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Need Advice, At My Wit's End


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Guest milkymoon

Everyone was very helpful when we discovered Nancy's sleep aggression, and since then, she hasn't been allowed on furniture or to sleep in our bed. This has created a new host of issues. She refuses to sleep in her crate, even though we've made it immensely comfortable and she slept in a crate at her foster home. She will sleep on her bed, but only for a certain time. At night, we've been having her sleep at the foot of our bed in her bed. Usually, she sleeps quietly for an hour or two, and then chaos begins.

 

A typical night is as follows:

Between 10:30-11PM- "Last call", usually she pees, but sometimes she pees and poops

Between 11-11:30PM- Everyone goes to sleep, with Nancy on her bed

Between 12-2AM- Nancy wakes up to either: cry and beg to be invited on the bed, or jumps into bed. It wakes Adam and I up and depending on which situation we are in, we try to comfort her verbally or lead her from the bed to her bed.

Between 3-4AM- Intermittent loud crying from her bed. Often I will take her out but she does not have to go.

4:30AM- She cries to go out. I take her. She either pees or poops, never both.

5:30AM- She cries to go out yet again. She does whichever business she didn't complete at 4:30.

6:30AM- She begs to eat. I feed her. I take her out again, and if I don't (I've made this mistake twice, thinking, well, she already peed and pooped so recently, and both times, she pooped on the floor, which, notably were her first accidents since she came into our lives.)

 

What is incredibly frustrating about this is that, for her first week (when she slept and our bed and before her sleep aggression seemed to be any real issue), she slept through the night until about 7AM, and waited to eat until around 8. I have not been getting enough sleep by any means and I have no idea what to do. I have signed us up for private obedience training because I feel like things would be so much easier if we could simply communicate effectively with each other (obviously, we haven't started yet).

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I'd suggest between 11 and 5:30, you just suck it up and ignore her.

 

A healthy dog does NOT need to be let out all night long. She's playing you, and it's working.

 

She might need to adjust from waking up very early--life starts early at the kennels, so I would accept getting up early and taking her out. Don't feed her then, unless that's your regular wake up time.

 

Gradually extend the sleep period.

 

It will be a rough few nights, no doubt. But "go lie down" is something you need her to learn.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Between 12-2AM- Nancy wakes up to either: cry and beg to be invited on the bed, or jumps into bed. It wakes Adam and I up and depending on which situation we are in, we try to comfort her verbally or lead her from the bed to her bed.

 

This might be your problem. You're going to probably have to reintroduce the crate and start crating her through the night. If she starts whining or crying, ignore (it's really hard, but the best thing you can do!) Adult dogs are capable of holding it through the night, so I would take her out for last call and not again until morning.

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Guest milkymoon

Between 12-2AM- Nancy wakes up to either: cry and beg to be invited on the bed, or jumps into bed. It wakes Adam and I up and depending on which situation we are in, we try to comfort her verbally or lead her from the bed to her bed.

 

This might be your problem. You're going to probably have to reintroduce the crate and start crating her through the night. If she starts whining or crying, ignore (it's really hard, but the best thing you can do!) Adult dogs are capable of holding it through the night, so I would take her out for last call and not again until morning.

 

I was thinking that might be the answer. Should I keep her crate in our room or elsewhere?

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Guest mbfilby

I don't recall your original post regarding sleep aggression. How severe is it? Is it sleep startle response or actual sleep/space aggression?

 

In our experience, most sleep startle goes away after the hound becomes used to being jostled in their sleep. Training your pup to sleep at the foot of your bed and removing him when he gets snarky over the space could take care of the issue. They learn pretty quick that if they are to be allowed on the bed, they need to behave.

 

We have always allowed our hounds on the bed, and it is not the popular trend on this board, but it works for us.

