I have a miniature dachshund who will only play with toys at night, once everyone is asleep. When every light and television in the house is off, he makes his way down off the bed, eats any leftover food he's not consumed during the day, and plays with toys.

We know this because we've caught him, and we occasionally wake up to what we refer to as "crop circles"; he arranges his toys all around the room. The dog does not play with the toys when prompted to or enticed to do so during the day, and he doesn't fetch or actively play when we can see him (though when he does break character, we love it and praise him). It is only at night that he seems he's the happiest.

Of note, it's this same guy; this is what he gets up to when he's not decorating the throw rugs yellow.

What is his deal?

  • I'm not sure why he does it, but if he disturbs your sleep at night eating his squeaky toy, you might want to take them away at night and/or restrict his movements to one room. It might be he'll start playing with his toys during the day if that's the only time he can get at them
    – ThomasH
    Oct 11 '13 at 21:51

Canis Lupus is a nocturnal animal by nature. This is an instinctual trait that is shared by wolves, dogs, and other subspecies. The ancestors of dogs would generally sleep during the day, then get up late in the afternoon once the sun starts to set to begin hunting.

While dogs have adapted to human sleeping patterns, it doesn't mean they don't retain that nocturnal trait. My dog (even before he became an "old man") would fall asleep when we left the house and sleep most of the day so he was ready to go when we got home from work. This means he is still awake when we go to bed. Sure, he will follow us to bed, and maybe catch a quick nap, but if any of us wake up in the middle of the night, he is there to greet you.

Fortunately, he doesn't make a lot of noise, but he is generally moving about. Other dogs we've owned have shared this behavior, but some happen to be more nocturnal than others. Your dog would appear to be one that is very nocturnal and does most of his heavy work after dark.


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