Why does my dog bark through the night?
(Q) We adopted a Springer X Cocker Spaniel. We have a lovely dog compound with a kennel for her, and along with our seven-year-old Golden Retriever, she seems happy. She has four walks a day, grooming sessions, and stuffed Kongs.
The only problem is that she barks during the night. When we get up to see what the trouble is, there is nothing obvious; she is just whizzing around in circles and gets excited that we are paying a midnight visit.
(A) Trainer Tony Cruse says: While it sounds like she is getting enough exercise, you could perhaps increase the stimulation. Give her training tasks to exercise her brain so she sleeps better. Why not incorporate some training exercises or scent work sessions during her walks? Both engage the mind.
Address the night time environment to nullify potential triggers. Ensure her sleeping area is cosy and perhaps block out her view. Any night time visitors will then be hidden.
A radio playing gentle background music can also dull any potential triggers. A similar option would be to crate train her so her sleeping environment is smaller and more snug. A good trainer can help you with this.
You may have inadvertently encouraged the barking, especially if she appears pleased to see you. She could have learned how to call you to her outdoor kennel! If you know she is safe, only visit her when she is quiet.
You need to address the cause and what is motivating her to bark. Ensure she has no health issues, which could also be keeping her awake.