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

Every time an 18-wheeler goes by you know what’s about to happen: your dog barks at the semi truck like it’s the worst thing in the world. Why do react like this? Why does your dog bark at semi trucks? Are dogs afraid of semi trucks? Is it the noise? Are semi trucks too loud for dogs?

Well, good news, because today we’re going to answer all of these questions for you. Most importantly, we’ll teach you how to stop your dog barking at semi trucks for good. Soon, you’ll never have to worry about this ever again. Keep reading below for our article “Dog Barking at Semi Trucks? Here’s How to Stop It!”

How to Stop Dog Barking at Semi Trucks

Dog Barking at Semi Trucks

To stop dog barking at semi trucks:

  1. Teach your dog the “quiet” command to use anytime they bark at semi trucks or whenever you need them to give you their attention and be silent.
  2. To accomplish that, take your dog to a place you know they’ll likely bark such as the park with lots of small treats.
  3. As soon as your dog starts to bark, say “quiet” in a calm and positive voice. If they listen and become silent while also paying attention reward them with a treat and praise right away.
  4. But if your dog continues to bark or soon starts again, then hide a treat in your fist.
  5. Put your hand right next to your dog’s nose. They’ll still be able to smell it even inside of your hand and should pause their barking to sniff it.
  6. As soon as they’ve quit barking and are giving you all their attention, again say “quiet,” and then open your hand to reward them with praise and a small treat.
  7. If they keep being silent and are giving you their full focus, continue rewarding them with praise and treats.
  8. But if they again begin barking or are not paying attention, repeat the process of hiding a treat within your fist, placing it near their nose, and waiting until they quit their barking and give you their focus.
  9. Be sure to always wait until they’ve stopped their barking and are giving you all their focus, and then say “quiet” before you give them any praise or treats.
  10. This forms a positive connection for your dog with the “quiet” command, and with being quiet and giving you their focus.
  11. With consistency, practice, and patience, you will be able to get them to behave only with the “quiet” command, and it will no longer be necessary to put your fist by their mouth.
  12. When your dog is doing well with only the command, then you should start lengthening the duration of time you wait until you reward them.
  13. Begin by pausing for about 1-2 seconds, then as they do well increase that to about 5 seconds, and so on.
  14. you’ll no longer need to give your dog any food and praise, and they will be quiet and pay attention to you just by you giving the command.

This will get your dog to stop barking at semi trucks, but it’s important to remember that the issues which were causing all of this to begin with (anxiety and dominance) will still remain. And you definitely need to address those, because not doing so means that your dog will continue to suffer, act up, and misbehave in other ways.

To properly cover that, we must first discuss 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 semi trucks, they are definitively showing you that they don’t trust you as the head of the family pack.

If they did, they wouldn’t bark at 18 wheelers and then refuse to stop even you tell them to do so. They wouldn’t engage in any other types of anxiety or dominance-related disrespect. And they would obey your commands as soon as they’re given, and they would do so happily.

Make it clear to your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but one worthy of respect, and you’ll make all of these great changes your reality.

You’ll be better off for obvious reasons. But your dog will be too because you’ll have freed them from all of the confusion and worry that their anxiety and dominance issues are currently saddling their little shoulders with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sounds like a wonderful thing, don’t you think?

“Yeah, definitely, but how am I supposed to do this?”

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 all you’ll need to know 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 important changes in your dog before things escalate any further.

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 uses only 100% humane and loving teaching techniques at all times. Not just because they’re the right thing to do, but also because they’re the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.

Why Does My Dog Bark at Semi Trucks?

Your dog barks at semi trucks because they’re extremely large and loud, which makes them very anxious. They then respond by barking. Dogs who feel dominant in addition to this anxiety will also be seeking to warn this strange vehicle to stay away.

But if your dog is barking at semi trucks and ignoring you when you try to get them to stop, then you have a serious disobedience issue on your hands that needs to be dealt with right away. A failure to do so gives your dog tacit approval of acting this way, and then they will begin to do it even more frequently.

Their misbehavior and displays of feeling like they can do whatever they want will get out of hand. Your dog will bark at a fire truck, bark at a tractor, bark at a garbage truck, bark at an ambulance, and bark at a police car’s siren. Anything that’s noisy, large, or both could send them into an uncontrollable barking fit.

Surely, you can see how obnoxious this could make your life. But you also need to remember that during all of this your dog would be suffering too, and you certainly don’t want that. To learn how to stop your dog barking at semi trucks using a simple command while also addressing the problem at its root, go back to the first section now.

Are Dogs Afraid Semi Trucks?

Dogs are afraid of semi trucks in many cases. While it will depend on a dog’s individual temperament, it’s extremely common because these 18 wheelers are very large and very loud. Your dog then gets very anxious and scared, and for many, the next action will be barking their little head off.

If your dog is behaving like this when they see a semi truck and doesn’t respond when you try to get them to quit, they are being dominant in addition to their anxiety. You can’t allow that to go on or their misbehavior is only going to get worse. To learn how to stop your dog barking at 18 wheelers with a quick verbal command, go back to the first section now.

Are Semi Trucks Too Loud for Dogs?

Semi trucks are too loud for dogs. While the noise produced by an 18 wheeler’s standard diesel engine averages 100 decibels, a semi truck’s horn reaches 150 decibels. This will not only frighten a dog but is also enough to produce immediate hearing damage (140 decibels is the threshold). Keep your dog at a safe distance.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to not worrying about an 18 wheeler driving by, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck, and thank you for checking out our article “Dog Barking at Semi Trucks? Here’s How to Stop It!”

The Author



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.