The life of a bouncy young puppy is all about newness. Whether it's the unfamiliarity of encountering other dogs or going through the house-training process, the puppy stage can be a major ride, even for the owners. Puppies bark and have big reactions to fellow dogs for a multitude of possible reasons.
If your puppy barks and goes wild at the mere sight of other canines, past trauma could be the cause. If she barks loudly as if she's defending herself, then her behavior is likely driven by strong apprehension. Other "going crazy" scared behaviors that often accompany this type of intense barking include thrusting and piloerection, or the standing up of the hairs on her shoulders and back. Aggression is a problem even in wee puppies, and the issue often just intensifies as puppies get older. If your puppy ever shows any hints of fierce patterns around any other animals or people, contact a pet behavior expert for help immediately. Dealing with the situation by yourself isn't safe, so don't try it. Caution is key -- for yourself, your family and all of your pets.
A puppy who goes crazy barking could just be a bored little cutie, plain and simple. One of the biggest causes of excessive barking in puppies -- and mature dogs -- is dealing with the stress of boredom. By going mad barking at the sight of other dogs, your pet might be communicating that she spots some playmates and wants to have a little fun -- stat.
Insufficient socialization during the tender early weeks of life can also cause puppies to feel extremely uncomfortable not only around other canines, but also around humans, as well. Whether your puppy was taken away from her siblings too quickly or simply never had the chance to share in the company of another dog, she might develop a nervous and scared attitude around them. Puppies who have never been in the presence of mild-mannered and friendly dogs often respond extremely fearfully to canines on the whole, whether through barking or simply withdrawing from the perceived daunting situations.
Puppies are smart. If your puppy has realized that you make a beeline to her every time she barks, she might start using the vocalization as a tool to get what she wants -- pretty convenient. If she barks and goes crazy around other dogs, she might just be trying out the same technique with them. "Look at me, all! I'm pretty fun if you get to know me. Let's play!"
- ASPCA: Barking
- eXtension: Fear Barking
- eXtension: Socialization of Dogs and Puppies
- PetEducation.com: Excessive Barking - A Common Dog Behavior Problem
- UC Davis Veterinary Medicine: Preventing Behavior Problems
- Dumb Friends League: Developmental Stages of Puppy Behavior
- PetMD: Jumping, Chewing, Playbiting, and Other Destructive Behavior Problems in Puppies, Young Dogs
- Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine Indoor Pet Initiative: Warning Signs That Your Pup Has a Behavior Problem
- Russell Illig/Photodisc/Getty Images