View Full Version : I need advice and sleep! Long post!

31st October 2006, 01:31 PM
Hi everyone,need a little advice. Pippin and Gus sleep downstairs in their basket and since getting pippin I put the pen up round them at night to keep them confined to one area of the kitchen and let them ( pippin really) know it's bedtime.

Pippin has been waking on and off during the night for about a month and he will not settle back down, the following is a list of things I have tried to, no avail and it is getting beyond a joke.When we go to bed at night we never know when he is going to wake, it can be anytime from 3 am to 7am once it was 2:30 am! We need sleep!!!

The list ( I think I am going mad!)

1. Leaving him to bark.......... He will bark all night if he has to and
when he gets desperate he involves
Gus by annoying him. We all need
to be up early and listening to him
all night is not an option.Also he gets
too worked up and pants like crazy.

2.Let him out in case he needs a wee....... Barks when sent back to bed.

3. Get cross and tell him to go back to bed........ I could be up and down
the stairs all night!
4.Leave the pen down.......... He scratches the door and barks!

5. Take him and Gus up to our bed........ He will sleep but the two of them
don't leave my hubby much
room and he has to sleep curled
6.Just take him up........ It worked once but after that he kept looking for
Gus. He spent that night jumping up and
down off the bed and scratching the
door,when we left it open he ran up and
down to gus all night.Poor Gus didn't want
to leave his basket.
7.late walk...............................no difference

8. late feed...............................no difference.

9 . Try not to get up at night for loo......he wakes whether we disturb him
or not.
10. Pet shop gave me serene-um last friday.........not workin.

Sorry to bore you all with this but I need to do something before I'm divorced!( hubby's patience doesn't stretch as far as mine). Although last night I was cross as I was just so tired.He barked for two solid hours and then I just took the two of them up and he slept like a baby till 8. I would maybe just take him up everynight but worry he may not settle all the time. He is well behaved in every other way so I am baffled.
Any suggestions.

brid kenny
31st October 2006, 01:38 PM
Yes I.ve had similar problems with Phoebe. Terrible door scratching at night in the kitchen. Keeping her in the room is not an option as I'm slightly allergic. And she's on her own!!
One night I left her outside my room on the landing. There were a few whines the first night but that was it....thank God!!

You could try and get them used to sleeping in the room rather than the bed or put a baby gate at your bedroom door.

Good luck.
I know what you're going through. I had a flatmate in the house at the time I was going through it!!

It does sound like separation anxiety.

31st October 2006, 01:45 PM
Thanks Brid , thought it was just me.Funny enough Gus did start this at about the same age but would settle when told to and it stopped once we got Pippin. Getting another one is not an option.(I could be going on forever with a house full of dogs :lol: )

31st October 2006, 01:46 PM
First off you MUST leave them to bark and never, ever respond or you will let him know that the longer he tries the more likely he eventually gets what he wants -- sleeping with you. Each and every time you give in it sets you a step back on ever breaking this habit so be determined -- in this way puppies are very like children, sometimes you have to steel yourselves to make a firm point and this is one of those times.

To help:

You could try leaving a radio on low in their room.

You could put him in their crates not in the pen. Put a dark coloured sheet over the cages so that they cannot see out -- this is calming to dogs and lowers the stimulation levels of seeing outside the cage. Being more confined is probably better in the ciscumstances than being loose in a pen.

You could fill a Kong, freeze it, and tie it inside his crate so he has that to keep himself busy if he wakes up.

Close the doors, get earplugs, and just be determined to hold out. eeventually, when there is NEVER any reward for this behaviour, it will stop.

I'd also give them both a good walk before bedtime and/or play with them for 30 min to tire them out as they will sleep more soundly.

PS if you don;t have crates let me know; I can advise you on what to get and where.

brid kenny
31st October 2006, 01:53 PM
Yes I also used ear plugs during the difficult times which helps as it takes your anxiety away.
If you need sleep you could wait for a weekend to start.
Good luck again!

