My Dog Keeps Staring at the Ceiling and Barking (What to Do!)

Does your dog keep staring at the ceiling and barking, and you’re not sure what’s going on? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to explore why your dog might be acting this way and provide tips on how to stop this behavior.

We’re going to cover all the possible reasons why your dog might be staring and barking at the ceiling. We’ll also help you understand why your dog might seem scared while looking at the ceiling. Plus, we’ll touch on why your dog keeps looking up at the ceiling and sniffing. Keep reading below!

Dog Barking at Ceiling: How to Stop

dog barking at ceiling how to stop

If your dog is barking at the ceiling, it might be reacting to noises, seeing lights or shadows, sensing pests, or experiencing health issues. Addressing these causes and incorporating behavior-modification strategies can help stop your dog from barking at the ceiling.

  1. Address Noise Concerns: Dogs have acute hearing and may react to noises in the attic or walls that we can’t hear. Investigate potential noise sources. If you identify any, like critters, address these. If the noises are harmless, desensitization techniques can help your dog get used to them.
  2. Control Pests: If pests like rodents or insects are in your ceiling or attic, your dog might sense them and bark. Conduct a thorough check. If you find signs of pests, consider pest control measures. Natural repellents might be safer if your dog is sensitive to chemicals.
  3. Manage Lights and Shadows: Dogs can react to light and shadow. If a light source is causing a shadow or reflection on the ceiling, it might cause your dog to bark. Identify these sources and consider changing the position of the light source or using curtains to block sunlight.
  4. Check for Health Issues: If your dog’s barking at the ceiling is persistent, unexplained, or accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy or loss of appetite, it might indicate a health concern. A vet visit is necessary in these cases.
  5. Behavioral Training: Reinforce positive behavior and discourage excessive barking by using methods like the ‘quiet’ command, positive reinforcement, or by ignoring the behavior. Consistency and patience are key in behavioral training.

These steps will get your dog to stop barking at the ceiling, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (anxiety, territorial dominance, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes stick?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog barks at the ceiling and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog barking at the ceiling ever again!

Why Does My Dog Keep Staring at the Ceiling and Barking?

My Dog Keeps Staring at the Ceiling and Barking

Your dog keeps staring at the ceiling and barking due to reasons such as perceived sounds or movements, reflections, shadows, or due to certain health conditions like anxiety or vision problems. It’s important to identify the root cause to effectively address this behavior.

Perception of Sounds or Movements

Dogs have superior hearing abilities compared to humans. They might hear sounds from the attic or the roof that are inaudible to us, causing them to stare at the ceiling and bark. Similarly, changes in light that create moving shadows or reflections can also trigger this behavior. The movement, no matter how slight, can pique your dog’s interest and cause them to react.

Health Conditions

Some health conditions like anxiety disorders or vision problems can cause your dog to stare at the ceiling and bark. Dogs with anxiety might exhibit unusual behaviors like fixating on a certain area. If your dog has a vision problem, they may see things differently and can perceive the ceiling as a source of interest or threat, leading to barking.

Seeking Attention

Sometimes, dogs develop behaviors to get their owner’s attention. If your dog notices that they get your attention whenever they bark at the ceiling, they might continue this behavior. It’s important not to reinforce this behavior by reacting strongly each time it happens.

Addressing the Behavior

Addressing your dog’s barking at the ceiling involves identifying the cause and taking appropriate action. If it’s due to noises, consider soundproofing your home. If light changes are causing the behavior, adjust the lighting. For health conditions, consult with a vet to discuss possible treatments. Go back to the first section for more help on this.

Not doing anything will just mean the behavior continues, and likely spreads. You may soon find your dog barks at the ground, floor, or carpet, barks at the corner of the room, or barks at the walls. Obviously, you don’t want this going on any longer, so it’s important to start addressing things now.

Dog Looking at Ceiling Scared

If your dog is looking at the ceiling scared, it could be due to several reasons such as noise, pests, lights, shadows, or even health issues. Understanding and addressing the underlying cause can help alleviate their fear.

Here’s a closer look at these causes:

  1. Noises: Dogs have significantly superior hearing abilities compared to humans, and they may hear sounds in the attic or within the walls that we can’t. These unaccounted-for noises can cause anxiety and fear in your dog. It might be worth conducting a thorough check of your house, paying special attention to the attic and any areas adjacent to the ceiling, for any signs of wildlife or other noise sources that could be spooking your dog.
  2. Pests: Similarly, your dog might be sensitive to pests like mice or insects that have taken up residence above your ceiling. Their movements, or even just their scent, could be unsettling for your dog. Consider calling a pest control professional if you suspect this is the case, as they can properly assess the situation and provide a solution to remove these unwanted guests from your home, thereby easing your dog’s anxiety.
  3. Lights and Shadows: Dogs can be reactive to changes in light and shadows. If a light is casting a strange shadow or reflection on the ceiling, your dog might find it scary. Try to identify any possible light sources, such as a new lamp or even sunlight streaming in at a particular angle, that could be causing these strange shadows or reflections. You may need to adjust the light sources or block out the external light to alleviate your dog’s fear.
  4. Health Issues: On some occasions, a dog looking at the ceiling and appearing scared could be related to a health issue. Certain conditions, such as neurological disorders, can cause hallucinations or altered perceptions in dogs. If your dog’s behavior is unexplained, persistent, or is accompanied by other signs of illness like loss of appetite or lethargy, it’s best to consult a vet immediately. Early detection can often lead to better treatment outcomes.

By identifying and addressing the cause, you can help your dog feel safer. Remember, it’s important to stay calm and reassuring to help your dog navigate their fear. We go over more on how to deal with this issue in the first section of this article.

My Dog Keeps Looking Up at the Ceiling and Sniffing

If your dog keeps looking up at the ceiling and sniffing, it might be because they perceive smells, hear sounds, or notice light and shadow changes that are not evident to you. These actions could also be signs of certain health issues. Identifying the specific trigger for this behavior is crucial for proper handling.

Perceiving Smells or Sounds

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell and hearing. They can detect scents and sounds far beyond human abilities. If your dog is persistently looking up and sniffing at the ceiling, they might be sensing a smell or hearing sounds originating from there. These could be from pests in the attic, mold, dampness, or even structural issues.

Light and Shadow Changes

Changes in light and shadow can capture your dog’s attention. If there’s a light fixture or a window that casts moving shadows or reflections on the ceiling, your dog might be trying to investigate those movements by looking up and sniffing.

Health Concerns

Some health conditions may cause a dog to repeatedly look up at the ceiling and sniff. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), a condition similar to Alzheimer’s in humans, can cause disoriented behavior in dogs.

Another health-related possibility could be a neurological disorder causing them to hallucinate or behave unusually. If you notice any additional symptoms such as lack of coordination, abnormal eye movements, or lethargy, a visit to the vet is advisable.

Addressing the Behavior

Addressing this behavior involves identifying the underlying cause and taking appropriate action. If the cause is a smell or sound, eliminating the source, such as pest control or repairing any leaks, can solve the issue. If it’s due to light and shadow changes, consider adjusting the light fixtures or window coverings. If you suspect health issues, it’s best to consult with a vet for further examination and advice.

In conclusion, dogs looking up at the ceiling and sniffing can be a response to various stimuli or a sign of a health issue. Identifying the cause is key to effectively addressing this behavior.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to having this issue solved and handled properly, so I’ll let you get started on things now. Good luck with all of this, and thank you for checking out our article “My Dog Keeps Staring at the Ceiling and Barking (What to Do!).”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.