It is natural and healthy for dogs to bark; after all, it is one of the effective ways they can communicate with their owners. A dog barks during the day at strangers and intruders, to convey to people that they are hungry, to get attention, and also to warn us about the dangers they can sense. Dogs bark at night, too, for several reasons. So the question here is, why do dogs bark at night, and what does a dog barking at night mean?
Dogs usually bark at night for reasons ranging from loneliness to barking at noises. Sometimes, dogs bark just because they are bored! One very effective way to solve the problem of the dog barking at night is to take it out on walks more often so that it gets ample exercise. This way, the dog is tired and ready to sleep at night without disturbing the whole neighborhood.
If you want to learn more about how you can stop dog barking at night, click on the article Steps on how to stop dog barking at night for more information on this problem. This article will help if some of your issues are related to the following.
My dog keeps barking at night, how can I control it? My dog won’t stop barking at night, and I do not know what to do.
As mentioned earlier, dogs frequently bark at night for many reasons, and we cannot completely stop a dog from barking. However, when the barkings become continuous and go on without stopping, dog owners start to wonder, “why is my dog barking at night?”. There are many reasons why a dog barking at night is typical. This section of the article will deal with different questions related to why your dog is barking at night:
Why has my dog started barking at night after putting it in a crate?
Putting dogs in a crate is not a rare practice. On the first few days of crate training, the dog or puppy goes on a barking rampage. The answer to the question “why has my dog started barking at night after putting it in a crate?” can be one of the following reasons:
- The puppy or dog is not used to sleeping in solidarity
- The dog or puppy wants attention from the dog owner
- The dog finds the new confined environment strange and uncomfortable
- The puppy wants to relieve itself
A dog barking at night in a crate is prevalent, and this barking stops after the first few days or weeks at most if the dog owner does not give it attention while barking.
Why is my dog randomly barking at night?
Sometimes dogs start to bark at night almost without any reason. There may be no cars passing through outside, no strangers on sight, and no cats or dogs, but your dog is still barking at night, and this seems unusual. At this point, dog owners become concerned about the strange behavior of their dog. Questions like, “why is my dog randomly barking at night?” or “why is it that my dog won’t stop barking at night?” arise and often go unanswered. Do not worry because we have you covered with all the possible reasons why your dog barking at night has become a problem. Read through the following points to find out about these reasons:
It is a fact of nature that dogs have an excellent hearing ability, and their spectrum of hearing is a lot wider than that of humans. This fact means that a dog can even hear the sounds which humans cannot.
Your dog can hear an unusual sound going off far away and react by barking at it. Even if the dog owner cannot hear it, and everything seems silent, dogs can listen to such sounds, and they feel alarmed and bark in response.
Following this logic, even at night when everything is quiet, and even small sounds like the ticking of a clock sounds amplified, dogs will hear far off sounds even more clearly. This ability to hear faint sounds is one reason why your dog barking at night all of a sudden is not unusual.
Feeling bored with no distraction
Most dogs are very energetic and like to play around. At night, with no one or no toy to play with, a dog can get bored and start to bark to keep itself occupied. Your dog may start barking at sounds they hear. A dog barking at night just to let some energy out is typical. Sometimes, to get in on the fun with other neighborhood dogs, your dog may join the barking session to keep itself occupied.
Barking at other nocturnal animals
If you live in suburban areas, animals like raccoons and mice are sure to make an appearance in the night scene. Your dog can hear the sounds these animals make, and that will most likely make them bark. Since it is impossible to stop all nocturnal animals to stop coming out at night, it is also near impossible to stop a dog barking at night at these critters. If you live somewhere outside the city where many night critters live, you may need to learn to live with your dog barking at night.
Barking at noises the city makes
So you live in the city where there are fewer chances of wildlife, yet your dog is still barking randomly during the nighttime. What could be the reason? Well, even though there may be no nocturnal animals around, the city makes its noises like sirens going off, people closing windows and doors, choppers flying around in the distance, stray cats and dogs going through garbage cans, and people ringing doorbells.
