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How to help ddog feel happier at night(13 Posts)
Our 11 yr old border terrier has become anxious over time with where he has to be at bedtime/overnight while we're all sleeping.
He has a bed on the landing (small landing, 3 bedroom semi) and all the bedroom doors are closed at night. For the past few months I can tell he isn't happy, he sometimes shakes at bedtime when we leave the living room and bring him out with us. He then won't settle in his bed and I hear him clicking around the landing and down the stairs in the hall (wooden floors).
Eventually he must settle but mostly it's not in his bed, he lays down on the front door mat. No barking, crying or anything like that.
If it was just down to me I'd have his bed in our room but dh is quite adamant not to have him in any of the bedrooms overnight as he does lots of loud washing and licking and will also try to wake you up when you're stirring early morning.
It's not like he's far away from us at night, it's literally a couple of metres but I can tell he's unhappy.
He is well looked after, walked twice a day, eats well, gets lots of attention and love, it's just every night I feel bad for him!
We haven't got room for a crate and it's probably too late to introduce one anyway.
He is a sensitive dog and can get a bit freaked out at times.
Years ago he used to sleep in the kitchen but got anxious/unhappy with that which is when we moved him onto the landing.
Any ideas or is it actually ok just continue like this as he does eventually settle?
Do you have kids, could he sleep in with them? Or even in one of the bedrooms alone?
Does sound like he might want to have company at night.
Unfortunately can't have him in with the kids as he would want to come out of the room he's in to see us if we get up in the night/early and would disturb them, if we left the doors open they would be disturbed by the noise of us downstairs/coming up to bed or getting up in the night (creaky floorboards).
Our dog sleeps in DD’s room our ours. We just leave the doors open and she decides where she will sleep. Like you, we couldn’t shut the door when she’s in DD’s room as she would want to come out. The dog, not dd. Dd doesn’t wake up when we go to bed or anything.
You could try a thunder vest maybe. Or can you leave the living room door open so he can sleep in there rather than bringing him up with you?
Is he getting too warm now heating is on. Our upstairs gets hotter than downstairs do the dog usually starts upstairs then gets hot and goes to lie on the cooler floor downstairs. If he's really warm he'll lie on the door mat by the front door as there is a slight draft.
The living room door doesn't seem to make a difference so we keep it closed to stop him getting on the settee (he's quite hairy and sheds a lot).
Could try a thunder vest although ironically he doesn't tolerate wearing things like harnesses/dog jackets, he refuses to move! But perhaps this will be different because of the calming effect. Has anyone used them, do they work well?
Will reconsider him going in the older dcs room but she is a light sleeper so will have to try it.
I was looking for more training or behavioural techniques I could try rather than where he sleeps as there is no reason why he can't be comfy in the current set up, it feels like he's pushing his boundaries a bit but I'm not sure.
The heating is off at night and he sleeps really well in his bed on the landing during the day and when we're not in. I filmed him one time to see if he's happy when we're out!
At his age it could be a case of going blind or deaf, or it could be the start of doggy dementia. I would be inclined to book him into the vets before trying to change the set up just so you know what you're dealing with.
I was also going to suggest a thunder vest, worked wonders for my friends anxious dog.
I would also suggest a visit to the vets to check for dementia.
Thundervests cannot be worn for 8 hours. If it is stress related try Adaptil or Zylkene.
He could have become a bit deaf and that would be really confusing for him - vet check!
We made our previous dog sleep on his own as per the recommendation by dog trainers, and also due to the noise you describe with your dog. But we always knew he'd prefer to sleep with us in the room, he was a sensitive little guy. Now that he died I am thinking we were too strict, and I regret making him sleep alone.
Our new dog sleeps in our room and we wouldn't have it any other way now.
Can you put a stair/dog gate on you bedroom door so you can leave the door open but the dog can't get in? If he can see/hear/smell you he may settle down.
Thanks for taking the time to respond.
I don't think he's going deaf as he is very good at hearing when we pull into the drive and acutely aware of noises as he always has been.
I've booked an appointment with the vet, it's not til early Jan but at least I can get him checked out and get some advice, perhaps for something to ease his anxiety.
Will also look up dementia in dogs to see if there are any other signs.
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