Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Is your dog barking nonstop? Here’s how to get your noisy pup under control

How to step in and help your noisy dog stay quiet when barking nonstop

Dog barks through the fence of his patio
Melinda Nagy/Shutterstock

If you’ve ever tossed and turned because your neighbor’s pooch barked all night, then you know how incredibly frustrating a noisy dog can be. Don’t let your pup be “that” dog in your community. While it’s perfectly natural for Fido to bark occasionally, excessive barking at unreasonable hours or for long periods is unneighborly.

Experts at the American Kennel Club (AKC) say that preventing nuisance barking should be a top priority for responsible pet parents. If you live with a loud four-legger that barks nonstop, take steps now to resolve the problem before your neighbor complains (or you lose your mind).

A german shepherd shows their teeth and barks
christels/Pixabay

What dog breed is noisy?

Some dog breeds are louder than others, and a few have a particularly piercing or droning bark. The Guinness Book recognizes Charlie, a golden retriever as having the loudest bark on record — an impressive if possibly annoying feat. Other top barking breeds include German shepherds and Siberian huskies.
On the other side, some pups make up for a smaller noise with a surprisingly grating sound, especially Chihuahuas, which are well known for being yappy. To round out the list, if you bring home a basset hound or beagle, you will get known because of the infamous baying sound they make, which can present a challenge to train out, too, since it’s so embedded in the history of the breed.
A Dalmatian howls outdoors
Dora Zett / Shutterstock

When your dog barks at night

The first step in solving nighttime barking is to figure out why it’s happening. Here are some reasons why dogs may bark at night.

1. Barking when unsupervised

One of the most common reasons for dogs to bark at night is because they’re left outside alone. When nocturnal critters come out to play, dogs go on high alert and the barking starts.

What you can do: Training experts say dogs should not be allowed to stay outside all night. It’s difficult for dogs to relax with all the nighttime sounds. Instead, keep your dog safely indoors when it’s time for bed. Consider restricting her to one room while she’s sleeping. To cut down on outside noise, choose an interior room away from a busy street or the backyard.

2. Barking to raise an alarm

While we may welcome our dog alerting us when someone’s at the door, it’s a nuisance if she barks at every outdoor sound or movement. This is especially true when you live in a neighborhood where homes are close together or in an apartment building and expect some noise.

What you can do: Use positive motivation training to desensitize your dog to outside stimuli. When she barks at an outside sound, wait for her to stop and immediately give her a high-quality treat and tell her “good quiet.” Do this consistently, and she will start to connect silence with a reward.

3. Your dog may be lonely

Dogs who are left alone for long hours during the day may be craving attention. Once the family retires for the night, a lonely dog could bark when she’s separated from her pack again.

What you can do: Once you return home, be sure to spend quality time with your furry friend. Take her for a long walk and play her favorite games. At bedtime, consider letting your dog sleep in your room with you.

4. When senior dogs bark at night

Your senior dog may be suffering from dog dementia, also known as canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD). According to veterinary experts, dogs who suffer from CCD may sleep less and bark or howl at night.

What you can do: If you suspect your senior is suffering from CCD, talk to your veterinarian about medications and strategies that can help your buddy relax at night.

Poodle mix opens his mouth to bark
dahancoo/Pixabay

Barking when home alone

Many pet parents aren’t aware that their dogs are barking incessantly when home alone until someone complains. Boredom, restlessness, fear, and separation anxiety are all common reasons for dogs to bark when alone, say experts at the AKC. Lack of exercise and socialization can contribute to problem behaviors as well, including inappropriate barking, writes veterinarian Debra Horwitz in a VCA Hospitals article. Here are steps you can take to help your dog relax when alone.

  • Take your beastie for a long walk before you leave for the day.
  • Provide a puzzle toy to entertain her.
  • Hire a dog walker to take your dog out during the day.
  • Leave classical music or the radio on for background noise.

If you’re not sure why your dog is barking, you can use a monitoring camera such as the Petcube Cam Wi-Fi pet camera to observe her behavior when alone. This might give you clues as to what’s setting off the barking and help you devise a solution. If you suspect separation anxiety, speak with your veterinarian about anxiety medication.

