View Full Version : How to Stop Bailey from Crying to Come into Our Bed?

5th December 2011, 04:02 PM
It started a few weeks ago on a Saturday morning when we thought it would be nice to snuggle with Bailey in bed for a bit before we all woke up for the day. It was about 4:30 a.m. when he woke up in his crate, my husband took him out, brought him back in the bed and we all slept until around 8:00. Then my husband had to go away on business for a week and to avoid the sleep deprivation of having to take both the late night and early morning potty shift, I allowed him to sleep with me once he woke up at around 4:00/4:30 until I had to be up for work at around 6:00. Hubby came home and a morning cuddle in bed with Bailey became the norm.

Although it has quickly become my favorite part of the day, Bailey has gotten to the point where he demands to come in the bed once he wakes up. This wouldn't be a problem if he still was waking up around 4:30, but instead he's started waking up in the middle of the night between 1:00 and 2:30 a.m. I run him out to potty, which he always does immediately. I put him back in his crate, but he starts jumping up at the bed as we walk by it and once he's in his crate he screams and cries and makes such a raucous.

The past week has been really difficult because my husband's back has been out and he's been especially busy at work having to work longer days than usual. So, he's already pretty sleep deprived without Bailey carrying on in the middle of the night.

Is letting Bailey scream and cry it out really the only option to break him of the bad habit we caused? It just breaks my heart to hear him like that, and it's not an option while my husband is so busy at work. Any other advice you can give?

5th December 2011, 04:16 PM
We've had to be quite strict with three in the house.There just isn't room for them all on the bed!
We have a bedtime command when it's crate time.
"Mind the house".
They get a treat(usually a piece of cold meat) at bedtime once they go into their crates/baskets and they know when they're told to mind the house that it's bedtime and treat time.
Even after potty shift,give a small treat when he goes back to the crate.That way he'll learn to recognise your verbal command and associate it with good things.
If you don't want him in the bed,then you'll really have to persist.

5th December 2011, 04:48 PM
Agree. With some dogs there's no 'sometimes in, sometimes out'. Sounds like Bailey is one of those -- either you need to have him in the bed for the night, or never allow him in or each time you will have to go through this separation whining. This is the case with Jaspar, who is full time in his crate (the others could go back and forth, no problem, but I n ow keep a dog free bedroom at night 9or my own (light) sleep suffers.

It may take days to a week or more to get him to stop trying to get your attention -- I'd cover the crate with a sheet (I do this for all mine anyway at night to remove all distractions) and buy some earplugs. He will need to be totally ignored when the whining starts.

5th December 2011, 06:36 PM
Thanks Sins and Karlin. I feared this might be the case. What's weird, though, is that when we first go to bed he willingly walks into his crate, doesn't make a peep and goes to sleep. It's when he gets up in the middle of the night that's the problem. The more I think about it the more I question if it's an issue of him not sleeping through the night as well as he used to. Is it really possible that he is waking himself up from a sound sleep because he thinks if he wakes up earlier he'll get to come in the bed earlier?

brid kenny
5th December 2011, 06:44 PM
It sounds like a habit he has gotten into. It happened with Phoebe. She used to be brought in to bed for a snuggle in the morning which was adorable but she got clever and went mad. She started banging on the kitchen door and wouldn't give on. So I put her upstairs on the landing and I have a dog gate at my door so she can see me. We have had a few battles but got there in the end!! Best of luck.

5th December 2011, 07:27 PM
I am sure the reason he first goes into his crate is because that is the pattern he expects. Crate, sleep a bit, wake up then cry to get in bed.

6th December 2011, 02:08 PM
Well, we completely crumbled last night and let Bailey sleep in the bed with us from the start because my husband really needed to get some sleep. Bailey didn't make a peep and my husband slept wonderfully, but I did not sleep and am exhausted this morning. I'm a fairly light sleeper to begin with, so having a furry little companion who enjoyed nuzzling in as close as possible or even burrowing under me if he could find a crack of space to do so was less than an ideal sleeping situation for me. So, Bailey is going to have to go back in his crate at night.

As far as getting him reacclimated in his crate, do you think one of those puppy snuggle dogs that stays warm and emits a heartbeat would help? His crate sits on the floor right next to my side of the bed. It's covered by a sheet on all sides, except the front where the door is. I don't want to move his crate and put him someplace where he's not used to sleeping and so thought maybe my husband and I could go sleep in the spare bedroom for the few nights it takes for him to stop his separation whining. Would that be cruel?

Thanks so much for all your help!

6th December 2011, 08:17 PM
As far as getting him reacclimated in his crate, do you think one of those puppy snuggle dogs that stays warm and emits a heartbeat would help?

I doubt it would help. The dog wants HUMANS. (LOL) They know the difference and your dog is very smart.

Try Karlin's trick with the sheet covering the crate, for a few nights. If that fails, a stream of water from a squirt gun/mister should do it. Sophie's breeder suggested that, and is finally worked for Sophie to learn to not whine and bark when put into her crate, as a puppy, during housetraining. She now loves her crate and goes in there by choice for naps, etc., and never complains.

