How to Stop a Dog from Barking at Night

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Is late. bedtime. You snuggle under the covers, turn off the light, turn off the phone. It’s bedtime, but not for your pup. You’re just getting started.

If your dog’s barking and whining is keeping you up at night or, even worse, waking you up hours before the alarm clock, you’re not alone; It’s one of the most common creases you need to resolve in your relationship with your dog.

Most of the time, it’s a simple and often random problem: you accidentally taught your dog that barking and whining will get your attention no matter the time of day or night. Unfortunately, the solution is not that simple.

Close-up of a small dog's face in a crate

Photo courtesy of cuatrok77

Why is your dog barking at night?

How did your dog even pick up this frustrating, sleep-depriving habit? Dogs bark and whine for a variety of reasons, most commonly to alert the family to a disturbance, fear or anxiety, or to get attention.

Isolation stress (fear of being alone) and/or confinement anxiety (fear of being in a crate or X-Pen) can play a role in nighttime barking, but for many dogs the problem is simply one of the following:

  1. At one point he allowed his dog to sleep in the bed, but revoked that privilege;
  2. You recently adopted your pup and he still hasn’t learned to sleep through the night;
  3. You’ve tried to silence your dog’s barking by approaching and petting him or moving him out of a tight space.

Of these, #3 has the most puppies. If you go to your dog to calm him down or to calm him down when he’s barking at night, teach him that barking and whining will make you run. And once they learn that lesson, it’s hard to forget.

A puppy lies down in a dog bed.

How to stop your dog from barking at night

And now? There is a solution to this problem, but you won’t like it. To stop a dog from barking and whimpering for attention at night, you need to convince him that barking and whining will NOT bring you to him.

  • You have to convince your dog that barking and whining won’t get him anywhere. In other words, to fix this problem, you have to ignore it.
  • The key is not to react: don’t approach your dog, don’t shout reassuring words or yell at him, let him out of his close environment.
  • By comforting your dog even once, you give him reason to believe that sometimes barking gets what he wants. If sometimes they get what they want, they have no reason to change their behavior.
  • If your dog isn’t being rewarded for attention when he barks and howls at night, he doesn’t need to be whining and barking at night; They will eventually stop the behavior because their strategy no longer appeals to you.

First let me tell you that it won’t be easy. When you try to change a behavior like nighttime barking, you experience an “extinction surge,” which essentially means the barking gets worse before it gets better as your dog desperately tries to communicate using a strategy that was previously unavailable had worked.

Of course, this also means that your sleep will get worse before it gets better. Make your life easier by wearing earplugs and playing white noise.

It also wouldn’t hurt to make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible; Try playing soft classical music, or give your pup a DAP collar or diffuser.

A dog sleeps under the blanket with his master.

Does your dog bark in his crate at night?

Unless you have a good reason to lock your dog in another room, X-Pen, or crate overnight (i.e. your pup isn’t potty trained yet), letting him sleep in your room or even your bed is perfect in order

Don’t create bad habits or separation anxiety in your dog by allowing him to sleep with you.

Some studies even suggest that you’ll sleep better if you let a dog sleep in your bed, and it’s not just because your dog is less likely to bark or whimper.

Sometimes the simplest solution to the problem is the one you’ve been secretly hoping for: a good night’s sleep with your dog by your side.

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