Your dog is most likely to be able to hear these sounds. They will bark at these noises because, for dogs, these noises are evident and loud.
Barking at other dogs
According to a study done in the United States, 63.4% of the sample survey stated that they have a dog as a pet at home. Now that you know about this information, it comes as no surprise that in a neighborhood of 10 households, at least 6 of these households will have a dog.
Dogs have a behavior called “group barking,” where if a dog is barking at night or day, the other dogs will follow the first barker. Dogs think that the “bark session” initiating dog has excellent reasons to be barking at that hour. Therefore, to scare off the intruder, all the dogs in a neighborhood may start barking.
Barking out of loneliness
A dog barking at night because it is feeling lonely is a common occurrence. Dogs are very social animals by nature, and they feel loneliness at a higher level. If you keep your dog outside at night, they may start howling and barking in an attempt to get your attention.
My dog keeps barking at night at walls. Why does it do this?
Sometimes a dog may start barking at night at walls even though there is nothing on it. Some superstitious dog owners believe that their dogs are barking at ghosts or supernatural entities. This reasoning is, however, false. Instead of panicking over spirits in your house, you may need to worry about mice and rats making their homes within your walls.
At night, when everyone is asleep, mice and raccoons move around the house and within hollow walls. Dogs can hear these movements even if they cannot see the creatures. On the other hand, humans can neither see nor hear those movements. They start to think that their dogs are barking at something different than nocturnal animals. It would be wise to call an exterminator to get rid of the uninvited guests.
Why is my puppy barking at night?
A dog barking at night and a puppy barking at night may have different reasons. Puppies are not used to spending time alone; therefore, most of their barks at night are due to being lonely. They bark and yelp to get their owner’s attention.
Puppies also have much smaller bladders and may need to relieve themselves a lot more frequently than adult dogs. If a dog owner is training a puppy to sleep in a crate, it may start to bark after every two hours. The only thing to do during these situations is to free it from the crate so that it can relieve itself.
If the puppy continues to bark and whine even after it relieves itself, these barks mean that it wants its owner’s attention. The dog owner should know that ignoring these barks will benefit both the puppy and the dog owner in the long run.
Why is my adult dog barking at night after crate training it?
All dogs go through a continuous barking phase during the initiation of the crate introduction. But sometimes, crate trained dogs start barking in the middle of the night even though it is familiar with the crate. It may begin to bark again shortly after you free it to relieve itself. This barking may be because your dog has UTI and wants a pee break.
Urinary Tract infection is an infection that affects many dogs, up to 14% of the total dog population. Some symptoms of UTI in dogs are pain while urinating, blood in urine, and fever. Dogs with UTI need to relieve themselves frequently and thus, bark at night inside the crate.
Why is my dog with poor vision barking at night?
Some dogs are born blind, and some dogs go blind after reaching old age or contracting some diseases. Regardless of the cause, dogs with poor vision tend to bark a lot more than dogs with perfectly fine vision. This behavior is because their poor vision makes them unable to differentiate between friend or foe.
At night, the darkness further compromises their vision, and they become very cautious about every movement they see. Even the other house dog or even the owners may seem like intruders to it, causing the partially blind dog to bark at night.
Why is my sick dog barking at night?
Everyone feels low when they are sick. This phenomenon is not limited to human beings; even dogs feel weak and tired when they are sick. Your ill dog may be barking at night because of the pain it is going through. Some dogs bark at night out of frustration caused by discomfort. If your dog is sick, it is best to get advice from the vet regarding whether you should give it attention or not.
Why do active dog breeds bark at night?
Dogs like Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Welsh Corgis, English Springer Spaniels, and shepherd dogs are very active by nature. They like to play around and run even inside the house. Crate training these dog breeds take comparatively longer than other races.