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I will tell you what I would do. I would consult with another animal communicator. It is remarkable what can be missed by simply not asking the dog what is going on. I consult with Latifa at animalscantalk.com. I have seen amazing behavior issues resolved permanently with this approach alone. Latifa can probably point you in the right direction for getting things worked out.

 

I would also make it clear that I was the boss and that she needed to ante up and get with it. No sweet words when I am awakened in the middle fop the night etc. And if I want her in the crate because I have deemed it is the best place for her to be right now than she's going into the crate-regardless. I will move it to where she can bark and cry her self silly if that is what she wants but she wouldn't tell me where she was going to sleep. She would sleep where I wanted her to sleep, or not-her choice lol.

 

Also don't worry. It takes TIME-sometimes months and months- for them to get fully integrated into the family sometimes. When I first had Minny as a foster dog I didn't know if I would be able to stand keeping him long enough for them to find his forever home. Long story short-he was already there. He bounced back to me and everyday I thank God that he did because he became the most loving empathetic creature I have ever known. We developed a relationship so wonderful it is clealy out of this world. It turns out he was a priceless angel dog------but I never would have suspected it the first year that I kept him-in fact you just wouldn't believe how "bad" it was. So don't give up on her--she may be one of those really precious gems like Minny that is just a little rough around the edges right now. As long as there is love it will work out.

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Guest milkymoon

I don't recall your original post regarding sleep aggression. How severe is it? Is it sleep startle response or actual sleep/space aggression?

 

In our experience, most sleep startle goes away after the hound becomes used to being jostled in their sleep. Training your pup to sleep at the foot of your bed and removing him when he gets snarky over the space could take care of the issue. They learn pretty quick that if they are to be allowed on the bed, they need to behave.

 

We have always allowed our hounds on the bed, and it is not the popular trend on this board, but it works for us.

I'm not really sure. Usually if she's bumped, she wakes herself up by growling, barking, or snapping a bit, and then seems shocked by her behavior and leaves the bed and basically puts herself in time out. We did have one incident early on where she growled at me while we were sitting in bed, and everyone (myself included) seemed to think she was using our bed as "her spot". At this point she seems to be catching on that her bed is her spot and she has to be invited on furniture. That is, until she is crying in the middle of the night and jumps right in.

 

I will tell you what I would do. I would consult with another animal communicator. It is remarkable what can be missed by simply not asking the dog what is going on. I consult with Latifa at animalscantalk.com. I have seen amazing behavior issues resolved permanently with this approach alone. Latifa can probably point you in the right direction for getting things worked out.

 

I would also make it clear that I was the boss and that she needed to ante up and get with it. No sweet words when I am awakened in the middle fop the night etc. And if I want her in the crate because I have deemed it is the best place for her to be right now than she's going into the crate-regardless. I will move it to where she can bark and cry her self silly if that is what she wants but she wouldn't tell me where she was going to sleep. She would sleep where I wanted her to sleep, or not-her choice lol.

 

Also don't worry. It takes TIME-sometimes months and months- for them to get fully integrated into the family sometimes. When I first had Minny as a foster dog I didn't know if I would be able to stand keeping him long enough for them to find his forever home. Long story short-he was already there. He bounced back to me and everyday I thank God that he did because he became the most loving empathetic creature I have ever known. We developed a relationship so wonderful it is clealy out of this world. It turns out he was a priceless angel dog------but I never would have suspected it the first year that I kept him-in fact you just wouldn't believe how "bad" it was. So don't give up on her--she may be one of those really precious gems like Minny that is just a little rough around the edges right now. As long as there is love it will work out.

 

Your story is encouraging! I already love her, but this has just been really frustrating for me. I am sure we can work through it. I could put her crate in the living room and just ignore her cries through the night (although it will be painful for me because I am such a softy, haha).

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Between 12-2AM- Nancy wakes up to either: cry and beg to be invited on the bed, or jumps into bed. It wakes Adam and I up and depending on which situation we are in, we try to comfort her verbally or lead her from the bed to her bed.

