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I'm So Exhausted...


Guest KTPrime
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Guest KTPrime

because I've been up since 3 am. So, as many of you know, I recently had some problems with Optimus and changed his food and set meal times and all that. I'm happy to report we haven't had a single accident inside since switching his food and setting strict meal times. We're also on a much more normal walking schedule... during the day at least.

The problem? He seems to have developed a habit of needing to go outside around 3-4:00 a.m. Last night he started whining around 3, and I tried ignoring him, but he continued on for a good hour and a half and I finally took him out, not wanting him to have an accident. He always p&p really quickly on these walks, so he clearly legitimately has to go, but I have no idea why he needs to go in the middle of the night. He gets fed supper at 6:30, and gets two walks after that where he usually poops, so I'm not sure why the AM wake up. I also found out after I got back inside that BF took him out around 1:30 a.m., where he also p&p. It seems crazy that he would need to go out twice within a few hour period. Especially when he's supposed to be sleeping.

And, after the walk, it wasn't back to sleep. It was another few hours of pacing and whining. I'm not sure if he wanted food or to play (I did hear him play with one of his toys briefly). I did ignore him this time since I was confident he didn't need to go out again... so basically I just endured 3 hours of whining until 7:30 when he gets breakfast (of which he only ate half. Last night and this morning he only ate about half the bowl. I got him to eat the rest of his dinner last night [partially hand fed]. But I just took away the remainder this morning. Rules are rules.)

I think maybe the whining has gotten a tad better on the schedule, and with ignoring it. But honestly, he just seems like he's on anxious alert mode all the time. He just won't settle down. He's constantly in our faces and whining for god knows what reason (half the time I think it's cause he wants on the couch). I don't know if he has more energy cause he's on a better food, but I don't know how to stop these 4 a.m. walks and the incessant whining and pacing. I don't think it's a medical issue because he holds it all day when I'm at work no problem (and I'm gone 9 hours).

I'm trying to take him on longer walks to tire him out, but he's not super interested in walking these days (unless it's 4am of course). Any suggestions? I'm at a loss as to how to stop this behavior. And I'm frustrated because Optimus is just SO high maintenance. I love him to pieces, and he's my heart dog, but I have never had a dog that needed something from me seemingly every second of the day (and night). I just wish he could be a little bit more like a normal dog I guess. Sorry for venting, no sleep kills my filter.

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I hate to say this after everything you've been through, but switch his food. Bu was on a food that did this to him and he was completely miserable. His poop was totally solid, but he had to poop every 2-4 hours. We switched off of it and his poop got loose, but he didn't need to go nearly as often. We finally found a better food for him.

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Just throwing out some thoughts for you to consider as I've not seen your earlier posts so don't know the background:

 

What is the night temperature? Could he be feeling cold? Try feeling his ears - if they are cold he will be feeling cold. Try housecoat/ PJs maybe.

 

Could he be hearing something outside -cats, foxes, people passing?

 

Could he have a health issue - e.g. urinary tract infection, worm infestation - which is affecting his digestion?

 

Where does he sleep? He may settle better if he can see you, e.g. on a bed in your room. In the daytime too having a bed somewhere where he can see what's going on will encourage him to use it.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Guest KTPrime

I hate to say this after everything you've been through, but switch his food. Bu was on a food that did this to him and he was completely miserable. His poop was totally solid, but he had to poop every 2-4 hours. We switched off of it and his poop got loose, but he didn't need to go nearly as often. We finally found a better food for him.

See I did just switch his food (from natural balance sweet potato and venison) to a brown rice and lamb. I mean he's fine all day, so I'm not sure why all of a sudden at night he needs to go so frequently. This is the first time he's ever had solid poop... like in ever. And they're so much smaller. So I'm hesitant to change his food again. I guess we'll have to keep it as an option if this keeps up.

Just throwing out some thoughts for you to consider as I've not seen your earlier posts so don't know the background:

 

What is the night temperature? Could he be feeling cold? Try feeling his ears - if they are cold he will be feeling cold. Try housecoat/ PJs maybe.

 

Could he be hearing something outside -cats, foxes, people passing?

 

Could he have a health issue - e.g. urinary tract infection, worm infestation - which is affecting his digestion?

 

Where does he sleep? He may settle better if he can see you, e.g. on a bed in your room. In the daytime too having a bed somewhere where he can see what's going on will encourage him to use it.

I considered the temperature thing (and am in the process of ordering him pjs), but it actually got really warm here yesterday, to the point it was really warm inside, so I don't think it's a temperature thing.

