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Greys sharing your bedroom at night


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We've had our 3 yo girl for about six weeks, and at first we weren't sure if we wanted her sleeping in our bedroom with us at night because my partner is a light sleeper. Her anxiety was bad the first few nights, so she has been sleeping with me in our spare room and my partner has been in our room so he can sleep through the night, and I get up with her because I get up earlier for work. We have tried having her in our room with us to see how he sleeps. If she gets up to move around or rustle at her bed at night and I wake up, I usually sleep through it or fall back asleep easily; but when we have had her in our bedroom together, my partner wakes up at these noises and is frustrated when he can't get back to sleep. Sometimes she will lick for a few minutes and this keeps him awake. I have suggested wearing ear plugs so he can sleep through it, but he wants to be able to hear if something actually happened outside or in the house that would require us to wake up and act; I understand his concern here. 

Last night we figured let's see how she does sleeping in the guest room with her bed, which is where she also likes to hang out during the day when we're away. We keep our bedroom door closed so she doesn't spend time in there except when we are all home. She was fine for the first hour and seemed to go right to sleep, but after an hour she began whining, pacing and pawing at the door. We would give a sharp "no" if she scratched at the door and we otherwise tried to just ignore it, but after two hours it was clear she was miserable and we don't want her to be uncomfortable. We all needed to sleep as well, so I went to sleep in the guest room but gave her zero attention when I went in, hoping to not reinforce her behavior but I'm sure it was reinforcing once I went in. She immediately calmed down and lay on her bed once I was there.

So the question is - I would love to share the bed with my partner at night, but I am trying to figure out a solution so our girl is comfortable. I have to respect his needs for a good night's sleep, while also considering that our girl is adjusting and wants to sleep with us. We've watched her on a dog camera when we leave for work; she will sometimes whine and walk around but otherwise seems fine after the first 30 minutes or so. I leave a Kong for her and toys and this seems to keep her occupied. We also have an older Pekingese who keeps her company and they will play during the day, and then leave each other alone to take a nap. Our Pekingese is sharing the same sleeping space as her each night - last night we kept him in the guest room with her, although this wasn't enough to keep her comfortable. 

I'm curious if anyone has had a similar experience with a sensitive partner. Our former Grey was older and I had had him for years. He was fine sleeping downstairs without us. This is obviously a different situation and she is still getting settled, so I know it will take time. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I would love to sleep in my bed again while knowing she is OK too!

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Many greys simply do not like closed doors. She could have also heard something that you didn't and wanted to investigate.  Greyhounds are pretty social and usually prefer to sleep in the same room as their people, aka their "pack."

I've seen hounds get antsy several times behind a closed door.   As a test you could leave the door open but block it with a chair or something similar.  If that takes care of it, you might consider installing a baby gate in the door way.  We use a gate in our bedroom doorway so that none of our dogs or visiting dogs go to the door expecting to be let out when we are asleep, as the exterior door is on the other side of the house and we would not hear them if they simply went to the door and waited. 

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Yes... she is missing her pack.  Our dogs all sleep in the bedroom. 

I'd put a baby gate across your open door and try her in the Guest room.

Or put her  bed - and the Pekes bed right outside your baby-gated door.

If she whines/cries try and totally ignore her.  She has now become accustomed to getting your attention when she does whine in the night.   I know it is hard to ignore them, but if you continue to 'reward' her by talking to her or going to her then she is never going to learn how to sleep alone.  And it seems she needs to learn this in order to please your partner.

:goodluck

 

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

 

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At this point you've reinforced your way into an unbeatable situation - she wants/needs to have a person to sleep with, but your partner's sensitivity makes sleeping in the bedroom impossible.  I'm just curious how he deals with the normal sounds of a house at night?  Is he constantly waking up when the furnace or air comes on, or when the refrigerater cycles?  Is every sound one he needs to hear?

Sorry, I don't mean to be snarky, but if you wanted her to get used to sleeping on her own, you needed to bite the bullet right at the beginning.  You would have had a few night's of interrupted sleep as she settled into a new routine.  Now you are looking at probably a couple weeks to break her old habits and get her used to a new sleeping arrangement.  But it's doable if you can stick through it.  It's more common in the UK to not have your dogs sleep in the same room with you, so it's something that happens regularly over there.  

I would definitely try the baby gate or other see through barrier at your bedroom door first.  She may be just fine if she can walk down the hall and check on you rather than seeing a closed door.  Completely ignore her during this trial - no talking to her or anything.  It will be hard on all parties.  If that's not going to be the solution, I would suggest your partner move his sleeping area for a week or so.  Give her time to settle into a new routine in a new place with you in the regular bedroom.  Use the baby gate to keep her in that space and have your partner close the door to wherever he is sleeping so he's not a part of this transition.  Then, when she is calmly sleeping through the night, you can try reintegrating the sleeping arrangements.