These active dogs may find a confined space like a crate uncomfortable and start to bark. Sometimes they may bark at night to release pent up energy because there is no other activity they can engage themselves in to release this energy.
Why is my old dog barking at night?
Dogs mature at a much faster rate than human beings. Dog owners can consider their loyal pets as a senior once it reaches the age of five years. Dogs have a lifespan of ten to thirteen years, and, sadly, most people see their dogs suffer during old age.
Like any other living creature, dogs also suffer from new problems once they reach a certain age. In some cases, by the time a dog turns six or seven, they show visible signs of old age and their behavior begins to change rapidly. Some dog owners ask the question, “why is my old dog barking at night?” and the answer is old age.
An old dog barking at night even though it is not “sick” is a common problem many dog owners face. As a dog ages, their sense of hearing and sight deteriorates. As a result, these old dogs get frightened or scared easily. They may keep barking as a response to their inability to see and hear like they used to.
Other old age-related diseases like arthritis and joint pains are a common illness amongst older dogs. Their joint sensitivity makes them hurt even in the slightest movements. At night, these pains seem to get amplified, and as a result, the dog starts to bark.
Much like humans, when they grow old, dogs can also become cranky when they reach six to seven years of age. Little nuisances start to annoy them and to stay alone at night is out of the question. Old dogs may start barking for companionship and continue until it gets what it wants.
Dog Dementia is another reason why old dogs bark, also known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), which is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in human beings. Since CCD is prevalent, yet many people are not aware of it, we shall dive into a detailed discussion about Canine Cognitive Dysfunction under the following topics.
What is Canine Cognitive Dysfunction?
CCD is a general term for a neurobehavioral syndrome, which is an illness related to the age of dogs. This problem causes the old dog to face a decline in cognitive function. It puts a massive strain on a dog’s relationship with its owner. There are four forms through which CCD can manifest in old dogs:
Some old dogs suffer from old age depression. If left untreated, the dog’s anxiety may increase and the depression symptoms like circling, wandering, lethargy, sleeping disorders, and increased barking, become more serious.
When a dog suffers from dysthymia, they forget their size and length and get stuck between furniture and so on. These dogs become much more aggressive, and they moan or whine constantly.
Old dogs with CCD forget how to communicate with other animals and may start acting aggressively around them. They start barking at those animals with which they once had a good relationship.
Confusional syndrome in dogs causes them to lose a significant amount of cognitive abilities. They forget about people and animals around them and also lose their ability to learn. This form of CCD is closest to what we know in humans as dementia.
How to treat Canine Cognitive Dysfunction?
A combination of the right exercises, the proper diet, and the right medication jointly help in slowing down the consequences of CCD and also improves the quality of life of dogs.
First of all, exposing the dog to sunlight and outside activities and exercises will help in controlling the sleep-wake cycle of the old dog. Secondly, the diet of senior dogs will differ from the diet of young dogs. A dog owner may need to add some supplements to their older dog’s food. Thirdly, a dog owner will need to seek consultation with a vet and getting tips on how to handle a senior dog with CCD.
Quick solution regarding how to stop your dog from barking at night
The first and best thing a dog owner can do to stop a dog from barking is to get it checked by a vet. A general checkup by the vet will allow you to find out whether your dog is barking because of illnesses or because of loneliness and attention.
If your dog is sick, the vet will give necessary prescriptions like antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infection, anti-inflammatory medication for joint problems, and physical therapy. If your dog has Canine Cognitive Disorder, the dog owner will have to get the proper diet, exercise regimen, and medications for the dog.
Sometimes a dog barks at night because it has pent up energy. To solve the barking for this specific reason, a dog owner can take it out on walks. This solution is so that at night, it uses up all its energy and can sleep peacefully.
If a dog is barking because it wants your attention, the best solution is to ignore it. As time passes, your dog will learn to stop barking at night to get your attention.