How can I quiet my dog who howls at night?

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Your dog is howling at night because he is seeking attention of some type. He may be bored, lonely or simply insecure.

First, be sure the dog gets plenty of activity and attention during the day. You may want to take your dog for longer walks, engage in a little extra play time, give him additional toys or even let him sleep with a worn article of your clothing. Your scent on the clothing will make your dog feel that you’re close.

Whatever you do, never yell at dogs to be quiet. This just sounds like you’re barking along with them to their canine ears. Also, it’s important to never reprimand or punish dogs for howling.

It’s normal that from time to time, dogs might feel a little insecure; if this is the case, you may want to try crate-training. Dogs are den animals, and the crate will make your canine feel like it has his own place to hang out. Some owners even leave the crate door ajar, allowing the dog to go in and out as he pleases.

When crating your dog at night, first use your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in or near your bedroom, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to relieve themselves during the night, and you’ll want to be able to hear when it whines to be let outside. The puppy also needs to know you’re nearby in order to feel safe and secure.

Additionally, older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don’t associate the crate with social isolation or punishment.

Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with its crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer. Take time to recognize that any time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen your bond.

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