If your dog is clingy at night you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why is my dog clingy at night? Possible reasons why your dog is clingy at night are that it has separation anxiety, it wants something from you, there is an issue with its sleeping environment, or illness or injury.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why does my dog become clingy at night?
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.
Clingy due to Separation anxiety
The cause could be that your dog has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and it becomes anxious when it is left alone. This would be more likely if your dog tends to become anxious when you are going to bed and when you are leaving the house.
Clingy due to illness or injury
Another possible cause is that it has gotten an illness or injury. This could have caused your dog to become clingy because it feels vulnerable. This would be more likely if your dog has started doing it suddenly since showing other signs of being ill or injured such as being fatigued or not moving around as much. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Clingy due to wanting something from you
Another possible cause is that your dog is doing it because it wants something from you. This would be more likely if your dog is clingy before it has gotten things such as food and it is not clingy after.
Clingy due to encouraging the behavior
It could be the case that you have trained it to be clingy by giving it things that it wants when it is clingy. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it behaves in a clingy way then it will likely do it more in order to get those rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you want as mentioned below.
Clingy due to an issue in its environment
Another possible cause is that there has been a sudden change in its environment that has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if your dog has been become clingy since a change in its environment such as if you moved homes or if you got a new pet.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your dog has been being clingy at night.
What else happened when your dog first started being clingy
If your dog has not always been clingy, it could help to consider what else happened when your dog first started being clingy. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as a change in its environment, getting fed less food, less exercise, illness or injury.
What is different when your dog is not clingy at night
If your dog is not always clingy at night, it would help to consider what is different when it is not clingy. For example, if it is ok when it can sleep with you, it would be more likely to be due to separation anxiety or an issue with the room it normally sleeps in.
How to get my dog to stop being clingy?
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Ensure the room it sleeps in is ideal
It would help to make sure that the room it sleeps in is not too hot, bright, or loud.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it behaves the way you want to and to try to avoid giving it things such as extra attention or treats when it does not.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training involves training your dog to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.
To use it to get your dog to be less attached you would stop giving it attention when it is too attached and then reward it when it shows signs of being less attached.
Ensure it is getting the right diet
It would also help to make sure that it is eating the right amount of calories since it might be being clingy, at night, due to hunger. It could also help to feed it a bit less in the morning, but to also feed it in the evening.
If your dog has been being very clingy or it has been showing signs of illness or injury, it could also help to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out the possibility of it being due to illness or injury.