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View Full Version : Barking/Scratching the door at Night - HELP!



Cara's Mum
5th October 2011, 10:09 AM
Murphy is 4. He sleeps in the sitting room in his bed, with the door into the hall closed.

Over the past month or so he has started barking at night time and/or scratching at the internal door (he can scratch for up 15-20 minutes). This can happen any time from the moment we go to bed, or worst of all in the middle of the night. At the start we thought he needed to go to the toilet and let him out into the garden but we fast realised that he didn't need to go, he was just looking for attention.

It is getting to the point that he is driving us insane. We are ignoring the behaviour at the moment hoping it will stop, but when he is also waking our two small children in the middle of the night, it is not funny. The other night for instance he scratched like mad on the internal door at 1.45am, he woke us and our 3 year old, who was awake for an hour. He then repeated the behaviour at 6am and woke the whole house for the day. :mad:

We are exhausted and getting very fed up with him.

A yappy dog has moved in to the house behind us, but while I cant be sure, I dont think he is disturbing Murphy at night.

Has anyone any clue as to what we can do to stop him from doing this and getting him to sleep quietly through the night again? We are at our wits end.

Thanks.

Desrae
5th October 2011, 10:25 AM
It might be that he doesn't want to be alone. He is a cavalier after all (lol). Is he alone a lot throughout the day? Or maybe the opposite- he has a lot of company and then is alone to sleep at night?

Personally, I like my dogs sleeping our bedroom. They have their little beds on the floor and they snooze there all night until it's time to get up. When they were pups and crate training, I had them sleep in the kitchen alone, where we would get up once or twice in the middle of the night to let them out to potty, etc. When they were old enough to go through the night without a potty break, they came to our bedroom.

A dog is a very social animal, they don't like isolation. Although, it is important to teach them how to be alone, just for their own sake. I fostered a rescue dog who suffered from severe separation anxiety, it was heart-wrenching. We couldn't leave the house or else she would bark, cry, and scratch and chew at the walls and door. Nothing we did helped her, even with our girl Belle, who was the only dog there at the time. The situation was actually upsetting Belle, who began hiding behind doors and furniture to get away from the foster dog. The foster dog was lovely, had some initial small problems at the start, but the separation anxiety thing was a tough one. I ended up staying at home all the time, because I worried.

I'm sorry this is a long rant. But, I firmly believe that dogs need to learn how to be alone (for short periods of time). Yet, some dogs, who I see in my neighbourhood... live in such lonesomeness. It's awful, nearly worse than starvation. Dogs are social animals, some more than others, they just want to be with their pack. Can you let him sleep in your room? Might solve a lot of problems. Just have his bed there and he'll know that is where he goes.

Good Luck and let us know how you do.

Cara's Mum
5th October 2011, 12:46 PM
Thanks for the reply.

He isn't alone much at all during the day - I am there in the mornings and we are in and out during the afternoon. He gets a walk every day. Where possible he comes with us - to the park, walks etc. He does have periods of being home-alone during the day and is fine.

I dont want him sleeping in our room - as it is my husband snores and Murphy snores also- I would get even less sleep. Plus the kids can wander in during the night and I don't want them falling over/ on top of a sleeping hound!

As this is such recent behaviour I really want to try to figure out what is causing it and what we can do to get him back sleeping through the night (at the moment it is as bad as having a newborn in the house! :roll: )

Mindysmom
5th October 2011, 05:36 PM
I might not be the best one to answer because if my dogs sleep until 6 a.m. I consider that sleeping in:o (although we usually go to bed fairly early) and we need to be up shortly after 6 ourselves.

Dogs have very good hearing - it's possible that he is hearing the yappy dog even if you aren't. You might consider playing some soft music in his room to mask any noises. I swear my Mindy could hear a rabbit in the backyard at night. Another thing - is he getting enough exercise? My two sleep very well when we've had a busy day. Having had dogs since my kids were fairly young I know it's not always easy but it might be worth the time investment to make sure he gets a good run in the evening.

It does take perseverance. Last summer Rylie had a bought of tummy problems and he DID need to get up in the night to potty. Once his issues were resolved it took awhile before he was able to sleep through without waking me.

murphy's mum
5th October 2011, 05:49 PM
It would seem as though something is disturbing him, as it's only a recent change in behaviour. I would say try and hang in there and keep ignoring him, I know this must be easier said than done when he's waking the kids :(

My two now sleep in the kitchen, with a baby gate over the door. We used to have Murphy sleep in our room, but that stopped when we got Misty, she snores like a freight train:rolleyes:

Misty is very easily disturbed, if she hears you up for the toilet in the early hours of the morning she sits at the gate and whines. We have tried ignoring her, but she is persistent, and just gets louder. It's now a mission to sneak to the toilet and back without her hearing us:D

Cara's Mum
5th October 2011, 07:18 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Murphy gets a walk every day - he does the school run with me! There are also days where he is in the park, off the lead and chasing birds and the kids for up to two hours - he still wakes during the night! :? Up to this you wouldn't have heard a pip-squeak from him, in fact we used to have to wake him the next morning!

We do have two pet rabbits in the garden. We recently moved their hutch closer to the house and my hubby reckons they could be disturbing him either. Having said that it was only moved about 6 feet, and he is well used to them - I am a little less convinced that they are the problem.

Arrrghhhhhh - it is just so frustrating!!! :bang:

Nicki
5th October 2011, 08:40 PM
I think I would get the vet to check Murphy over just in case. Also ask them to check his hearing - I know you think he might be reacting to noise, but the other possibility is that his hearing is not as good as it was, and he is worried about being on his own in the dark :( [that happened with my Rupert]


Maybe try some more stimulating games with Murphy so he is working his brain as well as his paws! This book is excellent for ideas http://cavalier-gift-shop.org/index.php?searchStr=brain+games&_a=viewCat&Submit=Go and the monies raised go to Cavalier research and rescue.

Desrae
5th October 2011, 09:35 PM
I think I would get the vet to check Murphy over just in case. Also ask them to check his hearing - I know you think he might be reacting to noise, but the other possibility is that his hearing is not as good as it was, and he is worried about being on his own in the dark :( [that happened with my Rupert]


Maybe try some more stimulating games with Murphy so he is working his brain as well as his paws! This book is excellent for ideas http://cavalier-gift-shop.org/index.php?searchStr=brain+games&_a=viewCat&Submit=Go and the monies raised go to Cavalier research and rescue.

ah, that is a good point, never thought of him having ear problems. All very good points made.
I sure hope you find some relief soon.

Cara's Mum
5th October 2011, 09:38 PM
Interesting point about his hearing - he had a bad ear infection about 6 weeks ago and ended up antibiotics and painkillers. This behaviour started around then. I think a return trip to the vet is called for.

Thanks for the advise.