 

He's just not the type of dog to react to outside stimuli... and there's not much going on in my apartment complex at that hour. He just seems to need to go out. But, as I mentioned, he's fine for 9 hours while I'm at work, so I'm not sure why he can't make it through the night.

 

He sleeps in our bedroom on his own bed, and he has another bed in the living room. So seeing us isn't an issue.

 

Really unsure about this new behavior... it's like he doesn't know it's the middle of the night. My boyfriend got a new job a few months ago that requires him to stay up really late (talking to his offshore team), so I'm not sure if that has thrown him off, since BF is still up when we go to sleep. But by 3-4am everyone is in bed, so that shouldn't make a difference.

 

ETA: I don't think the 1:30 am walk by BF is usual, that just happened last night. But the 4am walks have been happening for a couple weeks now.

Edited by KTPrime
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Sorry if I missed this: if it is completely or mostly dark in your house at night, try leaving a night light on. We use the plug-in holiday candles that give off just enough light to illuminate the room but not so much that it disturbs my sleep.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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You've made a lot of changes very recently. It's going to take time for him to adjust. And if whining has worked for him in the past (which it sounds like it has quite a lot) then it's going to get worse before it gets better. And if you even inadvertently reinforce after he does it for a long time, it's going to get even worse. :)

 

I do think it's worth checking out a potential urinary tract issue. Have you noticed any increased water consumption? Having to pee could be getting him up and then once he's up, he's game for pooping too. If you're certain there's nothing medical going on, I would shut him into your bedroom with you at night and ignore the whining completely. Give him a good last trip out so he can empty out completely and then that's it. I wouldn't have water out for him in the bedroom either. If he whines, ignore completely and see if he can make it through the night.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Sounds like a difficult situation. I'm wondering, would he be interested in a kong or a chew bone or something he could work on before bed (providing it wouldn't upset his stomach)? I've noticed all three of mine seem to like to chew on something for a bit in the evening before they settle in to go to sleep, it seems to relax them. Rudy gets whiny if he's uncomfortable/cold, but you said it's pretty warm. I don't think there's really an easy answer other than getting his schedule to match yours through some time.

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Is he getting too much food? If you switched to a higher quality food he may not need as much.

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 KTPrime

He's still getting 4 cups a day (2 in the morning and two at night), per the bag, which recommends that much for his weight range, do you think that's too much?

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He's still getting 4 cups a day (2 in the morning and two at night), per the bag, which recommends that much for his weight range, do you think that's too much?

I don't think there's any way for us to tell you as there are many factors - how active you are, temperature/season (dogs burn more calories staying warm and I find I need to increase food amounts in the winter), particular dog, specific food, etc. 4 cups/day was generally what I started all of my male fosters on, unless they were particularly small and then I could adjust as needed, but I always exercised my new foster dogs a lot.

 

The best way to gauge is by his weight. Maybe you could post photos?

 

The fact that he doesn't finish his food does make me wonder if he's getting too much though. BTW, I wouldn't hand feed iwth this new schedule. Again, he either eats in the allotted time or he doesn't. He seems to be adjusting fairly well to that new schedule from what you're saying so I absolutely wouldn't add hand feeding into the mix. Next thing you know that will be the only way he eats!

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest KTPrime

The fact that he doesn't finish his food does make me wonder if he's getting too much though. BTW, I wouldn't hand feed iwth this new schedule. Again, he either eats in the allotted time or he doesn't. He seems to be adjusting fairly well to that new schedule from what you're saying so I absolutely wouldn't add hand feeding into the mix. Next thing you know that will be the only way he eats!

Yeah he finished it the first few days, last night was the first time he didn't seem to want to, and I admit, I was worried about him being hungry the rest of the night. I'm glad I took it away this morning, he'll learn hopefully!

 

He's about 78 lbs or so, his weight has been fairly constant since I've had him, maybe varying by a pound or two. I'll have to see if I can remember how to post pictures here.

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Guest KTPrime

I guess I'm just confused by his persistence. An hour and a half is a long time to whine... and the three hours after that was even longer. Shouldn't a dog give up before then if they're getting no response?

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I guess I'm just confused by his persistence. An hour and a half is a long time to whine... and the three hours after that was even longer. Shouldn't a dog give up before then if they're getting no response?

