Let’s see together what are these situations where we decide to play the raging owls and what are the solutions to help them stop doing it – and let us sleep!
1. The dog barking after outside noises
A passer-by walking around, the neighbour’s dog barking, a raccoon rummaging through the garbage cans are all night-time phenomena that can pollute your dog’s tranquillity and make him react. He does not know that the passer-by is harmless or that the raccoon will settle for a few detritus before returning to his burrow. He is afraid and tries to keep away what scares him! Of course, it also advises us that something is happening!
The best thing to do to prevent your dog from being afraid of the surrounding noise is to keep him in your room at night. This way, it will be less likely to hear outside sounds and you will be there to reassure it if something happens.
Other ways to reduce your dog’s barking at night:
- Put your dog in the quietest room of the house, away from the noise.
- Use white noise to mask other ambient noises, such as a fan or soft music.
- Using a cage for your dog at night, if it is well integrated and positive for him, can have a calming effect on many dogs and tends to reassure them.
- Using the best dog muzzle can reduce the Barking.
2. The dog that barks because it is anxious!
Sometimes dogs react really badly to the separation of their owner or family and suffer from separation anxiety. The time of bedtime becomes anxious, forcing your dog to cry, moan and try to wake you up. For him, being alone is unthinkable. He may die because you are not there. It’s as intense as that. His survival instinct is on alert.
Related: The electric collar: the miracle solution to regulate your dog’s separation anxiety?
If your dog only suffers from anxiety at night, then too, the best solution is to keep your dog with you at night. But the best thing to do next is to consider using a canine behaviorist to work on this anxiety problem, because at this level of distress, the dog is not well. It is important to help him become self-reliant and make him feel safe in times when you are away.
What are the signs of canine anxiety?
- Your dog scratches the door to mutilate his paws
- He screams, moans incessantly
- He salivates profusely
- He’s shaking
- It does its needs (while it is usually clean)
- He gasps and his heart beats fast
- He can’t lie down and land
Be careful, your dog will not necessarily express all these symptoms. He can express 2-3 and still suffer from anxiety.
3. Is your dog bored at night?
It’s a fact: dogs can get bored while you’re in Morpheus’ arms. So they will try to wake you up so that the game starts, or just bark outwards to keep busy.
In case your dog wakes you up, the best thing to do is to ignore it completely. I know, there is nothing magical about this solution and it is rather restrictive because it requires patience and tenacity. But it works! However, remember that your dog will remember that he has to bark for a while for you to eventually crack and take care of him. So put earplugs and close the door to your room if necessary but ignore your dog no matter what. A beautiful day (or a beautiful night!) he will understand that it is no longer useful. You’ll have won! Yes!
On the other hand, generally, when it comes to this solution, it is because we have forgotten steps: your dog needs physical activities and daily mental activities to be well in his hair. It is therefore important to give him occupations during the day but also during the night if Fido tends to be nocturnal: toys, frozen Kong, bones, hidden treats in the house, etc. Don’t forget to spend it physically before bed!
4. My puppy cries at night! Help!
Puppies have different needs, both physiologically and psychologically. Most of the barking at night, in their cases, is due either to envy or to insecurity.
To prevent your puppy from waking you up at night to do his needs:
- Note what time your puppy wakes up.
- Put on your dial 30 minutes before its usual wake-up time. You may have to put on your dial several times during the night depending on your puppy.
- Take your puppy outside calmly, without paying too much attention.
- Wait for him to do his needs and reward him.
- As the weeks go by, push back your initial waking time more and more so that your puppy learns to sleep a full night without doing his needs.
Why this approach? To teach your puppy that he doesn’t need to wake you up to meet his needs! This technique will have the effect of reassuring him, and showing him that he does not need to ask to get!
What about the puppy that cries/barks in insecurity on its first nights?
We make him sleep with us, in his cage placed by our bed. Over the days and weeks, move the cage quietly out of your room, centimetres by centimetre. Don’t be afraid to put your fingers through the bars or reassure your puppy if he’s scared the first few nights! That’s normal! He needs it. He has just lost his mother and siblings, he is experiencing stress and has to adapt to his new life.
Also, you are advised to see if the integration into the cage has been carried out. Is your dog’s cage a place of comfort and pleasure, learned gradually, or a place of distress and frustration?
If a puppy wakes you up in the night, be patient: it’s because he needs it. Babies will have a harder time holding back for a pee than an adult. It is the same principle as a human baby, except that a puppy does not have a diaper!!
Give him toys and a good cushion, that’s all. The use of a cage can be effective in learning autonomy, so don’t hesitate to use it. The cage must be well trained to make it a safe haven, a small house in which your dog will be quiet and comfortable.
Bonus: Check your dog’s natural needs
In general, and especially in the case of a puppy, it is essential to check that your dog has met all his natural needs before going to bed: pee (or poop) in the evening, have eaten to his hunger, have hydrated well during the day, lie in a room at the right temperature (ideally 19 to 20 degrees Celsius) etc.
You will understand this: we must find out what makes our dogs react to help them stop doing so, or at least to encourage them to express themselves differently. I was talking earlier about the fact that the dog is domesticated to adapt to the life of Man but, between us, this sentence is wobbly: if man chooses to share his life with a dog, it is up to him to understand the needs of his protégé!!
And, for pity’s sake, don’t fall into the trap of barking collars! Does your dog bark during the day? See here other solutions to reduce your dog’s barking!
For more advice, sign up for our online seminar“Help, my dog barks!”to do in the comfort of your living room, anywhere in the world!
Curious? I invite you to see the introductory module of the seminar!