Puppies are so cute, but that night-time barking really taxes your limits. How do you stop puppy barking at night? Whether you’re crate training your puppy or not, this is not the fun part of adopting a puppy.
With a bit of patience and effort … With a lot of patience and effort, you can quiet your puppy at night. The first step to restoring peace at night is determining why your dog is vocalizing while you’re sleeping (or, at least, trying to).
Why Do Puppies Bark at Night?
If your puppy barks all night long, you’re probably wondering, are all puppies like this? Will your dog grow out of this behavior? Whether it’s a whine, howl, yip, or bark, puppies vocalize at night for many reasons, the main one being that it’s adjusting to a bunch of changes. Think about it: He or she is away from their mother and siblings and is in a new environment with new humans, sites, sounds, smells and routines. It’s a lot for a puppy to deal with! Here are a few reasons why your puppy is barking at night:
- He needs to go potty.
- He may be suffering from separation anxiety.
- He’s feeling lonely or isolated.
- He has an underlying health issue.
How to Stop Puppy Barking at Night
Why your puppy is barking will determine what needs to be done to stop it. Patience with your pup is important, so you don’t add undue stress to an already stressful situation for your new pet. With that said, here are a few tips to calm your puppy and get back to some much-needed zzz’s.
- First, rule out health issues: Before you try to stop your dog from barking at night, you should have your veterinarian examine him to rule out underlying health issues.
- Make sure your puppy “goes”: Like human babies, young puppies have little bladder control and cannot hold it through the night. As a pet parent, It’s up to you to get up with him and allow him to go out to relieve himself, even if that’s late a night. With training and age, the time between potty breaks will increase to several hours in adulthood. Be sure to let your puppy out before crating to help ensure this isn’t why he barks at night.
- Ease into a new environment: It is common for new puppies to feel homesick, lonely, isolated, or have separation anxiety. If your pet will be sleeping alone, try keeping his crate near you (your bed) during bedtime. As he gets used to his new home, you can move the crate or bed away from you and toward his permanent sleep quarters. You might not want to let your puppy sleep with you in your bed, as he can fall off or get hurt during the night.
- Check your pet: Although you might be tempted to stuff your ears with sound-blocking plugs, try not to ignore your puppy’s cries. Ignoring your dog can increase your pet’s fear and stress, so always check on your pup.
- Make the bed comfy: Make your puppy comfortable in his crate. Some dogs prefer a cave-like crate, so try covering part of the crate with a blanket (be careful to allow sufficient air flow).
If you’ve ensured your puppy is healthy and doesn’t need to go potty, yet, he continues to bark, you may be tempted to use a bark collar. NEVER let your dog wear a collar while in a crate, as it can be dangerous. Instead, use a handheld ultrasonic training device like the BarxBuddy**. Press the button and offer a command like “quiet.” Once your puppy calms down, offer praise.
**BarxBuddy PSA: The BarxBuddy is not designed for use on dogs younger than six months as puppies have a short attention span, so the device may prove ineffective. The sound can also frighten them.
Tips for Crate Training a Puppy at Night
When crate training puppies at night, ensure they enjoy being in their crate; otherwise, they will view it negatively. After all, crate time means your pet can’t be with you, play with his many toys, or run around. With a few steps, you can have a puppy that is content to be in his crate during the night.
Keep the crate in an area where you and your family spend most of your time, like your living room. As your pet becomes accustomed to his crate, you can move it to another area in the house, providing you move the crate a few inches each night so your dog can adjust.
- Make the crate part of his daily routine. Offer your pet indestructible toys or treats when he’s inside the crate. Leave the door open the first few times, so your pet learns that the crate isn’t puppy jail. When your dog seems comfortable with the crate you can close the door for short periods.
- Establish and stick to a regular potty schedule. Be sure to always take your puppy out before bed.
- Enjoy playtime or exercise before bed can help calm your pet. A tired dog is a good dog.
- Make the crate feel safe to your dog with a comfy blanket inside. Covering the top of the crate at night with another blanket can further calm your pet.
For more crate training tips and information check out our Crate Training Guide. Here’s hoping you and your new puppy will soon be sleeping soundly.