Of all the annoying problems you might have with a neighbor, your dog or for no apparent reason is perhaps the most common of all. And when they are barking all night without a break, or it seems so, then the problem becomes unbearable.
Of course, dogs barking in the night are a simple fact of life. It happens. But do your neighbors suffer sleep loss because of your dog’s excessive barking? If so, it’s a surefire way to guarantee a bad neighbor relationship.
Why do dogs bark?
It’s a good question, and there are no simple answers, usually. Dog’s bark for all kind of reasons. Often it is because they hear something unusual like people talking, or cats fighting.
They will also bark when they hear other dogs barking, even if they don’t know why the other dogs are barking. Often, no one knows why dogs bark; they just do.
An Australian study has revealed that younger herding breed dogs are the worst culprits when it comes to being a night barking nuisance.
Puppies and young dogs, as well as older dogs too sometimes, have a tendency to bark at night. A puppy will also tend to wake early and start barking if he gets bored, or if he doesn’t get immediate attention.
The many reasons why a dog is barking at night might include:
- Separation anxiety
Boredom is a major cause of dog barking at night. Barking at every sound they hear, joining in with neighbor dogs in a kind of group chorus, or just letting off excess energy are all examples of barking through boredom. If you relieve the boredom, you will likely also remove the dog’s need for barking.
Loneliness is another common cause of night barking. It often starts with whining or howling, and can then develop into barking. Your dog is a social animal. If she is left alone at night, especially outside, she will get lonely.
How can I prevent my dog barking at night?
Fixing the problem of dogs barking in the night usually depends on knowing the cause. Usually, a dog that is kept indoors will not bark at night nearly so readily as a dog that is kept outdoors.
This could be because an outdoor dog is likely to hear unfamiliar outdoor sounds better. The dog would also be able to see things that a dog kept indoors, and therefore isolated from the outside world, would not see.
You should always remember that dogs have excellent hearing. They can hear things that you will not even suspect the existence of. So when your dog is barking at night for no apparent reason, there often is a reason, one that you cannot hear.
Bring the barking dog indoors!
There is really only one way to stop dogs barking in the night, or at least reduce the degree of barking if your dog is usually left outside at night. Bring the dog indoors! Her behavior will change immediately. She may not stop barking all together, but she will most likely not bark nearly as much.
Being indoors will give your dog a sense of belonging to the pack again. Remember, you and your family as her pack members. Isolating her outside away from the pack is akin to punishment, in her eyes. Bringing her indoors is the simplest way to stop your dog barking, or reduce it significantly at least.
One excellent way to help prevent dogs barking in the night is through exercise. Take her out for a brisk and energetic walk just before she normally lies down to sleep. A tired dog is usually not a barking dog.
A tired dog is more likely to sleep and sleep well. You will also benefit from an energetic walk just before bedtime. And your neighbors, more importantly, are also more likely to get some sleep at night then too!
Praise him if he stops barking
Dogs react well to praise. They may not always know exactly what they are being praised for, but they still like the attention, and they will know they are doing something right. If some action you take results in her behavior improving, for example, she stops barking, then heap tons of praise on her. She will love it!
Pet care is partly about letting your pet know what behavior is acceptable, and what is not. Excessive barking should never be acceptable behavior, and your dog should be made aware of the fact.
Don’t use force to reinforce the message; that can have a negative effect. Be firm and kind, and if you persevere, you will soon teach your dog that barking all night, or even just part of the night, is not acceptable.