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Am I Too Responsive?


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Recently I've been having real problems having a whole night sleep to the point that my work is suffering. The problem, my two hounds wake me up multiple times during the night. We had a hedgehog and I thought that was the root of the problem but I've not seen it for ages. I'm also not sure which hound is the instigator or if it varies between the two of them.

A typical night they have their tea at 5pm, walk at 6pm for about 45 mins. They'll then get in and I'll make me and my gf's meal and then the hounds will demand to be out again. They do go out a lot during the evening - every time I stand up they run to the door (this is the first point in question - whether I shouldn't be letting them out on demand like this.

Next I head to bed, I try for about 10pm but could be 11pm. Then the hounds will start to cry at 4am on a reasonable day but it could be 2am. Sometimes I try to say 'No' which sometimes has an effect for an hour or so but sometimes they continue to cry and start to bark. Sometimes when I let them out they need the toilet (wees and poos) and other time they want to run around. On a bad night they can be up every hour. At 5am I usually give up and give them breakfast they then bark to be out again, I might try to get another hour before getting up for their morning walk.

They're on their own through the day for usually about 5 hrs 3 days per week and someone is home the rest of the time, during the way they don't make a peep.

One of them (Charlie) will often whine a lot during the evening it's like he's not sure what he wants, he'll just look at us and cry , sometimes it's attention but other times it's unclear.

I recently stayed over at my mum's with her 2 dogs and they usually move about a lot in the night so I stay downstairs with them so everyone else can sleep. My mum lives in the country and in a desperate effort to get a whole night sleep I left the front door open with the gate padlocked so they could go out into the garden at will. Daisy seemed to stay out all night but Charlie was in and out and woke me up about every hour crying. He has food in his bowl, had treats, was invited up on the sofa with me if he wanted to sleep there but it was worse than ever.

I've been away for a week with work and I know my mum has been leaving the door open for them - other than getting her up for their breakfast early she doesn't have the same issues.

Charlie has been to the vet recently for his anual vaccinations and check up and the vet thought there was nothing to worry about health-wise.

So my question, to be blunt, are my hounds taking advantage of me? They are my world and I sometimes wonder if I'm too attentive. Any thoughts on trying to break the cycle (particularly as they'll be coming home with me after a week at their grans) would be much appreciated!

 

Matt

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Put them on a schedule and stick to it.

 

There is NO reason a healthy dog needs to get you up at night.

 

Last outs at your bedtime, no screwing around, just to pee and then go to bed and that's that!


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My sympathies. This must be tricky, especially with neighbours whom you don't want to have disturbed!

 

My gut feeling is that they're not so much 'taking advantage' as that both you and they have got into a state where routines and boundaries have become unclear. You're stressed because you're not getting a good night's sleep, they're picking up on that. And then because there are two of them, they're probably egg each other on ... end result: everyone feeling a bit insecure and acting accordingly.

 

Somehow you need to reset routines, and thus their internal clocks. I would be inclined to ignore some of their demands at least, but if you can't (because of the neighbours) just let them out but without making a big deal of it. Don't say anything, just be a 'door attendant' who lets them out and then in again. You might consider separating them, for a night or so at least, to see if that helps.

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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Exercise, long walkies(2-3 hrs ),lots of stimulation,contact and interaction with people and other dogs and you should be able to establish a schedule. Make sure that you have sturdy waking shoes,a comfortable leash and go for it!! A tired dog is a good dog.

 

BTW, what kind of tea do they drink?

Edited by cleptogrey
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Use their return to your home as the reset time. You'll have to be strong and you might have to seem mean, but they totally are taking advantage of you. No other dog trains their humans as well as greyhounds and you have been a star pupil! ;)

 

Your one greyhound seems to be in charge of their relationship. The one who whines is anxious because s/he doesn't have enough boundaries and guidance. That one is really begging you for help and for you to be the adult in this relationship. Notice I am specifically NOT using words like dominant and submissive. You need to be a benevolent leader for the household.

 

As mentioned above, a healthy and tired dog should easily sleep through the night without having to go out to relieve themselves. Mine go to bed at around 10pm and don't stir until my alram goes off at 7:30am. Your two are having midnight hunting parties and doiong whatever they want at your expense. Yes, dogs with access to dog doors and securely fenced properties can and often will spend much of their nights outside. But they certainly don't *have* to. It's going to take some time to reset their internal clocks, and for a time it's still going to be tough on you. Your GF may want to stay over at a friends if she can as it's not going to be easy. You may want to take off work if you can, or try and slip naps in!

 

Make sure they get a good, long tiring walk before bed - at least an hour, maybe more if they are younger and more energetic. Do your evening routine, but add a short walk/out to the garden for last toileting right before you're going to bed. Then get them settled on their beds where you want them to spend the night, hopefully they are contained to one area like your bedroom, and go to bed. If they get up and roam around, or bug you, or head to the door, lead them back to their bed, tell the to lay down calmly, and return to your bed. This will happen often. They will NOT be happy. If they do lay down quietly, even for a minute, throw a small treat to them to reinforce their good behavior.

 

Do not let them out. Greyhounds are stubborn and they have a lot of resolution when they want something. You have to be more stubborn and more resolute. If they begin barking and won't stop you may need to resort to a negative reinforcement like a squirt bottle.

 

This is just my opinion and what I would do (have done) with my own dogs at one time or another. If you want some personalized, on-site instruction, you should consult with a certified animal behaviorist the uses positive reinforcement. Your vet or adoption center may be able to recommend one, as I'm not sure how that works in the UK.

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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Mine do this too, if they have not had enough exercise (long walks, running and playing in yard).....