Good luck!

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

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5 hours ago, greysmom said:

It's more common in the UK to not have your dogs sleep in the same room with you, so it's something that happens regularly over there.  

I'm in the UK and yes Grace sleeps downstairs in the main room and yes she did whine and the occasional bark for the first few nights but she's quite happy to be alone at night now and I have no problems when leaving her to go to work.

To get her used to sleeping downstairs I used to leave the radio on, tuned into a talk radio station so no sudden noises, and a low wattage side light on. The third or fourth night of intermittent whining I crept down and waited outside the door for her to start again because she used to stop if she heard me moving around the house. I then flung the door open and using the voice of God said QUIET. Never had a problem since. It might sound cruel to burst in and shout at her but both of us got a good night's sleep afterwards and she learnt that her whining got her attention alright but not the sort she wanted.  

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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There are definitely dog bed options are that quieter than others, especially if she's a frequent nester you'll need something softer to not hear the noise of her pushing stuff around. I'd also recommend using a rubber band or contraption similar to this to keep her tags quiet at night. As time goes on, though, she'll probably stop moving around too much at night because she'll be fully relaxed at your house. You can distract and train them not to lick on a command, but you have to decide if you're ok teaching her to not perform normal hygiene (as someone with a hound with the opposite problem, I would not recommend).

Just as it takes the dog a while to settle in, your partner will also likely get used to the more benign dog sounds as time goes on.

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Here and now you need to make a decision on what you want, and stick with it. Most dogs can learn to sleep alone at night. If that's the route you're going to go then you need to go forth boldly and decisively. Use a baby gate, or crate her in the appropriate room where you want her to sleep and then ignore all attention seeking. It will be sad, upsetting, and super frustrating for probably 1-2 weeks, maybe more depending on how much you've unintentionally rewarded her attention seeking behaviour already. It will probably get worse before it gets better. But she will learn and adjust.

On the flip side, maybe your partner can adjust. I am an incredibly light sleeper. I wake up for all sorts of things, including nothing at all. I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep, or if I wake up in the night I sometimes have trouble getting back to sleep. And yet, the one who complains the most about the dogs... is my boyfriend, who I joke would sleep through me being murdered with a chainsaw in bed next to him... almost nothing disturbs his sleep. Our dogs sleep in our bedroom, and typically Kenna starts out in bed with us, and then partway through the night she and Kili will trade. And then early morning about the time that my boyfriend gets up for work, they might trade again or both end up in bed. I've adjusted to this and I often don't even wake up when the dogs get in and out of the bed, or if I do I fall asleep again once they've settled.

I'm not saying your partner needs to be the one to adjust. I'm just saying that both parties are potentially capable of an adjustment, and the only question is who is going to make the change. For us, it's very important to me that the dogs sleep in the bedroom with us, and since it's me that's the lighter sleeper it hasn't been an issue. Your family may decide you want the dog to sleep elsewhere, and that's fine too, but just remember that dogs are pack animals and what you are asking her to do goes against her natural inclination. There's nothing wrong with that, but realize when you embark that you will have a couple of weeks where you get far less sleep.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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I appreciate everyone's thoughts and ideas, and I agree - this would have been better to start with right away and stick to it rather than change things now. I know that makes it harder on everyone, especially our girl. We wanted a solid plan in the beginning because we knew it would be difficult to adjust and we anticipated some hard nights. The combination of our girl getting used to a potty schedule and adjusting to the stairs up and down each night ended up taking lots of time. After spending sometimes 30 minutes or more to help her up and down the stairs and then a potty break at 3 am, the reality was that it was just easier to have her sleep with me in the guest room as my partner got sleep on his own. At this time also, I was taking time off work to help her get accustomed, so I was able to catch up on sleep in the late mornings. 

I am hoping to try the baby gate idea as many of you have suggested so she can see us and I can shush her if needed. It would be ideal if my partner wanted to try to have her in the room, as I really enjoy sleeping with both dogs in the room, but I think having them right outside the room together is a close alternative. Thank you again. I appreciate the time taken to help us all out!

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:goodluck

 

"and I can shush her if needed"

This is not going to solve anything.  You need to totally ignore her whining/barking.

She will consider any response from you as a reward.

 

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am the very light sleeper in our house. My wife sleeps like the dead. That said, all the dogs do want to sleep in our bedroom, and our iggy sleeps in bed with us almost every night. I definitely used to be disturbed by their noises and movements, and sometimes they still wake me up, but mostly I have  grown accustomed to it and am not disturbed the way I used to be. The thing that is most likely to wake me now is making sure that my oblivious wife has not rolled on the iggy and that the little punk is safe and sound, lol.

All that to say...it is definitely possible for us light sleepers to become accustomed to certain noises or things. It just takes time and willingness.

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