Why do stray dogs bark at ragpickers?

It is seen that most of the dogs bark at ragpickers no matter what the situation is. Wondering Why these stray dogs bark at ragpickers?

After reading this article you would be able to find the answer.

stray dogs bark at ragpickers
stray dogs bark at ragpickers

What is a ragpicker and what does ragpicker do?

Rag pickers are people who collect the rags that other people throw away. They collect things like plastics, newspapers, and any other thing they can find to make money.

The profession of a ragpicker is not only collecting items that other people throw away but also salvaging and flipping items that can’t be sold to give to other merchants while earning a profit for themselves.

They sell these items to recycling plants who can then use them to create new products.

They also collect and sell old clothes. For example, they might pick up an old dress from a house and take it to an outdoor market to sell.

This could also collect used clothing from washing lines and sell them for a profit.

There are many different types of ragpickers. The most common are 3-Picker and junkman.

The 3-picker is the one who picks up items from the street and the dumpster and then sells them on the street.

The junkman is the one who goes to the dumpster and sells things that he finds in the dumpster.

Reasons why stray dogs bark at ragpickers

Dogs are territorial creatures

Dogs are territorial creatures in nature. When a ragpicker comes a dog that sees this as an intrusion into its territory may bark loudly at the ragpicker and lunge at him. If the ragpicker does not leave, the dog might even bite him.

Noise of ragpicker’s cart

Many times, dogs are sensitive to audio cues in their environment as they have sensitive hearing. So, when something happens that makes the dog feel uncomfortable, the dog may start barking.

Ragpicker’s cart makes a grating sound as it goes over different types of materials, such as glass, plastic, and metal. This noise scares stray dogs. So they start barking on ragpicker.


Stray dogs may see the ragpicker as a predator because they are sometimes seen carrying things like ropes, sticks, and knives (tools that can be used to attack) although these items are not intended to be used for lethal purposes. But stray dogs do not think so and they bark at him continuously.


In an impoverished city, a ragpicker might be seen as a competitor for the food of stray dogs. This can lead to stray dogs barking at ragpickers and chasing them away from garbage bins.

In turn, this leaves more scraps for the stray dogs who may become aggressive in their interactions with people.

Ragpickers sometimes strike

Ragpickers sometimes attack stray dogs with sticks to prevent them from barking. Dog barking is a major irritant for the ragpickers, who are constantly bombarded by the noise while they try to collect garbage on the streets.

Sometimes these attacks result in serious injury to dogs. It became the perception of dogs that ragpickers are their enemy.

Intimidating look

The ragpickers are an intimidating look for the dog, which they realize when they see them coming. They bark at them because of their look.


Ragpicking is a job that many people do to make a living. It is usually done by people who can’t find regular jobs due to a lack of education or a criminal record.

While ragpickers are often seen as lazy and inferior, the reality is that they often work very hard for little pay. One nuisance that ragpickers have to deal with is stray dogs barking at them as they walk down the street.

Some dog owners have complained to their neighbors about the situation and even been bitten by the dogs. With this in mind, the City of Toronto has decided to set up a “Ragpicker Safety Program” to help ragpickers.

The program will consist of a special license plate, a rewards program, and a designated area to pick rags in the city. All major cities should initiate programs like this, it would be a great help to ragpickers.


Hi, I am Deepmala. I am a crazy dog lady who loves all things dogs! I am also a pet nutritionist and dog first aid expert. I have completed the training course under the guidance of vet Dr. Sophie Bell - BVMS MRCVS and Diana Laverdure-Dunetz, MS. I offer unique insights into keeping your furry friend healthy and happy.

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