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Waking up and barking (at nothing) in the middle of the night
Old 12-21-2012, 08:45 AM   #1
PSUHavanese
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Waking up and barking (at nothing) in the middle of the night

Phantom is now a little over 8 months and has been doing great overall. But lately he has been waking up in the middle of the night and starts barking and growling toward our bedroom door (which is also toward the apartment entrance). Last night he did it at least twice at 12:30am and 2:30am. He calms down once we show him no one is there. He sleeps in the bed with us and has never done this before last week. We live in an apartment building so itís possible he hears noise from the hall or stairwell. We are already leaving a fan on for some white noise.

Coincidently, last week we had a relative stay with us for a few days. He was working in the area and regularly got home from work between midnight and 5am (long after we went to bed with Phantom). Each time he arrived home Phantom would wake up and bark, not stopping until we showed him who it was. On top of everything Phantom was neutered last week.

Any idea what is causing this behavior? Is it learned from when my relative stayed over or is it fear based? Any idea how to extinguish or redirect this behavior?

-Dave
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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Tillie will do the same thing, which is one of many reasons she sleeps in her crate.
she doesn't make a sound in her crate... if she is on our bed, she woofs and darts to the front door at every little sound...
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:23 PM   #3
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Otis sleeps in his crate, and doesnt make a sound. We cover his crate at night with a blanket.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:31 PM   #4
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Rosie does this when someone comes to the door. I work upstairs and can't hear knocking. Rosie will bard and them come to get me by running back and forth like Lassie to get me to follow her. This is a good thing. But the nights when my husband is traveling, she must think that she is on watch for her poor deaf mother. She will wake me by growling and staring at the stairs. Makes cool chills go all over me. Thankfully there has never been anyone in the house or at the door in the middle of the night, yes, I have to get my shotgun and go look. She never makes a sound when my husband is here, so it must be a guarding thing for her and problem a 'possum or raccoon on the porch.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:53 PM   #5
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yeah Dave , this is a tricky one, It sounds like typical alert barking. Your problem is whether to acknowledge it or not. If you have frequent people arriving in the apartment each night and at sleeping hours it can cause a lot of interuptions in your sleep . It's up to you to decide if you want to ignore all his warnings or not. If you do want to eliminate this alert barking you have to ignore it totally, ie, don't even move or breath lol. Your terminology is correct when you said "extinguish" the behavior. But be prepared he will probably bark louder to get your attention ,which is called an extinction burst. And that could pose another problem with waking up your fellow apartment dwellers. It's nice to acknowledge our dogs when they are warning us , but this one comes with some disadvantages. See how it goes. You'll have to be the judge.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:59 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice. Phantom was a little better the past two nights only waking up once...hopefully just ignoring it will work.
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