My Dog Growls/Barks At My Husband [9 Reasons + 11 Solutions]

My Dog Barks At My Husband

Have you ever thought about why your dog barks or exhibits some aggressiveness towards your husband? We are going to look into nine different reasons why they might do so and eleven tips to prevent this from happening.

Here are the reasons why your dog might bark/growl at your husband:

Attention-seeking, resource guarding, jealousy, lack of bonding with the husband, the dog thinking it is alpha, inappropriate body language of the husband, fear of the husband, seeing the husband as a playmate, and interrupting behavior.

Dogs usually behave in this way for both common and unusual reasons. Observing the exact cause will help you apply appropriate solutions when needed.

Common reasons why your dog barks/growls at your husband

Why is my dog growling and barking at my husband?
Why is my dog growling at barking at my husband?

Here, I will provide you with all the potential reasons for this issue.

I strongly urge you to read through to the end. This way, you can gain a great deal of knowledge about these causes and possible solutions, as well as a few important points that you should be aware of.

1. Attention-seeking behavior

If your dog barks at your husband quite often without lunging or snapping, it appears that the dog is seeking attention from him.

This is nothing to worry about if it’s not too frequent.

However, be aware that if the dog barks at a person who is watching TV or doing something interesting in order to get attention and that person gives their full focus to the dog without any hesitation, a behavioral issue could develop.

We will discuss solutions shortly.

Things are slightly different if your husband doesn’t provide enough attention to the dog; they may find him interesting, causing them to bark at him while wagging their tail and displaying a friendly, innocent face.

It would be wise to encourage your husband to spend more time with the dog.

2. Resource guarding Behavior

Jog your memory to see if the dog growls at the husband only when he approaches you.

If the answer that comes to mind is “YES,” one of the possible causes could be resource guarding.

This factor is most obvious if you are the person who provides most of its care, and spends the most time with the dog, giving it the most attention.

So, you become a valuable resource to guard, and that’s why the dog attempts to guard you against the husband.

If we look at this problem from a 10,000-foot view, almost every dog has a natural instinct for resource guarding behavior. The most apparent resources are food, treats, water bowls, toys, sleeping spots, beds — and especially people.

It is always best to take active steps to eliminate this bad behavior; otherwise it will develop into a difficult-to-handle behavioral problem.

Important: If you do not handle the situation as soon as possible, your husband might want to rehome the dog.

3. It growls at your husband due to emotional jealousy

It is true that there is a strong bond between you and your dog, and it sees you as its parent. This can result in distractions when you interact with your husband.

In fact, there are some circumstances in which the dog may interpret you as its mate.

If you are unsure about this, please read this article to learn more: Does my dog think I’m his girlfriend?

When the husband is cuddling or kissing you, the dog may try to distract him by barking or growling.

In this case, it’s clear that the dog is jealous of the situation.

4. Lack of bonding with the husband

One of the biggest mistakes made by the husband could be a lack of bonding with the dog. This results in resource guarding, envy circumstances, and aggressive behavior towards the husband such as barking or growling.

Does he not show interest in feeding, bathing, playing, or going on walks with the dog?

This lack of involvement from the husband in caring for the dog is a major impediment to building a healthy bond between them and can lead to many other behavioral issues.

5. The dog thinks he is the Alpha

This is a difficult situation to handle and needs to be addressed promptly.

If you and your husband live with the dog, it’s important that he is seen as the pack leader. The dog may growl at him if it perceives him as a threat to its position.

To ensure the dog understands its place in the family, it should be placed at the bottom of the hierarchy, even if there are no other pets in the home.

6. Your Dog may bark at the husband due to his body language

The husband’s behavior or body language may not suit your dog. Ask your husband if he is doing any of the following:

  • Yelling
  • Making intense eye contact
  • Rough handling the dog (e.g., when taking him out for potty work)
  • Greeting the dog in a way that startles him, playing with its head
  • Not letting the dog explore the world when taking it for a walk (e.g., not allowing it to sniff and hover around for a bit)
  • Giving harsh punishments
  • Petting its paw
  • Making the leash tight
  • Teasing the dog by pulling its tail or barking at him
  • Greeting the dog in a way that startles it

7. The dog is afraid of your husband

The dog may bark or growl at the husband as a way of expressing its fear.