Two Chihuahuas, one barking. stand in front of a beige background
Shane N. Cotee / Shutterstock

Barking at the neighbors

Your neighbors can’t enjoy their yard if your dog’s barking nonstop every time she sees them outside. There are steps you can take to restore peace. First, stop allowing your dog unsupervised time in the yard when she can engage in this unwanted behavior. Next, redirect your dog away from inappropriate barking by rewarding her with treats for sitting or lying down and focusing on you. She will soon learn that when she doesn’t bark outside, she gets a reward.

Using treats to train a dog.
Kinga Krzeminska / Getty images

Barking when out on a walk

If your pup engages in leash-reactivity barking, she’s probably been labeled the “out of control” dog that everyone avoids. While it’s easy to get frustrated with this behavior, you need to remain calm, figure out what’s causing the behavior, and come up with a positive solution. According to training experts, there are many reasons for leash-reactivity barking including fear, aggression, and frustration. This can be a difficult behavior to fix and it’s best to enlist the help of a positive-motivation trainer to develop a training routine.

If your dog’s barking has been out of control for a while, it will take time and patience to break the habit. Reasonable neighbors will be more understanding when they see you working to solve the problem. Be consistent with the training, and the nuisance barking will eventually stop and peace will be restored to your home and community.

Editors' Recommendations

Vera Lawlor
Contributor
Vera was the pet columnist for 201 Family magazine and has contributed pet and animal welfare articles to Bone-A-Fide Mutts…
Is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog? Everything you need to know about this amazing dog breed
Belgian Malinois breed description, family behavior, and more
A Belgian Malinois leaps through a meadow of dandelions

If you're considering opening up your home to a new four-legged family member, there may be a lot of thoughts swimming through your mind. This is totally normal. Bringing home a new pet is a big change, so it's only natural (and responsible) to think through every aspect of the decision before you commit. One thing you may be considering is which dog breed would be best for your home. Although you may not be able to hand-pick your perfect breed when adopting a pet from a shelter, knowing a bit about the most common dog breeds can help you make an informed choice.
The Belgian Malinois is a breed often seen in cities, suburbs, and farms, though it's often mistaken for an entirely different dog -- the German shepherd. While they are related, these breeds are completely separate from one another. Familiarizing yourself with Belgian Malinois characteristics and traits will help you decide whether this may be a breed for your family, but first, we'll have to ask -- is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog?
Let's find out everything there is to know about this strong and loyal dog breed.

Belgian Malinois breed characteristics

Read more
What fish can live with bettas? These are your best bets for fish buddies
Bettas can't live with one another so you should look to other species for friendship
Blue betta fish staring at the camera

Betta fish are known for being territorial, feisty, rather combative, and therefore not great tank mates in general. This reputation, however, only holds true in particular situations and with certain fish friends. Male betta fish are aggressive, but only with other male bettas, so it is important to never put two males in the same tank. It will lead to tail-nipping behavior and other aggressive actions. So, what fish can live with bettas?

Happily, there are several other fish that can keep your betta company in a safe and non-aggressive environment. Many colorful, friendly fish cohabitate well with bettas. This is our guide to finding the perfect fish companion (or companions) for your betta.

Read more
Meet the 5 newest dog breeds and what makes them so special
If you’re thinking of bringing home a new dog, consider one of these elusive breeds
A Bracco Italiano runs on the beach

Some dog owners (and fans of dogs) can name dozens of dog breeds like the back of their hands, but others can't even tell the difference between a dachshund and a Corgi breed. That's OK! As long as a dog owner knows how to take good care of their fur baby, they don't necessarily need to know the fun facts. At the same time, learning about different dog breeds can be valuable in certain situations, whether you like watching dog shows or are considering volunteering at a rescue.

Even if it's just for fun, there's a lot you'll want to know about the five newest dog breeds in the show universe. The American Kennel Club (AKC) is one of the largest dog breed registries in the world, and it oversees the standards and requirements for each new breed that's created. Since 2021, it has welcomed five new breeds to its ranks, and you may have even seen these dogs in a local or televised dog show (except for the newest breed, that is).

Read more