Kathryn, “Broadway” BW’s Broadway: Shaggy Bessie x Jimbo Red Rose, & "Ellie" Noah's Smelldog: Castor Troy x Mulberry Jade. My Angels "Sidney" Rainier Rapper: Rainier Ranger x Rainier Rapport (09/03/2001-2/26/2012); "Pistol" Tiowa Pistol: Rapido Rambo x My Roz (11/19/1998-8/02/2011); “Perry" Tiowa Perry: Rapido Rambo x My Roz (11/19/1998-6/09/2010); "Jackie" Mjp's Jackie: Joey Flint x Social Robin (6/12/1997-6/20/2008)

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Exercise, long walkies(2-3 hrs ),lots of stimulation,contact and interaction with people and other dogs and you should be able to establish a schedule. Make sure that you have sturdy waking shoes,a comfortable leash and go for it!! A tired dog is a good dog.

 

BTW, what kind of tea do they drink?

 

Sorry I'm from the North of England - we call our evening meal 'tea' I went back and edited it for ours but then missed talking about the hound's tea.

 

Re: length of walk, I've posted on this recently - Charlie (6years old) is struggling in the hot weather, he can last about 20 minutes then he's ready for home! I try to encourage longer walks at the weekend but I'd also be struggling to get out for that long during the week.

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Thanks all for these thoughts. A few have mentioned about longer walks, I will have a think and see if I can perhaps add another pre-bedtime talk (we live in a rough neighbourhood so try not to go out too late) - otherwise perhaps some play in the back garden?

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Routine routine routine. Most hounds will sleep through the night without the need to go out so there isn't much of a reason why yours can't too. Start setting a schedule for getting some downtime. Here our last out is 9:30pm and after that Ryder trots into the bedroom and his bed and we don't move again until the 7am (of course other than to rearrange in the middle of the night, but we never go out unless he is sick etc). A good walk during the day for about 20-30 mins would be helpful.

 

My Kasey had to be with me wherever I went. Rare to be in a room more than 5 mins without him, so the fact they get up when you do is perhaps them wanting to just be with you, even though you may have accidently trained them now that every time you get up means they go outside.

 

He got into a habit of asking to go out at 2am and after slipping on the deck in the middle of the night going out there to find out what he was doing, enough was enough. For about 3 days he "asked" to go and my response was no and not getting up for you. He learned that he couldn't go out anymore.

 

Good luck and get some sleep!

Edited by XTRAWLD

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Guest Noosh

So I read with interest this discussion. I'm no expert; but have been able to knock the midnight shenanigans on the head.

 

Eleven weeks ago, we adopted a 19 month old, very timid girl, she was in racing kennels but didn't make it to race.

 

Three weeks in, the 2am and 4 am wakes ups started. It was not only for wees, but sniffing about the garden, drinks, naughtiness and zoomies- a general lark! Then refusing to come back inside. Obviously, having broken sleep is terrible for ones humour and well being! We had to step up and be firm, and send the message that getting up in the middle of the night was not on. On this particular night, she came back in, she was sent to bed with a firm voice, and sent back a few times, without fuss (yes, we had to get up again out of bed) with just a firm command- BED!

Which begs the question: are they responsive to some basic obedience commands. I found that making sure she understood BED was really useful- someone at the door? BED, trying to cook dinner uninterrupted- BED, getting into mischief- BED. It's not punishment, it's a job for a dog to do. And other basics obviously. So this takes a bit of commitment to keep your cool and repeat the actions to 'the penny drops' so to speak. Even if it's fifteen times herding them to bed or whatever you are hoping to instil, keep the faith! Tough now, easy later.

So, after the night from hell, she certainly was a little wary of us the next morning, but seems to have grasped the message. It soon passed. Just be firm and consistent with what YOU want.

I have been amazed with a little effort, of requiring her to behave in certain ways, she has become not only compliant, but is totally accepting and happy, for instance, wait at the door when coming in for her feet being cleaned; not rushing through doors, that is waiting for the human to pass first; reacting to STOP! On leash, or in general; also SETTLE DOWN ! - she does so get excited sometimes... :gh_runner

Firm and consistent is our mantra.

Having sounded like a complete authoritarian, I must stress that after owning her for the past eleven weeks, we are totally in love with our little girl! Even when she does chew up something she shouldn't- every day is a new chew day! We just adore her; we didn't think we would love her so much and become so besotted with her funny, goofy puppyish ways.

Firm and consistent, firm and consistent. Repeat!

Good Luck :clover

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As to the heat,I have often hosed my dogs down before a walk. Last summer the pups were in San Antonio, texas. We waited for the temperature to drop to the low 90s F. Which was around 10pm. Hose them belly first,then the entire body. It was the only way we could go for their much needed walkies. My dogs are so tuned into walkies at a specific time they stand at the door waiting.

 

Personally I would have the pups sleep somewhere other than the bedroom and no treats if you need to put them back to bed in the middle of the night. One word, BED,and not even a light on. One treat and they sound wise enough to incorporate a nightime snack into their schedule.

 

Once a routine is established then you can move them into your room. Otherwise, think about it,god forbid one of you gets out of bed to wee, the dogs will be up and ready to play!!

Edited by cleptogrey
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Guest Jordan33

My own dog loves to cry to be taken outside early in the morning. I'm doing my best to ignore her until the alarm clock goes off at 6am, but it's difficult. She's started chewing things she shouldn't to get my attention. Oiy!

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My own dog loves to cry to be taken outside early in the morning. I'm doing my best to ignore her until the alarm clock goes off at 6am, but it's difficult. She's started chewing things she shouldn't to get my attention. Oiy!

 

Chewing if I don't get out of bed quickly here too - we got a new bed a couple of months ago. As I was 'picking up' after Daisy on a walk I noticed something hard and white in 'it' on further examination turned out it was a small piece of our bed. Don't worry I didn't wash it and stick it back on!

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