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Random Sleep-Attacks?


Xan
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Over the last couple months, Brilly (7 years old, male, 6 years with us) has randomly (that is, WE can't figure out why!) jumped up from apparently being asleep to attacking Wabi (6 year old female, 5 years with us), who was also asleep, NOT touching him. This has only happened 3 or 4 times. The first two times were on consecutive nights, skipped one, then again. Nothing for a few weeks, then again last night. After each attack, we muzzled him, then actually separated them with an ex-pen. Wabi was not hurt, just scared. Each time, when we jumped up yelling, to intervene, Brilly left off immediately, and allowed himself to be hustled away by the collar.

 

What the heck??

 

This has only happened at night after we've all settled into our beds.

 

Bigger context: There is always a little tension over the favored bed; in the corner, furthest away from Pogo's end (he's enclosed in an ex-pen draped with blankets, but he still gets barking mad if the other dogs try to fluff their beds, which intimidates them). Last night, Wabi had won the corner bed. I can't remember now what the positions were the other times (Just talked to DH, who says he thinks it's always been when Wabi had the corner). They're all in our room. We keep them on one side of our bed so the cats can finally have free run of the house and bed and us. Brilly has never shown a particular tendency to sleep startle, either.

 

Household changes: Happy, who had been with us for two years, used to sleep in the same area now shared by just Brilly and Wabi. She passed in November. This behavior began at least a month after Happy died.

 

Thoughts??

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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Hhmmm. I would suspect your pack is still sorting their new order out a bit after losing Happy. Are the "attacks" are happening over the bed Happy used to use?

 

Brilly may also be developing a bit of sleep startle syndrome. Our Angel Libby would wake up and startle at noises across the room, not just when she was touched. And with the changes in pack dynamics it would make sense that Brilly's feeling displaced and maybe defensive about his place in the order.

 

Several suggestions in now particular order - crate them at night if possible to deflect any fighting over the prime bed spot. Completely change your bedroom furniture layout (or at least the dog part of it) so the dynamic of "Happy's Bed" is no longer in play - new pack, new sleeping spots. Choose the pecking order in your pack yourself and enforce it so that the higher order grey gets the higher order bed.

 

Good luck!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest Ohiogreymom

Xan, I guess sleep startle can start at any time, and if Brilly goes to sleep worrying about Pogo,and being closer to him than he'd rather be, maybe he's dreaming when he attacks Wabi.Nevertheless, you can't allow Wabi to be hurt, so I would muzzle Brilly every night if that's what it takes, if you can't use an xpen every night. It's not fair to Wabi to have to worry about being attacked while she sleeps.Hope it gets better soon! Darlene

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Sounds like a readjustment in the pack following the passing of Happy. I don't know how other people on GT do it but in our bedroom, the 4 that sleep out of crates have assigned beds and no one is allowed to get on anyone elses bed. If Bullitt goes and lays on Bebe's bed, I make him go to his bed. He knows when I say, Bullitt go to your bed, he goes to "his" bed. Sammie, Arrow and Bebe all know the routine and that's the way they are. I purposely put Sammie and Bullitt next to each other as they will snuggle and sleep. Bebe needs her space so she is by the door and Arrow sleeps next to Mike. They don't wander the room at night and know to stay on their own bed.

 

I would put as much space as possible between Brilly and the other hounds in the house, especially Wabi, since she seems to be his target most of the time.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Hey, Ohiogreymom, Brilly is a Tapmar dog, too (see the link in my sig). :)

 

I'm thinking you're both right. We've already decided to keep them physically separated. I'm going to put Wabi on my side of the bed, so they can both have a corner, but Brilly can't get her unless he literally jumps the whole queen size bed. Just hope he doesn't decide to attack DH instead! Maybe we should muzzle him for awhile at night, though I hate to do it to him. Changing the furniture around is an interesting thought.

 

Ohiogreymom, that's what I was thinking, too. That he's asleep and dreaming - of who knows what - when he gets aggravated enough in the dream that he wakes up still feeling the call-to-attack.

 

Poor little Wabiline! She curled up in a ball and didn't move all night, even though Brilly was 4' away, muzzled AND ex-penned! :(

 

Thanks, ladies.

 

Any seizure stuff that looks anything like this?

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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Judy, thanks. We must have been responding at the same time. :) I know both Wabi and Brilly like to get up, stretch, and angle for the "good" bed during the night, which we can't monitor, being asleep, so I think you're right that we should just take control of it in a way they can't get around.

