Looking for why dogs bark at night? If that is what you are looking for then you are in the right post.
In this post, we will outline the possible reasons why dogs bark at night, solutions, and all you need to know.
At the end of the post you should be able to figure out why your dog barks at night and how to control it.
80% of dogs sleep during the daytime and stay awake at night, for this reason, it is important to take care of anything that would make your dog disturb you at night.
So, let’s look at what you need to take care of to allow your pup to stay cool at night.
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Reasons Why Dogs Bark at Night
Here are the top reasons why dogs barks at night;
Lack of proper socialization
This is a major issue to most dog owners this will not only hurt you at night but will also make your dog unstable and aggressive when not necessary.
Always aim to live with a well socialized dog as this will save you lots of stress, lack of proper socialization is a major reason why your dog bark unnecessarily at night.
Lack of enough exercises
Your dog needs exercises to stay happy and healthy and when your do not get the needed exercise it can lead to unnecessary biting, barking and aggression.
Dogs always want a way of burning out excess energy in them so consider giving your dog some exercise to help them burn out their energy.
Once they burn off the stored energy they will be relaxed and not unstable there by making them calm.
Hunger or Attention
Most breeds of dogs love to bark a lot, so when they bark at night it could mean they need your attention for a particular need. They bark at night to express their inner feelings.
If you have properly potty trained your dog, they hardly mess around their environment and at night they may need to pee or poop.
How else do you expect your dog to communicate or pass that information to you if not by barking or whining?
Dogs are smart pets that know that barking will get the owner’s attention both day or night, so when you hear them bark at night it is very bad to ignore them.
If your dog ever gets hungry at night be rest assured that you won’t have a good night’s rest if you don’t go and feed them.
Fear is something that applies to all living things not only dogs and fear can be seen as an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.
This fear is one of the major reasons why dogs bark at night and won’t allow you to enjoy your night rest.
Most breeds of dogs like the German shepherd is among the good guard dogs and can be trained to overcome the fear instinct.
How your dog reacts to fear is a function of how you trained it, either as a guard dog or a pet dog.
If you have trained your dog to be a pet dog then expect more signs of fear as opposed to when you train it to be a guard dog.
When your dog is barking continuously at a spot at night don’t ignore it, consider checking it out.
When you get to the spot your dog is barking at, try to find out what is wrong with that spot.
Don’t forget to bring or call your dog to that same spot as this has proven to help them get over fear next time such a thing occurs.
Strangers in the neighborhood
Your dog may be restless or uncomfortable when he notices the presence of strangers in the neighborhood which will definitely lead to heavy barking and charging towards the location.
Most breeds of dogs are not always comfortable seeing strange faces at night, so to avoid unnecessary barking at night make sure to keep your dog away if there are parties around the neighborhood.
Perceived burglary threat
Most breeds of dogs are originally bred for guarding livestock and this guarding instinct is very much passed down to generation, making them smart and alert to perceived burglary threat within their surroundings.
This breed of dogs will always be the first to notice or detect any movement that will or may lead to a burglary threat and will try to alert you by simply barking.
The German shepherd for example is a good tracking dog so always pay attention to the heavy barking.
Sickness & Pain
A sick dog can get aggressive and bark unnecessarily both day and night. So if your dog is sick and is barking a lot at night is normal because your dog could be in pain. Don’t hesitate to see your Vet.
Presence of unwanted Animals
The presence of unwanted animals like snakes or owls could cause your dog to bark heavily at night because they feel unsafe.
So when you notice your dog barking or charging a particular spot don’t ignore the bark be sure to check it out.
There are many animals that move around at night, so be sure to safeguard your environment to avoid your dog barking at night because of creeping animals.
Lonely and Bored
Most breeds of dogs are lively and active dogs, they hate to be lonely for long. The barking of your dog at night could be by a distance as a result of loneliness.
When any dog gets bored they tend to be frustrated and this will make the aggressive and if not properly handled could lead to self-inflicted pain. This could also lead to separation anxiety.
Noise or movement around the compound
Most breeds of dogs are always alert at night because they are good guard dogs, and they pay close attention to every movement around their surroundings mostly at night.
When you hear them bark over and over again facing the same direction you should consider checking them up to see what is in that direction because they can’t just be barking unnecessarily facing the same direction.
