My Dog Gets Aggressive at Night

“Why does my dog act crazy at night?” You just want them to get to bed so that you can get some sleep too, but something about the evenings makes your dog angry. Why does your dog get aggressive at night, and what does it mean if it’s started happening all of a sudden? Is this a normal thing where most dogs get more aggressive at night or is yours unusual?

Today, we’re going to answer all of the questions you have about why your dog is being aggressive at night. Most importantly, we’ll tell you how to stop dog aggression at night so you can enjoy your evenings in peace once again! That will be nice, won’t it? Of course! So without further ado, let’s get to our article “My Dog Gets Aggressive at Night.”

Why Does My Dog Get Aggressive at Night?

My Dog Gets Aggressive at Night

Your dog gets aggressive at night because of anxiety. What’s causing them to be stressed and anxious at night could be that they’re hearing things that you’re not (remember that dogs hear significantly better than we can), and they get worried since it’s dark and they don’t know what’s causing the sound.

Dogs can also be aggressive due to dominance issues over their owner, and in these cases are found to often display it more during the evenings. It again comes back to the fact that there are more unknowns out there during this time, so your dog might feel it more necessary to act dominant or aggressive to keep you in line (for your own safety, in their eyes).

Your dog may also know that nighttime means there are going to be things happening that they don’t like, and then your dog is aggressive at night because they don’t know how to properly handle these stressful feelings.

Does your dog get groomed in the evenings and they’re getting aggressive after a bath? Or perhaps they know they’re going to be separated from a person to whom they’re too attached.

But regardless of why they’re feeling negative and being aggressive at night, it’s important that you act right away. Expecting to it pass or just shrugging it off could give your dog the impression that it’s okay to respond in this manner to the things that worry them.

And then it won’t be long before your dog is being aggressive at all types of times whenever they get a little bit stressed, protective, or overexcited. Imagine the potential problems you’ll have on your hands if your dog is even getting aggressive during zoomies, for example.

To stop your dog from being aggressive at night, you should work with them immediately using behavioral training. You can skip to the last section now where we’ll tell you exactly how to do that.

Why Is My Dog Being Aggressive at Night All of a Sudden?

If your dog is being aggressive at night all of a sudden, then something has occurred very recently. Think about what’s happened lately in your dog’s life. Did they have a negative experience in the evening? It could also be that something happened in the day, but they don’t get scared until nighttime when it’s dark and there’s less to distract your dog from what reminds them of that.

Do Most Dogs Get More Aggressive at Night?

Most dogs do not get more aggressive at night. Those that are having problems with aggression due to dominance issues over their owner will frequently show it more in the evenings, but that’s not something you should consider normal or typical dog behavior.

How to Stop Dog Aggression at Night

To stop dog aggression at night, you should immediately give them a calm but firm “no” regardless of why they’re acting this way. Resist the urge to yell as this will only escalate their aggression. Next, place your dog into time-out in their crate or a closed-off room for about 10 minutes.

Let them out, but repeat this process as many times as necessary if your dog starts being aggressive again. But when they behave and stay calm, reward them with pets, praise, and a small treat. Ensure that anyone else in the home is following these steps also so that your dog is getting consistent feedback.

During the day, make sure that your dog is getting plenty of walks and playtime. A tired, content dog will be a calm and more trainable one in the evenings. Be sure that they have a proper outlet to play with when you’re not available, like a chew toy. Avoid games during the night that might get them overexcited and riled up like tug of war or chase.

With time, patience, and consistency, your dog should soon learn that being aggressive at night gets them negative results, while staying calm gets them rewarded. Still, you need to address why your dog ever felt like it was appropriate to act in this way, regardless of whether it was due to anxiety, dominance, or having to do things they don’t like.

And to properly explain that, we should first quickly talk about what makes dogs function, and has for thousands and thousands of years. Dogs are pack animals, and in every pack there is a pack leader. But when your dog feels like they can act the way they have been, they’re essentially telling you that they don’t respect you in this role. They may even want it for themselves.

But once you’ve shown your dog that you are the leader of the pack — not them — and also one that is capable and deserving of their respect, your dog will stop being aggressive at night. Your dog will stop getting anxious when there are sounds they don’t understand, or when they might be separated from their favorite person. Your dog will stop trying to boss you around.

Most importantly, your dog will stop all of their misbehaviors, and they’ll finally listen to you and obey your commands. And they’ll do it happily because they’ll be free of the stress and confusion that was causing their nighttime aggression in the first place! So it’s an obvious win-win for both you and your dog. Sounds wonderful, does it not?

“Of course, yeah, but how do I make this happen?”

You should watch an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan that’s on this exact subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In his series, he’ll show you everything you need to know in ways that are very simple to understand and to teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so that you can start seeing these crucial changes in your dog in a hurry.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t stress, because you’re not going to have to be mean or even yell at your four-legged friend. Dan never uses those types of methods. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because humane and loving teaching is the fastest — and only — way to achieve permanent results with your dog.

I’m sure you’re ready to be able to enjoy your evenings without stress, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “My Dog Gets Aggressive at Night.”

The Author



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.