When your dog starts to bark loudly at night, it can cause a lot of problems. Everyone in your home starts to struggle with sleeping well. And if the barking is loud enough, your neighbors may start to get annoyed as well. Learning what causes your dog to bark, and how to prevent these late-night outbursts, will help make everyone a little happier.
When your German Shepherd barks at night, there are many reasons. They may have separation anxiety, feeling lonely, or they hear something outside the window. Moving your dog to a new room, giving them plenty of exercises to wear them out, and setting up a routine can make the barking stop.
This article will explore a few of the most common reasons your dog is barking in the first place before we start looking at a few of the steps you can take to prevent barking at night.
Why Is My German Shepherd Barking?
Before we look at some solutions on why your dog is barking, we need to understand the causes. Each cause is different, and that will give us a different solution. Keep in mind that the German Shepherd breed has been designed to bark. They are guard dogs, and barking makes them happy. This makes them more prone to barking than some other breeds. Some of the reasons your dog may be barking at night include:
They Hear Something
One reason your dog may be barking all the time is that they hear something. If the barking gets more intense, this is a sign your dog thinks a threat is moving closer. This can be annoying, but your dog is simply trying to protect you. While someone walking by your home or an animal is usually not a threat, your German Shepherd is trying to keep you safe.
Lonely and Bored
Your German Shepherd is a pack animal, and it is easy for them to get lonely and bored when you leave them alone at night. This problem intensifies when you don’t spend a lot of time with them during the day. While this dog will howl when they are bored, sometimes they may bark as well. This helps them to entertain themselves.
This could cause your dog to bark at night. If this is the problem, you will notice the barking happens at all times of the day. They may also run around in circles, pace, chew on things and destroy items when left alone.
There are a few steps you can take to work with your dog to prevent separation anxiety. These need to be done step-by-step to ensure you are making the situation better and to help your dog feel more comfortable when you leave. You can discuss with your vet whether separation anxiety is a big issue that you need to fix, and to learn the exact steps you can take to prevent it and stop the barking.
A New Sleeping Arrangement
This is a common issue for barking. When you change the sleeping arrangement for your dog, they will start to miss the comfort they are used to. This may make them bark. If you can, let them go back to their normal sleeping arrangements, and the barking will stop.
As your dog gets older, their body and minds may regress. This can result in dementia. When this happens, your dog may bark randomly, and it may continue through the night. This one is a hard one to fight again.
How to Stop the Barking at Night
Now that we know a few of the reasons your German Shepherd is barking at night, it is time to look at a few solutions. The good news is there are a few different techniques that you can use to make it easier for them to stop. A few tips and tricks you can try out include:
Don’t Give Them Attention
If you notice your dog is barking at night, one of the worst things to do is respond. If the dog is barking, often they just want your attention. When you choose to interact with them, they learn that they will get attention when they bark. This just reinforces that bad behavior and makes it harder to train them to stop.
Look for Disturbances
If there are noises out there that disturb your dog, then it is important to figure out what may cause those noises and then try to stop them. If you think there are some animal noises outside that start the barking, it may be a good idea to move your dog to a quieter room or play quiet music to calm their nerves and make it harder for them to hear the animals outside.
In some cases, your dog may be able to look right out the window at night and see the noises that cause them to bark. You need to move them away from the window or put something up that blocks their view. Help them get comfortable and fall asleep, so they learn to sleep at night instead of watching the world go by outside.
Check That Nothing Is Wrong
If your dog has just started to bark at night, this is sometimes a sign something is wrong. Things like dementia could cause the barking, and it is hard to use any of the other tips until you get this checked out. Always visit a vet and check your dog out for any potential issues before trying anything else out.
Give Them Exercise
When your dog is tired and asleep, it is hard for them to be up barking at night. Giving them enough exercise is a good place to start. Take them on a walk for at least an hour a day, even if you need to split this up between two or three walks. Take them out back or to the park and play fetch to wear them out. Bring some toys home that they can chase and pull on to wear out that energy as well.
The more you can exercise your dog, the easier it is to stop the barking. Your German Shepherd has a lot of energy in them. Sitting inside all day makes them bouncy and frustrated, which can keep them up at night barking.
Give Them a Good Routine
It can help your dog to have a set routine each day. When they have this routine, it is easier for them to know the exact time for sleeping. When the routine says it is time for bed, your dog will get comfortable and won’t stay up barking all night long.
You can decide the routine that works best for your family. You don’t need to plan out every minute of the day either. Having a set routine for an hour or so before bed though helps. A good routine is to take them for a walk after supper to wear out energy, brush their fur, and get them into their beds with a biscuit to be comfortable. If they need some help getting to sleep, these Nutrition Strength Melatonin for Dogs is a great option.
There are many reasons why your dog will choose to bark at night. They may notice that there is a noise outside that keeps them up or maybe bored. Learning what is causing them to bark, and helping them get to sleep instead is one of the best ways to stop the barking and give yourself a rest from the noise.