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How to Get my Dog to Stop Barking at Night

How to Get my Dog to Stop Barking at Night

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Help! My dog barks every night with no apparent reason!

It’s late. Finally, after a lot of turning, and tossing — you’re ready to sleep.

You thought that you would eventually get that good sleep you deserve, but out of nowhere, your dog starts to bark relentlessly.

Worse, you see no apparent reason why he should.

Before we dive into how to get my dog to stop barking at night, the smartest move to pull off is to determine why he is doing it in the first place.

All of our following actions will be grounded on this, so make sure not to skip this part.

It is easier to say that there’s no reason, and your dog is merely stubborn, but that’s not always true.

Why is my dog barking in the middle of the night for no reason?

Why is my dog barking in the middle of the night for no reason?

Here are five reasons on why your dog barks at night, aside from the less logical explanation that your dog sees ghosts and other paranormal activities:

Not enough exercise

Some dog breeds require more stimulation, both physically and mentally.

These include the family of Retrievers, Border Collie, German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, and Jack Russell Terrier.

If your dog missed his daily exercise, or he belongs to the following breeds, then this might be the reason.

Your dog has pent up energy that needs to be released. The same situation applies to humans.

Imagine if you sleep throughout the afternoon, wouldn’t it be difficult to sleep at night?

Boredom

Boredom causes your dog to bark at night

Humans are not the only one who gets bored. Unfortunately, dogs do not have a smartphone to get entertained as we do.

So what do they do instead? They randomly start barking at night.

Boredom in dogs has several reasons, such as being left alone for long periods, and not getting enough interaction or affection.

Recommended reading: Brain-Boosting Exercises To Stimulate Your Dog’s Mental Performance

Separation Anxiety

separation anxiety causes your dog to bark at night

Who wants to sleep alone on a cold night? Isn’t it much better to have someone to cuddle?

Dogs are social animals by nature. They thrive by getting lots of attention and massages.

If you keep your dog out of your bedroom at night, it might trigger dog anxiety which leads to excessive barking. This situation is especially true if you only have one dog.

So you might want to get another one so they will keep each other company. 

Unmet physical needs

There is no ghost. Your dog simply wants some midnight snacks, or he might chug a little too much water on dinner, so he is giving you a signal to take him outside.

Dogs, especially smaller breeds, need to relieve themselves at least three to five times per day; thus, it is entirely reasonable for your dog to ask for a bathroom break even at night. 

Old age

Typically, puppies and younger dogs bark more than senior ones to communicate with fellow doggies.

However, as they age, they might undergo personality changes caused by stress, anxiety, discomfort, and cognitive dysfunction.

Arthritis is one of the most common diseases in senior dogs. It causes excruciating pain, which makes dogs more vocal.

If this is the case, the only solution is to bring your dog to the vet.

How to get my dog to stop barking at night?

Now that we know that dogs do not bark at night without reason, let’s discuss the steps you can do from the easiest and fastest ones up to those that require more time and effort.

Step #1: Remove the trigger

Again, determine what causes your dog to bark at night then remove or alleviate it (in case the reason is old age).

This action is the most natural thing you can do, and it usually solves the problem for the time being. 

If your dog can see squirrels or birds which excite him, then move him into a different room.

If your dog has separation anxiety, the action you can do the meantime is to let him sleep with you.

Do note that separation anxiety in dogs is a severe issue, and you should take definitive measures to solve it.

Step #2: Increase exercise and mental stimulation

If the first step didn’t solve it, and you’re still wondering how to get my dog to stop barking at night, the next no-sweat thing to do is keep your beloved canine occupied.

The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on his breed, age, and health. But, the rule of thumb is at least 30 minutes a day.

If you tend to keep your dog alone, make sure to leave him with toys so he wouldn’t get bored.

Boredom, in the long run, will lead to destructive behaviors. And trust me; you don’t want to go home with a ruined couch.

Recommended reading: Brain-Boosting Exercises To Stimulate Your Dog’s Mental Performance

Step #3: Do not motivate the unwanted behavior

Dogs learn through positive reinforcement. We already know that dogs love getting attention, but as responsible owners and neighbors, we need to put it into the proper place.

If your dog thinks that he will get your attention by barking, he will continue to do so until night.

Completely ignore your dog’s barking, don’t even yell because he will think that he succeeded in getting your attention. Do not touch or give him a treat until he quiets down.

Step #4: Teach your dog the “quiet” trick

All the previous methods on how to get my dog to stop barking at night didn’t work, so let’s get serious.

Teaching your dog a trick requires patience, but the process will strengthen your relationship, and the result will also be beneficial for the two of you.

What if my dog won’t stop barking? Seek help from a dog behaviorist!

Certified dog behaviorists are trained to determine the nature of your dog’s behavioral problem, and find a way to solve it.

Aside from this, a dog behaviorist can also help to make your dog happier and easier to manage.

As a fellow pooch owner, we understand the frustration you are going through when your dog keeps barking at night, but do not give up!

This is a sign that your dog needs your help. Follow the steps above, and you will be guaranteed to achieve the quiet nights you’ve dreamed all along.

Frequently Asked Question

Why Dogs Bark At Night For No Reason?

We all know that dogs love to bark and that sometimes their barking can be loud and annoying. This is especially true when you are trying to go to bed, and your dog spends the night barking away into the darkness. But have you ever wondered why dogs bark at night for no reason? 

Well, there may be some key reasons why your dog is barking at night, and they may have something to do with the way you are raising your dog. Down below we have outlined these reasons and how you can stop them. 

Anxiety 

Dogs need a lot of love and attention, so when they are deprived of this during the night, they may begin to bark due to stress and anxiety. 

You can combat this by training your dog to understand that you will not always be there, or by giving them a space they can feel safe in. This is called crate training. 

Boredom

Unfortunately, dogs are known to get bored and this can lead them to entertain themselves by barking – which they can do at any time. 

You need to make sure your dog is constantly stimulated throughout the day because a bored dog is a loud one. 

Lack of Exercise

Some dog breeds require physical exercise to remain stimulated and if they are not given this stimulation they can begin barking. 

Always make sure you are taking your dogs for walks and that you are stimulating them during the day. 

Should I ignore My Puppy Barking At Night?

Puppies are more prone to bark during the night and this is because of two primary reasons. They either want your attention or they need to go to the bathroom. 

If you know your puppy does not need the toilet during the night, then you should learn to ignore their barking. Giving a puppy too much attention can make them overly dependent and this can lead to issues with their behaviour in the future. 

If you want to make sure your puppy is happy during the night, then you can crate train them. This will give the puppy a safe space during the hours when you are asleep, which will help to relieve its stress and anxiety. 

What Is The Law On Dogs Barking At Night?

Although many people understand that barking is natural, others can see it as a disturbance of peace. Loud dog barking can be termed as a ‘loud noise nuisance’ by the law, especially when the dog’s bark is considered loud and continuous. 

This means that you could be taken to court if your neighbour reports your dog’s barking to the police, which could also lead you to be fined for the crime.