Noise like sirens or barking of other dogs makes most dogs uncomfortable, and they won’t stop barking until such noise ends, so if you are hearing the same noise as they do relax until such noise ends, and if the continuous check them up.
This is a major reason why dogs bark at night because they are very territorial to their environment, most dogs always want to tell humans that they should keep off from their territory.
So you need to study your dog to understand when the barking is just about their territory.
How to control your dog from barking at night
Here are a few tips to help you control your dog based on the above-mentioned reasons:
- Fear factor: This is difficult to control order than just getting up from your bed and checking up on your dog. Even dogs trained by military or professionals do back off because of fear. Therefore, when the barking exceeds the standard, you need to check what is going on and sort it out before going back to bed.
- Attention & hunger: feed your dog at the right time before going to bed and make way for them to where normally pee or poop. If you have done all that before going to bed, then consider checking up on your dog when the barking exceeds the required level.
- Noise or Movement: Always stand up and check on your dog when the barking exceeds the required level and don’t fail to check out any unusual movement in your compound.
- Lonely and Bored: You can get play toys for your dog to keep them busy when they are bored or lonely at night.
- Sickness & pain: Make sure you take care of your dog to avoid them getting sick. Therefore, remove all human causes that could get your dog sick.
- Presence of unwanted Animals: this is simple just make sure you give no room for other night creeping animals by making sure they have no room for entering your compound. However, do not ignore the Simultaneous barking of your dog because a single snake bite can kill your dog.
- Strangers in the neighborhood: If you have a party in your neighborhood don’t forget to inform your dog on time, simply by letting your dog greet or meet some of the strangers. Early and proper socialization of your dog can help you too.
- Perceived Burglary threat: This is easy to control once you are able to burglary proof your dog environment. However, do not ignore your dog barking when the barking exceeds 20secs Simultaneously.
- Territorial: make sure you create an environment that will make your dog feel they are in control of their territory. This involves removing any form of territorial threat.
What Should Be Considered as Normal Barking at Night?
There are many levels of barking, now let’s look at what should be considered as barking or and what should not let’s keep it simple.
There is a specified level of barking you hear from your dog you consider it as nothing and when you act.
Simultaneous barking facing the same location at night for about 20 seconds to 60 seconds is considered excessive barking and demands immediate attention.
However, barking and breaking it for less than 20 seconds is not considered excessive bark and may not demand your attention because most breeds of dogs are a vocal breed, that can even bark because of excitement.
Why do dogs bark at a stranger at night?
Dogs could bark at strangers at night because of the following reasons:
- Lack of proper training
- Lack of proper socialization
- Past experiences
- Territorial instinct
- Death threat
When do dogs start barking at strangers?
A dog will start barking at strangers at the age of 12-week-old sometimes they start barking earlier than that, but this is because they were bred to be a guard dog and has that guard dog instincts in them from birth.
Therefore, control them from this month if you don’t want them barking at strangers.
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How to get dogs not to bark at strangers
This is easier said than done when it comes to most breeds of dogs that were trained to be a guard dog but may be much easier in dogs that trained as a pet dog. However, it all boils down to training.
Here are a few steps that will help you to get your dog not to bark at strangers, but this works better while your dog is still growing.
- Quiet Command: During your training try to teach your dog the keep quiet command as often as you want until they understand when you want them to stop barking or moving. This will help you to control them when they are barking at strangers.
- Use of Clickers: Clickers are a dog training device that helps reduce the lag time between the time you want your dog to carry out a given task and the actual time the task is completed. Clickers make a sound when you click it telling the dog to stop.
- Use of Treats: You can use special treats to get your dog to stop barking at a stranger.
- Puppy stage socialization: if you properly socialize your dog at the puppy stages you won’t even see them bark at strangers except in special cases.
- Introducing the Stranger: If your dog continues barking at a stranger call the stranger and introduce both of them. But this trick is for experienced dog owners who can control their dogs very well.
- Install yourself as the pack leader: Pack leaders are the head of any pack and will be in a position to say when the pack hunts or not. Make your dog see you as the pack leader in that way you can easily tell them to stop barking.
- Ask why: Asking why is an easy way of finding out why your dog is barking at the stranger.
Having stated the major reasons why dogs bark at night, it is important to note that all the reason is one way or the other related to training.
Therefore, training is an important part of your duty to your dog.
If you must have a dog that will not bark at night consider giving the proper training required.
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