Crate barking at night

Posted by Liz-amp-Koa
Feb 21, 2008

I hope someone has some input on this. We addopted a German Shepher dog from Save A Dog in July of 07. He was 8 month old and had no training. He was a little nippy, bit he is slowly growing out of that, and is training very well considering his begining. He has never had a issue with his crate, in fact he goes in it whenever he wants to get away, when we are out, and at night to sleep. He can not have the house, because we feel his is just not ready yet. His crate is in the living room at the bottom of the stairs, where it has been since he came to us. He, usually, sleeps through the night with no problem. He goes to day-care two days a week and for long walks every day. For the past week or two, all of a sudden, he has been barking every couple of hours at night. I tried a radio on classical music first, but the announcers voice startled him, so I went to soft rock and it seems to work sometimes.

Does anybody have any ideas?

W would appreciate any help, we need sleep.

Thank you

Posted by Todd
Feb 22, 2008
Hi there Liz

I can understand how frustrating and tiring this must be.

I think it may be a good idea to move his crate into your bedroom. There are 2 reasons for this.

1) Dogs will often stop barking when they are in more company, but that said you must be wary that he doesn't learn that when he barks he can get attention.

2) When he is near it will be far easier for you to reprimand him when he does bark. The easiest way to do this is squirt your dog water pistol or throw a heavy blanket over your dog and be sure to reprimand it. DO NOT yell, as this has no effect on the dominant dog. Growl instead, use a guttural growl like " AAHHH!" instead of "No!", as this makes a sharper sound then "No" (If done correctly it may hurt your throat a little).
The second after you have reprimanded one of the dogs and they show the correct behaviour you must immediately reinforce this with praise, petting and attention.

This will help teach him that barking at night is not acceptable.
If you think he is doing it to get attention then you may want to set up his crate in the hall outside your room. Still squirt him with the water pistol but dont tell him off (your voice may be the attention he wants). So in this way he gets a reprimand without the attention.

Good luck and let me know how things go.

Posted by Liz-amp-Koa
Feb 22, 2008
Hi Todd,

Thanks for the tips. Actually, last night I changed the radio station and turned up the sound a little. I also put another night light near his crate, and we had a one bark night. It was good.

We have thought of putting another crate in our bedroom for him, but the problem with that is, Koa does not want to venture upstairs at all. We have tried. He wants nothing to do with the basement or the second floor, and I don't want to force him.