Top 3 Reasons Why Dogs Bark in their Crate at Night

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You’ve been crate-training your dog for a few weeks and everything seems to be going to plan. Out of nowhere, your dog suddenly barks all night long while they are in their crate. Here are the most common reasons that may explain this frustrating behavior.

1. Your dog isn’t getting enough exercise

A dog’s need for exercise and play might get stronger as they get older. For example, a six months old puppy might need twice the amount of exercise as a three months old puppy. The sudden barking behavior might be explained by the lack of exercise, especially if you’ve been maintaining the same routine since the puppy was young.

The puppy might still have excess energy to burn. The dog will bark and whine while inside the crate because he or she wants to get out and play. Make sure the dog’s exercise and play routine is getting adjusted accordingly as the dog gets older. Note that the appropriate amount of play time may also differ by breed.

2. Outside noise and smell

There could be something outside that’s driving your dog’s curiosity and will to investigate. This could, for example, be nocturnal animals passing by if you have a yard or outdoor space nearby. This isn’t always guaranteed to work but one method that may help reduce the amount of distractions is by covering the crate with an old blanket. Some dogs may actually find their crate to be more relaxing if they are partially covered. It could remind them of a den.

3. Your dog has separation anxiety

Dogs may start to bark in their crate if they have developed separation anxiety. This is more likely to happen if the dog’s crate is not in the same room as where you sleep in. Has your dog been spending more alone time lately? For example, has your company been requesting you to come back to the office? Dogs that are used to having a family member with them at all times can develop separation anxiety when the routine changes.

How to stop dogs from barking in their crate

First, make sure to rule out health issues as a reason for the barking behavior. Some dogs may bark in their crate at night because of pain and discomfort. If the dog is healthy, make sure he or she is getting enough exercise. The amount of exercise needs to be adjusted based on your dog’s age and breed. A good old tug of war is one quick way to burn the dog’s excess energy.

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety may benefit from working with a professional dog behavorist. Don’t punish your dog whatever step you take. Positive reinforcement might be the most effective way to stop your dog from barking while being crated at night.

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