Let us know.

31st October 2006, 01:54 PM
Karlin, tried the walk and the playing neither worked.

As I said we have tried on a number of occasions leaving him to bark he barked for hours and hubby has work and I have one in school and two in college so it's not fair on them ,also as I said he gets extremely stressed out, almost to a panic state,barking crying and panting like he's about to drop.

If I go out during the day he's fine .. but I do leave the radio on.

Maybe I'll try that tonight.

31st October 2006, 02:25 PM
Really, Karlin is right. Don't give in or you will never be able to get him/her out of your bed. I put my boys in a crate at night with a dark sheet over them and haven't had any trouble.

My mother-in law's cavalier had the same problem. The vet recomended that you keep her in a crate, cover it with a dark sheet and when she started to bark, sneak up on the crate, don't say a word and BANG IT really hard just once. They think it is the boogy man and if they bark again., Do the same. They learn bark = big scary noise. I know it seems cruel but its the only way we ever got any rest.

31st October 2006, 02:58 PM
Oh Wow MonieChris,

Not sure I can agree with your vet on this one! :yikes :yikes Big Scary Noise = Scared Dog and I would never EVER intentionally scare my dog.. I don't think instilling fear is a good way of "punishing them" at all under any circumstance.


I am sorry you're going through this at night!! I would do what Karlin suggested - ignore the behavoirs altogether. I know it's tempting to react to it, especially when you're getting not a lot of sleep at ALL, but I think on this one persistence is the key. Also, like Karlin said, a radio on or a kong filled with yummy treats is a good thing for him to look forward to if he wakes up. Do you treat him for "going to bed" at night? Kosmo used to freak out when i left for the day and I know it's not the same situation but I started telling him he was such a good good boy and giving him treats when I left and now I say "kennel up!" and he ZOOMS away to his kennel. You could also, like the others have said, drape a cover over the kennel so it's more of a dark environment.

Good Luck ! :flwr:

31st October 2006, 03:00 PM
My mother-in law's cavalier had the same problem. The vet recomended that you keep her in a crate, cover it with a dark sheet and when she started to bark, sneak up on the crate, don't say a word and BANG IT really hard just once. They think it is the boogy man and if they bark again., Do the same. They learn bark = big scary noise. I know it seems cruel but its the only way we ever got any rest.

:yikes :yikes :yikes :yikes :yikes :yikes :yikes I'm not surprised she didn't bark any more - she was probably too terrified to :yikes

Have you got a DAP diffuser? You can get them online or from your Vets. I think I'd be trying that next. I always plug mine in whenever mine are scared or upset about anything and also when any dogs stay over or I have a foster in. It really does help calm them down. May take a day or two but I've never known it not to work.

Hope you've got good neighbours ;) :flwr:

Cathy T
31st October 2006, 03:25 PM
Absolutely don't bang on the crate. A crate is supposed to be a good and happy place, you don't want them fearful of or in the crate.

I had forgotten about the earplugs!! Oh gosh...yes, I used them when Jake was a baby and driving me crazy.

I was also in the same boat in that my hubby had to get up at 5:30 to go to work and definitely didn't need a puppy barking all night long. I still admire his patience!

I know how hard it is to ignore the barking but truly that is what you have to do. Jake would go all night long. Drove me absolutely batty!!! Literally...he would bark for an hour and then quiet down. I would think "thank goodness" and then 1/2 hour later he would start up again. One thing I did was spend a good bit of time with him before bed time. I would dim the lights and put him in my lap, petting him and talking softly. As soon as he relaxed I put him in the crate and laid in front of it until he fell asleep.

When he barked, at first, I would take him directly out to his potty spot. He never needed to potty, I wanted him to get that when he barked he went to the potty spot and that was it. No talking, no lovey doves, just straight to the potty spot and back to the crate.

