As cute as your paw-some pup is, their barking can sometimes be a bit disruptive - especially if they are barking at night! Sometimes your pup simply wants to play or is not sleepy or they may dislike spending time alone. It’s important to remember that this day and night routine is new to them, so as a puppy parent, you’ll need to teach your dog how to sleep through the night and be consistent with their training!
5 Tips To Stop Your Pup From Barking at Night
1. Always be patient!
Although it can be frustrating if your pup is keeping you (and the neighbors) up at night, it’s important to remain calm and patient. Your pooch won’t intuitively understand your schedule - it’s all new to them! Be patient and remember that your pet may be confused by their new surroundings and they communicate this through barking. You should avoid scolding your dog as this won’t help their learning and may confuse them further.
2. Make sure you understand your pup’s needs
Is your pup barking because they need a toilet break? Young pups will need to be taken outside at frequent intervals, including at night. Once your dog is 3 to 4 months old, they should be physically able to make it through the night. But remember, your pup might have different barks and whines for different things, and over time, you’ll learn to understand them. For example, one bark might mean “I’m bursting and need to go outside to the bathroom!” and another might mean “I’m bored! Please come and play with me!”
3. Keep your pup occupied
Your pup might simply be barking from boredom so make sure that you keep them busy, fulfilled - and tired out - throughout the day! Puppies have heaps of energy which needs to be sated with toys, games, walks and training! Depending on your dog’s breed, they may need a few extra walks during the day or an energetic game of fetch to tire them out. Try to give your pup some exercise just before bed and remember that, just like humans, a long daytime nap can make them feel energetic in the evening! Discouraging long naps during the day can help them sleep better at night.
4. Provide your pup with a safe chew toy or puzzle
If your pup wakes up during the night, having toys or puzzles nearby means they’ll always have something to do. It stops them from becoming bored and gives them somewhere to direct their energy. Giving toys to your dog when you put them to bed will keep them busy and help make them sleepy - as well as helping them to make a positive association with going to bed. A toy with food in the middle which requires your dog to lick is particularly useful as licking is self-soothing and can comfort your pup when they’re left alone.
5. Be aware of other factors that may cause barking
If your pup is frightened of something in the room or animals going past the window, try to remove them - for example, by closing windows and blinds. Make your pup’s bed or crate a comforting place to discourage them from barking - they’ll love a doggy den complete with toys and blankets!
If your pup is barking excessively, and you’ve done all of the above, it could be a sign that something isn’t quite right so it’s always worth taking them for a check-up with the vet. You can also consider using ADAPTIL Junior which releases “comforting messages” like the ones released by the mother dog after birth. These naturally calm and reassure your pup and will quickly encourage them to sleep through the night.