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In the last few weeks, Maggie has taken to barking at night. A lot.
It started when we began to keep the doors open at night (leaving only the screen doors, to cool the house) and she would bark at anything and everything outside. We have since started crating her at night, and putting a blanket over her crate to block her from seeing things, but after a few nights of silence, she started barking again.

Her barking might still be triggered by something she smells or hears (animals outside? the wind? a car going by?) but once she starts, she barks nonstop for over an hour.

Maggie loves to bark. My boyfriend often says she never looks as happy as when she's barking.
I've been working on limiting her barking during the day, teaching her 'enough', distracting her and using praise when she complies. It has helped some.
But it's not something I can use at night. She sleeps downstairs and our bedroom is upstairs. I try to ignore her (she likes attention) but I think barking has become its own reward.

I don't know what to do anymore, and I am nearing the end of my rope. I'm now 7 months pregnant and I already have difficulty sleeping. I don't need this! :Cry:
We have discussed the possibility of using an anti-bark collar at night, but I'd like to know if there are gentler options I could try first.
 

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that is tough! I hope you can figure it out, soon, it will be even less fun with a new baby! I was just thinking, maybe you could do a white noise (just like for a baby) machine, a fan, or the radio on static that would drown out any outside noises. could you add some extra exercise before bed so she would be more worn out??
 

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I'd buy a window A/C unit for $100 or so and close the doors. Even my incredibly quiet dog will bark at night if the windows are open for him to hear and smell the wildlife, passing cars etc.

If you want to work more on training, great, but very pregnant and then with a new baby is not the best time for trying to fix training in the middle of the night.
 

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Do you know what triggers your dog to bark? My dog is pretty quiet most nights, except Wednesday mornings, when the garbage trucks come. If you can get down to what is causing the bark, you may get closer to fixing it. One good masking sound is the CD Through A Dog's Ear, its a CD of classical music especially designed to calm dogs down.
 

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I remember just this 4th of July my dog had gone crazy with his barking. Once I went outside and just asked him to sit and lie down on his side, and everytime he tried getting up to start barking I'd be like SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH real loud and I'd ask him to lie down again.
Eventually I got him to a sit and the SHHHHHHHHHHHH sound worked to snap him out of it. Then it was heeling right next to me and SHHHHHHHHH everytime he wanted to bark. Finally it got to the point where SHHHHHHHHH had become a way to shut him up and relax and he was free to walk around, with all the fireworks going off loud as hell.
Hope this helps.
 
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