Why Does My Dog Bark All Night?
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A dog barking can prove to be a serious problem, both socially and physically. Not only can it keep you up at night, but it can cause severe problems for neighbors and surrounding people. In addition, this behavior can reveal important details about your dog's personality and emotional well-being.
Barking is one of the many forms of communication used by dogs and therefore, if your dog is barking a lot, it could easily mean that they are trying to tell you something. This is why, in this AnimalWised article, we aim to discuss and answer the question: why does my dog bark all night?
Why do dogs bark?
Barking is one of the most efficient ways for dogs to communicate their feelings and emotions.Not only do they use barking as a form to communicate with humans, but they also use it to talk to interact with other dogs.
The most difficult question to answer is, what exactly your dog my trying to communicate? A dog will bark when it is: excited, feels threatened or is nervous. A dog can also bark because they want to grab their owner's attention and play. All of these reasons may differ. Maybe your dog is hungry or thirsty? Barking can also be caused by cases of: pain, anxiety, stress and boredom.
If your dog is barking at night, you will have to carefully analyze the situation in order to locate the cause behind this behavior. A dog which is has adapted to human life will sleep when their owners do, synchronized to their families daily pattern. If your dog is breaking this pattern and barking all night, they may appear: apathetic, irritable and disinterested the next day. This is because your dog, in addition to you, will struggle from not receiving the adequate amount of sleep that it needs.
Lack of sleep and excessive barking cannot be left undiagnosed, as it can lead to serious health problems. In addition, do not forget that it can also be a clear sign of an already existing pathology.
Why does my puppy bark at night?
If you just adopted a puppy and it is barking all night, you should know that this behavior is relatively normal. Despite this normality however, this barking needs to be controlled before it becomes habitual.
In principle, a newly-adopted puppy will bark at night because it probably misses its mother and siblings. Not only has this puppy been recently separate from its family, but it is also surrounded by a new environment, strange smells and unrecognizable sounds. The puppy will most likely feel threatened by this drastic change. This barking may also occur as a way for the puppy to grab the attention of its new owner, as it may be scared and lonely. This barking is usually interspersed with moans and can sound like crying or whining.
If a puppy is crying, it is common for an owner to want to hold them and take them to their beds. Is this a good idea? Naturally, during the first week, it is advisable to pay attention to the newly adopted puppy in favor of adequate adaption. However, after about a week, we recommend teaching your puppy to sleep in its own bed and to learn that barking will not equal attention and affection.
In this sense, the first week in a house is essential for a new puppy. They need to learn to feel comfortable and stop barking. This is why we recommend following these useful tips on how to stop your puppy from barking at night:
- Play with your dog: a dog that has received some physical activity during the day, will be tired at night and therefore sleep more peacefully. Take the dog for a walk, play with them and a ball, anything you can think of to help them de-stress.
- Make sure its needs are fulfilled: make sure that your dog always has fresh and clean water at its disposal. A dog that is offered quality food and time will be less stressed than a dog who isn't. Remember that when you are serving your dog dinner, you should serve it about three hours before bedtime, this ensure that the dog is not kept awake by indigestion.
- Condition an adequate space: the puppy must have a bed of its own, fluffy blankets and a safe space to rest and feel comfortable. When it comes to puppies, you can opt for cloth houses or improvise with blankets as a kind of roof, this way, allowing them to feel protected.
- Imitate the heartbeat of its mother: during the first weeks, you can place a characteristic ''clicking'' sound clock next to the puppy, this sound resembles the heartbeat of a mother and will relax a puppy.
- Ignore the cry: For the first few days you can pay attention to your puppy's cry, however, after about a week we recommend ignoring the barking and crying. The reason for this is that if a puppy believes that every time it barks or cry it will receive love, then it will bark all of the time. You must teach the puppy that this barking will not result in attention, and they will stop doing it.
It is important to understand that training a puppy to stop barking is much easier than training an adult dog. Therefore, if your puppy is suffering from a behavioral problem or barking a lot we recommend fixing and attending to the problem as soon as possible. There are many training classes for puppies, where a professional can train the puppy in a more comfortable and efficient way. Professionals can help with puppy socialization and more.
Why does my dog bark at night?
Once the puppy stage is over, an adult dog should rest normally during the night. If your adult dog isn't sleeping properly, this is most likely due to external or internal factors. These factors can include, for example, a change in the environment, the rise of a behavioral problem and/or more. Some of these causes may include:
- Pain and illness: if your dog is injured, hurt or sick it is possible that he or she will bark and moan to let you know that they are suffering or uncomfortable. It is also very important to remember that just because you cannot see a pathology, does not mean it is not there. If you believe your dog may be suffering from an internal issue, such as hormonal or neurological problems, we recommend consulting a veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Company: It is common for a dog to bark for company if, suddenly, for example, you have moved its bed outside or into a different space. A dog may also bark if it doesn't have access to your bedroom.
