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When Do Puppies Start Barking? (How They Find Their Voice!)

By Kerry
Updated on

Puppies – they do the strangest things! You may notice that when you take your adorable new puppy home, they begin to make some strange little noises.

Some puppies are quiet and don’t make much noise, but eventually, your pup will probably begin to find their voice. Many of them will most certainly use it, too! 

When do puppies start barking

So, when will your pooch start barking? Usually, a puppy will start to bark at around 7 to 16 weeks old. A pretty wide time frame, but it largely depends on the dog and breed in question.

Puppies usually won’t bark before this stage, but you may hear them make little noises like fruits, or they may whine around 2 or 3 weeks after they are born. You shouldn’t be too alarmed if your dog doesn’t bark much at all as they get older either – some dogs are very quiet, and that’s okay!

That’s an overview, of course – here’s everything you need to know about your pup’s growing voice! 

When Will My Puppy Begin to Bark?

If you’ve never raised puppies before, you may be a little unsure about when your dog will reach his key milestones. Namely, when will your dog begin to make noises and bark?

You’ll have a relatively quiet couple of weeks when your puppy is first born. They’ll be mostly silent for the first couple of weeks – this is totally normal.

If you’re wondering when your specific puppy will start barking, that’s a little more complicated to answer. Every puppy is different, so every puppy will begin to bark at a different point.

Some puppies don’t ever bark unless they learn the behavior from a different dog. You may find that it’s even many months before you hear your puppy barking for the first time, and that’s totally fine too.

For instance, some dogs may hardly ever bark. We’ve encountered some dogs that have barked about 4 times in their entire lifetime! 

There are a number of other things that can influence when your dog starts to bark, too. For instance, your dog’s personality and temperament can influence it when they start barking. These things can influence whether they are going to bark a lot or if they are mostly silent.

With that being said though, you will usually find that the vast majority of puppies learn to bark with time. They’ll either figure out how to do it on their own, or they will learn from another dog’s example.

The vast majority of puppies will start barking quite early, so you should definitely prepare for that – it can get pretty annoying!

A puppy will first start making small sounds like whining, and these sounds will show you that they  are unhappy or that they want something from their mother.

For instance, a dog may make noises to tell its mother that it needs milk.

It’s worth noting that a dog will usually only start to make noises when their eyes begin to open. In their first few weeks of life, your dog will most likely be practically silent.

Can an 8-Week Old Puppy Bark?

When your puppy reaches 8 weeks old it will usually start to vocalize a lot more – they will have had plenty of time to practice! There are some dogs that will even begin to bark as early as 6 weeks of age.

However, these barks are not going to sound as strong as what you would expect from a fully grown dog. They may also sound a lot more shrill and high-pitched.

At What Point Will His Bark Get Deeper? 

Normally, a dog’s first barks sound slightly like tiny yelps rather than barking. It doesn’t matter what breed your dog is – they will probably have barks that sound like yelps to start with.

Even your big german shepherd will make the same sound! After some time has passed your puppy will have much stronger vocal cords, so they can bark a lot louder and the barks will be deeper. Eventually, your dog will sound like its adult counterparts.

How Can I Stop My Puppy From Constantly Barking?

When your puppy finds his voice, he will most certainly want to use it. This isn’t always the best thing for either you or your neighbors who will always have to listen to it.

Not only that, but your dog will probably bark even more when he’s left alone for long durations of time, and the last thing you need is to get noise complaints from your neighbors.

You also probably won’t like to keep hearing your dog barking at every stranger who comes to the door either.

Some puppies can be rather energetic, and as such they may bark the entire day away. If you have a nervous dog, they may end up barking at any random noise they hear while alone. 

Sometimes a puppy may bark because he has separation anxiety, too. If your puppy has separation anxiety, they may bark a lot when left alone and you may also find some of your furniture ruined.

When do puppies start barking

We’ve even seen a dog pull off the gloss from a cabinet door once when he was left home alone for a long period of time. It’s no joke! 

This can be less of an issue if you live in peaceful neighborhoods, but if you live in a city or a highly populated area then you may encounter some problems if your dog is barking all the time.

Eventually, your dog will get louder as he gets older, so it’s important to train your dog not to bark at a young age to stop it from becoming a habit.

If you’ve ever lived next to a dog that barks regularly. Then you will realize that it can be incredibly annoying. All hope is not lost. However – you can train your dog to bark less.

The first thing you should do is work out why your dog is always barking. There can be a few different reasons why your dog barks all the time. For instance, it could come down to personality, or it could be because of separation anxiety.

Some puppies are just a bundle of energy, so they may end up barking because they are bored or have too much energy to burn.

