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4 Y/o Won't Sleep Through The Night. Please Help!

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Stanley has been with us for 1.5 years.I can't remember how long this has been an issue but it has been extremely bad for about 6 months now. Stanley is fed before bed and in the morning. He anticipates both meals to an extreme degree. Heart rate goes up, pacing, crying etc. About 3-5 times per week he will start whining and barking between 3:30-5:00 am and won't stop no matter what. He stops after being fed. He gets run of the back room and kitchen in the house with a couch and crate available so he should be more than comfortable. However, I keep him babygated in that space so that he can't pace the entire house and claw at our bedroom door.

 

We stood strong and didn't give into his barking for the last 4 months figuring he would learn. We have "his" alarm clock set for 5 am so when that rings he knows he is getting fed. We tried starting the alarm at 4 and increasing by 10 minutes every time he slept until it rang but once we got it to 5am he started whining at 4am again.

 

I wonder if he is anticipating his food so much secondary to an anxiety problem? Or maybe he has some other medical issue? I am at my wit's end but love him dearly.

 

I have somewhat succeeded in getting him to wait calmly for his evening meal with positive reinforcement clicker training. That is hard to do when you are trying to sleep!

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Guest mayyayyee

Not sure if this would be practicable for you but have you tried feeding him more frequently throughout the day? And/or changing his food? If you're feeding a dry food any chance there are colourants or flavourings in there that might have a bit of an addictive effect?

 

It's probably just behavioural but have you spoken to your vet about this at all to make sure there's no underlying issue that could make him feel hungry all the time?

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You said you feed him right before going to bed??? I would say then that he's not anticipating food so much as needing to go out to poop. Most dogs need to eliminate up to an hour after a meal, so I would want to know what his potty schedule is. Especially true if he bolts his food and then wants out to potty frantically right away after breakfast.

 

I always try and schedule meals as close as possible to 12 hours apart so the day is divided in half. As his schedule is now there's maybe, what? Six or maybe eight hours inbetween meals over night and more than 12 hours between them during the day? No wonder he gets super excited for his meals. Try and feed a more balanced schedule and see if that helps.


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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Uhm, yeah, feeding him before bed is part of the problem, and it sounds like you've also restricted him to a small area of the house.

 

Which is OK if he's getting plenty of exercise. Otherwise, for a dog you've had 1.5 years already to not have the run of the house...I'm a little confused.

 

And he should be perfectly OK sleeping through the night unless he's simply NOT TIRED. I assume he gets either plenty of time in the yard, or walks?



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

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I'd bet if you let him into your room at 3.30 he would have a good chance of settling.

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Some thoughts:

  • More exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog.
  • Feed at 12 hour intervals - e.g. 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. with a snack in between and right before bed.
  • Feed last meal at, say, 6 p.m., with a potty break about 1 hour later and another right before bedtime.
  • Set up a bed for him in your bedroom. Maybe the boy is lonely. Dogs are pack animals and need the company of their pack. Why is he confined to a limited area after 1 1/2 years?
  • Vet visit to rule out any health issue.

Good luck!

Edited by LaFlaca

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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Some thoughts:

  • More exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog.
  • Feed at 12 hour intervals - e.g. 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. with a snack in between and right before bed.
  • Feed last meal at, say, 6 p.m., with a potty break about 1 hour later and another right before bedtime.
  • Set up a bed for him in your bedroom. Maybe the boy is lonely. Dogs are pack animals and need the company of their pack. Why is he confined to a limited area after 1 1/2 years?
  • Vet visit to rule out any health issue.

Good luck!

and a good long walk at night as well.

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Thank you all. The reason he didn't have run of the house was because instead of barking to get our attention he would just pace about the room and boop our face with his wet nose. I'm unsure which is worse at 4am! We are taking the suggestion to move his last meal to around 6:00pm and a small snack before bed. We also gave him run of the house again since everyone seemed to be aghast that he was confined to the kitchen and a couch and crate. He is now back to pacing and booping at 4:15am. I think I need to bite the bullet and positive reinforcement train staying on his bed until 6:00am but that will be easier said than done!

