There’s nothing quite as refreshing as the feeling of your head hitting the pillow after a long day – that is until you’re woken up by your barking dog. A dog barking all night long creates a major problem for you as well as your family and possibly neighbors. If your pup is trying to get back to his roots and howling at the moon, try out these five tips to stop your dog from barking all night long.
Why Do Dogs Bark at Night?
Without the ability to speak in actual words, dogs have to get creative when they want to communicate. They use barking as the most common method to relay to us how they feel, keep tabs on the neighborhood animals, and dish the nightly gossip. Understanding why your dog is barking at night is a great first step in getting them to stop. However, it’s sometimes not easy to tell why your dog chooses to join the neighborhood chorus. Some reasons a dog may bark all night include:
- Loneliness: Most of the time, dogs that are barking all night are outside. They may feel lonely or even a bit abandoned by being the only one not snuggled up in the confines of your house. Barking is their way of reminding you that maybe you forgot something, like leaving the back door open, or it’s their way of turning your attention back to them.
- Boredom: Dogs like to be social and play with other dogs and people. If a pup is left home all day to entertain themselves, they may not be willing to do so throughout the night as well. Dogs that are bored may bark to try to drum up some entertainment or to get your attention on them. Along with boredom goes lack of exercise. If a pup doesn’t get its fair share of movement every day, that excess energy can come out as barking.
- Noises: We all get a little more nervous at common, everyday noises when it’s dark. Dogs are no different. They may bark at sounds that they hear in the 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 of it may be out of fear.
- Other animals: It’s rare that you’ll hear only one dog barking all night long. Rather your dog will more likely be part of a group. They bark at each other to alert possible dangers or to lay claim to their territory. Dogs may also bark at other animals that pass through their space. Whether it’s a feral cat or an errant 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 elsewhere.
How to Stop Your Dog From Barking All Night
Whether you know the reason for your dog’s nightly barking or not, here are some ways you can try to fix it so that everyone gets a good night’s sleep.
So, at first glance, you’re probably thinking that this doesn’t seem feasible. How are you supposed to ignore something that’s so irritating and sleep-depriving? Well, this method is for those of us that have gotten out of bed and tried to “soothe” a noisy dog to get them to quit barking. These dogs quickly learn that barking equals affection, or worse, a night in your bed. If this is a familiar situation that happens in your home, it’s time to stop giving your dog attention when they bark to try to break that cycle.
Of course, this method is only going to work if your dog isn’t causing too much disruption to the neighbors or your family, as ignoring your dog may make the barking worse for a short time.
2. Bring Them Inside
If your dog’s barking issues stem from being outside, bring them in. Find them a quiet corner in your home to sleep or consider a crate or X-pen to keep them more comfortably confined.
Of course, if your dog barks at night while inside, you’ll have to get a little more creative. Crates and x-pens in quiet parts of the house may still work, or consider a white noise machine to drown out those spooky or curious noises.
Putting your pup through their paces right before bed is a great way to ensure a better night’s sleep. Wearing them out to the point they won’t want to bark can help them get calm and ready for sleeping rather than vocalizing.
4. Bark Deterrents
Using a bark deterrent like a bark control collar can also help decrease your dog’s nightly barking. Bark control collars work by emitting a tone, vibration, static shock, or an unpleasing smell when your dog barks, teaching them that barking equals unpleasantness. Instead of a collar, you may look into an ultrasonic device that lets off a high-pitched noise when your dog barks. These devices don’t need to be worn by your dog, rather just place them in the vicinity of your dog’s area.
5. Make Your Dog Comfortable
Maybe your pup is barking all night simply because they aren’t comfortable in their current situation. Providing them with a nice bed, quiet place, or even a pheromone diffuser may help calm their barking nerves.
If your pup continues to bark all night after trying some or all of these methods, consult your veterinarian to rule out any possible medical causes of barking. You may also consider consulting a professional trainer for those really difficult dogs for a more customized approach.