I am sure you have experienced the frustration of hearing your dog bark all night long. You just had a shower, put on your pajamas, lights off, get into bed, pull your cozy blanket over, and get ready to rest. Your pup started to whine, howl, and bark, keeping you and the neighborhood awake all night! And it just won’t work when you ask them to stay quiet? You are not alone!
At first, it’s a little funny because they are just doing what dogs do. However, after a few weeks or months of being kept awake by their nightly barking routine, it becomes less and less enjoyable to come home at night.
And while it certainly is frustrating to deal with a non-stop nighttime barker, it is crucial to understand that barking, like most behavioral problems, you won’t be able to control and change it in just a day or two. Also, dogs won’t bark for no reason. They may be trying to tell you something. So you would have to figure out the root cause to treat and resolve it effectively.
In this article, we’ve listed some possible causes of why your dog barks when the sun goes down and share with you the solutions on how to stop your canine friend from waking up everyone around them each evening!
Causes and Solutions to Late Night Barking
1. Sensitive to Noises
- Solution: To avoid such reactions from your pup, make sure to close all doors on any outside noises, so they don’t hear it at night when their senses are more heightened than during the day! Situating them away from window areas will also keep them calm if anything does happen to catch their attention, like a piece of paper blowing by.
2. Alerting You to a Possible Disturbance
- Solution: You can try teaching your dog to bark just once or twice before going back into bed, which could be enough of an alert for you to investigate the problem without waking everyone up! That way, they know that a single barking is all it takes, and then they’ll stop so as not to wake anyone else in the house any more than needed-doggy considerate!
- A reminder: Dogs are naturally territorial animals by nature. That means you may never find one who doesn’t want to protect their territory from intruders. This instinctive need our canine friends have keeps them on high alert when we are sleeping at night, scanning every sound within hearing distance.
- Solution: Make sure to give your dog a chance to go outside for their morning and evening walks or hikes to help get their pent-up energy out! If you can’t take him on walks or don’t have dog-friendly trails available near your area, try giving them an indoor toy like a Kong Wobbler filled with kibble. So they have something to do while you go into the room for beddy-bye time.
Barking is how dogs communicate with their canine friends and family members, and humans, so it can be a very healthy way for them to release pent-up energy or stress from the day. They may also engage in this behavior when they feel lonely and want attention from you!
Dogs who spend too much time alone will have instincts that tell them something is wrong if there’s no one around: “You’re not here? I’m lonely!” So your pup might start barking just out of habit, without any other specific triggers present.
Like how you deal with a bored dog, one of the best ways to address this problem is establishing a workout routine or regular playtime schedule. Every dog needs at least 30 minutes each day for exercise and “brain games.” Or you can provide them with a pet bed next to yours or let them sleep with you in your bed instead!
- A reminder:
If your pup has not had enough time with you, he may start barking to get attention from his human family members or whining as a way to communicate that they want someone around.Dogs who do not have enough physical and mental stimulation during the day may bark at night. When this happens, adding some games into your dog’s playtime while you’re home might stop nighttime barking.
Your furkid reaches their golden years, and, all of a sudden, they start barking at night? It could be due to them suffering from arthritis, dementia, hearing and vision loss, or other illnesses, hence barking to tell you that they feel unwell and in pain!
The first thing to do for your pup is get them checked out by a veterinarian and provide them with prescribed medication or treatments needed to help relieve their illness symptoms. You would also want to try making their environment as comfortable and calming as possible for them.
- A reminder:
When dogs get older, they may have hearing loss and vision problems and suffer from illnesses like dementia and arthritis, which will make it difficult for your furry friend to get used to any new routine or changes in the environment, ultimately causing them to bark out of frustration! So if you suspect that that’s the case for your pup, consult with your vet immediately.
6. Uncomfortable Sleeping Space
Another possible reason why your dog would bark at night is that their sleeping area is uncomfortable. And obviously, many different factors can cause that, for insurance, having too many blankets or sheets on the bed, not being given enough room to move around in the bed and sleep comfortably. Sleep on an old mattress that has lost its firmness over time, or there are lights constantly coming into their eyes while they’re trying to get some shuteye!
Solutions to Barking At Night
1. Ignore the Barking
One other technique that can help quiet your noisy pup at night is to ignore them, especially if you feel that they woof for attention. Because if you respond, they will learn that barking and whining gets you to them. Solution? Don’t talk to them or pet them when they bark, so they know acting that way won’t help.
2. Use Dog Calming Tools
If you find that your pooch barks because they are highly alert and constantly stressed out, you will find dog calming tools helpful, like collars that emit soothing ingredients called pheromones. One thing to keep in mind with these types of products, though, they don’t work for all dogs, as every dog responds to the pheromones differently.
Also, these tools need time to work their magic too. Sometimes up to two weeks! However, some dogs respond much faster than others because each dog has different stress tolerance levels and sensitivities, plus their past experiences also play a role.
But out of all dog relaxants on the market like Thundershirts, Adaptil, white noise generators, we find that calming collars for dogs are the most effective. In fact, there is scientific proof that shows calming collars work for relaxing anxious dogs, which will, in turn, reduce the amount of barking at night!
3. Teach Your Dog When it is Ok and Not Ok to Bark
You can also teach your dog with anti-barking devices that barking at night is not appropriate. There are a few different types of barking deterrent devices out there, and they all work differently. Some take advantage of sheer high-pitched noise that humans can’t hear, while others use electric pulses to deter the dog from barking any further, although most dog trainers prefer to train their dogs with a canine whistle.
And you will find two types of gadgets that use mild electric current to stop dogs from barking. One comes with a remote, allowing you to manually correct your pup when they have been too rowdy over an extended period. Another device type has a sensor that will trigger itself when it detects your dog’s unique barking style and vocal cord movement, which obviously, is a lot easier and more effective for correcting unwanted barking behavior.
4. Hire a Professional Dog Trainer
If you find none of the methods above work, your best bet would be to hire a certified professional dog trainer.
There are many dog trainers out there who can help you with your dog’s barking problem. However, if you want to find the best one for your particular case, it would be a good idea to ask your friends and neighbors for their recommendations or look up reviews on Google for potential professionals in your area.
If your budget allows for it, try to hire the best certified professional trainer who knows how to perform a series of behavioral modification techniques on your fido and teach them not to bark at night. One thing to keep in mind, though, this process could take up to several weeks or even months, depending on how severe the problem is and if more than one behavioral modification technique was used during training sessions.
And after all, every single dog has their unique personality. Even simple things like breeds will play into how they behave when training them, which means every trainer needs to adjust their techniques accordingly!
It is also crucial to note that some of these professionals may be able to work with you remotely if they are not in your area and can’t make it out to visit. So don’t just assume because the nearest one is a hundred miles away, no one can help your dog, and you choose to give up! All you need to do is search online or ask around at either the vet clinic or other pet stores in your city where they may know who provides this kind of service.
Dogs barking at night may seem adorable at first glance, but it can turn into a nightmare for you and those who live near your house, disrupting everyone’s sleep and making for an awful way to start the day. Worse, when you consider the fact that many dogs are not just barking for a few hours and then stopping.
However, that is not due to them being inherently bad dogs. But instead, there may be things that frustrate them and make them feel uncomfortable during nighttime hours. And there are more than one reasons that could cause your dog to bark at night, which we’ve listed above. They don’t just bark all of a sudden.
The number one thing not to do when dealing with this issue? Give up on them too quickly because there is always a solution out there for every problem! So, good luck!