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Thank you all. The reason he didn't have run of the house was because instead of barking to get our attention he would just pace about the room and boop our face with his wet nose. I'm unsure which is worse at 4am! We are taking the suggestion to move his last meal to around 6:00pm and a small snack before bed. We also gave him run of the house again since everyone seemed to be aghast that he was confined to the kitchen and a couch and crate. He is now back to pacing and booping at 4:15am. I think I need to bite the bullet and positive reinforcement train staying on his bed until 6:00am but that will be easier said than done!

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Thank you all. The reason he didn't have run of the house was because instead of barking to get our attention he would just pace about the room and boop our face with his wet nose. I'm unsure which is worse at 4am! We are taking the suggestion to move his last meal to around 6:00pm and a small snack before bed. We also gave him run of the house again since everyone seemed to be aghast that he was confined to the kitchen and a couch and crate. He is now back to pacing and booping at 4:15am. I think I need to bite the bullet and positive reinforcement train staying on his bed until 6:00am but that will be easier said than done!

 

I wonder if the 4:15 a.m. pace and boop means he has to go potty? Both my girls have occasionally done this even though they go for a last potty at about 11:00 p.m.

 

Alternately, train 'go to your bed' (we say, "go home"). When he boops you, say something like "oops!" or a sharp "eh!", and lead him back to his bed saying 'go to your bed' or whatever you chose. Praise when he lies down. Repeat until....

 

Another way is to use a spray bottle with water and give him a squirt when the pacing/booping starts. Squirt then say something like, "shhh!" or "enough!'. After awhile you should not need the spray bottle just the verbal command.


Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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For what it's worth, I wasn't aghast that he didn't have run of the house ;). When Percy gets up before I do, I either ignore him, or I tell him go night-night. He settles down quickly most of the time, but he's pretty easy. He gets his meals around 7:30 am and 6pm with no bedtime snack.

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Our dog sleeps in our room. When we got him he did the 3AM cry, bark, whine and boop all the time. He was also very positive for hookworm, which we believe made him extremely hungry. Might be worth a quick check with your vet to rule out hooks and other parasites.

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Blue wakes at 12.30am and 3 to 3.30am every morning. 12.30am he whinges until I say "NO". Then he gets off our bed and goes outside. (We have a greyhound size pet door). We leave a snack out for him. I arise at 4.30am for work. We both start clock watching at 3.00am. Maybe greyhound clocks are tuned to these hours.

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Two more things to consider:

 

He's cold. My grey started sleeping in, often for two extra hours, when I put him in jammies for the winter.

 

Daylight. Now that it's getting lighter earlier in the US east coast, Rogue seems to be waking with the sun. It's slightly helped by blackout curtains and being ignored until the proper feeding time.


Sarah with P Kay Ruger "Rogue"

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He's cold. My grey started sleeping in, often for two extra hours, when I put him in jammies for the winter.>>

:nod:nod:nod

 

Peggy can be like that. She has a habit of getting up and flapping her ears when she wants something 'improved'. I think they also have the idea of a 'comfort blanket' too, so not just for the cold.

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Thank you all for your input. One person said maybe the boop means he needs to go potty. Perhaps that could be a contributing factor, but often times after his breakfast he will lay on the couch roaching for 6 hours straight and won't even be bothered to go outside. Amazing!

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Thank you all for your input. One person said maybe the boop means he needs to go potty. Perhaps that could be a contributing factor, but often times after his breakfast he will lay on the couch roaching for 6 hours straight and won't even be bothered to go outside. Amazing!

 

I'm convinced these dogs like to play with our minds! Lola is one of those who cannot be bothered with moving to go potty, too.

 

I've learned to lure Lola out with cheese for last-call potty at 11:00 p.m. in order to avoid a 4:00 a.m. boop or, worse, a puddle by the back door if she's unable to wake me to let her out.


Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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Hi All.

Just an update. I adjusted Stanley down to two meals 12 hours apart based on some of your feedback. I also gave him free run of the house at night and he has been sleeping in our room from about 11pm-5am most nights which is quite nice. It's funny that he is laying in his bed in our room every night, because before we confined him to a few rooms of the house he always slept on the back couch!

 

I have an appointment with a new vet that has a ton of experience with greyhounds (my current vet just wasn't impressing me with their lack of knowledge about the special considerations one should have for greys) and we are going to do blood work and another round of fecal tests to ensure his internal health remains tip top as well.

 

Thank you all for caring to post!

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