You may love your dog with all your heart, but it can get really annoying when you are resting at night, trying to get some good night sleep but your dog just does not stop growling!
Probably your dog isn’t barking at you per se. Probably it is just trying to get your attention towards something. There is a very common notion that if a dog barks at night, they are probably seeing ghosts. Well, for that we cannot say but we can definitely give you more reasons as to why your dog is barking at night.
The good news is that there are some breeds that are very loud and notorious, like Chihuahuas are also called Houston Chronicle for being one of the loudest dog breeds along with beagles, huskies, dachshunds, terriers and basset hounds.
The bad news about this is that dogs have common wee hours. And it not only your dog who is enjoying their wee hours. In a survey conducted in New Zealand with 2000 people, 75% of people stated that they are bothered with their dog barking at night.
It is important to understand why your dog is growling so madly at night. Understanding your dog’s behaviour will save you both time and sanity.
Before we talk about the reason behind the endless barking at night, it is important for you to note that it is normal for dogs to it sometimes. To consider barking at night as an issue, it should have been observed over a few weeks to form a pattern.
Reasons for your dog’s Barking as the Sun goes down:
Below are a few reasons as to why your dog is barking mad when the sun goes down.
Just like how we humans get bored when we are left on our own for long, the same is with dogs. It could be even worse for them because they don’t have any social media accounts or entertainment options for themselves.
When dogs get bored they tend to express it more by barking and growling. Majorly because they don’t have anyone else except their humans to communicate to and they don’t have any other language except barking. You can take them to a pet store and introduce them to toys and give them some to play around with.
Fear Or Alarm
Just like all of us, they also have a fear of the unknown. You must know that dogs are colour blind. So they are even more conscious of their surroundings. When in dark they become sensitive to all and every kind of motion and sound. To keep themselves safe and protected they bark to alarm their humans that something is going to happen and they should be cautious.
It is an undeniable fact that dogs get very attached to their humans. When they are not playing with their humans they can feel lonely. Loneliness can also trigger them to bark and growl at night to get attention. To avoid this, you can let your dog sleep in your room or at least keep your room open for them to be able to see you.
Separation anxiety can also be a trigger for your dog to bark when its dark. When they are not around you or is not able to see you, it can cause them to feel anxious.
As humans, we have to ability to distract ourselves for small noises but it’s not the same for the dogs. This is because dogs are extremely sensitive to noise. When they hear something unusual or something that really irritates them, they may respond to it by barking towards it. Distracting them by playing with them or putting music that they enjoy can help them calm down.
Not Enough Exercise
If you are working all day long and your dog gets to see you only for a few hours in the evening, they will have a lot of energy left. All this energy will make them restless at night and hence the barking.
To avoid this, you can take them to dog care centres where they will make them play around for the whole day. By the time you take them home from work, they’ll be tired and will sleep at night.
You can also take them for long walks or runs and both of you can exercise together. This will help both of you fall asleep quick.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates emotions and sleeps patterns. If serotonin levels are too high or too low, it can contribute to your dog’s disturbed sleeping cycle. If you notice that your dog is sleeping a little too much in the day and is wide awake at night, abnormal serotonin levels could be the possible answer. But make sure that sleeping too much in the day and staying wide awake in the night is a pattern and not something that happens once or twice. It should be observed for a week or two.
If you feel that this is a pattern and is happening repeatedly, a doctor’s prescription is highly recommended.
Dogs are prone to vision loss as they grow old. It could also be hereditary or infection. If you notice that your dog is barking too much and is roaming around confused, it could be because of vision loss. They can grow more anxious when they can’t see.
Hearing loss has the same reason as vision loss. As we have mentioned earlier, that dogs are sensitive to noise, so when they are going through a hearing loss, they can grow anxious and a little aggressive causing them to bark.
When dogs grow old, they are prone to develop dementia or cognitive dysfunction. This affects everything that they do, including your dog’s sleep pattern. Your dog barking is a sign that your dog is nervous or confused or scared. In such cases, there are medicines that a vet would prescribe to help them with cognitive dysfunctioning.
How To Stop A Dog From Growling At Night?
The first and the foremost thing to do when you notice that your dog is growling at night is to check if there is any physical discomfort that it could be suffering. If you find something, it is important that you report to the dog’s vet along with other observations that you might make. Irrespective of what is causing your dog to bark at night, try to create a positive aura around them. Try to be more present for them and give all your attention when you are around. Make sure that your dog is receiving a healthy diet.
How to Stop a Dog from Growling at you on the bed?
In some way, growling can be good because in this way your dog is telling you that it is not comfortable with what you are doing to them or something is causing them discomfort. However, it is a red alert when the growling is aggressive and repeated.
Make sure that you don’t punish your dog for growling because that would either make them more aggressive or make them more scared. You must understand that it is not about making your dog stop growling, it is more about understanding why your dog is growling and the right treatment for the same.
It can be a little weird when your dog starts to growl at you while it is on the bed. Here are a few tips that can help you to stop your dog’s growling on the bed.
Tips that can help you to stop your Dog’s Growling on the Bed:
Rule: Dog On The Bed By Invitation Only
It is normal for people to have their dogs on the bed at all times. But when you don’t want them on the bed and they start to growl, then it is an issue. To avoid that, you can start by making small changes like not allowing your dog to jump on the bed for a few weeks and strictly say ‘NO’.
Calmly But Firmly Stop Your Dog
Whenever your dog jumps on to bed without your permission, make sure you firmly say no. Don’t show aggression because that might scare your dog. But if you laugh, your dog will think that you are joking around and playing with him. Whenever it jumps to the bed, you can either say NO or calmly remove them from the bed.
Repeat this exercise a couple of times till your dog understands that you are serious about it and not just playing with them. You can either block them from coming to the bed or pick them up and put them in their bed.
Create A Small Area On The Bed
You can also start to teach your dog to be in a specific area on your bed when invited. The most suggested area is usually the foot of the bed.
Remove your dog from bed if it starts to growl
As an owner, you’ll be able to differentiate when your dog’s barking is playful or aggressive. When your dog is barking aggressively, tell your dog to leave the bed. Don’t show aggression or frustration as that might scare your dog. But be firm in your command.
Use Bed Time As Reward
You can use the time you allow your dog to stay on the bed as a reward that it earned for good behaviour.