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Really need advice or may go crazy from sleep deprivation(17 Posts)
Bit of background - back in 2014 I got a bichon frise from the pound. She’d obviously been in a home before and got very attached to me. We then got another dog the following year, a terrier, who she got on great with - would sleep with him downstairs in the kitchen, cuddle up etc. Unfortunately terrier ran away last year and I let the bichon sleep in my room as she was lonely and sad.
The problem is that she makes a lot of noise during the night, wandering around, messing about with her covers and sometimes won’t use the dog flap to go outside for the toilet. I’m a very poor sleeper so this has been a big problem. We also feel sorry for her as, although she’s not alone for extremely long periods, she’s used to dog company. Her clinginess with me is getting worse so we though we should get her a companion
So I got a greyhound on Sunday - he was described as calm and low-energy - which he is - and that he also needed the company of another dog. Sounded perfect! The bichon is ok with him, they’re still figuring each other out.The problem with him is that although he’s ok going to bed he wakes up between 12.30 and 2.30 and will keep barking for ages - up to two hours. Which is obviously terrible for my neighbours and me.
I know I should let him bark it out but last night he was barking very loud for very long so went downstairs and yelled at him to go to bed. The bichon came with me and hearing that she also went to bed. I had a lightbulb moment and left her there as well as the ultimate aim was always she would move downstairs with him anyway. This was after 2am at this point and also Christmas night so my decision-making abilities may not have been great.
Bear in mind there are five places they can sleep downstairs, including an entire sofa and four very comfy dog beds.
The bichon cried and barked and banged on the door for hours to the extent that I had to take a sleeping pill and use white noise and still didn’t get much sleep. She’s very stubborn.
I’m so very worried about tonight as I’ve had four nights with very little sleep at this point and I don’t want let the bichon frise back upstairs. Does anybody please have any advice as to how I can make them settle? They have everything the need downstairs, beds, water, everything and I just want some sleep. I really need this sorted by the time we go back to work and school.
Check if the greyhound needs to go out; if so take him/her, as presumably your dog flap isn't that large? Even if it is, he/she might not know how to work it.
Also check if he/she is cold; greyhounds often need some sort of jumper or housecoat at night in the winter.
How much exercise/training are they getting? A tired dog will sleep more.
The Bichon seems very anxious when she is parted from you. You will probably need to separate her from you by degrees of distance and time but be warned it doesn't happen instantly but takes time to resolve. Is there somewhere they can both be close to you - and know they are close to you - without actually sleeping in the same room?
I’m sorry but you sound like a terrible dog owner as well as a terrible neighbour - did you go round and offer your neighbour sleeping pills and a white noise machine ?
Changing a dogs sleeping place needs to be done gradually. You cant just shut her downstairs if she has been happy sleeping with you. Especially with a dog she doesnt have a companion bond with.
You need to build up their bond and slowly move to them both sleeping together.
Take the greyhound to the toilet when he barks and stay with him to settle him.
Oh and shouting at an already stressed dog will not help.
Your poor neighbours - have you apologised to them?!
When you go and shout at a barking dog they can perceive this as a reward of attention for barking.
So now you have two dogs with problems instead of one?
How and why did the terrier run away?
How is the Bichon supposed to use the dog flap whilst in your room?
So many questions...
Yet again I am starting to think bringing back licences along with some kind of test you need to pass to own a dog might be a good idea...
Dog licenses do nothing and I cant see anyone thinking a dog test us a good use of public money.
Besides which, passing a test and actually implementing it in real life, in your own home, where no one sees is 2 different things.
Your previous dog just ran away??? The mind boggles. I'm afraid I agree with pp - you don't sound like you're handling this too well. Can you find a dog behaviourist who might be able to give you some guidance? A bit of a professional steer might help you and your poor dogs. Hope you can get it sorted and a happier household soon.
Sounds like the Bichon had separation anxiety. Instead of dealing with this properly you added another dog to the mix.
1. Understand why a healthy adult dog cannot go through the night reliably without needing the toilet (unless you know this already)
2. Work on increasing the bichon's confidence in being left alone (without the other dog). Lots of good advice online but you could start here: www.whole-dog-journal.com/behavior/how-to-help-a-dog-with-separation-anxiety/
3. Find out how the terrier run away and takes steps to prevent this happening again (if you haven't already)
4. Look at why the greyhound is waking up - something has to be disturbing him. Cameras can help.
5. Stop adding dogs when you have problems. Adding a new dog hardly ever fixes and issue and more often makes it worse.
6. Look at getting a better understanding of dog behaviour because, tbh, you sound a bit clueless right now. If you want book recommendations, let us know.
Where did u get the greyhound from? If it was a proper rescue they will have some help they can offer to get the poor dog settled.
I'm really hoping this poor dog hasn't just been collected off an Internet ad. If it has, you should either hand the greyhound over to a specialist rescue and go back to teaching your bichon, or hire a pro to help you.
You have two very sad stressed dogs there so please be kind and use positive methods to build them up.
Greyhounds who haven’t lived in a home before (ie ex racing ones) tend to wake up super, super early - like 3am onwards- as this is the time they’re often fed and walked / transported if they’re going to race. We found this out the hard way when we rehomed a rescue greyhound! Our days started at 4am, barking etc etc. It’s a very gradual thing to get them used to a house environment- they won’t have a clue what’s going on.
Intersting point about racing greyhound's schedule. I didn't know that!
Poor Greyhound doesn't sound as though he is happy at all. Probably terrified and never been in a house before if ex racer. Took my Grey 3 months to settle in.
Let them both sleep in your bedroom but in their own beds. You will probably all sleep better then