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Dog Barking at Night? Here's How to Get a Good Night's Sleep Again

By Aviram K.
Published in Training & Behavior
October 20, 2021
5 min read
Dog Barking at Night? Here's How to Get a Good Night's Sleep Again
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

There’s something so grounding about a good nighttime routine.

Maybe you love simply washing your face and slathering on your favorite lotion. Or sipping on a nice, comforting cup of chamomile tea.

Whatever way you wind down, nighttime rituals can be a calming way to relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

But what if your dog has their own nighttime routine…and it’s anything but relaxing?

What if your dog’s nighttime routine includes barking?

And a whole lot of it.

Ah!

What to do?

Dogs may bark at night because they’re physically or emotionally uncomfortable or if they sense something off in their environment. With patience and diligence on your part, it’s absolutely possible to help your dog stop barking at night.

In this article, I will discuss the many things that motivate dogs to bark at night for no apparent reason.

Then, I will explore if dogs can get tired of barking, and I will give you tips to help your dog stop barking at night. I will also give you some pointers on how to handle a neighbor’s dog that won’t stop barking.

Ready to cut to the truth behind all the noise?

Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

01
Why Dogs Bark at Night for No Apparent Reason
02
Will a Dog Get Tired of Barking?
03
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking at Night
04
What to Do If Your Neighbor's Dog Is the One Barking at Night
05
But Hopefully, It Never Gets to That Point

Why Dogs Bark at Night for No Apparent Reason

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There are many different reasons that a dog may bark at night for what seems like “no apparent reason.” But I can assure you, there is a reason your dog is barking. Here are a few common ones:

Your Dog May Need to Use the Bathroom

Your pup may be trying to tell you they need to do their business! Sure, it may be annoying to be interrupted in the middle of the night when snuggled warmly in your bed. But in this case, your dog’s barking is trying to do you a major favor. They’re essentially saying: “I need to go out NOW!”

By heeding their barks of warning, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches…and cleanup time.

They May Be Feeling Bad

If your dog is sick or injured in any way, this may cause them to bark late into the nighttime hours. Your dog may be barking to relieve the stress of pain they could be feeling. They may also be barking to try to alert you to their discomfort.

Even if your pup seems to be alright during the daytime, any ailment they have may intensify as the sun goes down. This often happens with humans, and our pups may experience this same phenomenon.

Old Age

As your dog ages, they may develop all kinds of interesting new habits and behaviors. It’s not uncommon for dogs facing cognitive decline to bark throughout the night.

Sensory Changes in Their Surroundings

If your dog can hear, smell or sense any person or animal nearby, this will likely prompt them to bark. Dogs are pack animals, and their protective instincts may kick in if they perceive a threat to their home…and of course to you, their precious human!

Temperature changes in your house or any discomfort your pup feels with their bedding may cause them to want to tell you how they feel about it. Likewise, if your pup feels uncomfortable physically or uneasy emotionally, they may bark to let it be known.

Your Dog May Be Under-Stimulated

If your dog is home alone most of the day, they may suffer from boredom. One of the ways this boredom can manifest is through your pup barking excessively. Your pup may bark all day when they are alone and have just become accustomed to doing this as a coping mechanism.

They Are Feeling Lonely

Closely tied to the previous reason, the heart of your dog’s barking may be loneliness. Your dog may be barking to say that they miss you and would like some more of your time and attention.

Will a Dog Get Tired of Barking?

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Usually, dogs do not get tired of barking. In fact, they can keep it up for way longer than you may expect!

Barking for a dog is similar to talking for a human. While some people are naturally quieter than others, I’m sure you’ve known some real Chatty Cathys in your day. Your dog may just be the canine equivalent!

There is virtually no limit to how long a dog can bark. But, sadly, a dog can continue to bark to the point of pain. Just as a human can develop laryngitis from talking too much, a dog can develop laryngitis from excessive barking.

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking at Night

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Thankfully, there are many simple tricks you can try to help your dog stop barking at night.

The solution to helping your dog depends on the “why” behind their barking.

Ensuring all of your pup’s physical and emotional needs are taken care of can be good first steps to help them stop barking:

  • Take them on a quick walk to see if they need to relieve themselves
  • Allow your pup a mini play session in case they need to let out some pent-up energy
  • Make sure your dog isn’t ill or hurt in any way
  • Adjust the temperature in the room and your pup’s bedding to make sure they’re comfortable
  • Intentionally spend some extra time with your pup in case they’re feeling lonely

If you’ve tried these tips, but your dog continues to bark, it may take a little guesswork on your part to get to the bottom of things.

Since your dog’s senses are heightened, they may respond to things they can hear, smell, and see that you cannot.

You may not be able to truly narrow down the cause of their barking, but that’s okay. You can still help them to stop. You can do this by using positive reinforcement with treats each time they don’t bark.

It works like this:

  • Hangout with your dog while they are barking
  • Wait until the inevitable moment when they stop barking
  • Give them a treat at that moment
  • Continue to reward and verbally praise your pup when they don’t bark
  • Make sure to shower them with praise and treats when they experience an old trigger that previously would have made them bark, but they instead remain silent

What to Do If Your Neighbor’s Dog Is the One Barking at Night

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Maybe it’s actually your neighbor’s dog who is disturbing the peace.

Uh oh…

This can definitely be an awkward and uncomfortable situation, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to approach this is to speak with your neighbor.

Face-to-face, preferably.

Most communication is nonverbal, and tone can be misinterpreted through writing, so it’s best not to leave a note. This is why I recommend approaching your neighbor in a friendly, casual and non-confrontational manner in person.

There are actually things you can do as a neighbor to discourage your neighbor’s dog from barking as well.

For example, if your neighbor’s dog barks when they see you, you can install planters to block their view.

You can also try to become friends with the dog. If your neighbor allows you, try spending some time with your furry friend next door. This might help them get used to you and therefore reduce their barking.

If these simple fixes don’t do the trick and the barking continues, you may have to resort to more radical measures.

Here are some next possible steps in order of severity.

If the barking continues, you can:

  • File a noise complaint
  • Call the non-emergency police line
  • Take the situation to small claims court

But Hopefully, It Never Gets to That Point

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A barking dog, especially at night, can certainly cause a stir in your home and beyond. If the barking dog is yours, employing the tips above will likely help them to calm down.

If the barking dog is your neighbor’s, please do your best to employ my suggestions above, along with a massive heap of compassion. It’s very unlikely that your neighbors are trying to terrorize you on purpose.

If the noise-maker in question is your pup, remember: your dog would probably love to be sleeping soundly too, just like you would!

I hope the tips above allow you to regain peace and sleep at home into the wee late-night hours.

Not just for you, but for your pup too!


Tags

Dog BehaviorsDog TrainingBarking

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Aviram K.

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Dog Behaviorist & Trainer

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