Did you know full moons can affect a dog’s behaviour?

Howling at the moonLast night I awoke in the middle of the night to my dog, Carmen, howling at the moon in her sleep. This is something she does every so often when there is a full moon. She is then completely exhausted the following day. This is something I have come to learn and love about my dog. It is also a little reminder that though she is my pet, she is still an animal decedent of the wolf.

At The Dog Haus, my staff and I mark down on a calendar every full moon in order to prepare ourselves. At the daycare we’ve seen some bizarre things happen around full moons. Dogs can often become unpredictable, extreme versions of their personalities or the exact opposite. A calm dog can become incredibly hyper, while more active dogs can seem lethargic. Friendly dogs can seem cranky and irritable. Hyper dogs become even more hyperactive, which can be hard to believe.  I’ve witnessed dogs that I never thought would become friends, play the whole day together. Working with dogs you have to be very aware and expect the unexpected when there’s a full moon, but I also recommend dog owners pay attention to full moons and how their own dog reacts.

Clients have told me their dogs have eaten weird things (dvd cases, converters, under ware…just to name a few), not eaten at all, made messes in the house, or acted out aggressively, when they’ve never done so before. Pay attention to what changes in your dog as a dramatic change in behaviour can often be attributed to full moons. Typically at the daycare we see extreme changes 2 days before and 2 days after a full moon, but each dog is different. Know your dog and how he or she will react. My best piece of advice is to stay clear of dog parks during this time as you never know how a strange dog could behave during this time and it’s better to be safe than sorry. You may be able to predict your own dog’s behaviour but not that of one who is unfamiliar to you.

To help you start your own ‘full moon tracking calendar’, the next full moon will occur on June 13.

Have you noticed any changes in your dog’s behaviour over the last few days? Sound off in the comments below and let me know!


20 thoughts on “Did you know full moons can affect a dog’s behaviour?

  1. Thanks for the read. Being a first time dog owner I jad no idea. That explains my 11mnth old usually hyper Havapoo who has done nothing but sleep since Wednesday. He is all ready and eager to eat his dinner when he hears the kibble hit the bowl. He wanted nothing to do with it even when coaxed with his favorite Liver treat.

    • Thanks Jennifer, glad you found it helpful. Now you’ll know if he does the same thing next month. Stay tuned for more information on my blog! I’m so excited to share all that I’ve learned and continue to learn from dogs 🙂

  2. My 12 week old puppy is up all night crying like she is in pain even if you touch her and this has happened twice now once on a new moon and once on full moon. Have you ever heard of this happening?

  3. There are so many articles that say a dog’s behavior doesn’t change. I e
    was glad to see yours. Our Husky do eat sleep for 3-4 days during the full moon. He just destroys anything he can and runs arou d crazily. I can’t believe the energy, especially since he’s naturally high energy. It’s hard to keep up with him during a full moon but we are learning to cope.

  4. Tonight my 14 week old puppy got very excitable around midnight would not be told off!! In the end I had to put him in his crate to try and calm him down! He usually goes off to sleep straight away but tonight he cried whimpered whined in a way I’ve never heard before so I took him out ….he’s now asleep on my lap and very calm I want to go to bed but fear what he will do next lol

  5. My 1 year old corgie mix will not listen, barks continually and completely ignores me. He becomes extremely difficult to handle. He’s only been home from rescue a couple of months but has reacted this way every time there is a full moon…and a day or so after the full moon. My border collie had epilepsy and we increased his meds 2 days before, during and right after a full moon or his seizures became extremely violent and more frequent.

  6. My collie cross is uncontrollable for five or six days when there is a full moon. She is stubborn and won’t come back when called and an absolute nightmare

  7. Tonight is a Full Moon – My 16 week old Shih Tzu has pottied in the floor twice today and yesterday even though he goes to his pad 99% of the time. Your article makes me wonder if it’s the full moon or not.

    • It very well could be. I always recommend clients document when these behaviours come up. My oldest dog routinely howls in her sleep when there is a full moon and I know a friends dog who fasts the week of a full moon. Keep an eye on it and see if it is a repeated thing.

  8. This past super moon my dog had an extreme seizure that unfortunately killed her and another friend of mines dog had a seizure the same time. I was think there could be a correlation and it felt good to read the last comment. The world as such an effect on us.

  9. My dog had a stressful weekend, sWe had a dog visiting for the week, built a small deck. And attached a gazebo tent. She is 1.5 years old and is a sweetheart, but this last moon phase, she barking and growling at my husband usually between 7at night and 3 in the morning (she is sleeping usually most of this).

    Is this something you have heard of?

  10. My 3 yr. Old Pitt bull is very snappy and ready to turn on the other dogs in the house the night of the full moon it is crazy she usually overlooks everything but not on full moons it’s like she looses that good loving side with her brother and sisters.

  11. At the park, my dog was throwing herself against the fencing, trying to get at the birds on the other side. I”ve never seen her do that, and she knows it won’t do any good. She raced around for half an hour & was panting, so I thought she’d had plenty of exercise. We got home, and she escaped into the woods by my house & killed a cat. I will be very careful around the full moon from now on.

  12. We’ve noticed with the past 2 full moons our 6 year old shihzu has displayed very erratic behavior. She’s very restless and scratches at the door to go out but then doesn’t want to come in. Last month she was on our nightstand in the middle of the night.

  13. This is the second full moon in 3 months that my dog is restless. The first time I took her to the vet and was diagnosed with vertebrae problems. She has been doing well on gabapentin, but last night with the full moon she became restless. I am giving her muscle relaxers, pain pills and anti anxiety pills. It is helping a bit, but I don’t want to take her to get again because I don’t think they can do more than what I am doing. I am curious to see if she calms down in a couple days.

  14. Just tonight, both of my dogs have been more active than normal when usually it’s time to relax and sleep (for both them and my husband). They spend all day with my husband at work so they are usually ready for some down time once they get home fed and had some play time. Tonight however, they are still awake now (2311 BST) and according to the full moon Callander, we have one around about now. I said to my husband earlier, “I wonder if it’s a full moon tonight” then decided to check and was surprised to discover that it is! Amazing!

  15. My German short haired pointer randomly attacked my Labrador even though she wasn’t doing anything! We expected it would calm down but she just wouldn’t stop. We were hitting her with brooms and everything but she wouldn’t let my poor lab go. Luckily my German short haired pointer had a shock collar on and my lab didn’t. My lab ran out of the boundaries of the collar thankfully because if she didn’t I think my pointer would have killed her. It was crazy! I’m really wondering if it was the moon….

  16. I just googled this after some restless nights with my 12 year old shin tzu barking relentlessly and scratching at the door, he normally sleeps all night without problem. I’ll monitor it monthly now as it happens intermittently but I never thought of the moon cycle!

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