- Boredom: a bored dog is capable of many things. If you do not give your dog the necessary physical and mental stimuli that it needs during the day, it is very possible that at nightfall your dog will be bored. As your dog hasn't had the opportunity to exercise, its energy would've built up, meaning it wont be tired at night. In more serious cases, dogs that are suffering from boredom can develop compulsive disorders due to this lack of stimuli.
- Warning: dogs are protective animals and territorial by nature, therefore it is very likely that they bark as a warning if they sense danger or feel threatened. Sometimes dogs bark because they simply think they have heard something or someone in the house, other times they actually have. Therefore, if your dog is barking from a guardian point of view, be vigilant!
- Basic needs: a dog that is hungry, thirsty, cold or too hot will bark to get your attention. This attention they call for allows them to let you know that they are uncomfortable and/or need your help. Do not forget to put out a fresh bowl of water for your dog before you go to bed, and make sure that it has everything it needs.
- Anxiety and stress: a dog that shows signs of stress is susceptible to carry out behavior problems, such as barking incessantly at night.
- Sexual behavior: if there is a bitch in heat nearby, it is possible that your male dog will stay awake all night barking. This is because a male dog will become restless by the smell that the female in heat is producing.
Why does my old dog not sleep at night?
If you have an old dog that has recently begun to bark at night, this behavior should not be ignored. There may be several reasons why your old pup isn't sleeping as easily as it used to. Some diseases, that come with age, can rob your dog of sleep due to the discomfort they can cause. These diseases may include;
- spinal problems
- heart problems
The main reason for the barking is because of the discomfort that these ailments may cause. Therefore, this type barking may also include sounds of moaning.
There are other diseases that, instead of pain, will cause your dog to becomes overexcited and hyperactive. In addition, it is common for older dogs to experience behavioral syndromes, such as; cognitive dysfunctions. These such disease,can causes a manifestation of abnormal behavior.
It is also incredibly important to understand that an older dog becomes very sensitive to its environment, specifically in terms of hearing. Therefore, if there are abnormal sounds such as fireworks or loud music, a dog may bark as a way of channeling and releasing stress.
How to stop dog barking at night?
If you are trying to fix the problem of your dog barking at night, here we offer you some options of how you can do this:
- Go to your veterinarian: before starting to "work" on this problem, you must be sure that the barking is not due to a health problem. Consult your veterinarian for a complete checkup to make sure that your dog is healthy.
- Ensures emotional well-being: another key aspect is to ensure the emotional well-being of your dog. How? Review the 5 freedoms of animal welfare. Make sure you offer your dog; good food, a soft bed, attention and fresh water all day. In addition, we recommend avoiding punishment and negative training.
- Avoid going when he barks: if your dog is a dog that barks for attention, ignore it. By giving your dog attention every time he/she barks, you will give the dog more reason to bark. Stop this habit as soon as possible.
- Work on the education of the dog: to ensure that your dogs mind is being stimulated and well-trained, make sure that you offer your pup the opportunity to channel this energy. The better the relationship is between you and your dog, the better the environment will be, and the more calm your dog will feel. m
- Provide physical activity: stimulate your dog's mind and muscles. Offer your dogs varied walks, go to the mountain or try agility sports. Just keep in consideration the age of your dog when doing this.
- Avoid nocturnal noises: noises are probably the most common trigger in this type of behavioral problem. It is advisable to place the dog's bed in a quiet place in the home, away from outside doors and windows, so that nothing can disturb it.
- Go to a specialist: if you feel that your situation is out of control, we recommend consulting a canine training specialist, such as: a canine educator, trainer or ethologist. Do not carry out behavior modification techniques yourself if you are not trained to do so as this could make the situation worse.
Inadvisable methods to get a dog to stop barking
Many people value the use of aversives to prevent the dog from barking at night, such as the use of a muzzle or electric collars. Both methods are totally inadvisable, because this punishment only manages to mask the problem momentarily. This method can also appear as secondary behavior problems, caused by high levels of stress and anxiety. Likewise, this method in fact favors the introduction of aggression and fears.
There is no one solution to avoid nighttime barking, as each case is unique, so if the tips we have presented to you still haven't worked, we suggest consulting a professional in behavior modification.
If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Dog Bark All Night?, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.