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Is Your Dog Keeping You Awake at Night?


Move Over Rover


If you’re a dog owner, chances are you’ve been there or are going through it: Seemingly endless, sleepless nights because your pup refuses to settle at night. It not only barks you right into insomnia, but some very grouchy mornings, too.


So what can you do? And why do dogs behave this way anyway?


Michael's dog, Willy, was a barker. In fact, he would bark and whine all night long. "It got to the point that everyone in the house was sleep deprived -- the kids, the wife," Michael said. "We’d only had him for two years, when we moved to an actual house. Once we moved in, we decided to put him in the laundry room at night. It wasn't an awful place; it was comfy and even had a bed. But he kept barking from bedtime until morning."


Michael was astonished to hear from one of his friends that his dog might be suffering from separation anxiety. Willy couldn’t understand why he was so far away from everyone.


"In our last place, he slept in the kitchen, which was close to our bedrooms," Michael said. "So we decided to move his bed in the bedroom at night with us."


Alison had a different problem. "I’ve had Rex since he was a puppy and he has always slept with me. But now that he's grown up, he's become too big. He sprawls out and takes up a lot of the bed, causing me to sleep at weird angles -- it just doesn’t work. I push him down, but he gets back up again. I’ve tried putting him outside of the room, but he barks and whines and I still can’t sleep. And I feel bad."


So Alison spoke to her local vet for a solution and she suggested crate training the dog to sleep on the floor. It worked! "I felt awful doing that, but he had a comfy bed in there. And he didn’t bark because he was in the room with me. Now he has his own bed on the floor," said Alison. "He jumps on the bed to cuddle in the mornings, but I can live with that."


Laura’s allergies, meanwhile, meant their dog, Maya, had to sleep outside of the bedroom -- something her dog wasn’t happy about. "My boyfriend and I both work, so she wants a lot of attention and cuddles. Even if my boyfriend spends time out in the living room with her, the moment he goes to bed, Maya whines and knocks things down. It’s annoying."


Their solution? Adopt another dog. "Now Maya has a buddy to play with during the day, and companionship at night." As she pointed out, they were helping out another animal by rescuing him from the pound.


Jeff and his wife, Maria, are in a different stage of their lives. They work long hours and their only child has already left home. "Our dog is only a few years old and has a lot of energy, so he runs around the house all night long, barks at shadows, you name it," Jeff said. "We were exhausted."


They tried taking him for an extra walk in the morning, but it wasn’t working. "Finally we realized we needed to incorporate our exercise regime with him," Maria said. "Now when we get home, instead of going to the gym, we take him for walks or runs. Sometimes we play in the park, and later on, a few hours before bed, we'll walk. Basically, we wear him out." They have also employed a dog walker, one who will exercise their pet on a daily basis. The outcome? All three of them get a good night's sleep!


So now you have a few helpful tips to try on your dog if he won’t let you sleep. Good night, don't let the bed "bugs" bark ... I mean, bite.


Image: Ginny / via Flickr


Comments  5

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  • Dog barks and hows a lot
    12/27/2015 10:37pm

    I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I take him for a walks we have problems. So, going for walks is always a challenge for us. And he barks and howls A LOT.
    My husband and I were thinking about taking him to 'doggy school', but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest 'doggy school' is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

  • 12/27/2015 10:52pm

    I feel for you...we had problems with our dog also. He used to bark like crazy when we were not at home, and our neighbours complained a lot because of that. Both my husband and I work a lot and had no time to take our Bud to dog training classes. We asked one friend who works in foster care (he is always surrounded by dogs) what we should do. He recommended one online dog behavior trainer. I love this trainer http://bit.ly/1Tm6XWg
    It helped us a lot, and I strongly recommend it for you.

  • Not a puppy!!!
    01/26/2016 12:39pm

    I have a yorkie. She is approximately 7yrs old. She has recently started resisting the crate at all cost. She whines, barks, and is high pitched the whole time inside. We have all become prisoners in her little world. We can have no sleep or anything until she is out. I have tried taking her outside. I have tried leaving her to calm herself but she can do this shrill noise all night long!! This crate is not new to her. Why and what can we do for her to make this stop? We love this dog but are seriously at wits end. She makes these same noises the second she hears us pull in the driveway until she is released.

  • 05/11/2016 02:31am

    Sounds like something may have gone wrong in the crate. Maybe she hurt herself? I would check the crate for anything sharp-even a rough edge can do some damage. If she has never seemed anxious in a crate before, I would start to consider a possible health problem. Maybe she can't see as well, due to an eye issue that's cropped up? I would take her to a vet before simply writing her off as a problem dog; the fact that her adamant refusal to being crated came on suddenly is a big red flag, in my opinion. Of course she could simply be acting up, but I would cover all the bases before assuming her refusal is behavioral. Best of luck!

  • 05/11/2016 09:51am

    Thank you for taking the time to answer. I can assure you that we take great care of these two yorkies. I checked that cage a million times over and she sees her vet on a regular basis. We solved this problem after a day of research on the web about it by moving that crate to our bedroom and now she is as quiet as a church mouse. I may never understand why she waited so long to complain about her location but am beyond grateful to have found a solution. Now if we could get her to go outside for more than 30 seconds without barking and whining like she is being killed we would be the happiest pet owners ever!!! I believe this yorkie may have come from a mill and she just has severe anxiety issues that are at times overwhelming for those who adore her. We joke that she will outlive us all but please know we do love these dogs tremendously.

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