why does my dog growl at night
Your dog may be exhibiting aggression at night due to various conditions. Anxiety Anxiety can come in many forms. Fears and phobias can result from a traumatic event or situation that your dog remembers and may associate with nighttime, darkness, or even with something that occurs in your particular household in the evening. If your dog shows signs of anxious and nervous behavior at night, he may be afraid of something, and may lash out aggressively to unknowing family members. Protection Aggression Protection aggression is a territorial behavior, and is often shown towards people or animals that are viewed as a threat to the property. It may be that your dog is more nervous at night, or that due to the quiet, he hears perceived threats more easily. Your dog may be on alert for predators, a real fear in the wild, or may be trying to do his duty and protect his family. Serotonin Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate emotions and the sleep cycle.
If serotonin levels are abnormal, it can disrupt and even reverse the sleep-wake cycle, causing your dog to more awake and alert during the night. If you ve noticed your dog sleeping more during the day, and completely awake at night, this may be what s going on. Certain medications have been implicated in causing an excess of serotonin, which can result in aggressive behaviors, vocalization, muscle twitching, and even seizures. Vision Loss Dogs can experience a decrease in eyesight that can lead to blindness due to age, hereditary disorders, infections, or glaucoma. If your dog is having trouble seeing, he may become more anxious at night when it is already harder to see. Signs this may be an issue for your dog can include confusion in new or changed environments, clumsiness, disorientation, and bumping into objects.
He may also have certain telltale signs that are visible in his eyes, such as squinting, tearing, reddened eyes, a weak blink response, and light avoidance. Hearing Loss Your canine companion can also experience partial or total hearing loss than can be temporary or permanent. This can also occur from age, or from an infection, waxy build-up, inflammation, tumor, or obstruction by a foreign object. A clear sign that your dog is experiencing a loss of hearing is a lack of response to his name, commands, clapping, or other noises. He may not even hear you enter the room, which can cause anxiousness or aggression if startled. Cognitive Dysfunction As dogs age, they can develop dementia or cognitive dysfunction. This can affect everything from when your dog sleeps, to recognizing people or his environment. His sleep cycles may become disrupted, he may become lost in the house, and he may become increasingly nervous or on alert.
Aggression during these periods is a signal that your dog is confused and possibly scared. Signs your dog may be experiencing cognitive dysfunction can also include an increase in vocalization, aimless wandering, staring at a wall or an object for a length of time, disorientation, and changes in appetite and social interactions. Medication Certain prescription medications have the potential to cause aggression, serotonin syndrome, or even seizures in dogs. Most of these medications are generally prescribed for behavioral issues, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and MAOIs. Other drugs include certain appetite stimulants, amphetamines, opioid painkillers, antivirals, cough suppressants, and drugs prescribed for Parkinson s disease.
We adopted our dog in June, also a rescue and after an idyllic summer, things changed.
As soon as the eveninge began to get darker, Louie would growl and bark and act in a threatening way every time my husband walked into the room. This lasted throughout the winter and ended as soon as it got lighter in the evenings. A behavourist gave us some suggestions such as rattling a can with coins in to distract him, a water spray bottle, etc. but they were only marginally successful. My husband also took over all feeding and exercising in an effort to increase trust since Louie had no problems with me. In reality, it was only time (about three years) that resolved the situation and the incredible patience of my husband. I'm sure that anyone else would have returned him to the sanctuary. I should mention too that Louie and my husband were the best of buddys during daylight hours throughout this behaviour. Not sure if this helps but at least you know someone understands the problem.
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