 

(Side note: There have always been the occasional grumbles during the night if the holder of the corner bed gets moved in on, and Wabi is usually the one to try it! Happy often let her share, but Brilly is less happy about that, and Wabi will make a huge fuss if someone tries to share with her. Wabi will also get to whining and complaining in the middle of the night if she gets set on the corner bed, and Brilly won't give it to her. :rolleyes: Makes me wonder why we never separated them before this, when I write it all out like that! :lol )

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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There are some cases where a pup will have seizures that result in aggression but for the most part, those are very few, especially at Brilly's age. If he started having seizures at this age I would be concerned that it was something else neurological like a tumor. He's pretty much past the age for seizures with epilepsy as the cause.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest Ohiogreymom

:lol

Hey, Ohiogreymom, Brilly is a Tapmar dog, too (see the link in my sig). :)

 

I'm thinking you're both right. We've already decided to keep them physically separated. I'm going to put Wabi on my side of the bed, so they can both have a corner, but Brilly can't get her unless he literally jumps the whole queen size bed. Just hope he doesn't decide to attack DH instead! Maybe we should muzzle him for awhile at night, though I hate to do it to him. Changing the furniture around is an interesting thought.

 

Ohiogreymom, that's what I was thinking, too. That he's asleep and dreaming - of who knows what - when he gets aggravated enough in the dream that he wakes up still feeling the call-to-attack.

 

Poor little Wabiline! She curled up in a ball and didn't move all night, even though Brilly was 4' away, muzzled AND ex-penned! :(

 

Thanks, ladies.

 

Any seizure stuff that looks anything like this?

Hey, maybe we're family! :lol By the way, did you know that your last name is my maiden name? Sounds like a pretty good plan you have, hope it solves the problem! As far as seizure behavior, I doubt it since he called off so fast. Did he seem disoriented after? Have you had his thyroid checked? Good luck! Darlene

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Good point. He did seem normal, once we called him off. Normal meaning, a little nervous about why he was being dragged off out of the room so suddenly, and just sort of unhappy about being stuck into the ex-pen. Not disoriented or wobbly.

 

Does sound more like some sleep-thing, doesn't it? Good. That's at least easy to deal with! :D

 

Ohiogreymom, Spiral and Brilly are related ... about 5 generations back! :lol Spiral is closer to Pogo and Wabi, actually. :)

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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Guest zoolaine

There are some cases where a pup will have seizures that result in aggression but for the most part, those are very few, especially at Brilly's age. If he started having seizures at this age I would be concerned that it was something else neurological like a tumor. He's pretty much past the age for seizures with epilepsy as the cause.

 

 

This is what I was going to say. When I moved in with my cousin in Texas they had a beagle who I guess are more prone to the sleep seizures. Gladys would be sleeping down by your feet and then for no reason would be at your face growling. It would only last for a short time but very disturbing/scary.

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Did Gladys snap out of it immediately with no after effects?

 

It was a long night last night! Brilly was separated in one loop of ex-pen (we have one, so I've looped it to cut off a corner for Pogo, and now a loop against the wall for Brilly). He was very restless, whining and even tried to get a roo going (but Wabi just barked, and Pogo ignored him), and managing to wedge himself out of his loop 2 or 3 times. *sigh* It might just be he's unfamiliar with being rounded up like that, or being that close to Pogo, even though they can't see each other. I'll try training him to feel more positive about the confinement. Maybe a kong will help change his mind about it. ;)

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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A kong or a treat that he really likes is a good incentive to get him to accept his new sleeping arrangement. Gee has a little space aggression and some sleep aggression and to get her to sleep in a crate without putting up a fuss, every time she went in I would give her a treat. Now this girl, who is almost 11 will go outside for the last time at night and come in and start prancing and dancing around me so I will put her in her crate so she can have a treat.:wub: She's so cute I've started giving her two treats.:lol

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest zoolaine

Did Gladys snap out of it immediately with no after effects?

 

 

 

 

Yeah, within a few seconds she would stop growling then just go lay down. Shortly after she started this we traded her for Briley and Sunny. She just was not good around little kids (my niece was 5 years old at the time) and we were always worried about her biting someone whenever Alice had friends over. We knew she also would be much happier in a house with just adults. We had Luna for about 2 months and went back to the same rescue place that had 2 pups left from Luna's litter. We took Briley and Sunny and gave them Gladys (Gladys was a purebred beagle and the boys had been there for about 3 months so I think they were happy for the trade). So I don't know if Gladys continued her weird behavior at night or if it escalated at all. I just remember how scary it was to go from sleeping to having a growling dog in your face.

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Hm. Yes, I can imagine that would be pretty scary!

 

Another looooo-oooong night. I gave Brilly a big dental treat when he went in, which was appreciated ... for a few hours. After that, it was a lot of crying, pawing to get out, slipping out once (not much of an effective barrier then, is it?) ... I need a different arrangement, which may involve moving furniture. *sigh* Whee. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks for all the input, folks!

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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Guest PhillyPups

I'm going to put Wabi on my side of the bed, so they can both have a corner, but Brilly can't get her unless he literally jumps the whole queen size bed. Just hope he doesn't decide to attack DH instead! Maybe we should muzzle him for awhile at night, though I hate to do it to him.

 

I read this and thought why would Xan think muzzling her DH would help. :lol

 

Can you crate them in your room at night? Dogs that are crated at night seem to know that is their "safe place". Just a thought.

