If you are a new dog parent, the excitement of having a pet at home can soon fade to frustration, if your dog is keeping you up all night. This is the most challenging task most pet owners struggle with. Dogs can make you and your neighbors sleep-deprived at night, which can be so distressing.
You’ve had a long day and you look forward to falling asleep as soon as you hit the bed, but your dog has a difficult time sleeping through the night and he makes it known to you by constantly barking or whining. In order to break this habit, you need to first look into what’s causing him to bark in the first place and work on it.
What causes dogs to bark at night?
There may be different reasons that make different dogs bark at night. If you have adopted a new pup, then he may need some time to get used to sleeping at night. If you have moved to a new place, your dog may be having some difficulty adjusting to the new home and environment. Your dog may just be feeling bored or lonely. Most dogs develop a fear of separation, which keeps them alert and awake all night. Some may bark due to stress and anxiety issues. Learn how to deal with dogs’ stress and anxiety here. Dogs also start trigger barking if they sense a threat.
How do you stop your dog from barking at night?
A new dog or a pup needs time to learn to sleep through the night, just like you do. Try to establish a fixed routine every day for meals, playtime, walking, and sleep. It’s good to start this as early as possible. Place your dog’s favorite things at his sleeping place. It is better not to keep changing this place. If you allow him to sleep with you on your bed for some time and then decide to separate him, he may not take it too well and start barking in anticipation of getting back with you.
In case, if you want to put him in X-pen or a crate for the night, fill it with his favorite toys and treat him for good behavior. Some dogs don’t like to be caged up due to anxiety issues and make a lot of noise. You may want to try an alternative to this if your dog doesn’t get used to it. Choose another spot to restrain him and see if it works. Also, don’t go to him, so as to comfort him when he barks at night. This will make him repeat this behavior often because barking will bring you to him. Refrain from shouting back or saying anything. He will eventually get it.
If your dog starts barking when they see someone or other animals, you may need to train your dog to avoid these triggers. Try to offer him his favorite snacks, whenever he sees any animals such as other dogs or cats. He will learn to replace that trigger to bark with anticipation of treats. This way your dog will know not to bark when any animal crosses their path because he will get tasty rewards for doing so.
Similarly, if your dog gets defensive at the sight of neighbors, you should offer treats to silence him. Once he learns this, you will no longer be awakened by constant barking at night, because of the movement of your neighbors. Remember to be patient and go easy when training him.
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