It wore me out and frustrated me to no end. But eventually it worked. I know it's much more difficult with two. But I did the same thing with Shelby. Once I knew (after a couple of nights) that he didn't need to go potty, just wanted out of the crate, I would call out "quiet" when he barked the first time and never responded afterwards. It did take a few nights but eventually we all got to sleep.

Hang in there!

31st October 2006, 04:39 PM
Goodness!! I didn't expect such a big reaction to the "big bang theory". lol. My mother in law should call the vet and ask for compensation for scarring the dog for life! Just kidding.

Katie (her cavie) is just fine and has no issues with her kennel, post "big bang". She still sleeps there willingly during the day (with the door open)and night, but no longer barks at night, unless she needs to go potty. I will suggest a different method to my mother in law, as to prevent future damage...just in case icon_whistling

Cathy T
31st October 2006, 04:56 PM
I am guilty of having done this in frustration when Jake was a baby. Thankfully I have since learned better and didn't permanently damage my poor boy :roll: Yes, you can make a dog stop barking by all kinds of different methods...hitting the crate, smacking the dog, de-barking...but there are always better solutions.

Don't feel bad!! Just let you MIL know there are much better options rather than scaring a dog into being quiet ;) I think I'm lucky I didn't make Jake a fearful boy.

31st October 2006, 05:34 PM
also as I said he gets extremely stressed out, almost to a panic state,barking crying and panting like he's about to drop.

This is the reason why I am a bit reluctant to leave him barking, am I being silly? To be honest I don't think I could see it through longer than 2 hours as when I let it go on that long he was frantic.I would not worry too much if he was a puppy being left for the first time but he is 2 and 1/2 and has just recently stared this. He was fine until now, and it only took me a few nights to get him to settle when we got him at 9 weeks!
I do spend time with him before he goes to bed he cuddles beside me or on my knee for a while when I'm watching TV.

I tried covering the pen over when he was a puppy but he freaked out completely!

I will try leaving on the radio on and see if that helps. How come he doesn't miss us when we go out during the day :? ,although it's never more than 4 hours at a time and usually less.
Thanks for all the replies so far,really appreciate it guys. I am so weak, I wish I could just say I'll leave him barking all night but I know I'd be lying. :(

31st October 2006, 05:45 PM
Can he sleep with you?

Lol that's what us weaklings do. icon_whistling icon_whistling icon_whistling

31st October 2006, 08:00 PM
when we first got cookie we had the same problem, leaving her to bark wasn't an option for us as the neighbours would complain about her.

For the WHOLE night cookie wouldn't sleep and just stayed in the kitchen by the table and barked, when we would go downstairs to see her she would stop barking but as soon as we were back upstairs in bed she would start again. Looking back now it was because she was scared to be on her own and wanted someone downstairs with her, even if she wasn't going to be sociable. So the first three nights i spent downstairs with her, the first night was actually on the kitchen floor with cookie. After a few days she grew attached to me and when i went to bed she knew it was her bed time too. If you put down a jumper of yours they will snuggle up to it

31st October 2006, 08:18 PM
Have you tried crating him in the bedroom? I know Pixie just wants to sleep wherever we are...

31st October 2006, 08:44 PM
Ugh! Not fun...

Is your bedroom on the same floor as where the dogs sleep? Maybe he thinks you're too far away from him. Can you move his crate closer?

If he's okay when left alone during the day, perhaps he's fearful of the dark. Maybe a night light, in addition to the radio, would help calm him.

Do the dogs have individual or separate crates? My guys have separate crates at home, but when we travel they share a big one. They're actually happier and sleep longer when crated together. Maybe you could borrow a larger crate see if that makes a difference.

If nothing else works, I suggest you put him as far away from the bedrooms as possible at night...load up his crate with warm blankets and put it in the car in the garage...as long as he doesn't disturb the neighbors!

Good luck!

