Night-time barking is among the most common nuisance complaints; let’s face it, no matter how much you love your dog, incessant barking is unpleasant for everyone involved and could suggest that your dog is unwell, bored, or scared.
Discover the most common reasons why dogs bark at night-time and what you should do if your canine won’t stop.
Why Do Dogs Bark at Night?
There are several reasons dogs may bark during the night, including the following.
Remember that a dog’s hearing is far superior to humans, so they are susceptible to any noise changes in their environment; sounds that seem far away to us may seem far closer to your canine.
And if your dog sleeps in a place with other creatures such as squirrels, rats, or raccoons, they will find these small animals fascinating. You may not realize how much wildlife is in your area, but with a dog’s keen sense of smell and hearing, they’ll have no problems identifying night-time wildlife.
Make sure that your dog gets enough exercise each day, as restlessness is a significant contributor to night-time barking. A combination of mental enrichment and outdoor activity can tire your dog out and enable them to sleep more peacefully at night.
Then there’s a question of separation anxiety; some dogs are highly social creatures and will struggle to settle if they’re alone at night. You don’t have to allow your dog to sleep with you at night-time, but barking could indicate that they feel lonely or anxious.
If you don’t want your dog in your bed, try adding its own bed or crate to your bedroom. This way, they can feel close to their owners as they sleep, which can be particularly comforting to older dogs whose senses are starting to fail.
Why Is My Puppy Barking Through the Night?
Young puppies may feel a little bit lost or homesick and bark as they get used to their new home and surroundings. In addition, young pups have poor bladder control, so they might be telling you that they need to go to the toilet.
It’s normal for pups to make a little noise as they settle into their new home. Still, night-time barking can quickly become a habit, so try to pre-empt this behavior by taking them to the toilet before you put them to bed.
Consider, in general, whether your dog has sufficient access to a toilet. Do you give them a space to relieve themselves during the night? And do you provide adequate toilet time before you put them to bed?
In addition, make your puppies sleeping area as warm and comfortable as you can. Remember, they’ve only just separated from their litter, so they want to feel safe and secure in your home.
What Should if My Dog Starts Barking at Night?
The key to addressing night-time barking is to figure out the root cause of the behavior in your dog. If you want to stop your dog from barking through the evening, you must ensure that you meet all their needs during the day.
First, check that everything is okay with your dog and its surrounding environment. Keep this visit brief and avoid cuddles or other reinforcing behavior. You just want to check that nothing is awry in their space.
Don't give them your attention if they persist in barking through the night. It’s easy to cater to their needs when you’re worried that they’re feeling scared or anxious but giving them attention for barking will inadvertently enforce this behavior and could do more harm and good in the long run.
Importantly, never try to punish or intimidate your dog into stopping barking; if you make them feel that they can’t express themselves, it will only make them feel more frightened or anxious.
When the night-time barking starts up suddenly, you may want to look at what’s changed to create that behavior. If it’s a one-off bark, check for any disturbances in and around your property, as your canine may be trying to alert you to something they’ve sensed.
If night-time barking persists, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet. They can help to eliminate potential health issues as well as provide you with guidance for addressing this behavior.
Tips To Stop a Dog from Barking
If you want to curb your dog’s night-time bark, try some of the tips below.
- Provide them with some stimulation. If you think your canine gets bored during the night, try providing them with toys to enjoy in their sleeping area. A plush toy, for example, is quiet and comforting and can keep your dog occupied for hours.
- Utilize calming aids. There are several doggy calming aids available on the market which contain natural relaxants such as lavender to help your dog feel peaceful and sleep more easily.
- Make sure they’re comfy. You wouldn’t want to sleep on a hard floor all night, so don’t expect your dog to either. Provide them with a bed and some cosy blankets that make them feel safe and secure. You can also add your scent to these blankets to minimize separation anxiety if your dog sleeps in a different room.
- Build a routine. What do you do before you go to bed? Drink a cup of calming tea, read a good book, or have a hot shower? You can create the same kind of routine for your dog and allow them to build associative memories, so they know it’s bedtime. Try taking them for a walk, shampooing their fur, or grooming them.