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I Need a Good Night's Sleep


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For the past several months Seamus has been waking up between 5:00 and 5:30 every morning, and it's really starting to take a toll on me. I've been assuming that he will grow out of it eventually, but now I'm beginning to worry. He is so much more a creature of strict habit than Daisy, that I think he might happily keep up this routine for the rest of his life. So, I'm thinking it's time to kick the dogs out of the bedroom. Ideally, I guess I should try crating them at night, but I know that neither of them are going to take it well. Daisy's generally fine in her crate, andthe few times I've crated her at night she has gone right to sleep. Unfortunately, she would eventually wake up around 4ish and start whining, so I would get up and let her come back to bed with me.

 

When I got Seamus, I swore up and down that I would crate train him properly, but he potty-trained so quickly and has been so trustworthy around the house that I ended up letting it slide and now he can't stand being left alone. He's fine when I go to work because Daisy is there with him, but if I try to leave him downstairs in the crate while I go upstairs to bed, it's not going to be pretty.

 

I know I'm in for some rough times ahead, and I honestly doubt my ability to stand firm when they're keeping me awake with their most whines, but if anyone has any advice that might help ease the transition, I would be extremely grateful.

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Sometimes, with crating as you describe, you might just have to tough it out for a few days or a week or so. Put them in adjacent crates and ignore them from bedtime until you choose to get up.

 

They should pretty soon adjust, will have each other for company, and you will sleep much better. This is from someone with a dog with a built-in 5 am wake-up system. Crating works. If you give in to whining, they will learn that whining works better, so you must not give in.

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Often for older pups who have trained their owners to continue waking up early I will do a gradual transition - initially you take them out a few minutes before they typically start carrying on (pre-empting the whining), then once you've got that working for a few days, every 3 to 4 days I add 5-10 mins onto the alarm clock setting. This is basically gradually moving wake up time to a more reasonable hour without having to deal with lots of complaining. :rolleyes:

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my dogs were all wonderfully crate trained and then i started getting lax.... and when they had to start going in their crates again at night (in our room) to give the cats some peace one of my dogs started whining every morning at 4am and I was getting up to let her out to pee and then putting her back again...

 

I was frustrated at her until someone pointed out that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.... so the next morning when she whined (and she had pottied before going to bed so I knew she was fine) she got a sharp "Eh Eh"....she tried whining a couple of more times and just got the same response.... she went back to sleep...

 

the next night/morning she only whined once and quieted with the "eh eh". . . and ever since then she's been quiet...

 

Sue is right... they try and train us, just like we try and train them...

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If I know the dogs are housebroken and can hold it, I ignore the whining. The dogs learn to get up early because we allow it. It may suck for a couple days but try ignoring them.

 

My dogs will sleep until at least 8am (many times 10am). They rarely wake us up and if they do it means they seriously need to potty.

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Sleep is good. :D You might consider:

 

* getting him happy in the crate (teaching him to go in on cue, getting all meals and special things there, first with the door open, etc.), then

* getting him happy in the crate separated from you (initially for just a moment as you go check the mail, then longer but always leaving him with a marrow bone or similarly outrageous item that you remove upon returning), then

* crating him out of the bedroom at night after a particularly vigorous day of exercise.

 

Covering the crate with a blanket can help a lot, as can leaving an unlaundered t-shirt of yours with him. You could probably accomplish the transition over the course of a week or two, depending on how you go about it and how consistent you can be. You can incorporate MaggieDog's suggestion with this appraoch as well, which prevents the whining from getting started.

 

If you "doubt your ability to stand firm" as you say, then gradual is the way to go. What's another two weeks when you're already sleep-deprived? :rolleyes:

 

Barbara

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FWIW: I found that my dogs started waking up and carrying on when my DH moved in and started feeding them as soon as he got up. Once they paired humans getting up with breakfast served they started wanting us to get up.

 

DH still needs training.

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When I geta puppy it sleeps in a cat crate (as my puppies are usually tiny) for the first week on a chair next to my bed. I slowly increase distance away from the bed till the crate is on the ground by the door. Then the crat slowly works its way out the door to the dog room. I have never had a puppy wake me up bar once or twice to go to the toilet. I feed my dogs including adult rescues in their crates so it builds value for their crates and at night they rush to their own crates, I zip em up and leave them till morning. They get let out when I get up regardless of time, and never make a sound except if they are desperate to pee. Its just about being tough. Build value for the crate, by playing games or feeding in it then just lock em up somewhere relatively out of ear shot. They will get used to it. I know it sounds tough but you letting them out when they whine is not getting you anywhere :D

 

I think it is good routine for the dogs and they always have a solid nights sleep. Being in a crate is a definite time for them to sleep even if we are still awake, they know it is time for them to sleep. I would perhaps just build some value for it, then leave it open in your room and eventually locking them in. If the whinging is too much for you to bear just put the crate outside the room until they stop. Dont give in! You'll have to start all over again :rolleyes:

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Kenzi used to wake at the crack of dawn (or before) when I first started letting her sleep out of the crate. She'd dance on the bed, try to entertain herself and get the other to join in (smart dogs that they are they ignored her) :rolleyes: After a couple weeks of a growly human telling her to knock it off and lay down she got the hint. Now she'll sleep until I'm ready to get up.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. What makes it doubly difficult is that I have a part-time housemate who stays over 3-4 nights a week, so I think I'm going to have to wait until I know she'll be out of the house for a few days and then just cut them off cold turkey. And I will DEFINITELY invest in some ear plugs.

 

And just to be clear, I always cave into their whining not because I feel bad for them, but because it is the most annoying sound in the world!! :rolleyes:

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