31st October 2006, 08:53 PM
sounds a nightmare situation. I do think that you need to ignore the unwanted behaviour, otherwise you will just be reinforcing the barking behaviour. What is Gus like at the weekends? Does he do it then? Has your routine changed at all? Sometimes it can help to re establish the routine for the dog.
Good luck, anyway sure you will get through this rough patch :)

31st October 2006, 09:56 PM
Oh my God Pippa, you poor thing!!! :flwr:
I'm sure, as suggested, ear plugs for you and hubby and a lot of no-notice for him will eventually do the trick.
Good luck!

1st November 2006, 01:11 AM
Although I'm blissfully unaware of how much my pups barked initially, both are excellent now at going to bed without a peep. I think it's as Karlin said- ignore the barking. I'm fortunate in that I can literally turn the noise off by removing my hearing aids, but it does work.

I completely agree with covering the crate. Both of mine are demented if they're crated and can see out. Covering the crate works a charm- even stopping Holly's crazed barking during tonight's fireworks. I always used music, and in Chloe's case I asked before I got her that she become accustomed to spending some time alone. I think the blanket that the breeders gave also helped, so maybe if you put in some kind of jumper with your scent, as suggested? Or even a soft towel? The other thing is- are you sure the crate is comfy? I know it's obvious. I thought Chloe would be perfectly happy on her furry blanket in the crate at the shop. Nope. She periodically barked and whined. I bought a cut-price cushion= one very happy puppy!

1st November 2006, 01:22 AM
When Willow (mill rescue) joined our family, she was unable to sleep away from us. She literally barked constantly all night long and ended up with burst blood vessels in her eyes from all the stress.

My DH has Zero patience too and sleeping with our dogs wasnt a common practice. However, after a week of "holding out" his patience wore thin enough that it was easier to let the girls sleep with us. After a few nights, the girls found their "spots" where they could sleep comfortably without DH or I shoving them around.

1st November 2006, 01:27 AM
Thanks for all the replies and advice, they are in bed now, Gus and Pippin sleep together in a basket just big enough for the two of them it's similar to the one in the picture,just a little bigger as they outgrew that one.

I'm going to leave the radio on low tonight.

Lisa you may have a point as regards bedding he loves the furry throws in my sitting room ,maybe I will pick one up for him to sleep on!

Just a note a lot of the advice given seems to be aimed at puppy age and as I said he was fine as a puppy,maybe this is doggy version of the terrible two's!

TazTanya also made a valid point as I too could not leave him to bark too long even if I wanted too.I do have nice neighbours but they would not be nice for long if they were awake all night listening to him.they are on the other side of the wall and you could hear pippin for miles! Idon't want a visit from the local dog warden :(.

I'll report again in the morning! Thanks again.

Cindy, if I don't get to sleep tonight I will be doing what you did. :thmbsup:

1st November 2006, 01:30 AM
What you are experiencing is not unusual. You simply MUST hold out on the barking and never ever ever give in and go check the kitchen. You cannot just try a walk and play once or twice. You should make a good hard 40 minute walk the norm before bedtime. Or better yet, do 20 minutes of obedience training practice. Nothing tires a dog out more than having to work its brain. If you aren;t yet doing obedience with this dog, then sign up right away. Obedience training helps a dog to learn self control in all parts of its life. It gives a dog self-confidence, makes him more calm and responsive, and able to stay occupied when you aren't around because he learns the kinds of behaviours you reward for.

If the dogs have never been crate trained at all then this needs to be started and done during the day as part of normal home life to make the crate a wonderful and welcoming place. But nonetheless I'd start keeping them in separate crate or together in one large one so they can curl up together, and use the radio and kongs and earplugs.

Dogs don't automatically know that they should be quiet and sleep at night, not when they want to be with you. If you want them to sleep alone in the kitchen you have to train them to do so. Part of the training is not to respond to them. It WILL work. There are no short cuts and no easy ways to do this with a barker. But you will get there. :)

Pro advice:


Also: http://deesdogs.com/documents/cratetrianing.pdf

And yes crating them in your room or having them sleep on the bed would probably solve the problem if you are willing to let them do this.