 

This might be your problem. You're going to probably have to reintroduce the crate and start crating her through the night. If she starts whining or crying, ignore (it's really hard, but the best thing you can do!) Adult dogs are capable of holding it through the night, so I would take her out for last call and not again until morning.

 

I was thinking that might be the answer. Should I keep her crate in our room or elsewhere?

 

In your room, next to your bed if you're able to. It will comfort her to hear your breathing and see you.

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Guest milkymoon

In your room, next to your bed if you're able to. It will comfort her to hear your breathing and see you.

Well, I could also give that a go. Hopefully she doesn't keep us up all through the night. I feel bad because I want her to be comfortable but I also need more than three hours of sleep.

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Give it some time. If she was sleeping in your bed for a week or two, it could take a couple weeks to retrain her to sleep through the night in her own bed. Small change from your point of view, gigantic change from hers.

 

When she fusses, unless you think she might really have to go out, IGNORE HER. Don't talk, don't touch, just ignore her.

 

If she gets up and nudges you or gets on your bed, tell her firmly (but not mean/loud/yelling), "In bed" and guide her back to her own bed. Don't pet, don't have a big conversation, just back to bed.

 

It can help to use an alarm clock if you don't normally use one. Set it for a reasonable time of the morning, and when it goes off -- not before! -- take her out and feed her.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Is she cold? Is she hungry?

 

I would look at these 2 factors first because each one can easily be fixed. if she's cold put pyjamas on her. If she's hungry, feed her a bit of something just before bedtime to last her through the night. she should be able to hold it throughout the night so I'm assuming you've checked with yoour vet and ruled out any medical issues.

 

I don't agree with the crate, but I do agree with consistency. I would make sure she's not hungry by giving her something before bed. Make sure her pillow has lots of blankets so she can burrow in them if necessary if she's cold. I would teach her a command to go back to bed.

 

Does she usually eat at 6:30am? If not, feed her at her usual time or you will train her to whine and get fed.

 

Again, I would not crate her and let her cry. Greys are social and are used to being with other beings. Dogs don't inheriently try to be dominant, that's a myth. She will learn what go lie down means as long as you are consistent.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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In your room, next to your bed if you're able to. It will comfort her to hear your breathing and see you.

Well, I could also give that a go. Hopefully she doesn't keep us up all through the night. I feel bad because I want her to be comfortable but I also need more than three hours of sleep.

 

I hear you. When we brought Truman home, he was an older puppy at 16-weeks. He was AKC bred, so he was never introduced to a crate prior. So he really disliked the crate for awhile, he would whine and cry and go crazy inside for hours. There were times that I thought, "OMG, this was a terrible mistake." We had to extensive work just trying to associate the crate as a positive place- not jail! It was a gradual process with him, but he slept faithfully in his crate for about six months (at that point, he was reliably housetrained, so we switched the crate for his bed). Sometimes he'd get up in the middle of the night and I'd hear a few whines, but he learned to comfort himself and go back to sleep on his own. Because Nancy is a retired racer, she is familiar with her crate. She just knows that your bed is better! I would say as long as you are faithfully ignoring at night, you should see a turnaround fairly quickly.

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My first thought was maybe she is hungry. When and what is she normally fed? She could also be cold -- Summer will fidget and keep me awake if she's not in her jammies.

 

I am also not a supporter of crates, although if my dog wanted one, I would set one up if I couldn't convince her otherwise. I did use one for the first week, as I didn't know if she would want it plus she wasn't housetrained. But if you do want to crate Nancy at night, I would have her right beside your bed with you. I did this with Summer and, if she cried, I just stuck my fingers into the crate, she touched/smelled/licked/nuzzled and then went back to sleep. Now, of course, she sleeps on the bed with me -- her all over the queen bed, me on my 6-inch strip down the side.

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My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

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Give it some time. If she was sleeping in your bed for a week or two, it could take a couple weeks to retrain her to sleep through the night in her own bed. Small change from your point of view, gigantic change from hers.

