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Retraining night time alone?

(5 Posts)
tsonlyme Thu 14-Jan-16 12:03:02

I have a three year old terrierist cross (patterdale vs border), he is gorgeous, lively and very very affectionate.

From a pup until recently he quite happily slept downstairs shut in the kitchen, no problems at all. Then we had those storms one after another and he started barking at the wind coming down the chimney and the noise of the heavy rain. Because this was happening at some godawful time of the night I took him up to bed with me or put him in with dd2 (he's her dog officially!). I KNEW this was a bad idea but at the time I just wanted him to stop making a racket and let me sleep hmm.

Now he won't be left in the kitchen at all and if we try he starts barking almost immediately, we cannot leave him to learn by barking himself out with no response because we live in a terraced house with a newborn on one side and a 6month old baby on the other, totally unacceptable to disturb them or their parents.

I don't really have a problem with him sleeping in with a person but he wriggles and jiggles, has a scratch, licks his feet and generally stops me from sleeping, I was the same when the kids were small and could never sleep if they climbed into my bed. I don't cope well when I miss out on my sleep.

We are currently sharing the sleeping with him so no-one is too disturbed, one night with me, one night with dd2. He seems to sleep better in her room and he doesn't keep her awake but then she has a problem leaving him when she goes to have a shower in the morning after I've left for work.

Strangely he seems fine being left during the day, I've checked with neighbours that he hasn't been barking when we've all been out.

Is it possible to retrain him to sleep (silently wink) in the kitchen alone or have I broken my dog forever?

AnUtterIdiot Thu 14-Jan-16 12:11:40

Can you try working in stages - having him sleep in your room but not in your bed, and then in the landing, say with a baby gate over your door so that he can see you and knows you're there but can't come in?

tsonlyme Thu 14-Jan-16 12:20:04

Thanks Utter I suppose it's worth a try but I can't imagine him staying on the floor in the bedroom, like I said he's very affectionate, likes to have bodily contact with someone most of the time hmm. I think he would just leap up on the bed the moment I closed my eyes.

We were in holiday a while back and had him in a crate in the bedroom (glamping , only one room) and he scratched and scratched at the crate until we could stand it no longer. He slept on the bed for two nights then but went straight back to in the kitchen when we got home that time.

Floralnomad Thu 14-Jan-16 23:04:32

Weird , we have a Patterdale X ( prob JRT) and he sleeps downstairs in the hall ,my DS ( idiot) let him sleep on his bed one night and we had hell for a few days getting him to stay downstairs alone even during the day when he's always been very good . That said we just persevered with leaving him ,he wasn't barking just scratching and whining and after about 3 days he was back to his old self and I've told the DC that are not to let him stay overnight anymore . Could you sit in the kitchen with him ,in the dark ,until he settles and then try to leave or if necessary camp there overnight yourself for a couple of nights to see if you can put him back into the habit .

tsonlyme Fri 15-Jan-16 22:48:50

That's interesting Floral, thank you! He cried a little bit when he first came home with us and we strictly kept him downstairs alone and it only took two nights for him to accept being alone at night, but the neighbours didn't have babies then grin.

I might suggest that dh stays downstairs for a couple of nights to see if that works. In fact the way things are at the moment I might tell him to sleep down there permanently! wink, problem solved grin

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