Allie our female lab is about 1 1/2 years old, she has never been a dog that barks a lot. She will bark if someone comes to the door or if she sees someone through the fence...but never just to get our attention or even when she is playing. Anyway starting Saturday night, she has woken up in the middle of the night barking. First time I thought it was a fluke, second night I thought it was a storm blowing through, now third and fourth night in a row and i have no idea why she barks. It is almost like she wakes up barking...I check the house and outside and there is nothing moving. Any ideas what has suddenly caused this change in behavior? She sleeps on a dog bed in our room and has been there for awhile without any problems. The past two nights I have had to put her in her crate b/c she starts barking and scares the heck out of me!! She doesn't make a sound once in her crate. Just looking for some help or ideas as to why this has suddenly started and what I can do to stop it.
She must be hearing something. Could it be the sound of the furnace or a/c turning on or off? (Not sure what climate you are in.) Water pump? Neighbor getting home after a late night out?
I suppose it is possible that she is getting used to getting attention from you, and has learned that barking at midnight will surely get a rise out of you.
If you are completely confident that there is no effort on some robber's part to enter your home (keep your doors and windows locked!!) then I would respond to Allie with a sharp, loud and harsh "QUIET!", roll over and proceed to ignore her. Not the easiest thing to do, I understand.
I guess you must be right and she hears something, it has been at different times each night...maybe tonight will be better. I don't think the cat is doing anything and once I get up and check I don't hear anything...I hate to yell at her for barking b/c it can be a good thing if someone was around who shouldn't be. I will try to ignore her tonight and see what happens. I did that the first night and she woke up barking two hours later but it was storming out then.
Sometimes Cassie'll do the same thing. I too want her to bark if there's something not right, so I always get up, tell her "thank you" and to show me what's wrong. Then when it's nothing (at least as far as I can tell) I tell her it's okay and we can go back to sleep. That might be harder for some, but I have no troubles going right back to sleep.