 

When she fusses, unless you think she might really have to go out, IGNORE HER. Don't talk, don't touch, just ignore her.

 

If she gets up and nudges you or gets on your bed, tell her firmly (but not mean/loud/yelling), "In bed" and guide her back to her own bed. Don't pet, don't have a big conversation, just back to bed.

 

It can help to use an alarm clock if you don't normally use one. Set it for a reasonable time of the morning, and when it goes off -- not before! -- take her out and feed her.

:nod

 

If it's cold where you are now, I would put a set of jammies on her to make sure she's warm and comfortable (and make sure she has a warm blanket or comforter on her bed to nest in), but I suspect she's just having a hard time readjusting. You can also babygate or close your bedroom door to prevent her from wandering if you would worry that she might leave the room and have an accident. That may help you rest a little easier through the transition.

 

If you would feel more comfortable with her in the crate, go for it. Put the crate in your bedroom where she can see you.

 

Either way, be prepared to ignore ignore ignore. No verbal corrections, no nothing. When you think you can't handle it anymore, put the pillow over your head or put some earplugs in and suck it up. ;) Also, be forewarned there's something called an extinction burst where the behavior gets worse before it improves. May not necessarily happen, but be forewarned so you don't give in at that exact moment.

 

Good luck! :)

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Guest mowreyAZ

Living with one hound who is especially sleep aggressive, Blair, it helped going through retraining with blair. there were ques and messages that we had previous missed and it helped having someone come through the house and correct the problems with where beds were located. Though we have never crated Blair we set up a crate like bed right next to my side of the bed. I am the lighter sleeper between myself and my husband, and this way if she has nightmares, needs to go out, needs a drink or something to eat she can get right next to me and let me know. Good luck with everything. If she was crated at her foster home, crate her at your house, just put the crate near you in the bed room and get ready to ignore the cries and outbursts but that follow. But it does get better.

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The first 2 months with Dillard were fine. He slept in his huge crate downstairs with no problem. Then I messed up when DH was away and I let him in the bed for several nights. That ended his willing to spend the night back in his crate. The barking, crying and whining were unreal and 3 times we let him back in our bed and I wound up in the guest room because he can't be moved and when he goes to the foot of the bed, he waits until we are asleep and sneaks back up to put his head on DH.

We can't bring the crate upstairs because it is huge and can't make the turn easily and it's silly to move it everyday, so we bought a soft sided portable crate and put it in our room. He had to be coaxed in with a tasty gong and then spent the first night wailing for 1 1/2 hours, Then went to sleep. The second night was 10 minutes and now he whines sometimes during the night. I yell "go to sleep" and he quiets. I guess he needs to know I am there. We are looking at the 2nd crate as a good investment. It will allow him to stay over at a friend's house. I'm sure with all the suggestions above you will find a solution that works for you. Good luck.

Laura

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Guest jaws4evr

You’ve had enough good responses here, but to chime in, she sounds like she’s figured out how to get what she wants (to go outside, to get attention, to be let out of her crate).

 

If she has no medical reason to go out, I’d buy some good earplugs and tough it out.

 

You can also work in the daytime on crate training (again), with putting her in for a few minutes, leaving the room, and letting her out when she’s quiet AND calm.

 

I don’t know how much difference it makes, but we always work on no door-dashing out of the crate just because the door is open. IMO they should use their brains to stay in the kennel too, and not just the door.