It is possible if the dog has been recently adopted. It may have had difficult experiences with a man in its previous life before it was brought to the shelter, making the dog more fearful of men than women.

8. It sees your husband as a playmate

If the dog barks at the husband in joy combined with enthusiasm, it appears as though the dog views him as a playmate.

Perhaps the dog has fond memories of your husband playing with him previously. If the dog barks at him while lunging with its tail wagging, this could be seen as an invitation to engage in play.

On the other hand, if the dog barks at him with growls and bares its teeth, this may be an indication that it is feeling threatened.

9. Interpreting kissing and hugging as a threat

Humans may love to cuddle their furry friends, but this behavior is uncommon in the canine world.

When a husband displays habits such as petting, kissing, or hugging the dog, it can be perceived as a threat, which may cause the dog to exhibit aggression towards the husband.

It is important to note that the reasons mentioned above can cause this problem either singly or in combination.

How to prevent your dog from barking or growling at your husband

You need to figure out the exact reasons for this somewhat abnormal circumstance in the first place. Only then can you solve the problem by taking the obligatory action.

So, here is the short answer:

The dog can keep from barking and growling at the husband by eliminating attention-seeking and resource guarding issues, helping not to be jealous, improving the bond between the dog and husband, establishing the husband as alpha, going through proper training and exercises, distracting, and getting professional help.

So, here we are going to look into 11 different approaches you can take to avoid the problem.

1. Eliminate attention seeking behavior

Tell the husband to look away whenever the dog barks at him. Instruct him to continue ignoring the dog for at least four to five seconds after it stops barking or whining.

The situation could get a bit worse in the first few rounds, but don’t let him give up. The dog barks to get your husband’s attention, but he’ll try even harder when he continues to be ignored, since it doesn’t seem to be working anymore.

Dog Breeds Experts

Instruct the husband not to look at the dog until it is completely calm and quiet. This is the key to success.

When the dog is relaxed, tell the husband to give him some affection by rubbing his head and offering him a yummy treat. Things will progress more quickly if he can add verbal praise as well.

Instruct everyone in the household to carry on with this process whenever the dog barks for attention.

2. Get rid of resource guarding

It seems that you are the only one who cares about the dog. You need to involve the husband in dog care.

Tell the husband to practice obedience training with the dog, using positive reinforcement. He shouldn’t yell at the dog whenever it interrupts things by barking or growling.

If you’re wondering what the dog thinks about you and the husband, it basically believes you are its resource and doesn’t like to share with anyone else.

If this behavior is new and you haven’t seen it before, it’s easy to nip it in the bud.

If the dog has a habit of doing this, though, you may find it more difficult to solve.

Encourage the husband to take part in feeding, grooming, playing with, and bathing the dog by sharing your responsibilities with him.

3. Help the dog not to get jealous

Being jealous is something unwanted, and it should be ignored.

If your dog barks at your husband whenever the two of you get a little closer, simply ignore the dog and its barking. Do not give any attention to the animal.

Some breeds, like Australian Shepherds, are naturally jealous and need to be corrected right away.

Follow the instructions we discussed under Solution Number 1: use the lie-down command, as this position makes it difficult for them to bark. However, this is not a long-term solution; instead, give them a chew toy or bone to keep them busy.

4. Improve the bond with husband

You need to work on improving the bond between the dog and the husband. In fact, the dog should see your spouse as a provider rather than just a playmate.

Encourage the husband to do the following in order to foster that:

  • Exercise together with the dog
  • Play in the backyard
  • Give it a brush, groom, and bathe it
  • Hand feeding also a nice way to strengthen the bond.
  • Tell him to cuddle with the dog whenever possible

5. Establish the husband as the Alpha if the dog barks at him

The dog may think of himself as the Alpha of the family.

However, it is essential for the husband to be seen as the Alpha and for the doganine to be considered last in terms of priority.

It is not practical to provide written instructions on how to establish this hierarchy; instead, I strongly suggest watching the following video.