1st November 2006, 09:18 AM
Gus did the same thing... I moved his bed into my bedroom and he stopped.

1st November 2006, 10:38 AM
Thanks Kath, If it keeps up I will do that, I wouldn't mind them in the room at all they do come up to me in the mornings after their breakfast anyway,it's just hubby that wasn't that keen.Lack of sleep might change that though :badgrin:

Anyway we had a good night,I left the radio on and he slept from 1:45 until breakfast at 7.

Not getting too excited yet it's only one night, fingers crossed.

1st November 2006, 01:59 PM
Progress is progress!! :thmbsup: 5 hours+ better than 3!! :lol:

Cathy T
1st November 2006, 03:29 PM
You're getting there slowly but surely. I don't know how I missed that he's two!? What planet was I on? Jake went through a bout of this for about a week at about age 3. Once I learned he wasn't having an upset tummy and was just doing it for attention it took about 3 nights of calling out "Jake Quiet" before he clued in that he wasn't getting attention.

Hang in there!

5th November 2006, 07:06 PM
Hi all, Pippin is still sleeping through the night since Tuesday night!,I got them a lovely faux fur blanket for their basket, I put it on top of the mattress they are sleeping on and they just love it.

I am also still leaving the radio on,I think he was either lonely or cold with the nights getting longer and the colder weather setting in.

Seems fine now so fingers crossed, they still come up after breakfast for a little cuddle of course. :)

Thanks again for all the advice. :thmbsup:

5th November 2006, 08:45 PM
Yay Pippin!!! :mexwav:

Great news for you and the OH. :flwr:

Cathy Moon
5th November 2006, 10:48 PM
Hi all, Pippin is still sleeping through the night since Tuesday night!,I got them a lovely faux fur blanket for their basket, I put it on top of the mattress they are sleeping on and they just love it.

I am also still leaving the radio on,I think he was either lonely or cold with the nights getting longer and the colder weather setting in.

Seems fine now so fingers crossed, they still come up after breakfast for a little cuddle of course. :)

Thanks again for all the advice. :thmbsup:

Ohhh, Pippin just needed his 'hotel' room upgraded! :lol: :lol:

5th November 2006, 10:50 PM
Ohhh, Pippin just needed his 'hotel' room upgraded!

:rotfl: :rotfl:

Now everyone can get some :slp: :slp: :slp:

Cathy T
6th November 2006, 12:54 AM
So so glad he's settled down. Pippin ... so glad the "upgrade" is making you snoozy. Silly boy!

6th November 2006, 01:08 PM
we all need our sleep dont we so i do feel for you. have you asked his breeder what she did with them as pups to get them off to bed? im sure she wouldnt have had all the pups up all night barking and mum wouldnt either! i say this because my breeder told us that she would put them all in there crate at bedtime and say "nitey nite" and then leave them. im soooo glad she gave this small input as we have been saying this to jadan since bringing him home and (dare i tempt fate!!!!) he settles 99.9 percent of the time. if he is a little unsettled i walk in and pretend to fiddle with something but NO eye contact, just to let him know i am there and walk out again. if he is really unsettled then i do the same but firmly say "nitey nite" again and walk out. i do believe as has been said that you are actually giving him attention. he may bark and bark for a couple of hours but how do you know he will go on longer if left if you havent left him. my eldest used to do this too and we had many sleepless night until i was told to ween her off as said above. it will be hard for a while as like you say you have kids etc. but it could only take a matter of days if you persist instead on the ongoing problem you have now. maybe over the school hols would have been a good time as no school! during the day there is nobody there to get the attention from!!!! good luck and hope all goes well. its so much easier this end to just give advice when your the one going through it, so i do feel for you. :sl*p: :flwr:

6th November 2006, 01:11 PM
oops. didnt get the other posts till i had already sent mine. glad to hear your getting some sleep anyway. ;) ;)