Dog waking in the night

(26 Posts)
Fab41 Wed 11-Jun-14 07:54:24

We have three border terriers, two of which are fine and will sleep all night. Our youngest, who is now 14months old, has started waking between 2.30am and 4am, barking and waking the others, who then join in. If I feed them they go back to sleep until we get up. If I don't feed them, they start barking again 15mins later, repeating until I give in.

I have tried separating them at night, having the youngest in our bedroom. She would still wake up and then run excitable laps under the bed and round the room. She would then lie down shaking with excitement until she went back to sleep, me holding her to staying her bed.

She wakes two or three times a night, last night was four times and we are all exhausted. Neighbour is thankfully lovely and suggested a citronella collar which we will try tonight.
Any thoughts? Thanks

RudyMentary Wed 11-Jun-14 08:02:09

It sounds like you have got her in a night feed routine.
Can you feed something just before bedtime to see if that helps.
There could be something spooking her too.

thekingfisher Wed 11-Jun-14 08:04:11

sorry nothing helpful to add

but my god are you mad - 3 - 3 -3 -3 -3 -3 Border Terriers@!!!!@

*we have one is and is terrible sleeper..so no help at all!

Fab41 Wed 11-Jun-14 10:35:19

I had thought about a late feed, just didnt want to risk poo fest as well as barking... Might try that too, thanks

3 is usually fine. One is 13 and doesn't do much other than fart and wash the other two obsessively. The middle one was a rescue and is now 4 yrs old. She is lovely and goes out with dh during the day, so is worn out. Its the youngster, aptly names Beryl the Peril, who drives me mad. But she is so cuddly and loves chasing a tennis ball. I am waiting for the collar to arrive, and am planning to sleep on the sofa tonight so I can stop her waking the rest of the house if it doesn't work.

mistlethrush Wed 11-Jun-14 10:39:29

If you're worried about a poo fest, I would be feeding last thing at night, keeping her in your room (possibly in a crate?) and if she wakes you to go out in the garden, simply take her out in the garden - she will grow out of this in time as long as its boring (you might need to keep her on a long lead to stop exploring if the garden is 'interesting'). How often do you normally feed them? If you're feeding twice a day, can you push supper later? If you're only feeding once, split into two and feed two meals instead.

Fab41 Wed 11-Jun-14 10:53:51

At the moment, they are being fed about 4am, which i know is bad but its the only way we can get back to sleep. The youngster and oldest also have a small meal about 12, and last meal about 4pm.
They are all fit and healthy, good weights for their size. The youngster has food intolerances and is still on 3 meals a day to keep weight on and not overload her system. My old boy gets jealous at lunchtime, so he gets a snack too.

mistlethrush Wed 11-Jun-14 10:55:26

My dog gets food at 7am and 6pm - if you can push her supper back to 6pm at least, that might help. With 3 meals you could even push it further.

Lilcamper Wed 11-Jun-14 11:04:43

Don't use the citronella collar. That would be punishing her for being a dog. Push the last meal back a bit.

moosemama Wed 11-Jun-14 11:27:06

When did the night waking start? If she hasn't done it before I'd want to know what triggered it and try to eliminate the source. Now she's been rewarded for doing it though you will probably have to do some work to get her out of the habit.

A citronella collar isn't the answer. It sounds like she's already hyped up and the collar will just punish and stress her out. Dogs have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, citronella is evil smelling anyway and having it squirted right in front of your nose when you are that odour sensitive must be horrendous. You need to unravel the cause of her waking, rather than punish her for it.

In addition to thinking about what might have triggered the waking eg early dawns, foxes or cats outside, the dawn chorus etc, it might be worth having a look at her exercise routine and considering whether she's getting enough mental stimulation through the day. A late walk before bedtime might help wear her out, especially if she's not usually walked late, as there are all sorts of different things sensory-wise for her to process. Similarly some clicker training in the evening, perhaps a bit of fun trick-training or something, will also help wear her out.

I would also try pushing her last meal back, as 4.00 pm is quite early when you think how long she then has to go 12.00 the next day for her next feed. My pup also has digestive issues and is still on 3 meals a day at 1 year old. He's fed at 8.45 am, 3.00 pm and 8.00 pm.

I'd agree 4pm is too early for tea. My BT has his last meal about 7pm but also has 'supper'...a dried tripe stick at around 9 or 10pm.

She does sound a little stressed (shaking with excitement), I'd not use citronella collars. Maybe something herbal and calming might be better?

What is her diet like too? Though I presume if she has food intoleranced she isn't having anything additive filled.

It must be hard though. Mine is dead to the world at night and has been from night one!

Fab41 Wed 11-Jun-14 12:28:18

Thank you for advice. It started when the clocks went forward, and the bird song is very loud about 4am. We do have foxes around, so maybe that too.
I tend to agree with what you are saying re the citronella collar. I was also looking at the adaptil collars, so will try that instead.
She has just been out for a long walk, and is flaked out. I will change her meals to 7am, 3pm and 8pm, to see if that helps.