 

If you’re disciplined enough you can work on her sleeping on a dog bed in your room but NOT on the bed. This will mean many repetitions of asking/leashing her OFF the bed calmly but firmly, throughout the night until she gives up. This is a similar idea to the staying in the crate with the door open… having her stay OFF the bed with her brain may be more powerful than having her locked up but still wanting to be on the bed with her brain:) At 2am the discipline of anyone will begin to falter though so not for everyone :)

 

Lastly, having dogs on the bed is a personal choice and depends a ton on the dog and the individual. I’m not a fan personally, too much potential for someone rolling on top of someone else, claws, elbows, not to mention hair and snoring :)

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I agree that you are going to have to be strong. Very good advice already given. All of my dogs had to earn the privilage of being allowed on the furniture and the bed. That helped to reinforce that they were not in charge and not have any power plays when one was on the futniture and another would come over. My dogs now share the furniture with each other and people without any difficulty. Hang in there it will get better and one day you may very well laugh about this time.

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Is she cold? Is she hungry?

 

I would look at these 2 factors first because each one can easily be fixed. if she's cold put pyjamas on her. If she's hungry, feed her a bit of something just before bedtime to last her through the night. she should be able to hold it throughout the night so I'm assuming you've checked with yoour vet and ruled out any medical issues.

 

I don't agree with the crate, but I do agree with consistency. I would make sure she's not hungry by giving her something before bed. Make sure her pillow has lots of blankets so she can burrow in them if necessary if she's cold. I would teach her a command to go back to bed.

 

Does she usually eat at 6:30am? If not, feed her at her usual time or you will train her to whine and get fed.

 

Again, I would not crate her and let her cry. Greys are social and are used to being with other beings. Dogs don't inheriently try to be dominant, that's a myth. She will learn what go lie down means as long as you are consistent.

 

great response. This is what I would try.

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Some good ideas above but I don't understand how you can even begin this conversation without addressing the walking issue. An inquiry was made in the first response and you have given no indication of how much you are walking Nancy. What is the point of exploring all these creative "solutions" if it turns out the dog is simply frustrated due to lack of physical and psychological exercise.

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Guest milkymoon

Some good ideas above but I don't understand how you can even begin this conversation without addressing the walking issue. An inquiry was made in the first response and you have given no indication of how much you are walking Nancy. What is the point of exploring all these creative "solutions" if it turns out the dog is simply frustrated due to lack of physical and psychological exercise.

 

I actually wrote a response but I guess it didn't post. We walk about 2-3 miles a day (spread out, not all at once) depending on how she seems to feel. We're very active. I live in the city so I don't have a fenced in yard where we can run around, so frequent walks are a must!

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I actually wrote a response but I guess it didn't post. We walk about 2-3 miles a day (spread out, not all at once) depending on how she seems to feel. We're very active. I live in the city so I don't have a fenced in yard where we can run around, so frequent walks are a must!

 

That's great that the walking is taken care of. I am a big believer in a decent walk before bed for dogs with night issues. My take is Nancy just loves the bed and it will take time for her to learn it's off limits. Stick with it, if she believes there is a chance that you will give in than she will never give up.

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Guest memadeit

I'd suggest between 11 and 5:30, you just suck it up and ignore her.

 

A healthy dog does NOT need to be let out all night long. She's playing you, and it's working.

 

She might need to adjust from waking up very early--life starts early at the kennels, so I would accept getting up early and taking her out. Don't feed her then, unless that's your regular wake up time.

 

Gradually extend the sleep period.

 

It will be a rough few nights, no doubt. But "go lie down" is something you need her to learn.

 

yup, she sounds like a little child who is used to sleeping in mommy's and daddy's bed and got kicked out.

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I'd suggest between 11 and 5:30, you just suck it up and ignore her.

 

A healthy dog does NOT need to be let out all night long. She's playing you, and it's working.

 

She might need to adjust from waking up very early--life starts early at the kennels, so I would accept getting up early and taking her out. Don't feed her then, unless that's your regular wake up time.

 

Gradually extend the sleep period.

 

It will be a rough few nights, no doubt. But "go lie down" is something you need her to learn.

 

yup, she sounds like a little child who is used to sleeping in mommy's and daddy's bed and got kicked out.

 

:nod:nod:nod

 

As well, taking her for a walk later in the evening can't hurt.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Joshi.  Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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