Why is Fido barking in the middle of the night?

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barking,night, anxiety, communication, boredom, West Island Blog, Rhonda Massad, attention, fear, training, dog behaviour

Having trouble sleeping because your dog is barking excessively into the night? We have all been there ….here are some tips so you (and the neighbours) can get good night’s sleep.

The main reasons a dog barks excessively are: fear, separation anxiety, boredom, communication or seeking attention. First of all when your dog is barking uncontrollably, do not bribe your dog to stop barking with treats or food, they will see this as a reward and they will continue the barking behaviour. You must try ignoring the behaviour as long as possible.

When your dog is scared they may be afraid of people coming near your home at night or they may hear unfamiliar noises. Try leaving them in safe, cosy area; try not to leave them in an open area where every outside noise can be heard. Music or night lights can also help.

Another big reason for night time barking especially in younger dogs is separation anxiety. Dogs are very social so they will become anxious when they are left alone for the first time. From a young age teach your dog how to cope with being left alone, make sure when it is left alone there is plenty for it to play with and even leave something with the dog that has your scent such as an old t-shirt.

Some dogs simply get bored at night especially if they have been sleeping all day. To tackle boredom barking you should start by ensuring that your dog is receiving enough exercise. Take your dog for a big walk in the afternoon/evening to use up their energy so they can sleep through the night. Also try to keep the dog amused as much as possible throughout the day whether it’s with enough space to run around or enough toys.

Dogs bark as a means of normal communication. They will bark when calling out to other dogs or respond to other barking dogs at night. Any noise, no matter how slight can stimulate a barking response and then every dog on the street is barking. It is important that you communicate with your neighbours, set up regular meetings with other dog owners in your street and tackle the reasons why your or their dog is barking.

The most important thing to take away from this blog is training. At a young age teach your dog basic commands to be quiet; they must know what appropriate and inappropriate behaviour is.

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