Why Do Dogs Bark At Night?
If your dog won’t stop barking at night, you are probably thinking “I don’t care why the dog is barking – just tell me how to make it stop!” That’s understandable, but knowing why your dog is barking is an important part of resolving the problem. The reasons why dogs bark at night vary. Dogs may bark at night for a number of different reasons.
Why Do Dogs Howl at Night?
Some of these reasons are more likely to happen for dogs of certain ages. For instance an old dog barking at night can often be caused by needing the bathroom. A puppy barking at night might well just be lonely. How to stop your puppy from barking will differ depending on which one makes sense for your dog.
Can I Punish My Dog Barking At Night?
One solution that some people try is punishment. Squirting barking dogs with water for example, or even smacking them or shocking them with an electric collar.
More and more studies are adding to the weight of evidence that shows punishing dogs has some serious downsides, including increasing aggression, and reducing the ability to learn new skills.
Not really what we want for our dogs. And these effects have been demonstrated with quite mild punishments, including simply ‘telling the dog off’.
When it comes to shocking dogs with electric collars, studies have shown that dogs trained this way were more anxious and fearful than other dogs. And that was when the training was carried out by experts.
There is a great in-depth explanation of the findings of this study on the Sophia Yin website
For these reasons almost all professional bodies representing dogs now recommend that you avoid punishment altogether when training your dog.
It is particularly important that you don’t punish a dog with true separation anxiety as you could make things very much worse.