Posts on animal forums such as “My dog barks in his sleep” are quite frequent and is one of the problems many dog owners face. Usually we see in movies that the dog barks at night when there is an intrusion in the yard or in the house. But if our dog ends up barking every night, it’s hard to believe that there are thieves trying to break into the house all the time!
This may happen during the dog’s sleep or not and there are bound to be other reasons why your pooch wakes up the entire house in the middle of the night. So, if your dog barks at night as well, you will find in this article most of the reasons that push your doggie to do so and especially tips to help you solve the problem.
Why does my dog bark at night?
You finally have your dog at home, but you have noticed that your nights have started to be disturbed because of his barking. If, like us, you’ve ever wondered why the dog barks in the middle of the night, you need to take a look at the following.
Your puppy needs to be reassured
Puppies sometimes bark at night when they are unsafe in their mothers’ arms. Mothers secrete a pheromone that is meant to constantly soothe the puppies. So when they are adopted by humans, this pheromone is no longer present and they may feel in danger and need to be appeased.
Your dog barks to warn you of any danger
As it would have done during the day if you were in danger, the dog will try to warn you when it notices something abnormal going on in or around the house. If there is an unusual activity outside that time of night, or if a raccoon breaks into the garden, the dog will not hesitate to let you know. Be aware that a dog’s sleep is not as deep as a human’s. It can thus be disturbed more quickly.
He is anxious and tries to let you know
If you’ve gotten into the habit of sleeping with your dog and suddenly separate from him, he will feel isolated and let down. This anxiety will be very difficult to overcome and he will try to get your attention one way or another, including barking. It’s a bit when babies need their mother’s warmth and spend their time crying and hoping to touch on their emotion.
If you hear your dog constantly scratching your bedroom door, this is a sign of anxiety and loneliness. For him, it is unthinkable to spend the night without you. His survival instinct is then put on alert and he will try to get you out of bed. You will notice that his barks will become longer (like the wolves we hear in the movies.)
He is no longer sleepy and wants to play!
If your baby wakes up at night and is not sleepy at all, he will try to wake you up so that you have fun with him. Well, it’s the same with dogs. If while you are in a deep sleep, your dog does not see you anymore, he will try to call you to play.
And moreover he dreams!
Rest is essential for both puppies and adult dogs for their physical and psychological well-being. It must therefore be respected.
Although the animal always gives us the impression of recovering very quickly from its efforts or from a state of fatigue or of being fresh and ready in a quarter of a turn, it needs this restful sleep otherwise it could present certain behavioral disorders.
Of all the carnivores, the dog sleeps the least. A puppy can sleep up to 98% of its time, an average that drops as it grows to 65% in adulthood and for the rest of its life.
The dog’s sleep is broken down into cycles, themselves made up of two phases: deep sleep and then REM sleep.
Deep sleep is the one that begins each phase. Although the brain activity is slowed down, the dog preserves all of its muscle tone during this.
With REM sleep, which comes closer to wakefulness, the activity of certain muscles begins to decrease. Note that paradoxical sleep is more important in puppies (90%) than in adults (approximately 40%).
A period of REM sleep lasts for an average of six minutes every twenty minutes. It is during this phase that the dog dreams, which may surprise the owner who does not know the dog’s life very well.
My dog barks in his sleep! He sure can!
The dog has the peculiarity of being able to move while he dreams. What is our dog dreaming of when he starts wiggling his paws or his body jumps, he starts barking or even heaving a sigh which we do not know if it is ecstasy or disappointment is the cause? Is he chasing a cat or a fellow creature? Only he knows it.
Either way, a normal dog can be active in his sleep, barking can be part of it and it’s totally normal!
Whether it’s crying, screaming, or barking, it’s hard not to deal with these nighttime noises. If you want to find peaceful nights, here are some tips you can follow, if your dog barks while not asleep.
What can I do to stop my dog from barking at night?
First and foremost, it is important to know that you will need to be patient, especially when dealing with a puppy. Also, if this is an adult dog who suddenly started to sleep over, don’t get upset quickly, on the contrary, help him get back to sleep. Here’s how you can go about it.
If you have a puppy, start by making it sleep with you, in its crate placed near your bed. The puppy needs to know that you are with him first. Even if you aren’t going to produce pheromones like his mother would to reassure him, he will feel safer. Over the days and weeks, you can then move your dog away from your room, inch by inch.
Put your dog in the quietest room in the house
Setting your dog up in a crate at night can have a calming effect on him. In addition, if his room is well insulated and has a good temperature (ideally 19 to 20 degrees Celsius), he will be isolated from all outside noise and will not wake up to the movement of the raccoon in the garden. or the passer-by approaching the house. If the dog hears less outside sounds, he will avoid waking you up by his barking.
White noise is noise that does not have a distinctive sound. Examples include a fan or the sound of a radio whose frequency is scrambled. You can also use soft music to help your pooch think of nothing more than the current sweet night full of stars.
Ignore it when it immediately wakes you up
In the event that your dog wakes you up, learn to ignore it. It will be a bit difficult for you at first, especially when you see he is trying to get your attention. This solution is rather restrictive, because you will need patience and tenacity. However, if you give in when you hear the barking, he will remember that he has to bark to get a reaction. So be determined to ignore it. Sooner or later he will understand that his tactic is no longer working.
Make sure your dog has burned enough energy during the day
If you exhaust your dog with physical exercise, he will be tired enough to go into deep sleep and let you sleep as well. However, if you find that your canine friend is the nocturnal type, keep him occupied with games such as frozen kong, bones, treats that you put in different parts of the house where he is likely to go.