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Guest 4dogscrazy

I would agree on a crate. I had three females that slept all through the night with no problems, on dog beds, for a long time...add the boy and everything went to heck in a month. It was to the point that I was up 4 or 5 times a night doing the "hey knock it OFF song". I finally had enough...re-arranged the furniture and added two crates for the young ones (boy and a girl) who love their crates anyway. Now we have peace again, and they get their last snack at bedtime after the last turn out. This makes all of them excited for bed, and no one ever argues over the best bed anymore. The two left out are older females who stay in the same bed all night. Hope this helps!

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I'm going to put Wabi on my side of the bed, so they can both have a corner, but Brilly can't get her unless he literally jumps the whole queen size bed. Just hope he doesn't decide to attack DH instead! Maybe we should muzzle him for awhile at night, though I hate to do it to him.

 

I read this and thought why would Xan think muzzling her DH would help. :lol

 

Can you crate them in your room at night? Dogs that are crated at night seem to know that is their "safe place". Just a thought.

:lol

 

I am essentially crating the boys, using an ex-pen opened out into two loops against the walls. I don't have any crates (jeez! they're expensive!!), but that would be better, since the ex-pen doesn't close definitively, just butted up to the wall as it is.

 

I've just cruised Craigslist for crates, but no luck. I'll keep my eye out, though.

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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We have assigned beds in our bedroom, too. Didn't start out that way, but DH and I were woken up by snarling in the night. Sahara had the better bed, and Coltrane was looming over her, trying to squeeze her out.

 

The fact that Brilly's aggression only shows up when Wabi is in the better bed makes me think this is the cause, not a sleep startle. He also has been picked on by Pogo, right? Being closer to Pogo might be adding to his stress, making him more likely to go after Wabi. Good luck with with rearranging your room!

Edited by Saharasmom

Rebecca
with Atlas the borzoi, Luna the pyr, and Madison the cat, always missing Sahara(Flyin Tara Lyn) and Coltrane(Blue on By) the greyhounds

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I think someone else may have mentioned this, but maybe when Brilly has the corner he feels totally secure because Wabi is between him and Pogo? And when Brilly doesn't get the corner he just doesn't sleep as well and is just ready to come up fighting in case he thinks it's Pogo? Make any sense?

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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Guest zoolaine

 

 

The fact that Brilly's aggression only shows up when Wabi is in the better bed makes me think this is the cause, not a sleep startle. He also has been picked on by Pogo, right? Being closer to Pogo might be adding to his stress, making him more likely to go after Wabi. Good luck with with rearranging your room!

 

 

That is a good possibility. I know when my older dogs were younger Luna and Briley would get in a tiff over the whole alpha dog thing. Luna always won and then Briley would go looking for poor Sunny to pick on. Maybe with Happy at the bridge this is a manifestation of the changing pack dynamics. Not sure how to solve it though besides adding another "best bed".

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We have assigned beds in our bedroom, too. Didn't start out that way, but DH and I were woken up by snarling in the night. Sahara had the better bed, and Coltrane was looming over her, trying to squeeze her out.

 

The fact that Brilly's aggression only shows up when Wabi is in the better bed makes me think this is the cause, not a sleep startle. He also has been picked on by Pogo, right? Being closer to Pogo might be adding to his stress, making him more likely to go after Wabi. Good luck with with rearranging your room!

 

 

I think someone else may have mentioned this, but maybe when Brilly has the corner he feels totally secure because Wabi is between him and Pogo? And when Brilly doesn't get the corner he just doesn't sleep as well and is just ready to come up fighting in case he thinks it's Pogo? Make any sense?

 

 

 

 

The fact that Brilly's aggression only shows up when Wabi is in the better bed makes me think this is the cause, not a sleep startle. He also has been picked on by Pogo, right? Being closer to Pogo might be adding to his stress, making him more likely to go after Wabi. Good luck with with rearranging your room!

 

 

That is a good possibility. I know when my older dogs were younger Luna and Briley would get in a tiff over the whole alpha dog thing. Luna always won and then Briley would go looking for poor Sunny to pick on. Maybe with Happy at the bridge this is a manifestation of the changing pack dynamics. Not sure how to solve it though besides adding another "best bed".

 

I think these are all part of the mix, really. I do think Pogo's being at one end, even if he doesn't do anything and is invisible behind a blanketed x-pen wall, is a factor, making Brilly a bit on edge. Even when Happy was here, we had some squabbling over who got what bed, mostly from Wabi trying to take the corner bed when Happy was in it. The corner bed is also by the heat vent, and closest to the head of our bed: truly prime position!

 

Last night, I just put a bed across the room, past the foot of our bed, and Brilly stayed quietly on it all night. If that's all it takes, then great! We'll see how it goes. Don't want him interfering with the Cat Races, either! ;)

GT-siggy-spring12.jpg

My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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