Help - 18 week old Puppy barking & howling at night

(8 Posts)
NannyPlumIsLotsOfFun Thu 29-Sep-16 13:42:46

Hi - this is my first post but I've been lurking for ages!

We have an 18 week old working cocker puppy. We've had him since 8.5 weeks. He has always slept in an open crate, inside a puppy pen in the kitchen without any issues, but the last week (ish) he has started barking and howling at 2/3 am.

I'm not too sure how to resolve this - can anyone help? We've tried ignoring him, but we can't really do that for too long as we have neighbours as well as a toddler. He doesn't really want to go to the toilet - he sometimes will but mainly he's just super excited to see us and wants to get on the sofa and be cuddled!

We've just bought a crate to have in our bedroom, but I'm not that keen on doing that - we have a cat so we're trying to keep upstairs dog free, but also I'm worried sleeping in our room might give him separation anxiety?

Any advice? Please be kind, we are really trying!

phillipp Thu 29-Sep-16 14:26:45

Hi, I have a working cocker a few weeks older.

I am no expert, at all. But didn't want you to go unanswered.

Have you tried putting a cuddly toy in about the same size as dpup in?

Admittedly our pup settle in the crate fairly quickly. But at first she wasn't happy, until we put the toy in.. Then she slept in the toy, like she would her litter mates. But this was when we hit her at 12 weeks. So not sure if it's helpful.

Have you worked up to closing the crate door? Perhaps you could try that, rather than having the crate in the pen?

NannyPlumIsLotsOfFun Thu 29-Sep-16 14:43:37

Thanks Phillipp - we haven't tried a cuddly toy, hadn't even thought of it! But we could definitely try that, although he might just chew it.

He goes into his crate really well, is happy to go to bed, but I think wakes in the night and just wants company. We leave a radio on overnight, we've disabled the outdoor light and we've even stopped using the dishwasher overnight because it beeps when its finished its cycle and we thought that might be disturbing him.

It really is lovely having puppy cuddles, but I'd rather not be having them at 3am and I'm petrified the neighbours have a go at me...

phillipp Thu 29-Sep-16 14:53:32

I wouldn't cuddle him at all.

When we did night wakings it was straight to the toilet and back to bed. No eye contact, no talking and definitely no cuddles.

He is learning he gets something good out of doing it. It's really hard to ignore them, but it's worth a try.

Our dpup wrestles and chews her cuddly toy but it's holding up so far grin

scotchbunny Thu 29-Sep-16 15:06:38

I wonder if when he was very young he didn't really want to venture out of his crate at night but now is braver. We similarly had a pen/crate area blocked off but when we hit around 17 weeks our pup didn't like the set up. We now have crate in family/kitchen room and have totally decluttered and use the pen to section off an area that we def don't want her chewing, a unit and couple of plants. So she has free run now, her crate and water etc.
One thing is, we do close the crate at night time, only time. I would advise you have to bite bullet and do this. He may whine and cry and you'll not know if it's for the toilet so I would bring him out for wee then straight back to crate close door and anymore whining you'll know can't be for toilet and see if he'll eventually settle. It may take a night or 2

NannyPlumIsLotsOfFun Thu 29-Sep-16 16:48:47

Thanks both for your help. I think we just aren't sure about leaving him to bark/howl because he can do it for a long time (30/45 mins) and still not be settled. So hard.

Does anyone know whether having them sleep in your room leads to separation anxiety? Although I guess he might have that already? But then right now he's asleep in the kitchen and I'm in the living room, so maybe he doesn't!

NannyPlumIsLotsOfFun Sat 08-Oct-16 16:24:41

Thought I'd do a little update. We took lots of advice on board - cuddly toy at night, and tried to ride out the barking and howling. Didn't work! So we got a second crate for our bedroom and pup now sleeps in with us smile

We're all getting a much better nights sleep and it's actually really nice listening to his snores at night! He seems a lot calmer during the day as well, which I'm putting down to sleeping better and being more relaxed, a bit like babies smile

Thanks for your help.

Sparklywine Sun 09-Oct-16 13:54:48

Thanks for the update Nannyplum, I was just about to post before I saw your last update. We have our 17 week cockapoo in with us and she's good as gold. We have three cats and during the day the upstairs is their domain, at night we have a stair gate at our bedroom door which contains the pup and means the cats are safe to roam. Expect if your pup likes the crate then you've got that bit sussed. Glad it's worked out well for you, I don't think it creates separation anxiety by the way, just confidence, our girl isn't at all clingy.

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