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My dog is very skittish at night - been awake since 1.30am! HELP!

(14 Posts)
AllSnowballsAndNoKnickers Sat 01-Dec-12 06:49:14

Ok - so - this is his third week with us. He's a Cocker Spaniel, approx 18 months old and a Dog's Trust rescue. Lovely lovely dog and very much loved by all of us although this morning I am kind of looking at him through slitty eyes and not much feeling the lurrrrrrrrrve.
He's allowed to sleep anywhere and goes off quite happily with whoever is the chosen one for the night - but..........every night between 1.30 and 3 he goes batshit crazy running about the house, skipping around like a teenager at a rave, pestering to get onto someone else's bed, up the stairs, down the stairs, to the front door, pestering again. So of course we all jump up at various intervals convinced he needs a poo or whatever. If we let him outside there's never a poo - mostly never even a wee. So - it's a game isn't it?
As advised by the rescue he is fed at 7am and around 3pm. He gets two long walks a day. No separation issues as he hasn't been left yet. I'm wondering if he's hungry - we've just come downstairs now and he's dancing around the feed bowl!
Would I be right in thinking he needs a later feed? An extra feed? I don't want to create weight issues - he's in terrific shape at the moment. But - we can't go on without doing something. Would very much appreciate any suggestions!

spudballoo Sat 01-Dec-12 07:53:49

Urgh, poor you! Can he be contained somewhere at night so he's not tripping the light fantastic all over the house? That might help him learn that bedtime is bedtime until you get up and start the day for him.

He's not raving around from 1.30pm because he's hungry. I feed my dog at 7am and between 4-5pm which I think is quite early, but I feed him so he settles while I deal with the children's dinner/bath/bed. But he isn't up partying in the night!

I think 3pm is very early though, is there is a reason why the rescue suggested that, perhaps that's when he ws fed there?

I would start a bedtime 'routine' of humans getting ready for bed (lights off, locking doors etc), him being taken out for a last wee, contain him in a room downstairs with his bed in it, shut the door and be prepared for a night or two of loud protests but ignore him.

MothershipG Sat 01-Dec-12 07:53:55

In the current weather it's more likely that he wakes up because he is cold and then just enjoys all the attention he's getting! smile

I think that while he settles in you should pick where he sleeps, make sure it is seriously cosy, and stick to it. Make sure he's been out for a wee before bed, don't let him back in until he's done one, so you can be confidant he won't need another then curtail all the messing about!

daisydotandgertie Sat 01-Dec-12 09:52:24

I'd do 2 things.

Crate him at night - and move the crate each night to wherever he will be sleeping. He sounds very unsettled; possibly he has been crated in the past and is now confused; possibly he is unsettled by the changing bed place. Could be anything thought.

Also change feeding times. Move supper to a later time - maybe about 5ish. How much does he weigh, how much are you feeding and what is the food? He might need a bit more in general too.

Has he done the night time thing since you got him?

AllSnowballsAndNoKnickers Sat 01-Dec-12 11:28:21

Thanks for answers and suggestions. We don't have a crate and would be reluctant I think to use one. We've tried making only one bedroom available to him - he expresses his displeasure by clawing and scratting at the closed doors until everyone's up and love is thin on the ground! Interesting theory about the cold - thinking back the last couple of nights have been the worst so far for night adventures!!
DH really needs to sleep properly - he's a medical professional and over-tiredness wouldn't be good for anyone! I'll battle on for a couple of nights following suggestions here about cold and not making it worth his while playing the fool!
Food - he's on Canagan. No problems with that - digestion is fine, pooing fine. No idea what he weighs but he's trim and healthy looking with a good shiny coat.

