How To Stop A Dog From Barking At Night

It is natural for us to hear the dogs bark. Because dogs can’t speak just like we human beings can, barking is their way of communicating and to express their feelings. However, when you are sleeping, you won’t want your dog to be barking during that time. Because barking is really loud, it can be disruptive to your sleep. That is especially true if you need to wake up early in the morning for a reason like going to work.

And so you are wondering about what you can do about your dog barking during you are sleeping. I am here to offer you a helping hand with how to stop a dog from barking at night. There are a few reasons why your dog may be barking during the night. So, I will get to each one of the reasons for your dog’s night time barking and then suggest the best response based on each reason.

(Photo courtesy of Pete via Flickr)

Barking For Alerting

Often times, dogs are trained by default to bark if they sense that there is a potential threat around the corner that dog owners need to be aware of. So, if you hear your dog barking at night, it could be that he/she thinks that danger is lurking somewhere nearby. It could be something as simple as somebody walking past your home or a car cruising by. Or it could be something a little spooky like a raccoon or possum wandering in your yard.

How To Respond

By far the best strategy for responding to your dog’s alert barking behavior would be for you to make use of treats to reward your dog. So, the next time you hear your dog barking at night because of perceived threats, head over to your dog and show him/her a treat. But, don’t give your dog the treat just yet.

That is because you want to be careful that your dog doesn’t see the treat as a reward for this barking behavior at night. So, after your dog has already barked and you showed him/her the treat, wait for around thirty minutes or so to see if he/she has remained quiet. If your dog does stay quiet after the time period, you can go ahead and give him/her the treat.

I would give your dog a soft treat like a hot dog or a cooked chicken. It may be a little bit of time before your dog starts to learn to stay quiet on his/her own during the night. So, repeat the treat rewarding process for at least the next few nights.

Dog Loneliness

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As is the case with some of us human beings, some dogs may be feeling lonely. So, that could be one possible reason why your dog is barking at night as you are trying to sleep. One factor that could lead to your dog feeling lonely is you not being at home all day long. That is especially true if your dog doesn’t have anybody else at home to keep him/her company.

Your dog’s feeling of loneliness also depends on his/her background prior to becoming your pet. If your dog came from an environment where he/she had been around other dogs and/or people for a long period of time, such as a dog shelter, that could have an impact on your dog’s loneliness.

How To Respond

(Photo courtesy of Chris Waits via Flickr)

The best thing that you can do to address your dog’s sense of loneliness is to spend as much time as possible socializing with him/her whenever you are at home. You may also want to look at letting your dog sleep with you in your bed. It is common for people to sleep with their pet dogs. So, don’t be shy about letting your dog sleep with you.

However, I would warn against letting your dog sleep with you if he/she is a puppy. That is because puppies are at a heightened risk of being injured should you roll over your dog by accident during your sleep. Instead, you should have your dog sleep in a cozy dog bed and put it in your bedroom if there is enough space there. If your bedroom doesn’t have enough space, just place the dog bed as close to your bedroom as possible.

Lack Of Exercise And Play

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Just like all human beings, dogs also need to exercise. Not only does exercising help your dog to get into better shape and health, but it also allows your dog to use up a great deal of their energy. That will allow your dog to become tired at night which in turn will cause him/her to fall asleep around the same time that you do.

Dogs also need opportunities to play around. Not only does that give your dog something fun to do, but it will make it easier for your dog to eventually get tired as night falls. That is especially true if the way your dog plays around involve some physical activity. If, however, your dog doesn’t exercise or play around during the day or evening, then he/she will bark at night because of being full of energy and bored.

How To Respond

The best way for you to give your dog the exercise that he/she need is for you to take him/her out for a walk or run. One place for you to do that is at a park, preferably one that has a network of walking/jogging paths. If you live in a neighborhood that include sidewalks, that is another option for you to walk or run your dog.

When it comes to playing with your dog, one great option is to play frisbee. Just in case you aren’t sure what frisbee is, it is a game in which all you need to do is to throw the rounded disc across the air and your dog will run to grab it. Not only is frisbee fun to play, but it also gives your dog some exercise because he/she will need to run in order to grab the frisbee.

You can play frisbee with your dog in your own yard if it has enough space for it. If not, then a nearby park should do.

So, I hope that this post will serve as a guide for you should you find yourself being awaken at night by your barking dog. What are your thoughts? Have you had your sleep disrupted because of your dog barking at night? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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