Trying to understand my dog’s barking (to find a way to manage it)

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/hlagol/trying_to_understand_my_dogs_barking_to_find_a/

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My dog isn't a huge barker. The only times he's ever barked in the 4 months I've had him are alert barking, and even that has gone way down with training and management. He only barks maybe twice a week now and knows when we ask him to stop.

Today we went to a park and had a picnic lunch on a secluded spot, while doggy was tied to a nearby tree on a 20-foot leash. He was chilling on his mat while another dog appears around the corner and he just started barking and we couldn't get him to stop. It was not reactive as his leash was loose and he didn't even move off his mat to approach the other dog. The other dog came over, tail wagging, and my normally super sociable dog just kept barking. Once the other dog's owner took her away, he stopped and calmed down again.

I'm struggling to understand why my dog did this. Did he think that the picnic spot was ours and he needed to defend it? I would very much like him to stop this behavior but I'm a bit confused about where to starr.

ETA: my dog is quite well socialized IMO. He goes to daycare once a week, dog park almost every other day. He's had doggy friends come over to our house, and we recently went to a cottage with another family with a dog and he was perfectly happy. He can be reactive sometimes. Never lunges but only growls a little when he sees another dog on his walks.

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