8th December 2011, 01:28 PM
If you understand Operant Conditioning, then you understand why behavior increases and decreases in frequency. Positive Reinforcement is usually considered to be a conscious act by a parent, manager, educator or trainer. Unfortunately, the principle of Positive Reinforcement is that, "any behavior followed by a positive event (for the dog/person behaving) increases the frequency of that specific behavior.

If you do not want to listen to weeks of soul-wrenching whining, you cannot allow the dog in the bed even one time. The behavior of "cuddling in the bed," is very reinforcing to the puppy. Unfortunately once the behavior is reinforced, it is established and to extinguish the behavior you have to ignore the whines - which are what children do in the supermarket when they want candy. If you give in to the child, they cry louder and longer next time. If you give in just once, you have put the puppy on a variable ratio schedule - meaning it is extremely hard to then extinguish the behavior.

Most dog owners (and parents) do not understand that things they do or say following a behavior (a very precise, visible action by the behaving puppy) is going to reinforce it. That is why negative attention (scolding) often increases the strength of a puppy behavior. Saying "no" firmly is the only way to discourage a behavior - at which time you need to immediately reinforce the puppy for the opposite behavior (if you say no to barking, talk in your puppy approval voice for his being quiet.)

Teachers make the mistake of giving attention (negative verbal comments) to disruptive students - which actually increases the frequency of the behavior. They often do not positively reinforce behavior like asking questions, working quietly, or taking notes. Our Cavalier, Toby, (who died last week in my arms at age 8 1/2 and yes it has devastated me) slept with us every night and never needed to get up in the middle of the night. If he had, I would have gladly taken him out; he was my best friend and I would have done anything for him.

If a puppy is quiet, that is the time to give him attention. If he begs at the table, one piece of food will reinforce the behavior and then it is extremely difficult to extinguish.

13th December 2011, 04:13 AM
Our Cavalier, Toby, (who died last week in my arms at age 8 1/2 and yes it has devastated me) slept with us every night and never needed to get up in the middle of the night. If he had, I would have gladly taken him out; he was my best friend and I would have done anything for him.

I'm so sorry for your loss! How lucky he was to have such a loyal friend.

13th December 2011, 04:18 AM
How is it going with Bailey? If you're looking for a compromise, you could try putting her blanket at the bottom of the bed and training her to stay on it.

14th December 2011, 02:33 PM
Hi Nalu. I was just planning on posting an update. Last weekend, we tried to get him used to sleeping in his crate again, but he was having none of it. Friday night, we went to sleep as usual with Bailey in his crate, which is covered and right next to my side of the bed. He slept for about two hours and started crying. I took him out to make sure he didn't just need a potty break, and put him back into the crate when we came back in. He cried, non-stop, the entire night. Around 3 a.m., I started to try and calm him by sticking a few fingers into the side of his crate so he would feel like he was near me. He fell asleep with his head on my fingers, but woke up every 30-45 minutes after I removed them. The next morning he was very clingy.

Saturday night was no better. Again, he cried the entire night. Sunday morning, my husband got up with him to let me sleep a little bit. When I went downstairs, he told me that Bailey was very upset all morning and threw up some bile. Again, Bailey was so much more clingy than usual too.

Hubby and I talked about it and realized that we have an extremely well-behaved puppy who simply wants to be with us when he can. Neither one of us can handle traumatizing him just so he'll sleep in his crate when it's probably easier to train him how to sleep in the bed.

I like your suggestion of training him to sleep on a blanket at the bottom of the bed, but have a follow-up question. Specifically, do I have to worry about him falling off the bed? Once or twice he got up last night and wandered dangerously close to the edge of the bed -- he was kind of peering over and I thought he would either try to jump of, or get too close and fall off. Is he just being curious and this is not something I really need to worry about?

Wow...I've written a short novel here...lol. Done rambling now. Thanks for all your input, and for checking-in, Nalu! :-)

14th December 2011, 04:13 PM
I encountered the same problem when monster was a pup. She now snores on her back in between me and my boyfriend and has taken over the entire bed!:)
Never had the problem of her falling of the bed though..
I love sleeping with her. It suits me. I love being close with her all the time..

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14th December 2011, 04:21 PM
Yes, Blondiemonster...I feel the same way. Hubby and I love having him in the bed as long as we are able to actually sleep, which has been a little difficult because he literally wanted to be as close as possible, or under me. He's getting better with that, though, and has started to find his own little piece of the bed -- also, usually right between hubby and me. So, it seems to be working out.

14th December 2011, 09:40 PM
Lol. He will be fine.. They eventually will settle down in their own little spots on the bed.. Ull see!
It seems as if u already made your decision.. In or out the bed. :)
Hes in!!! :)

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17th December 2011, 07:24 PM
We were very concerned about Nalu falling off the bed when she was a puppy, so we train her to be in the middle near the bottom. I use an assertive voice and pat her blanket when she wanders off it. She goes to the edge at the bottom and whines only when she has to go outside. Maybe you can spend some time during the day to make her understand she isn't to jump off. If you don't have carpeting you could put something down until she learns. Her blanket is really soft plush 100% Nylon, so it's cozy for her, easy to clean and somewhat waterproof. I bought a large blanket, cut it in two and sewed it into a pillow case so I could put a foam pad inside for using it on hard floors. I hope things work out for you. They're smart dogs. He will learn quickly. Be creative and stick with it. Good luck!