Will a Labrador Bark at Strangers?

Barking is a common behavior for dogs. But many dog owners find it a little troublesome when dogs bark too much or too little.

A lot of dogs bark too much, even at imaginary friends and foes. This can be disturbing for your neighbors and even for you. It can be hard to sleep at night with all the noise.

But some owners are worried because their dog doesn’t bark too much, especially at strangers. Are Labs like this? Will a Labrador bark at strangers?

Why Do Dogs Bark?

Barking is a way for our dogs to communicate with us. It can mean they are excited, angry, annoyed, happy, or they need something. They bark when they are hungry, thirsty, in need of a bathroom break or in pain.

You can decipher what their bark means when you look at their body language. Also, check their tone. Angry barks are lower and often includes growls. Happy barks are joined with tail wagging and jumping.

Labrador retrievers have good barks and bad ones. Positive barks are at the right time and the right place. These dogs can be a little loud, so they may not be suitable in several places.

Will Labrador Bark at Strangers?

Labrador retrievers are best known for their friendly disposition. In fact, they are too friendly that they even go well with people they don’t know. That can be a little problematic once your safety is at stake.

Just imagine your dog guarding the house at night. You’re all asleep in the comfort of your beds. Then a stranger comes in, and your dog is left to face them.

Will your Labrador retriever bark at the stranger and alert you? Or will they ignore this stranger and go back to bed?

Labrador retrievers are friendly even to most strangers. But that doesn’t mean they won’t bark, especially when it comes to home intrusions. In fact, they have a tendency to bark louder when something catches their attention. 

Although they can’t be guard dogs, they are good watchdogs.

There are some exceptions, though. Your dog won’t really bark at strangers when you walk them. They’d even smile at a good head pat. So, you don’t really have to worry about them going crazy on walks or runs.

Training Your Dog

Your dog may or may not bark at strangers. Their level of friendliness and aggression may depend on the dog. Labs are deemed as very friendly, but some dogs are different.

Your Lab may be louder than most. Or they can be a little more on the silent side. But regardless of your dog’s temperament, it’s best to train them.

It is possible to train your dog to bark at strangers at home. This can alert you when someone’s at the door. This can give you more time to be ready in case there’s a visitor or a possible intrusion.

Additionally, a barking dog can avoid the latter. Many intruders second-guess their actions when a dog barks. These people don’t want to be caught, so when a dog barks, they’re likely going to be.

Are Labrador Retrievers Easy to Train?

Training a dog to bark at strangers or someone at the door seems hard. If you have a stubborn dog, this can be a challenging task. But luckily, Labrador retrievers (puppies, especially) are one of the easiest to train.

These dogs are highly intelligent. Combine that with their eager-to-please attitude and you can train them quick. But teaching them to bark at a given situation is still tough. You should at least have prior experience training a dog.

How to Train Labs

Start training your Labrador when they are still young. They learn quickly and absorb what you teach faster at this age. 

Positive reinforcement will help greatly in this training. Get their favorite treats and toys ready, and don’t forget the leash and lots of patience. You can also ask a volunteer, such as a family member or a friend to help you in training.

There are several ways to train your dog. One way is asking them near the door or the bell. Then, ask your volunteer to ring the bell or knock on the door. If your dog barks, make sure that you praise and give them a treat.

Repeat this process until they bark every time the bell rings.

You should also try this process, but instead of the doorbell, knock on the window. The whole process must also be repeated throughout the week. Repetition can help your dog learn.


Socialization is an important part of your dog’s training. This helps them become friendlier with other dogs and strangers. Yet, that’s a natural thing when it comes to Labs.

But will a Labrador bark at strangers? They actually will, but don’t forget to train them too. That way, you can be sure they can work best as watchdogs.

About the author

Sarah Andrews

Hi I'm Sarah, dog lover and blogger. I was born into a dog-loving family and have been a proud doggy mommy ever since I can remember. I love sharing my dog knowledge and love being an active part of the dog-loving community.