Most dogs bark at night, well, especially if your dog is an outdoor dog. When you have a dog barking at the window at night, then this could be a problem. Apart from keeping you up, your beloved pup could also be disturbing your neighbors.
Unfortunately, it is natural for dogs to bark at night, even for the quietest dogs. I have two quite adorable dogs who used to keep me awake at night. I mean, they would stay by the window and bark at every movement.
In this article, I am going to show you how I got them to be quieter. But before that, let us look at the possible reasons why your dog is barking at night. After all, the only way to solve the behavioral problem is understanding the cause of the unwanted behavior.
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Why does my Dog Bark at Window at Night?
While I have owned dogs for more than 4 decades, I can tell you that barking occurs naturally to dogs. However, most domesticated dogs do not need to bark often, unless they are communicating with you. Several reasons could make a dog bark at night. And these may include the following:
I live along a mildly busy street. There is minimum noise but then again my dogs would bark. Well, Teddy would start barking and Miley, my second and youngest, would join in. At some point, it was impossible to fall asleep when they started.
Sometimes it would feel as they were enjoying the sounds of their barks. Well, the view of the outside can bring about anxiety and excitement at the same time. As a result, your dog can bark simply because cars are passing outside.
Sometimes it could even be the slightest noise. You may not hear anything but your dog can, which could trigger him to start barking.
The sight of wildlife in the yard or on your lawn could trigger your dog to start barking. Well, their hunting instincts are definitely triggered at the sight or potential prey. This happens even when a dog has been domesticated all his life.
I have had to eliminate all the squirrels and raccoons from the backyard. Dogs get too excited and also the need to chase the small animals even though they cannot get out.
Yes, it is a thing! Your neighbor’s dog could initiate barking and you can hear all the neighborhood dogs responding. Basically, dogs would live in packs and therefore are reactive to other dog’s vocalization.
And they do enjoy the group barking, which can also be very annoying. I mean, maybe the other dogs are outside but your house dog won’t let you sleep. In the next section, I will talk about the solution to group barking.
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While dogs are not nocturnal, they do spend a lot of time sleeping during the day. At night, he could be active when you want to go to bed. If he is unoccupied, he might run to the window and bark at the sight of anything.
Unfortunately, a bored dog has nothing better to do. He could go on barking until morning. This is a common problem with under-exercised dogs. Well, you should always tire your dog out before bedtime so that he does not start acting out.
Well, above, I mentioned that dogs tend to wake up in intervals at night, even though they are not nocturnal. If your dog wakes up and everyone else is asleep, he could feel lonely. As a result, he will bark to seek attention.
Well, if your dog is not exactly a barker but he sometimes won’t let you sleep, it could be that he is afraid. For instance, when I brought Teddy home, he appeared to be anxious. Well, it could be because it was a new home but then again he kept us awake for a few days.
He would even pee in the house, which I discovered was out of fear since he had been potty trained. It took some time before he got comfortable around Miley. A proper introduction can take some time but they are best friends now.
It is important for your dog to feel at home in your house. If your new dog is anxious or afraid of someone or something, he might bark all night.
Your pup is hurt or sick
Nighttime barking could also be because your dog is hurting or he is sick. Well, you should probably check him for any injuries. At the same time, observe for signs and symptoms of common dog illnesses.
As with humans, a dog who is hurting may bark till dawn. Sometimes it might sound as if he is crying, loudly, making it difficult for you to fall asleep. If you suspect that your dog is ill, I suggest you consult your vet immediately.
Attention seeking behavior
Above, I have mentioned that boredom and loneliness are some of the leading causes of a dog barking at the window at night. However, some dogs have already learned that you respond to them when they start barking.
As a result, your dog will bark all night, expecting to wake you up.
How to stop dog barking at night
So, you have had a few sleepless nights and probably a few complaints from your neighbors. Your dog has been barking all night and it is frustrating. Well, do not worry as I am about to outline some of the best methods to stop your dog from barking at the window at night.
Ignore dog barking
As much as this sounds like a horrible plan, you might consider getting a pair of earplugs. Dogs continue to bark because we respond to their nagging. I consider this as reinforcing the behavior. I mean, your dog will finally understand that you always come to check on him whenever he barks.
Well, he will do it to get your attention every time he feels lonely or bored. He will simply engage in barking to get your attention. Now, to curb this habit, stop responding to his barking. Instead, ignore him for a few nights.
Once barking does not provide your dog with his desired outcome, he will stop barking. However, you can only stop a dog barking for attention using this method. Once your dog quiets down, immediately offer him a reward.
Train the quiet command
The good thing about dogs is that they are trainable. You can train your dog to obey the quiet command every time he is barking unnecessarily at night. Well, you will need to have a handful of treats in your hands.
Wait until he starts barking at night and calmly says ‘quiet. You must refrain from yelling at the dog. Even when he is barking loudly, get his attention and command him to stay quiet. Once he looks at you without barking, present him with a treat.
The key is to ensure that your dog can relate the command quiet with a positive outcome. Eventually, you will be able to command him to quiet even without the treats. Besides, with time, he will unlearn the barking behavior.
Block the outside noise
As indicated above, dogs can bark at windows at night because of the outside noise. Now, this presents a challenge especially if you live around a noisy area. Some dogs will react to people passing by your door if you live in an apartment building.
Now, since there is only too little that you can do to control what is happening outside, you can take charge and limit the outside distractions. For instance, you can block the view of the outside. Leave the curtains closed.
At the same time, you might consider getting a white noise machine. This will help keep the room free from outside noise.
You can also leave the TV on. Some dogs will get distracted watching nature or soothing music channels instead of constant barking.
Exercise your dog
A dog with a lot of pent up energy can be a nuisance. Well, dogs are energetic and are always looking for something to do when awake. During the day, he will explore and take as many naps as he wants. In the evening, you should exercise him to burn up pent up energies.
The goal is to tire your dog out so that he will want to sleep as you go to bed. You can also play with him to provide mental and physical stimulation. A well-exercised dog will want to rest as opposed to constant barking.
Consult your vet
Earlier, I mentioned that a dog could be barking because he is ill. Well, if you observe any signs of an illness or injury making your dog bark all night, you should take him to the vet.
Do not ignore your dog when he has suddenly started barking at night. Instead, check on him and monitor him for any unusual behavior. Your vet will be able to tell whether your dog is barking out of behavioral reasons.
Almost every dog owner has had problems with dog barking. While it is normal for dogs to bark at night, it can be very frustrating your puppy keeps everyone awake. The above-discussed tips should help you stop a dog from barking at the window at night.