is stressed out, they can sometimes bark. If you feel like their braking may be stress-related,  try to comfort them.

Give them a little love or a tasty treat. You could maybe take them out for a walk to get some fresh air.

Your Dog’s Health

For the most part, a dog will seemingly bark for no reason due to one of the previously mentioned issues above.

However, if you can’t seem to pin-point the possible cause of the barking and if it’s been going on for a while, then you might want to consider a trip to the vet’s office.

It could be that your dog is in pain or has suffered some sort of injury that you didn’t know about.

Much like children, dogs can occasionally get into things that they shouldn’t and they can get hurt or come down sick.

So, if the strange barking doesn’t stop and you can’t pinpoint a possible cause, scheduling a vet appointment might be your next best bet.

Also, senior dogs may also bark for seemingly no reason because they can become disoriented and confused. Some older dogs may actually suffer from dementia and your vet will be able to prescribe medication for that ailment.