On the same subject, some nervous pups may bark because they are afraid of certain noises, or they may bark at things happening outside your house. For instance, the dog may begin to bark at strangers that are going past your house. 

If your puppy is particularly energetic, you may be able to get them to cease with their barking by spending some extra time with them each day.

For instance, spend some time playing with your pooch or taking them on a longer walk. Tired puppies are usually less energetic and may make a lot less noise as a result. 

If you have a nervous puppy then they will also tend to fall asleep after they’ve had a lot of exercise, meaning that they are less likely to bark. You can spend some extra time comforting a nervous dog, too, as this will help to make them a little calmer. 

On the other hand, it’s also not a very good idea to be around your dog all of the time either. You need to give them some space – too much attention can cause your pet to be even more anxious when you’re not around. 

Working on training your puppy can go a long way in getting them to be more obedient. Train your puppy with some treats – start off with something simple like the sit command, and reward them when they do that rather than barking.

If they’re barking a lot, you can train them to a designated location, such as their bed. By doing so, you are taking your dog out of the situation that is triggering them. 

Eventually, your dog will start to bark less and less as time goes on. Use positive reinforcement when they don’t bark; eventually, your dog will start to bark a lot less.

Why Is My Puppy Barking?

So, now you know a few ways to stop your dog from barking. But why does your dog bark in the first place, and what do all of those little noises mean? 

The first thing to note is that barking is a very normal thing for your puppy to do. They’re finding their voice, after all! You should only ever stop your dog from barking when the behavior is happening for wrong reasons.

It’s never a good thing to scold a puppy too often, since the puppy will stop trusting you if you keep on scolding them. As such, they may become anxious around you or even develop a fear.

Not only that, but your puppy will bark as a way to communicate with you – it’s best not to discourage that. Your body will show you how they feel and what they need by using their barking and their body language. 

When Will My Puppy Start Barking At Strangers? 

Puppies will usually begin to vocalize at strangers when they start to bark louder. At this point your puppy is trying to get your attention so they may even start to bark when they’re as little as 8 weeks old.

Puppies will often use alert barking to communicate with you. You will notice this fairly early on in their life. It’s your puppy’s main way of telling you that there’s a stranger outside or right next to the door.

However, this is usually the most problematic cause of the barking since your puppy may repeatedly bark until the stranger is gone. 

Your dog may also use alert barking for a number of other things too, for instance if there’s a postman at the door or if they notice a cat nearby.

If your dog is trained properly though, alert barking can be rather useful for helping you and your family to stay safe. Your dog will give you a prior warning if there are people nearby.

There are also various other reasons why your dog may bark. For instance, they could be asking you to play! If your dog is barking because they want to play, the bark will be rather high-pitched, and they may bark a few times.

Their body language will also reflect the fact that they want to play. For instance, they will wag their tail, their tongue will be lolling out and they may wiggle their butt up in the air!

Your dog can sometimes bark when they are excited too. If you come in through the door and your dog starts barking at you, it’s probably because they are excited! They may also bark in excitement when they encounter other dogs. 

Some dogs will occasionally bark as a way to greet other dogs. If you see another dog across the street and your dog starts barking, it may be because they are trying to say hello!

They will do this with dogs that they are already familiar with. It sometimes may look a little aggressive, but you don’t need to worry. It’s just your dog trying to tell other dogs that he’s there! 

Why Is My Puppy Barking While Asleep?

Sometimes puppies will even bark when they sleep. This can seem a little weird, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. This is totally normal behavior. 

While you may feel like it’s a good idea to wake your dog up when they are making noises as they are asleep, you should avoid doing this.

Your dog is just dreaming, and this may mean that they make noise and move a lot. It’s okay! Some puppies may also growl, yelp, or whine in their sleep. You may also see that they twitch, shake around or they may look like they are running or riding a bicycle! 

One particularly interesting thing to note is that small dogs usually bark when they sleep. The phenomenon isn’t as common in bigger dog breeds. A small dog has a dream roughly every 10 minutes when asleep, but a bigger dog breed will dream roughly every 90 minutes.

Puppies will usually dream more often than adult dogs, too, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Your dog will usually bark when they are in REM sleep. This is something that humans and other mammals experience too! Puppies tend to enter REM sleep a lot more often than humans do, so they dream a lot!


The short answer to the question is that a lot of puppies will start barking when they’re around 8 weeks old. There are some dogs that will start to bark a lot more when they get older and will bark at strangers a lot. 

Some puppies, on the other hand, don’t bark very much at all. Some are silent up until a certain age! Every dog is different, so it’s hard to say when exactly your dog will start barking.

One thing is for sure, though – it’s always best to do training with your dog at a young age before barking becomes a rather irritating habit. 

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.