How to Stop a Dog From Barking at Night – 5 Methods
By Hallie Roddy
There are few things more frustrating than a dog that barks all night and steals precious hours of sleep before you have to get up in the morning. Even if you’re the most patient person, it is hard to stay motivated when you’re sleep-deprived. Even worse, you might start getting some complaints from the neighbors who are also losing sleep because of your dog’s barking.
The key to stopping your pup from barking at night is finding the root of the problem and treating it. This article will explain some of the common reasons why your dog might be up at all hours of the night and provide you with some valuable methods for correcting the behavior.
What Is Making Your Dog Bark at Night?
Trying to figure out why your canine companion is barking all night isn’t always easy. It might take some trial-and-error to figure out the cause of their behavior. Here are some of the most common reasons for barking at night and methods for how to fix it:
1. Improper Crate Training
It’s possible that your pup might have developed some negative associations with their crate. Crate training can be a real pain but rushing through the process can lead to even more severe results—as you might have already figured out.
A clear sign that your dog is barking because of being in their crate is if the barking starts almost as soon as you put them inside. Pay attention to whether they bark while sleeping outside of their crate as well. If you feel confident that this is the cause, you can consider letting them sleep outside of the create or go back to the basics and start crate training again from scratch—with more positive reinforcement.
2. Hypersensitivity to Noises
Some dogs can’t help but pay close attention to every little noise happening outdoors. Most dogs that react to even the quietest noises are likely stressed out and on high alert. Barking is the only way they know how to respond. A sleeping dog might get startled awake in the middle of the night for what seems like no reason at all.
To treat this, you might try steadying their nerves and reducing stress. Products like white noise machines and “thundershirts” have been known to help.
Even if your dog’s sleeping location seems comfortable to you, it could be the one thing keeping them up at night. Dogs might be cold or unable to lay in the position they want. Dogs that are uncomfortable might use a mixture of barking and whimpering to get your attention. Also, be mindful of if your dog’s behavior gets worse as the seasons change since the cold can cause joint pain.
To combat this, change your dog’s sleeping environment. Move them indoors, give them a larger crate, or supply them with extra padding and blankets.
Dogs that don’t get enough exercise throughout the day aren’t going to be as worn out at night. You might need to increase the amount of physical and mental activity that you’re giving them. Running around the yard doesn’t always count, especially when you’ve got a high-energy breed at home. Some dogs get bored easily and need some extra movement to make them feel sleepy. Try taking them for an extra walk or buying a few dog puzzles to keep them active.
Another reason why your pet might be barking at all hours of the night is because they miss you. Some dogs experience separation anxiety, so being away from you for any amount of time is incredibly stressful for them. You’d be surprised at how something as simple as bringing their crate into your bedroom can immediately fix the problem.
Those of you suffering through the night because of your dog’s barking don’t have to be miserable forever. It might take some time and adjusting, but it’s possible to figure out why your dog is acting this way through a process of elimination. Work your way down this list, if you haven’t already eliminated some, and start taking steps towards understanding the root of the problem.
Not everyone will have luck, but, more often than not, the solution to the problem is more straightforward than we initially thought. Our dogs don’t usually bark for no reason. Instead of punishing them further, experiment a little bit and see what works for them and what doesn’t. Hopefully, you’ll be back to sleeping like a baby in no time!
Featured Image Credit: Annette Aigner, Pixabay