Why barking at night can be a good thing

I’m going to be barking about barking again today. It seems that a number of dogs are keeping their bipeds awake at night, so I’m going to answer the Frequently Barked Question: How can I stop my Pyrenean Mountain Dog (or Great Pyrenees) from barking at night?

I will explain how I came to an agreement with my bipeds about the things that need barking at in the night. I live indoors as a member of the family, things are different for a dog working and sleeping outside.

When I was a puppy I didn’t bark at all until I started to mature and I discovered my protective instincts. I have explained this in “The calm before the barking storm“.

My bipeds worked with me on controlling barking in the daytime first. I have explained how we did that in “To bark, or not to bark, that is the question“.

During this time I slept in the kitchen where I couldn’t see or hear very much of what was going on outside. The kitchen was at the back of the house and the curtains were drawn at night.

They also made sure that I was tired and ready to sleep when I went to bed. They achieved this with plenty of exercise and mentally stimulating activities.

They also continued to socialise me and give me new experiences.

Sometimes they would sit outside quietly with me after dark so that I could listen to what was going on outside. I also got some late strolls in our village. This way I learnt some of the normal sounds that happen after it’s dark.

When I responded well to being told to stop barking in the daytime, they said that I could choose where to sleep. I had been asking to sleep in the hall where I could keep an eye on the whole household easily, so I was thrilled to be allowed to at last!

For a few nights I noticed different things to bark at. When I barked one of my bipeds would get up and check what I was barking about and ask me to be quiet, just as they had in the daytime. It didn’t take many nights for me to learn that my bipeds weren’t interested in hearing that one of our neighbours had come home late or that there was a hedgehog outside.

My bipeds did lose some sleep at first, but now they can sleep soundly knowing that I will alert them on the rare occasion when there really is something to worry about. They know that I don’t wake them unless it is necessary for them to check what it going on.

Clowie, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, sleeping

Do not disturb!

It amazes my bipeds that I can sleep through all kinds of usual sounds, but suddenly be alert and on my paws at the slightest unusual sound. It doesn’t amaze me, this is a skill that my ancestors have been honing for centuries in order to protect what is important to us!

See you next Wednesday!


  1. BD very rarely barks at night, and so if he does the ex used to be up like a shot to find out what was wrong. However he does bark if someone sneezes. One night I came in after a night out with my friends and sneezed. The ex was down the stairs in about 5 seconds (nearly killing himself in the process) before collapsing in a chair, I couldn’t help but get the giggles and BD thought it was the most fun ever!!

    • Yes, that does sound funny! I’m always concerned if one of the bipeds sneezes, but I don’t bark. The cats hate if a biped sneezes, especially if they’re on the biped’s lap!

  2. Clowie, Your a good dog, and you remind me of my dog when I was a child. She seemed to bark at just about anything, but like you she learned, and only barked at the important things. There came a time when I had to teach Snowball not to bark when I came home a bit tipsy and after curfew. Smiling, we both learned and in time Snowball stopped giving me away. LOL LOL she was a wonderful friend just like I am sure you are to your bipeds. Take care, biped Bill

  3. Clowie! Yous is pretty smart! Mes has helped Mommy and Daddy train 3 of my hairy slobbery sisters and it is tough to know which are the sounds to bark at, which to “grumble” about and which toignore.

    • Thank you, Nellie. There are lots of different things to learn about! It was nice of you to help your doggy sisters understand which things to ignore.

  4. Heather and Mr. K often chase squirrels in their dreams and go “woof” in the night. It is adorably amusing while we are still awake and watching them sleep but not so much when we wake up startled to that sound! You’re such a good pup, Clowie! Much love, The Scottie Mom.

    • Ha ha! That sounds really cute. I sometimes make noises while I’m dreaming, but they say it’s a quiet noise in my throat. They say my snoring is much louder!

  5. This is quite an interesting post, Clowie. In particular to people who would love to have a dog but never had the chance to give a home to one. Thank you for sharing your barking abilities. 🙂

  6. It sounds like your bipeds have helped mold your protective instinct into quite the asset!

    Moses very rarely barks. Sometimes a quick one during play, or when something in particular freaks him out (an inflatable snowman, for instance). The odd time a person might pop out at night and startle him and he’ll bark, but that’s pretty rare and a protective trait I don’t mind when we’re walking alone in the dark late at night.

    • As my breed is naturally protective, they felt it important to show me all the things I didn’t need to worry about.
      I should think a bark from Moses is enough to keep most people away from you. I watch extra carefully if I’m out with one of my bipeds when it’s dark.

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  11. Clowie, do you fancy a visit to Australia? Lady has started barking around 5.30 during the last week. Not sure whether there’s been a change in the neighbourhood or whether these are the days I didn’t take her for a walk. We met a 3 year old who loves throwing balls so I put him to good use and he really got the dogs running. It was fantastic! So, I’ll have to listen out and see if she barks in the morning xx Rowena
    Rowena recently posted…Dog Beach in Grief.My Profile

    • I’d love to visit Australia, but it’s a very long way and I think they’d make me have lots of extra vaccinations.
      I expect the youngster’s parents appreciated him burning off some energy – sounds like good news all round!

      It’s possible Lady’s barking is linked to exercise, but I think it’s quite likely that one of your neighbours has changed their routine. I had a spell of barking when one of our neighbours moved. The new neighbour was a chauffeur for a large company, which meant that he kept some strange hours. I thought he needed barking at each time he slipped out of the house in the early hours to take an executive to the airport. One of the bipeds had to get up a few times to tell me it was okay.
      I hope you can work out what the issue is soon.

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