You would think, but if something has been heavily reinforced in the past it could. But that is why I suggested investigating the UTI. He clearly isn't whining because he needs to go since the whining resumed immediately after a potty trip, but if there's something medical going on that makes him feel like he has to go constantly (which a UTI could), that could be a factor. Or there's something else going on that's making him unsettled at night. Or we're back to he's whining because it's been reinforced in the past. All you can do is do everything you can to rule out a medical issue by discussing this with your vet, take other steps to address other potential factors (try a coat, a night light like someone suggested, try crating or confining him in some way so he feels more secure, etc.) and if all else fails, ignore him. Just make sure he's gated in your room or even in an x-pen so he can't wander off and potty in the house while you are in bed.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

You say you heard him with this toys in the middle of the night, does this mean he has free run of the house? First, contain him. Block him into a small space next to your bed, big enough for his bed. Thats it. There is no need for him to roam at night. Roaming in the middle of the night leads to nothing but trouble. Maybe he is up in the middle of the night drinking water which leads to needing to go out to eliminate. Secondly, 4 cups of food does seem like a lot to me. I feed Costco's Natures Domain Turkey grain free and I have an 82lb boy (raced at 80lbs) and he only gets 2.5 cups daily and his weight is stable. It could be the food you are feeding, all food is different, but 4 cups does seem like a lot of food that will cause a lot of elimination.

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If he's not finishing his food in one sitting, he's likely getting too much (and thus, pooping a lot more). My four, admittedly fairly lazy-butts, get 2 cups a day, and my small boy only 1 1/2 cups as he tends to be "stout".

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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 KTPrime

That's really interesting, I didn't consider the bag might be wrong. He seems to be only eating about 1 cup now and leaving the rest, so maybe I'll cut him back to a cup and see how he does. Happy to report he slept (mostly) through the night last night. He did get up around 4 am to come whine at me but I played dead basically and ignored him and he went back to bed! I worked really hard to tire him out last night, with long walks and games of "chase me!" He only plays in 3-minute intervals before he gets bored, but it seemed it was enough to make him tired. He seems to have much more energy on this food, I guess I just need to find ways to creatively get him to tire out.

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Yay! Good for you for holding steady with the ignoring, I know how tough that can be in the middle of the night when you're sleep deprived, but "playing dead" is absolutely the best way to handle it. You could look into food puzzles as another way for tiring him out (more mental energy than physical, but that counts for a lot). I would just use a portion of his food and do it around mealtime so as not to mess with the new schedule. I like the bob-a-lot a lot. It's easy to adjust to make it really easy and then harder as the dog catches on and you only need to supervise.

 

If you really wanted to do something fun, look into nosework classes near you. You can practice at home and it exhausts the dogs. And it's easy to do.

 

As for play, I wonder if he would be into hide and seek? Not sure how big your house is or if you have someone to hold him while you hike (or a really solid wait cue). I used to play this with Neyla when she was my only dog. Again start off easy and have a cue like "seek" or "find me" that tells him it's time to look for you. Once he catches on, you can start hiding in increasingly tough places. When he catches you, throw a big party playing with him and being silly and getting him riled up.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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You are on the right track.

Our newb, Beamish, went through six months of waking me up at 3 a.m. every night. Partly my own fault, Miss Mo was on a high dose of pred and needed to go out at 3 am every night or she'd sleep pee in our bed, so he developed the habit. Once we weened her pred down, she no longer needed the middle of the night potty, but I hadn't counted on Beam having developed the habit. He'd pace and pace and drive me mad until I took him out and of course, I gave in. He didn't NEED to pee or poo. He just wanted to patrol the yard and make sure no kitties or other critters were hiding out there. Then he'd happily come back in and beat me to the bed.
Like you, I started playing dead when he'd start his pacing, or telling him "Beam, Lay down" and slowly, he started to listen so it ended up being every other day, then a couple times a week until he stopped completely. :)

You truly have my sympathy though. I've been there.. that point of exhaustion where you are functioning but just barely, and you're really trying so hard not to be mad at the dog for putting you through this. They are also just way too happy to see you awake at 3 in the morning. :lol

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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I guess I'm just confused by his persistence. An hour and a half is a long time to whine... and the three hours after that was even longer. Shouldn't a dog give up before then if they're getting no response?

Mine don't. If they have to go out and I ignore them, they just step it up until I let them out, including jumping on top of me. Maybe you can try changing the evening feeding time to around 8pm. I do know what you're going through. The same thing was happening with Xavi. It's stopped since I start to let them out later in the evening before I go to bed.

 

I agree that it might be worth a UTI check. It also might be a lot of food, depending on what kind.

Edited by robinw

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