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Whining in the middle of the night


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Hi everybody, 

We've had our Arrow for about 8 months now and she's so wonderful. Things are going great. Her statue-ing was an issue at first, but it has improved quite dramatically. 

We have recently started to have a little issue with her whining in the middle of the night. One thing I should mention is that she will not go up the stairs, where our bedroom is. So she sleeps downstairs on her bed and we are upstairs. I've tried to work with her on the stairs, but she seems quite scared of them. When she whines in the middle of the night, I let her out but she mainly just eats a bit of grass and walks around a bit. It doesn't seem to be a bathroom emergency. Sometimes I give her a treat after she gets in and it seems to help get her back to sleep. She's been so great with no big signs of separation anxiety for 8 months, and we really hope this doesn't become a nightly thing.

Any thoughts? Should be wait it out and let her whine until she gives up? Do you all think there could be a medical issue? Usually she goes through the night and is fine, but the issue does seem to be growing in frequency. Thank you all as always! 

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I agree, she probably is waking up and wants to be with you. You did a great job getting her past her statuing, mostly, so you know with time and persistence you can get her used to the stairs. Take it slow, in very small steps (no pun intended :) ) 

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Thank you! Any tips for how to begin with the steps? They are somewhat steep and narrow, which i think scares her, but they are thankfully carpeted. 

When she came over for her pre-adoption visit, we asked if she did stairs and they didn't know, so we showed them to her. She went right up them, no problem. But then she wouldn't go back down and seemed scared. I had to carry her down. She's never gone up since then. I feel like she remembers this incident and it scared her.

Would love any suggestions as to how to get started! Thanks again! 

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My guess (since it does not seem medical or like an urgent bathroom need) is that it's growing in frequency because you're doing what she wants when she does it - come downstairs! We have had to take the hard ass approach with whining (as we let some bad habits form when we thought we had a medical issue), if she's not actually needing to go, let her whine it out - and call her to come upstairs :) We had at least one foster figure out stairs pretty quickly upon realizing she had to come up in order to sleep with the pack. 

And work on stairs. Dumb question - was she not fostered? Did they not teach stairs there? 8 months seems like a long time for a young hound (assuming she's young - if she's old I'd worry about joint pain maybe being the cause) to not learn stairs. If the stairs are carpeted, my next thought would be - are both landings also carpeted? Is it a tight space she comes up to or down to? Is there stuff in the way? Our former grey acted like he wouldn't fit between furniture that was clearly wide enough for him to fit between. Are there weird reflections she could be seeing, or is it very dark on the stairs?

We've taught fosters and our own dogs to go up using pepperoni (or other delicious treats) on each step, placed far enough apart that they can't just reach with their giraffe necks to get them. Going down we'll hold their collar/harness and guide them very slowly, moving legs one by one if necessary. Lots of support and praise along the way.

Is there another place you could go with wider and maybe shorter stairs to practice? You might also need to employ some OTC calming techniques/supplements if her aversion gives her anxiety.

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I've never had to teach stairs, so I don't have any practical advice. They do seem to find going up easier and less scary than going down. You might want to start a new thread specifically on stair training so more people with real advice can chime in.

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There is no law that says greyhounds have to sleep upstairs, Grace sleeps downstairs quite happily knowing I'm in the house.

I think that she whines because she knows that you'll come down, give her a bit of attention and a treat....result from her point of view. You have two choices. Either teach her how to do stairs and she sleeps in your bedroom (there goes your privacy) or tough it out. If you decide on the latter it might take a few nights for Arrow to work out that the treats are no longer at the end of a whine. 

Grace (Ardera Coleen) b. 18 June 2014 - Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 - Going grey gracefully
Guinness (Antigua Rum) b. 3 September 2017 - Gotcha Day 18 March 2022 - A gentleman most of the time

 

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Going down the stairs can be scary.  When Nixon was learning  I pushed him over against the wall, held his collar and helped him go down one step at a time. Very slowly. This took a lot of practice but he did eventually figure it out.  Sid is the same...one cautious step at a time.

I agree ... Arrow now has you very well trained to come downstairs when he whines!  If he is unable to figure out the stairs then you'll just have to 'tough it out' for a few nights and TOTALLY ignore him when he starts whining. Do not acknowledge him at all. 

 

 

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   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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8 hours ago, HeyRunDog said:

There is no law that says greyhounds have to sleep upstairs

While this is 100% true, I do think that just for safety reasons you should put a significant focus on training your dog to be able to go up and down the stairs. In an emergency (especially one that is not at your own house), you may not be able to carry your dog up or down to get out of a dangerous situation. You also sort of shoot yourself in the foot as far as your pool of eligible hound-sitters.

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