Why German Shepherd Barks At Night (Causes & Solutions)

German Shepherds can be boisterous dogs, and you’ll often want to get yours to be more reserved. This article will help you to figure out why your German Shepherd barks a lot and what to do about it.

So, why does your German Shepherd bark so much? The main causes are enthusiasm, protection of territory and owners, fear, being young, pain, and boredom of German Shepherd.

It is important to consider the time, place, and situation where your German Shepherd is barking when trying to figure out the root cause. And how to reduce your German Shepherd’s barking?

The most common plans are to prevent the German shepherd barking situations from being able to occur, giving it lots of exercises, using treats to get it to pay attention to you alternatively of barking and socializing it, and training it from an early age.

There are a lot of reasons to consider when you’re working to reduce your German Shepherd’s barking. The best approach for you to take will depend on what is causing your German Shepherd to bark.

Table of Contents

Why Is Your German Shepherd Barking At Night?

Before we can get into all the solutions to stop your German shepherd from barking at night, first, you need to know all the causes. Because there are different solutions for different reasons for German Shepherd Barking, however, it is imperative to understand that German Shepherds have been bred to bark. After all, German Shepherd brave and bold, which makes them excellent guard dogs. The performance of barking gets them happy. But that doesn’t mean you have to listen to it all night.

Possible Reasons For Your German Shepherd’s Barking

When trying to figure out why your German Shepherd is barking, it’s vital to consider the location that it is barking, the time that it is barking, and if other people or animals are near when German Shepherd barking.


A common cause for German Shepherds to bark is excitement. When German Shepherds expecting something is about to happen that they enjoy, they’ll often bark to make sure it passes. Scenarios, when this might happen, is when it hears you approaching the door, if you have a dog walker who just pulled up outside or if you’re about to walk it yourself.

Possible Reasons For Your German Shepherd’s Barking

They Can Hear Something

When your German Shepherd dog is barking at night, a lot of the time, it’s because they can hear something. German Shepherds are exceptional guard dogs. However, when guarding your house, it’s not strange for them to bark.

And on top of barking, German Shepherds may also whine, howl, and growl. If you notice the barking getting more and more serious, then that often indicates the recognized threat is going closer and closer.

While you may see this as a problem and irritating, it’s also nice to know that German Shepherds only trying to protect you. The most typical noises that will cause them to go into insanity are animal noises.

While they aren’t as common in towns, Although foxes and other dogs can often set them off, it’s much more apparent in the country and suburban areas that wildlife will agitate your german shepherd. Deer, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, and birds can all set them off.

Trying To Get Your Attention

If your German shepherd is barking in the middle of the night, then they may be trying to get your attention. They could be indicating to you that they need to go to the toilet or in pain, or that they need more water. This can often be the case with younger dogs or german shepherds with water infections.

Nerves or Fear

The cause of the barking could be due to it being nervous or apprehensive about something. It could be that something has appeared in it’s past that it doesn’t want to happen again, so it’s barking to make it stop. It could also be that it’s nervous about a place that it is going, such as the vet, and it doesn’t want to go.

Bored & Lonely

Dogs are pack animals, and they can often become bored and lonely when they’re left on their own all night. This is especially true if you haven’t spent much time in the day with them either.

While they usually howl when German Shepherd lonely and bored, it’s not uncommon that they’ll bark. German Shepherds generally bark at anything just to entertain their minds, and this barking will only increase if they hear another dog barking. At this point, they’ll both be entertaining each other.

It’s Still Young

It’s common for German Shepherd puppies to bark more. If your German Shepherd is still young, then it should decrease its barking as it gets older. With that being said, you must start to train it while it is still young so that it will better behave like an adult and so that you’ll be able to command when it barks.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is another reason your german shepherd may be barking at night. Still, if separation anxiety is causing it, then barking won’t just happen at night. Your German shepherd will start barking, running in circles, pacing, chewing, and damaging things every time you leave them alone.


Another cause of your German Shepherd’s barking could be that it is hungry. This type of barking will occur around the time that it is meant to be getting food, such as in the morning. To change this, you can try to get it to sit and only to eat when you tell it to.

Their Sleeping Arrangement Has Changed

This is another widespread cause behind german shepherds barking at night. So many times people have let their dog sleep in the same bed as them, or give them a crate to sleep in, But once the conditions change, German Shepherd miss the comfort they’re used to. This can often cause German Shepherds to start barking. Plus, in a lot of cases, merely going back to the way things were is the most natural solution, however, not always possible.


It could be that your German Shepherd is injured. If this is the case, then it could be barking to let you know that it is in pain, or it could just be out of disappointment. You’ll likely find other kinds of signs to go with this, such as limping, and the barking will be sudden and in situations that it wouldn’t usually bark. If you think that this might be the cause, then you should take German Shepherd to the vet.

How To Reduce Your German Shepherd’s Barking At Night

There are several things that you can do to reduce how much your German Shepherd barks, and the best option will depend on why it is barking. But here are some of the most critical things to remember.

How To Reduce Your German Shepherd’s Barking At Night

Give Proper Exercise

The first step to take will usually be to make sure that your German Shepherd is taking lots of exercises. If it’s not currently getting lots of exercises, then allowing it to do so will help to make it feel better and to reduce its attention-seeking habits.

