Having a pet can be one of the funniest responsibilities any animal lover will have and will want to have. However, being responsible for your pet’s behavior is a full-time job every day and sometimes even during the nights. The latter is especially true if you have a dog that barks while you are trying to chase some much-desired sleep. Some dog tends to be naturally yappy compared to others but this can still cause issues with your neighbors and the rest of your family. There are a few ways you can help your dog to stop their barking at night and give everyone around you some much-needed sleep.
Why Do Dogs Bark at Night?
Dogs do not bark without any reason even if it may seem as such. There could be a number of reasons they are making a noise at night such as:
- Loneliness- This can be the most common thing to trigger dogs to bark at night. Dogs are pack animals so a lot of them do need company whether it is a person or another dog.
- Attention- There is a difference between loneliness and attention seeking. Attention seeking dogs usually look for it throughout the day (when you are eating, when they want to be petted etc.) and every time you tell them ‘no’ or ‘stop’ you are giving them attention in return teaching them that they will get it from you if they behavior badly. Attention can be necessary but you need to decide when it is needed for them and when it is just them being a bit rude.
- Boredom- This could be that they are not tried enough to sleep or they have been left alone for too long during the day.
- Noises- As everyone knows dogs have an extremely good sense of hearing compared to people and this can make it difficult for them to ‘shut out’ the noise before they go to sleep. Therefore, they hear everything and this may lead them to…
- Making an Alarm- Dogs are animals that want to protect their owners and families. If they hear something that spooks them this could trigger them to bark to either try to chase the unknown away as well as to warn you.
- Lacks of Exercise- Dogs have a lot of energy that needs to be released and exercise is the best way to do this. But not having enough during the day could result in them becoming restless which could lead to barking in order to release more of their energy as well as to try to get your attention.
A Few Simple Training Rules
Training is a good way to stop your dog from barking and there a few simple rules you (and your family) should keep in mind with going about training them. The first one is that you should not yell at them regardless of how tempting it may be. This could make it seem as if you are barking with them and therefore giving them attention. Another simple rule is to try to keep the training positive as well as upbeat. The final rule is to keep the training consistent. This is where the whole family needs to get involved since teaching them different methods of training to stop their barking can confuse them.
How to Make Them Stop
You need to figure out the reason behind their barking. If they are lonely you may have to let them sleep in the house with you but if that is not an option getting another dog can help keep them company. However, if the sight of another dog (or a different stimulus) is what triggers them to bark then you need to train them to not do so when they see their trigger. You can ask a friend to help as well as use the following method to teach your dog that the stimulus is good and not a threat but could lead to treats.
Ask your friend to have their dog stand out of sight of your dog. When they start getting closer to your dog start giving your dog treats (to stop them from barking and they like treats) so that you can make a link between the stimuli and treats. When the friend and their dog are out of view again stopping giving your dog treats. Repeat this couple of time for a few days or even weeks until your dog learns that not barking at the stimulus will lead to treats. This means that if they see or smell another dog at night they will not bark at them. However, if possible, check if that unknown dog is on a lost dogs website in case some other owner is looking for them.
Certain commands such as ‘quiet’ can help them stop barking. This can be done by having a treat with you and when they start barking; you say ‘quiet’ without giving them the treat. Once they stop you give them the treat as well as a lot of praise. Do this a few times extending the length of their silence before the treat.
Another command can be ‘go to your place’ which can be incompatible with them barking. This can be done by having a treat in their place and teaching them the command. Once they learned what ‘go to your place’ means you can take it a step further. When they go to their place you go to open any door. When they leave their place to see what is happening you close it straight away. You may need to take away their treat and start again. You keep doing this until they learn to stay in their place when something happens. Once they learn this you reward them with more treats and praise. These commands can help at night when they are barking in that you tell them ‘quiet’ and they should stop barking or ‘go to your place’ which should make them go to bed to sleep.
However, if the commands do not work you may want to try a more ‘tough love’ method. This is ignoring them every time they bark. You do not speak to them or pet them or give them any attention what so ever. As soon as they stop making a noise show them love. You may have to do this for a while extending the length of how long they stay quiet before you give them attention. This may be harder for you than it is for them.
Depending on the age and breed of your dog, you may want to increase their exercise routine in order to tire them out. This can be done by taking a long walk before bedtime or playing a nice long game of catch. This is also a way to give them attention so that they do not seek it at night with their barking.
It is possible to stop a dog barking at night but it may take a lot of time, understanding, and a lot of treats but it can be done. Good luck.