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Sat 01-Dec-12 12:17:14

My dog would bounce all over my head if I let him have the run of the house at night. And the kids. Plus, he'd probably attempt to break in to the hamster. That's why he sleeps in the kitchen. I hear him in the night sometimes, squeaking away on one of his toys hmm. He gets put to bed at around 11pm, and we're up at 6.30, so he isn't alone for very long at all. He definitely doesn't sleep the entire time, though. Could you try giving him his own 'bedroom' and see if that makes him feel more secure and settled?

daisydotandgertie Sat 01-Dec-12 14:18:39

The trouble is he clearly has no clue what going to bed for the night actually means. And he is learning bad habits at the moment by doing as he pleases overnight.

IMO, you will have to teach him what going to bed means - and a crate would make that far easier than having him belting around the house. Make a cosy warm place for him (again crate makes this easy) and teach him about bed time.

Why are you reluctant to crate?

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 01-Dec-12 14:23:05

Mine is doing this. Utterly ignoring him means he stops and settles within around 10-15 minutes as opposed to three hours when DH constantly says his name plus a string of random commands the dog does not know.

We are setting the crate up tonight because DH cannot get it into his thick head that he needs to ignore the dog.

AllSnowballsAndNoKnickers Sat 01-Dec-12 15:45:38

I don't know really why we are reluctant to use a crate - bad experience with our last dog I suppose! He died last year after 14 happy years but to this day nobody can forget the howling from the crate incident! I think ignoring is the way to go - as well as limited access. We will try having only one room available to him. He's been on a five mile walk this afternoon - We are hoping that will help too. Thanks again for all replies and suggestions.

littlewhitebag Sat 01-Dec-12 17:38:45

We use a crate and it is great and saves our sanity. Sometimes our dog whines early in the morning but we ignore her and eventually she stops. No way would i let her be bounding around the house at night. Your dog thinks he is in charge and you really need to be firm and show that your are in control and he does what you say. If you won't crate then he needs to be confined to one room and remain there regardless of whining or scrabbling. He needs to unlearn the behaviour pattern he is in.

AllSnowballsAndNoKnickers Sat 01-Dec-12 20:26:42

Yes - I agree little - I know what you say is absolutely right. Anyway - DH has some leave coming up so that will be a good time to tackle it. Meanwhile he's so gorgeous it's hard to stay cross with him for long - he's currently belly up on the sofa snoring like someone's grandfather!

Mrsjay Sun 02-Dec-12 16:01:25

It is your house not his That is what we were told by dogs trust you tell him it is bedtime get him his own bed and train him to go to his spot at night dogs dont sleep all night they toss and turn and can get up he will be feeling a little lonley and enjoying the ooh the humans are here, just try and ignore him. I feed my dog at 8 and 5 3 is a bit early but if that is what he is used too but you can change it, when he came he was a skinny wee thing and was fed 4 times last feed at 3 30 must be the dogs trust feeding routine,

mistlethrush Mon 03-Dec-12 15:59:28

We've got a fairly new addition (5 weeks) - we tried leaving her downstairs on the first night, but moving from a place with lots of dogs nearby and another one in the same run, to being an only dog in a HOUSE (shock) was all too much - so she came to bed on her bed next to ours. She would be IN bed if given the chance - but that's not acceptable and she has worked that out. She is also shut out of DS's room (although, if given the chance she'll push her way in to make sure he's OK - at least she's not taking a leap from the doorway the 7' onto the bed and DS now!). She even managed one night downstairs by herself (although she did come to get me up at 3am to let her out - its very good that I'm telepathic as she padded in very quietly and came to both sides of the bed then headed back downstairs without a sound and I had to get up based on that).

We did have one dog who would always be wide awake whenever you might get up in the night - unlike her companion who was always firmly asleep between 9pm and 7am.

If necessary, dog gate to stop him getting to bedroom doors might help?

Jinglemyalanbells Wed 05-Dec-12 20:34:40

Not sure if you're dog is timid but ours actually hated having the downstairs to herself at night. Se barked at nothing at ridiculous hours. Our dog trainer told us to crate her so she feels more secure. We did and haven't heard a peep out of her since. She is 5 months old and I'm soo glad she can be crated, I wasn't sure about crates to begin with either!

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