This should also have the effect of lowering German Shepherd barking. You might find that the exercise that you are giving it isn’t sufficient, so you’ll have to find ways to make the exercise that it does get more effective.

If you find that walking isn’t typically enough to wear it out, then you should try to make it more efficient. This can be done by walking faster, walking further, walking in a hilly area, or you could make it wear a doggy weight vest that shows no more than 10% of its body weight.

It’s an effective way to give it a lot of exercises since it will get your German Shepherd to do a lot of sprinting without much rest in between.

Look For Any Disturbances

If noises are disturbing your German Shepherd then you need to find out what’s causing the noises and stop them. For example, if you think that animal noises outside are causing your german Shepherd to start barking at all times of the night, then you could try moving your German Shepherd to a quieter room.

You could play some white noise to help steady German Shepher nerves and make it harder to hear things. Likewise, if they’re able to look out of the window and see any disturbances, then it’s a good idea to place them in a room where they can’t see outside at night.

After all, night time is for sleeping, not watching the world go by. Remember, sometimes nighttime barking is helpful to you as it will alert you to a problem. Maybe mice are scurrying around your house, or animals outside keep getting into your trash. Now you’re alerted to the dilemma.

Give Your Dog A Proper Routine

Finally, a lot of people think it helps if they give their dog a set routine. When they have a routine, they’ll realize exactly when it’s bedtime and that it’s time to sleep, not stay up all night barking.

A good habit that I like to use is to sit down for a couple of hours before I go to sleep, making sure not to play with them. Then let them out for 5 minutes so they can go to the bathroom. Afterward, I make them sit in their bed and give them a biscuit, before turning the light off.

Get its Attention onto You

The next option you have is to train it to look to you for guidance before it starts barking. You can either do it before it starts barking or after it starts barking, but it will work better by doing so before it starts barking.

To do this, you’ll need to get some treats that it likes then when you think that your German Shepherd is about to bark, you need to understand its attention and to give it a gift.

You might think that this is rewarding it for being about to bark, but you’re getting it to look to you before it starts to bark. If you do it after it starts barking, then you’ll want to get its attention on to you and then to give it a treat. You’ll want to keep repeating this until it stops barking.

Use a Certified Trainer

If you’re unable to get your German Shepherd to stop barking, then using a certified trainer would be a good option for you. They will have more experience dealing with the matter, and they will be able to diagnose better the best way to train your German Shepherd.

It’s Because You Not At Home

If your German Shepherd is barking when you’re not home then getting it to stop will be a lot more difficult. However, there are some things that you can still do including giving it more attention when you’re around, giving it lots of exercise, leaving them when they’re less likely to bark and leaving them at a doggy daycare.

Things to Consider About German Shepherd Barking

Barking is Common

Barking, growling, and howling are all ways that German Shepherds communicate. To stop a German Shepherd from barking challenging task, and it wouldn’t be a good thing since it will make it harder for your German Shepherd to communicate with you when it wants to.

Don’t punish Physically

Punishing your German Shepherd physically with shock collars or by hitting it is not something that will work. You’ll just be making your German Shepherd trust you less and be less responsive to you, and you could cause other much worse dilemmas than barking.

Be Patient

Getting your German Shepherd to stop barking is something that will take some time to do, so it’s vital not to allow yourself to get frustrated and to be patient.

German Shepherd Puppy Barking At Night

The only particular case to these rules is when you have a german shepherd puppy, particularly if you’ve just got them. When you have a new puppy, you can expect some barking through the night, and there’s a couple of reasons for that.

The first cause is that they have just lost the comfort of their brothers and sisters. They’ve gone from spending every night tucked up with their litter in an atmosphere they know well to a new situation where they’re now on their own.

On top of this, new puppies need to be let outside at some point in the night. Their little bladders aren’t strong enough, and if they aren’t let out, then they often wet the bed. In a lot of cases, new puppies will bark when they want to go to the toilet.

How To Stop A German Shepherd Puppy Barking At Night?

Let Your Puppy Out

If your new puppy is barking at night due to needing to go outside, then the answer is quite easy. The best thing you can do is set the alarm and wake up a few minutes before your puppy starts typically barking to go out. Then head downstairs and let them out.

This should stop them from getting in the habit of barking, which means consistent barking at night is less likely to become a problem. However, if your puppy is lonely and unhappy, there are a couple of different methods you can try.

Give Them Some Space

If there’s nothing wrong with your puppy, and they’re only crying and barking because they’re unhappy and lonely, you can leave them to get on with it. While this may sound harsh, it’s the most common method people use, and frequently, as they get more used to your home and being alone, they’ll stop barking. This usually takes a couple of weeks. Just remember, to give them extra love in the day time, so they feel safe and happy in the house.

Let Them Sleep With You

Every second option is to let them sleep with you though, not for too long. In the beginning, it can be tough for your puppy to sleep by themselves. So if you don’t want to hear them cry through the night, bring them into your room and let them sleep in their crate or bed.

Once they’ve slept in your room for the first couple of nights, you can slowly begin moving them further and further away. For example, for the first two nights, you can let them sleep by your bed. The third night move them next to the door, the fourth night move them midway down the hall, the fifth night moves them close to the room they should be resting in.

Final Words

Always take care of your German Shepherd. These barking issues come when your dog needs your attention. To avoid these problematic issues, pay attention properly. Give GSD the proper time to make them human friendly so that you will enjoy their company.

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