6. Give proper training

Providing proper training from an early age is one of the keys to preventing these kinds of behaviors. Basic obedience training may be sufficient, but it doesn’t sound like it.

So, you must brainstorm and identify in which areas the dog has the most problems.

Once you recognize where the issue lies, let the husband train the dog on that specific part and use this as a golden opportunity to strengthen their bond.

7. Provide adequate exercise

Lack of exercise can make a dog anxious, tense, nervous, destructive and aggressive. These exercises should be take the form of both physical and mental exercises.

8. Distract the dog when he is aggressive to the husband

When the dog begins barking at the husband, try distracting him with its favorite toys or treats.

Command him to be quiet or lay down and then praise him with yummy treats. Let the husband do the praising.

9. Replace Your husband’s previous behavior with the dog

As we discussed earlier, certain behavioral patterns can make a dog aggressive toward a specific person. Especially if that person does things that can startle the dog instantaneously.

One of the best pieces of advice I can offer is to not let the husband approach the dog from behind; if the dog is a bit old, it might become overly confused.

Understand what your loving pooch’s likes and dislikes are; doing so will make it much easier to interact with the dog.

10. Change the way your husband reacts when the dog barks

It is crucial not to let the husband approach the dog when it exhibits aggression.

Then, your spouse needs to cease whatever activity he was doing that could be causing the dog to become angry (other than attention barking or jealousy) and stay away from it for a while until the aggression subsides.

11. Get professional help

If you can’t find a solution on your own, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or veterinarian.

It’s worth it, as these professionals have been resolving such issues for many years.


Why does my dog bark at my husband when he leaves?

This indicates that the dog and husband have a strong bond. Consequently, the dog may become distressed when it sees your husband leaving.

If we observe how the dog knows when your husband is departing, it can tell he’s about to leave when he puts on his jacket, grabs his car keys, or simply gets dressed to go out.

We cannot fool a dog’s senses as they are so precise. However, if we focus on what we can do about it, we can make the dog understand that leaving the house isn’t such a big deal.

So, here is what you can do about that:

  1. Our first goal is to gradually and gently acclimate the dog to your spouse’s leaving.
  2. Tell your husband to dress up and prepare to leave the house several times a day, though he should leave only rarely and occasionally stay at home after doing so.
  3. Obviously, the dog will figure out when he actually leaves, so tell him to come back within about 5 minutes.
  4. He should spend 5-10 minutes away from home; if he is uncomfortable with this, 15 minutes will also yield results.
  5. Instruct the husband not to pay attention to the dog for about 10-15 minutes after returning.
  6. This means the dog should be completely calm and quiet prior to greeting him.

Moreover, you can provide a chew toy to distract him from your husband’s leaving and the incessant barking of other dogs.

Why does my dog bark at my husband when he comes home?

The dog may bark at your husband when he comes home due to learned behavior, out of enthusiasm and excitement.

If your husband used to give the dog treats whenever he returned home, that is likely the cause of the barking; the dog is expecting a reward. Consequently, it is barking at your husband in anticipation of treats and cuddles.

Why does my dog bark at my husband when he kisses me?

Your dog may bark at your husband when he kisses you due to jealousy and resource guarding. In this case, it’s important to ignore the dog entirely while it is barking and continue to cuddle with your husband until the dog becomes calm and quiet.

After that, stay for another 30 seconds and offer praise. You can gradually increase the amount of time as needed.

Things to be aware of

Now you know precisely why your dog growls or barks at your husband and the possible solutions. However, there are some other factors that you need to bear in mind to get rid of this issue.

  • Never punish your dog as a reaction to this aggressiveness and barking
  • Do not use muzzles or shock collars
  • Always try to provide good training
  • Meet all his needs and wants without any shortcomings
  • Don’t skip regular vet checkups to ensure your dog is completely healthy
  • Don’t use the “water spraying” method, it’s proven to be ineffective


Dogs may bark or growl at your husband for a variety of reasons, none of which are particularly difficult to address. First, it’s important to identify the exact cause before attempting to find a solution. With this comprehensive guide, we hope you’ll be able to address the issue with ease. Have a nice day!

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