There’s nothing more refreshing than the feeling of your head on the pillow after a long day, until you’re woken up by the barking of your dog. A dog barking all night creates a major problem for you as well as your family and possibly your neighbors. If your pup is trying to get back to his roots and is howling at the moon, try these five tips to keep your dog from barking all night long.
Why do dogs bark at night?
Without the ability to speak in actual words, dogs must be creative when it comes to communicating. They use barking as the most common method of letting us know how they feel, keeping an eye out for neighborhood animals, and spreading nighttime gossip. Understanding why your dog barks at night is a great first step to getting him to stop. However, sometimes it’s not easy to tell why your dog chooses to join the neighborhood chorus. Some reasons why a dog may bark all night include:
- Solitude: Most of the time the dogs that bark all night are outside. They may feel lonely or even a little abandoned being the only ones not huddled within the confines of your home. Barking is their way of reminding you that you might have forgotten something, like leaving the back door open, or it’s their way of bringing your attention back to them.
- Boredom: Dogs like to be social and play with other dogs and other people. If a puppy is left home all day to entertain, he may not be willing to do so all night as well. Bored dogs may bark to try to entertain themselves or to get your attention. With boredom comes a lack of exercise. If a puppy isn’t getting its fair share of movement every day, that excess energy can translate into barking.
- Noises: We all get a little more nervous about common everyday noises when it’s dark. Dogs are no different. They may bark at sounds they hear at night simply because they can’t see them to know what they are. Part of this barking may be to determine what the noise is and part may be due to fear.
- Other animals: It is rare to hear a single dog bark all night. On the contrary, your dog is more likely to be part of a group. They bark one after the other to warn of possible dangers or claim their territory. Dogs may also bark at other animals that cross their space. Whether it’s a feral cat or a wandering skunk, your dog may bark at it to let you know there’s an unwanted visitor or to try to persuade the intruder to go somewhere else.
How to stop your dog from barking all night
Whether or not you know the reason for your dog’s nocturnal barking, here are some ways to try and fix it so everyone gets a good night’s sleep.
So, at first glance, you probably think it doesn’t seem feasible. How are you supposed to ignore something so irritating and robbing you of sleep? Well, this method is for those of us who have stood up and tried to “calm down” a loud dog to stop barking. These dogs quickly learn that barking equals affection, or worse, a night in your bed. If this is a familiar situation happening in your home, it’s time to stop paying attention to your dog’s barking to try and break that cycle.
Of course, this method will only work if your dog doesn’t disturb the neighbors or your family too much, because ignoring your dog can make the barking worse for a short time.
2. Bring them inside
If your dog’s barking problems stem from being outside, let him in. Find a quiet spot in your home for him to sleep in, or consider a crate or X-pen to keep them more comfortably confined.
Of course, if your dog is barking indoors at night, you’ll need to get a little more creative. Crates and x-pens in quiet parts of the house can still work, or consider a white noise machine to drown out those spooky or curious noises.
Testing your puppy right before bed is a great way to ensure a better night’s sleep. Carrying them to the point that they won’t want to bark anymore can help calm them down and prepare them for sleep rather than vocalizing.
4. Barking deterrent
Using a bark control such as a bark collar can also help reduce your dog’s barking at night. Anti-bark collars work by emitting a tone, vibration, static shock or unpleasant odor when your dog barks, teaching them that barking is synonymous with annoyance. Instead of a collar, you can look into an ultrasonic device that emits a high-pitched sound when your dog barks. These devices do not need to be worn by your dog, just place them close to your dog’s area.
5. Make your dog comfortable
Maybe your puppy is barking all night simply because he’s not comfortable in his current situation. Providing them with a good bed, a quiet place, or even a pheromone diffuser can help calm their nervous barking.
If your puppy continues to bark all night after trying some or all of these methods, consult your veterinarian to rule out any possible medical cause for the barking. You may also consider consulting a professional trainer for these really difficult dogs for a more personalized approach.
Featured photo courtesy: Pexels.