Even if you love your dog, there are times during which you don’t want to hear him or her. Barking might be a normal part of pet ownership, but no one really wants to hear a dog barking at night. It’s no wonder, then, that so many people look for ways to tackle this problem. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Figuring Out Why Your Dog Barks at Night
If you want a break from your dog’s nocturnal barking, you’ll need to start by figuring out why he or she is getting so loud at night. Unfortunately, there’s not a single answer here – and you’re going to have to do some digging to figure out what is causing your dog to bark at night.
One of the best ways to figure out why your dog is barking at night is to look at some common data points. The good news is that you don’t have to be a dog expert to get this information, but rather you’ll just need to pay a little attention.
You’ll want to start out by paying attention to your dog’s bark. As a pet owner, you should have at least some idea of what all of your dog’s various barks sound like. Is this an “I need to go to the bathroom” bark or is it a “I’m in pain, help me!” bark? Perhaps it’s simply a case of your dog barking in their sleep while dreaming. There’s more information here than you might expect, so make sure to pay attention.
The next thing to think about is where your dog sleeps. Is your dog with you, in their dog crate, or outside? Lonely dogs get loud, so keeping him or her nearby might change the situation significantly. With that said, though, even dogs who sleep right by your side can start barking at night.
From there, you’ll want to try to figure out if the barking happens at a specific time. If it seems that your dog barks at everything throughout the day as well, try to figure out when he or she stops and starts. There might be some outside factors that play a role in your dog’s barking during those times, so pay attention.
Common Causes of Night Time Barking
Now that you know how to do some detective work, you can start to investigate why your dog is barking. For the most part, nighttime barking is can be traced back to one of a few factors.
Crate Training Problems
Your dog’s crate should be a safe place for your dog. Unfortunately, though, your dog’s crate can also set off some fairly intense reactions if he or she wasn’t crate-trained properly. If your dog’s barking is more along the lines of crying for whining in their crate, you might need to go back to square one on the training process.
Some dogs are absolutely set on edge by all the noises that they hear at night. They’re listening for danger at all times, and this makes it very hard to sleep. If your dog wakes up in the middle of the night and starts barking at what seems like random times, there’s a good chance that he or she is actually trying to alert you of danger.
When dogs get uncomfortable, they start to complain. If your dog is dealing with any kind of physical discomfort, he or she will likely start to get vocal about what’s going on with his or her body. This bark seems to be more of a whimper than those barks mean to alert you, so try to pay attention to any dog who seems to be crying because of his or her sleeping conditions.
Sadly, a bored dog can also end up being a loud dog. If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise during the day, he or she is going to be up all night trying to find ways to stay amused. You may want to consider how often you walk your dog, and increase the frequency if needed. For many dogs, this actually means making noise. This is an especially common problem in those higher-energy breeds, so getting bored can be an even bigger problem for dogs who are constantly seeking input.
Yes, your dog might even start barking because he or she is getting lonely. Dogs are fairly social creatures and they like to have people around. If your dog is sleeping somewhere far away from the rest of his or her family, he or she might just be barking because he or she doesn’t want to be forgotten.
Stopping Your Dog from Barking at Night
There are plenty of reasons why your dog might be barking at night, so stopping the problem is as much a process of elimination as anything else. If you’re really looking for a way to help your pet stay quiet at night, you’ll want to consider the following actions.
Let Your Dog Get More Exercise
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to let your dog run around outside more often, though if you have an invisible dog fence then it can be a convenient option. Your dog needs more physical and mental stimulation than he or she is getting, so take some time to really get out there and play with your pet. Whether this means investing in dog toys or just spending more time outside, your dog might stop barking at night if he or she can get more time to play during the day.
Find a Better Sleeping Solution
Think about what your night is like if you have to sleep on an uncomfortable bed. Given the amount that you would probably grumble, it makes sense that your dog would do the same thing. Make sure that you invest in the best dog bed for your pup, one that will help him or her sleep a little bit more easily at night.
Considering Calming Products
It might also be a good idea to think about various calming products if your dog tends to be a nervous barker (1). No, there’s probably not a miracle product out there that will ‘fix’ your dog, but there are some situations in which making just a small change for your dog can have a huge impact on the amount that he or she barks.
Find a Good Trainer
This isn’t a cheap solution but it might be the best way to help you get some more sleep at night. A good trainer is going to be able to work with your dog to figure out what’s causing him or her so many problems and help you to figure out a way to get your dog to quiet down. Consider how much dog training costs and whether or not it makes sense for your household. This is another solution that might not be quick, but it’s one that tends to have a fairly significant chance of working.
Getting Your Dog to Stop Barking at Night
Getting your dog to stop barking at night isn’t always easy, but it is something that’s possible for most dog owners to accomplish. You’ll need to do some detective work, figure out likely causes of the problem, and try multiple solutions. At the end of the day, though, you very well may be able to help both you and your dog get a better night’s rest.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why does my dog bark at night for no reason?
Your dog probably has a pretty good reason for barking. He or she might be lonely, might be nervous, or might even be bored. It’s a good idea to think about the situations in which your dog barks so that you can figure out a good way to solve the problem before you go to sleep at night.
2. How do I get my dog to stop barking at night?
You’ll need to start by figuring out why your dog is barking. Is he or she afraid? Rambunctious? Bored? The answer to this question is going to determine what you do next, so don’t be afraid to do some detective work. Once you figure out the cause, you can help out your dog by taking steps that range from letting him or her play more during the day to ensuring that he or she has a more comfortable place to sleep at night.
3. Should I ignore my dog barking at night?
It depends on how often your dog barks. If it is a rare thing that happens in conjunction with a very obvious stimulus, (a loud car, perhaps) then you don’t need to worry. If you – or your neighbors – are losing sleep, though, you definitely need to find a better solution. Some pet owners resort to bark collars when in need of a quick fix, but you’ll want to consider whether or not bark collars work when it comes to addressing the issue for the long term before going this route.
4. How do you get a dog to shut up?
Yours is making noise for a valid reason. You don’t need your dog to shut up – you need to figure out what is bothering him or her. Dogs bark for the same reasons that humans speak – something is happening and they’re trying to communicate.