Her diet is Barking Heads Quackers, which is just duck, sweet potato and lentils. She has dried fish as treats, and the occasional dried rabbit ear. Lovely.

She can still be full of beans at 9pm, so I will do some work with her in the evening to wear her out a bit more.

I do love her, but when DH was at his grumpiest this morning, and threatened to go and sleep in a hotel so he could have a full nights sleep, it was the last straw. I am at home during the day, where he runs his own business, sleep is precious!
Thanks for all your suggestions, i will feed back.

mistlethrush Wed 11-Jun-14 12:34:23

Can you put her in a room where you can leave some noise on - radio or TV or something to try to break the birdsong cue? Clicker training is great for tiring mentally (mine can cope with about 5 mins and then will go to sleep its been so difficult!). Can you give her some ball throwing or something in the garden at 6 / 6.30ish so not too near supper but still later than her walk? You could also even try a treat ball for her food if it is kibble - so she could have mental stimulation and exercise as well as eating her supper more slowly!

Fab41 Wed 11-Jun-14 12:48:29

She is usually downstairs which is open plan living room, dining room and kitchen. I have a gate which keeps her in the kitchen, where her bed is.
Planning to feed at 3 and then 8 tonight. I am collecting an adaptil collar from vet this afternoon, and I will give her some extra exercise this evening. I can leave the radio on too.
Fingers crossed!

moosemama Wed 11-Jun-14 13:11:26

I feel for you, my pup woke dh at 5.00 am this morning for no apparent reason and he was grumpy enough from just one night, I dread to think what he'd be like if he was being disturbed every night.

How dark is the kitchen? Would a blackout blind or curtains possibly help?

If the DAP collar doesn't seem to help at all, it may be worth trying Pet Remedy DAP didn't work for my boy, but that one, which is aromatherapy rather than pheromone based, really helps.

Good luck with tonight's plan of action, hope it works, but bear in mind it might take a few days/nights to take effect.

Hope it works. I think adaptil is a better avenue to try. BT's are funny little things aren't they? I think the mix of feisty independence with loving cuddle monsters means they just don't know what to do for the best sometimes! You'll have to let us know how it goes.

mistlethrush Wed 11-Jun-14 14:23:25

Mine decided a few months back it would be good going out to check that there were no cats or foxes in the garden at 3am. After two nights of being got up to put her down the garden (cue loud barking and general rampaging around at 3am which I don't want to happen for the neighbours sake) , I decided to go the whole hog and take her out on her lunge rein and stand with her while she had a wee. Obviously she didn't want one and was miffed that I halted her fun - and then decided that it wasn't worth getting me up to go out if I was going to be such a spoil sport and is back to sleeping through until 7am grin

GobblersKnob Wed 11-Jun-14 14:41:04

If the adaptil is effective than it is much cheaper from animed, obviously no dog for today when you need it in a hurry, but worth knowing for the future. Hope you have a less eventful night tonight! smile

GobblersKnob Wed 11-Jun-14 14:41:42

No good for today, not no dog.

mistlethrush Wed 11-Jun-14 14:42:55

The adaptil does also take a while to build up.

Fab41 Wed 11-Jun-14 15:47:25

Thanks, she has just been fed, and is wearing an adaptil collar. Room diffuser is plugged in. She is sleeping in a sunny spot in the living room just now, looking like butter wouldn't melt.

mistlethrush Wed 11-Jun-14 16:26:19

Wake her up (gently!) and do something exciting with her!!! grin

Fab41 Wed 11-Jun-14 18:36:10

Been for another walk with lots of fetching ball. She gets to the point she is too tired and keeps the ball. Snoozing again, dinner at 8.

Fab41 Thu 12-Jun-14 07:28:58

So, fed at 8, went to bed about 10. I left the radio on, and she went to bed quite happily. She woke up at 3.21am, while I could ignore her, my old boy starts barking and howling, so I had to get up. Put them all outside, and then back to bed. She barked again half an hour later, and I yelled No. Silence until 5, then same again. We woke up at 6.45, and they were all asleep.
I have just fed them, and they weren't hassling me for food as usual.

It was still dark at the first wake up, and the birds hadnt started, so I can only presume it was a fox or cat in the garden. We have chickens in a secure run, so wouldnt be surprised at either. Hopefully the adaptil will take effect today, although they all seemed calmer this morning.

We would really love to stop this early morning though!

moosemama Thu 12-Jun-14 10:30:24

Our boy woke us at 2.00 am this morning - perhaps it's catching!

We're pretty sure it's the local hedgehog that's disturbing him, as it likes to snuffle around under our kitchen window. Not sure there's much we can do about that though. hmm

mistlethrush Thu 12-Jun-14 10:36:35

If the hens are in a secure run, would you consider shutting them in their hut over night - would mean that they would be less likely to be disturbed if a fox is around, and also less likely to disturb the dog.

However, probably just going out for a wee and not getting any real benefit (ie food) from waking you up they'll soon stop bothering. If the garden's exciting at night, stick them on a lead for the wee.

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