Tips to Stop Your Dog from Barking at Night
13 November, 2012

My friend, Betsy, adopted a new dog and he is adjusting well but tends to bark through the night.  It is disturbing to her as well as her neighbors.  For most dogs, a new environment or change in routine could cause a dog to bark through the night.    It could be as simple as your dog hearing a new sound from your neighbor’s yard or even the purchase of a new refrigerator that could scare your dog.

If your dog has started to bark through the night, below are some tips to stop this behavior.

Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise

Your dog could be bored or simply not getting enough exercise during the day and has some extra energy.  Dogs should be tired by the end of the day. They have had plenty of exercise during the day, they have been fed, and they often sleep throughout the evening too.  If your dog is not getting enough exercise, he or she might still be full of energy and want to play still. The best way your dog can release this pent up energy is to bark.

Give your dog a couple days to adjust in a new environment

For dogs that are unsettled due to a change in their routine or a new home, the best option is to try to ignore the barking for a few days. If their routine has only recently changed, your dog might need time to adapt to the change. If you respond to the barking, your dog could possibly think this is part of his new routine and therefore continue barking.   However, if your dog hasn’t stopped after a few days, try using a water spray bottle to enforce the message that barking is not an acceptable habit to have.

Try a dog crate

New puppies and dogs often feel more secure if they are put in a dog crate during the night. They see it as their ‘den’ or their part of the house. You can make the crate comfortable with a blanket or even a crate cover.  If your dog enjoys the crate, then he won’t be outside barking through the night.

Make sure there is nothing outside that threatens or disturbs your dog

Sometimes your dog might be barking because he or she is trying to warn you of something he considers to be a threat outside. When your dog barks, open the door, go outside as if to check for danger. When you come back in, tell your pup to ‘be quiet’ showing your dog that you have heard his warning and everything is OK.  Then, pet your dog and tell him it is time to go to sleep.

If your dog is unsettled by a new item which has been brought into his sleeping area such as an LED light on an electrical appliance or the hum of a fridge, then remove it where possible or cover it.  If you can’t remove it, try switching your dog’s sleeping area to a quieter area of your home.

Give your dog bedtime treats so he is satiated

Give your dog the same special treat before bedtime every night.  Try to make it a fun, distinctive treat which you only use at this time so that it becomes a signal for bedtime. Once your dog receives the treat, he will learn it’s time to settle down and go to sleep.

If your dog continues to bark, after trying all of the above, it might be time to see your veterinarian to make sure there aren’t any medical issues involved.


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