Dog Barking at Caterpillar? Here’s How to Stop It!

You let your dog out back and all of the sudden they’re going wild. What’s happened? Oh, that’s right… your dog is barking at caterpillars again! Why do dogs bark at caterpillars? And could this be dangerous for them? Can a caterpillar hurt a dog? What should you do if your dog eats a caterpillar?

Well, worry and wonder no longer, because today we’re going to answer all of these questions for you. Most importantly, we’ll cover what you came here for: how to stop your dog barking at caterpillars. Soon, this will all be a thing of the past. Keep reading below for our article “Dog Barking at Caterpillar? Here’s How to Stop It!”

How to Stop Dog From Barking at Caterpillars

Dog Barking at Caterpillar

To stop dog from barking at caterpillars:

  1. To get your dog to be silent whenever they begin to bark at caterpillars, teach them the “quiet” command.
  2. Practice by taking your dog to a place you know they’re going to bark like the park with lots of treats.
  3. When your dog starts to bark, say “quiet” in a positive and calm voice. If they listen to you and get silent while also paying attention give them praise and a treat right away.
  4. But if your dog continues to bark or quickly resumes, then hide a small treat within your fist.
  5. Put your hand right by your dog’s nose. They’ll still be able to detect the scent even within your fist and will quit barking to sniff it.
  6. Once they’ve stopped barking and are paying attention to you, again say “quiet,” and then open your hand to give them praise and a small treat.
  7. If they continue to be silent and are paying you their full focus, continue rewarding them with treats and praise.
  8. But if they again start to bark or are not paying attention, repeat the process of hiding a treat inside of your hand, placing it next to their nose, and pausing until they stop their barking and focus on you.
  9. Be sure to always pause until they’ve quit barking and are paying you all their attention, and then say “quiet” before you reward them with any treats or praise.
  10. This forms a positive connection with your dog with the “quiet” command, and with being silent and paying attention to you.
  11. With repetition, consistency, and patience, you should be able to get them to respond solely with the “quiet” command, and you’ll no longer need to place your fist next to their mouth.
  12. When your dog is responding well with only the command, then you should start lengthening the amount of time you pause before you reward them.
  13. Begin by pausing for about 2 seconds, then as they do well move that up to 5 seconds, and so on.
  14. you’ll no longer need to reward your dog with food and praise, and they will become quiet and pay attention to you solely by you giving the command.

This will get your dog to stop barking at caterpillars, but you’ll still need to do something about their misbehavior which was rooted in their underlying issues with anxiety and dominance. Not doing anything will just lead to your dog continuing to think that they are in charge and that they make the decisions, and things will only get worse for the both of you.

To properly cover that, we must first talk about what makes dogs tick deep down. You’ve likely heard before that all dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader.

But every time that your dog barks at caterpillars, they are without a doubt telling you that they have no trust for you as the head of the family pack.

If they did, they wouldn’t bark at caterpillars. They wouldn’t display any other types of anxiety or dominance-related misbehavior or disrespect. And they would obey your commands as soon as they’re given, and they would do so happily.

Show your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but one worthy of respect, and you’ll make all of these wonderful transformations happen.

You’ll win for obvious reasons. But your dog will be the real winner here because they’ll no longer have to deal with all of the confusion and worry that their anxiety and dominance issues are currently placing on their little shoulders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sounds great, right?

“Yeah, definitely, but how do I actually do this then?”

You should watch a wonderful free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is on this very subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In Dan’s series, he explains absolutely everything in ways that are very easy to follow and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so that you can start seeing these crucial changes in your dog in no time.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t worry, because no, you’re not going to have to yell or be mean to your dog. Dan never uses those types of methods. Not just because loving teaching techniques are the right thing to do, but also because they’re the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.

Why Do Dogs Bark at Caterpillars?

Dogs bark at caterpillars because these strange creatures make them feel anxious, and they respond by trying to warn this threat to stay away. They are likely also feeling dominant, and feeling the need to not only protect themselves but also you and “their” territory. In some cases, your dog may just be excited and can’t control themselves, so they let out this energy through a bark.

But if your dog is barking at caterpillars and refusing your commands to stop, regardless of the reason why (anxiety, dominance, excitement, or a combination of these), then you have a behavioral problem on your hands that needs to be addressed right away. A failure to do so gives your dog the idea that barking whenever they want is okay and the issue will only get worse.

It won’t belong before your dog is barking at all sorts of times at all sorts of things, all while ignoring your commands to be silent. You’ll find your dog barking at centipedes, barking at flies, and probably even barking at butterflies. While this may not seem like a huge issue, left unchecked this barking could escalate into aggression towards other dogs or people.

Obviously, that’s not something you want to happen, so it’s important that you address this disrespect from your dog right away. To learn how to stop your dog barking at caterpillars while also handling their problems at their root, go back to their first section now where we’ll give you the exact steps you need to be following.

Can a Caterpillar Hurt a Dog?

Caterpillars can hurt a dog. Many types of caterpillars are toxic to dogs, and even the ones that aren’t can cause harm and discomfort to your dog during digestion if your dog eats one. The tiny hairs found on many caterpillars can also cause irritation to the dog’s mouth.

For these reasons, it’s a good idea to play it safe and keep your dog away from caterpillars when you see them.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats a Caterpillar?

If your dog eats a caterpillar, it’s best to play things safe and take them to the vet for a check-up. Many caterpillars can be toxic to dogs, and even the ones that aren’t can cause irritation and pain to your four-legged friend.

If you’re able to recognize caterpillar breeds, just a few that are known to be toxic to dogs are the monarch butterfly caterpillar, the slug caterpillar, the puss or asp caterpillar the hag moth or monkey slug, and the gypsy moth.

I’m sure you’re sick of your dog trying to eat caterpillars and barking at them, so I’ll let you begin now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “Dog Barking at Caterpillar? Here’s How to Stop It!.”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.