Last night I was on the verge of Hava-cide! Our two grandsons, ages 22 months and 5 years old were spending the night with us. A little after midnight, the baby cried out and Oreo started whining and barking. The baby was only awake 2 or 3 minutes, but Oreo was up about 3 hours. Oreo is normally a very good sleeper when it is just my husband and me here. We had some challenges when he was younger with him being a light sleeper, and we would have to tiptoe and sneak to the bathroom during the night, but once we moved his bed to the kitchen (at the opposite end of the house), he would go right to his pen and get in his bed and generally not make a peep until we got up in the morning.
We had an issue with him waking and barking when we evacuated to our son's house during the hurricane in September, but I chalked that up to being in a strange house with no electricity. Since Oreo is "my dog", to keep him from disturbing everyone else's sleep, I am the one who has to deal with him when he wakes up. Last night when the baby woke him, I went in the kitchen to reassure him and shush him, and as soon as I would get close to my bedroom, he'd start whining again. I eventually took him outside to potty, thinking maybe that was part of the issue. We came inside, he walked straight back to his pen and got in his bed, and once again, as soon as I got across the room from him, he started whining. I tried ignoring him for a while, and the whining ramped up to attention barking. I finally went and moved him pen and all into my bathroom so at least he wouldn't wake the boys. Once he was in there, I never went back in, I just let him "cry it out", but it took about 2 hours of my ignoring him before he finally gave up. Then about 6:00, the baby cried out again, and since we had the baby monitor on in our room, Oreo heard it and started whining and barking all over again. In order to keep him from waking my husband again, I just got up with him.
As I was lying in the bed unable to go to sleep because of his whining and barking, I was seriously considering putting him up for adoption. As much as I love him, I am not going to let him keep me from enjoying having my grandsons spend the night and it is not right to have to board him every time we have company. In the light of day, what seems the most logical solution is to give him some type of sleeping pill when we have overnight company. Have any of you used a medication to help your pup sleep? Anyone have any other advice (other than letting him sleep in our bed)? Thanks!
I think it's awfully soon to medicate for a one-time problem. It may take a few more visits, more often, before he gets used to the idea of other people in the house. And the children will get older too and will stop waking up at night. I remember when my (human) children were little, I occasionally got so tired that I wanted to sell THEM down the river. So I get it!
I'm sure you are exhausted.
But animals often have trouble adjusting to changes in the family routine. He's not the only one. I remember when you had him in your room, and I know he did much better when you moved him to the kitchen. So I know that moving him back in with you isn't likely to work. It may take gritting your teeth and just getting through it a few times before he gives up.
If it makes you feel any better (misery loves company?
) Night before last, we had a fairly big snowstorm for so early in the season. The plows were out all night, going up and down our road. At some point in the middle of the night, Pixel woke up in her crate and started whining. All three dogs sleep in our room, and in their own crates. (well sometimes Panda gets bed privileges, but that's because she is a VERY good "bed dog") Pixel almost NEVER whines like this at night. In fact, I can't think of another time she has done it from the time she was a little puppy. At first, I shushed her and told her to go back to sleep. (Kodi sometimes has nightmares, and that usually settles him back down) No dice. Then I ignored her for another half an hour. She kept whining.
Then I started to worry... "What if she has a tummy upset, and I'm making her have an accident in her crate?!?!" So I got up, put on my robe and slippers and took her downstairs. Nope. She had no intention of going out in the snow and was not interested in the litter box either. So I took her back upstairs. But she was clearly still nervous about something, so I decided to let her sleep in the bed with us. THAT was a mistake!!! Panda or Kodi will settle right down and sleep if they are lucky enough to get bed privileges. Pixel bounced all over both of us intermittently all night. Great. NOT a good night's sleep!!!
We finally decided that a.) it must have been the plows scaring her, and b.) she was NOT coming in the bed again!!! Fortunately, we did not have a repeat performance last night. But we had already decided that if we did, she would have ONE chance to potty, then back in her crate. Not playing THAT game again! LOL!
So it isn't just young dogs that sometimes have a problem like this!
You can certainly talk to your vet about some kind of sleep medicine and see what they say. But if it were my dog and my grandkids, I'd want everyone to figure it out... Even if it meant a few restless nights to begin with!