Why does my dog bark for no seeming reason during the night?

I have a nice, good tempered 14 year old male unneutered mixed terrier. On many, though not all evenings, starting at about 9pm and going till midnight or even later (last night 4:30am), he will just bark. Bark at a window. Bark at the door. Bark at nothing. I take him out around the block–he comes in and barks. I give him food and water, which may help temporarily, but then he barks.

Again, it’s not every night–about 1/2–but it’s ONLY at night. I’ve tried leaving lights on in case he doesn’t like the dark now.

Often the barking is accompanied with some panting and a bit of "wild eyed" look–I think he may be catching the scent of a dog outside, because he’ s most interested in "sniffing" when I do take him out. BUT–why only at night?

Now, of course, I’m bleary eyed, and he’s sleeping soundly and snoring in the living room!

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21 Responses to Why does my dog bark for no seeming reason during the night?

  1. Sarah H says:

    Your dog is older and he may be suffering from dimensia, altheimers, or there may be something physically or outside irritating him. Dogs have MUCH better hearing and sense of smell than we do, and he may be hearing or smelling something that you can’t. Take him to the vet to make sure there are no physical problems, such as arthritis, that is causing him pain.
    He may also be bored at night. Give him a busy bone or a KONG to keep him occupied. You may even want to play a CD with noises of the daytime on it. If your computer has a cd-rw drive and a microphone, leave it on record and then save the file and loop it so that it fills up the cd. Then, at night, put the CD on in the room your dog is. This may help him settle down.

  2. Alex g says:

    He’s barking at the devil

  3. biff says:

    hes barking at cars?

  4. van kedileri says:

    most animals are nocturnal and maybe he is communicating with aliens

  5. uncle billy says:

    he smells or hears something, my little long haired daschund does it sometimes too & I have seen deer near when she goes nuts.

  6. donkeydo says:

    If you are keeping him in the house and just keeping him out at night…then its just his way of saying I want to come in (in case there is no other reason)..leave him to sleep in the house or vice versa i.e leave him out and see if there is any change.

    If not …hes just seeing ghosts.

    If nothing helps…Try keeping him awake during the day…maybe then he will b too sleepy to bark in the night.

  7. robertvpurmort says:

    the reason dogs bark cause its a defense against intrusions

  8. Wanda says:

    Mine barks even when people walk on the sidewalk at night.

    You may not hear it, but she does

  9. sxyblkldy24 says:

    One word SPIRITS

  10. pam_janssen says:

    If’s he’s unneutered, you may have a female dog in heat close by . . . just a thought.

  11. xochinadoll says:

    he could be barking at anything,
    people, animals, the wind, ghosts, cars, music . he turns into a guard dog at night so any little thing makes him go into guard mode, thats why you see his wild eyed look

    my dog does it all the time, theres really nothing you can do about it but put him far from your bedroom or keep telling him shh go lay down – just make sure hes not barking at a robber or somethin

  12. tikitiki says:

    He’s probably hearing something or thinks he’s hearing something outside, that you may not hear. Could be only at night because things are quieter at night, and sounds are amplified. Dogs around here tend to bark more at night, because all the critters come out then & they smell/hear them.

  13. kefer39 says:

    he wonts you to come out side. make him NOT wont you to come outside get a newspaper and hit the dawg, ever time he barks, he will stop.make sure he has food and water.before you leave him alone for the evening. it could be something else my dog barked at the house till i looked under it and there was a pipe that was spwelling water from a leak. are the neighbors out in there yard. is there really something he is barking AT.good luck

  14. cookie says:

    your dog is barking at the bloke climbing down the drain pipe from your other halfs bedroom? only jokeing who knows

  15. fairly smart says:

    He is barking at something,, if only chipmonks that run away when you take him out. Can you close shades & things??

  16. Confused & Young says:

    You might need to take him to a vet or an animal psychiatrist. Your dog might have some type of mental disorder (not too seriousy probly). There have been cases of dogs with types of Obsession Compusive Disorder, and that may be the case , or it could be that he just isn’t getting enough action during the day. You might have to exercise him more during the day, he might just be barking because he’s bored, and that that seems like the right thing to do. But that is definately something that you might want to look into.

  17. TeRiZzLe says:

    i have 3 dogs of my own the bark because they hear things and want to keep you safe!

  18. ace_bella0323 says:

    I have a terrier mix to and he does the same thing when he is out side i went to look and i didnt see anything but i think i might of heard another dog down the street, so maybe he is communicating with another dog, i shut the door and then he barked at something at the door and it was a racoon so then i scared it away and since then i leave the radio on so that is all he hears and it works he hasent barked since. So try the radio just turn it up enough so he can here it but if you are not close to where he stays trun it up even more!

  19. Enid B says:

    I think their may be a bitch on heat somewhere nearby and he is trying to communicate with her.

  20. lucentenigma says:

    I would say you have some kind of ghostly phenomenon going on in your home. Your dog probably sees the "ghost" or "demon" and is trying to warn and protect you. I would do some research on ways to rid your house of evil spirits.

  21. peramiell says:

    There are a couple of possible reasons

    Terriers are quite active and have a lot of energy, so it may help to walk the dog at least twice a day (once in the morning, once at night) to make it more tired, so it will have a normal sleeping pattern and sleep at night.

    Dogs as you may know have much better senses than humans do, so there may be some scent or something that your dog is particularly agitated about that you don’t know about, and in that sense there is nothing you can do, unless you can find out what your dog is upset about.

    Dogs are also quite the happy chappy when with company, i’m not sure how much time you spend with your dog, but they do like a lot of attention, it may feel lonely during the day when you are at work or out, and when the dog knows you are home, it wants your affection, so it may help to play with it when you get home, to make him tired and to make him feel loved.

    good luck.

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