How to Stop Dog Barking at My Girlfriend

You care about them both, but your dog won’t accept your girlfriend. What’s going on with this? Why does your dog bark and growl at your girlfriend? And what if she’s new? Why does your dog bark and growl at your new girlfriend? Why does your dog bark when you touch your girlfriend?

Well, good news, because we’re going to answer all of these questions for you today. And of course, we’ll cover how to stop your dog barking at your girlfriend. Soon, you’ll be able to embrace your girlfriend and have her around without issue. Keep reading below for our article “How to Stop Dog Barking at My Girlfriend!”

How to Stop Dog Barking at Girlfriend

How to Stop Dog Barking at My Girlfriend

To stop dog barking at girlfriend:

  1. Teach your dog the “quiet” command to use whenever they bark at your girlfriend or at any other person or time you need them to pay attention and become silent.
  2. To accomplish that, take your dog somewhere you know they’re going to bark (the park, etc) with lots of treats.
  3. Once your dog starts barking, say “quiet” in a calm, positive voice. If they listen and get silent while also giving you their complete attention immediately reward them with a treat and praise.
  4. But if your dog continues to bark or quickly starts again, then hide a treat within your fist.
  5. Put your hand right by your dog’s nose. They’ll still be able to smell it even within your fist and should quit barking to sniff it.
  6. As soon as they’ve stopped barking and are giving you all their attention, again say “quiet,” and then open your hand to reward them with praise and a treat.
  7. If they keep being silent and are giving you their complete attention, continue rewarding them with praise and treats.
  8. But if they again begin barking or are not giving you their attention, repeat the steps of placing a treat inside of your fist, placing it close to their nose, and pausing until they quit their barking and give you their attention.
  9. Be sure to always pause until they’ve quit their barking and are giving you all their attention, and then say “quiet” before you reward them with any praise or treats.
  10. This forms a positive connection with your dog with the “quiet” command, and with staying quiet and giving you their attention.
  11. With repetition, consistency, and patience, you should be able to get them to respond just with the “quiet” command, and you’ll no longer have to put your fist next to their mouth.
  12. Once your dog is responding well with only the command, then you can start increasing the duration of time you wait until you give them any rewards.
  13. Start by waiting for about 2 seconds, then as they do well increase that to about 5 seconds, and so on.
  14. Soon, you won’t need to reward your dog with praise and food, and they will become quiet and give you their attention solely by you giving the command.

This should get your dog to stop barking at your girlfriend, but you’ll still need to take care of their underlying issue of anxiety and dominance or it will only begin showing itself in other (likely worse) ways.

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

But every time that your dog is barking at your girlfriend, they are without a doubt showing you that they have no trust for you in this leadership role.

If they did, they wouldn’t bark and growl at your girlfriend and then refuse your orders to stop. They wouldn’t engage in any other types of dominance or anxiety-related misbehavior or disrespect. And they would immediately obey your commands at all times, and they would do so happily.

Show your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but a deserving and capable one who they must respect, and you’ll make all of these wonderful things a reality.

Obviously, you’ll win. But your dog will be the even bigger 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 them every moment of every day.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

“Yeah, sure, but how do I do this then?”

You should watch an incredibly useful free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is on this exact subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In Dan’s series, he explains everything in ways that are very simple to understand 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 be mean or yell at your dog. Dan uses only 100% humane and loving teaching methods 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.

My Dog Barks and Growls at My New Girlfriend

Your dog barks and growls at your new girlfriend because her presence makes them anxious, and many dogs respond to this by becoming aggressive in hopes of scaring this new person away. This can also be combined with dominance, where your dog doesn’t want to share your attention or affection with anyone else and thinks it’s their right to decide who gets to be around.

Resource guarding is also a possibility if your dog is barking and growling at your new girlfriend when she is around things that they feel are theirs. This can be anything from a chew toy, to their bowl of food, to you. Consider if the behavior is only occurring in certain areas or during certain times.

It’s not unusual for dogs to feel anxious or dominant around a new girlfriend, but when they respond by barking and growling, and then refuse your orders to knock it off, you have a serious issue on your hands. Left unaddressed, you give your dog the idea that this type of behavioral response is okay, and you’ll only begin seeing it more and more. It will likely also escalate.

Your dog will be aggressive to new neighbors, aggressive to a new roommate, bite new visitors to your home, and will likely even bark aggressively at people walking past. I’m sure you can understand just how dangerous it could be if your dog is behaving in this way and even attacking people at times. That’s why it needs to stop now.

To learn how to stop your dog barking and growling at your new girlfriend while also preventing all of these other unwanted behaviors, go back to the first section now where we’ve compiled easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions.

Why Does My Dog Bark When I Touch My Girlfriend?

Your dog barks when you touch your girlfriend because many dogs do not like it when anyone comes into contact with their owner, and this can include even when you’ve initiated. It’s common for dogs that feel this way to then respond by barking, snarling, or growling. This is rooted in feelings of dominance, anxiety, or both.

While it may not be unusual, it’s not something you can allow to continue or your dog will come to believe that it’s acceptable — your girlfriend obviously won’t like it either. It needs to be handled right away or their problem is going to grow and escalate into worse behaviors. Learn how to do that in the first section of this article.

My Dog Growls at My Girlfriend

Your dog growls at your girlfriend likely because she makes them feel anxious, and many dogs will respond to this by showing aggression in the form of growling, barking, or snarling. It’s also possible that your dog is resource guarding if your girlfriend is near something that is your dog loves (or that they feel is theirs) such as a toy, food, or you.

It’s important that you take care of this problem immediately, as doing nothing gives your dog tacit approval that it’s acceptable (and your girlfriend, of course, won’t be happy either). A failure to do so could lead to an attack, as growling or snarling is already a very aggressive behavior. Find out how by going back to the first section of this article.

I’m sure you’re tired of your dog barking and growling at your girlfriend, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with all of this, and thank you for checking out our article “How to Stop Dog Barking at My Girlfriend.”

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.