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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Sleep Advice Needed

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!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 04:38 PM
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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!
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Last edited by krandall; 11-17-2018 at 04:41 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 04:56 PM
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I hope you don’t mind my answering. Your post sounds pretty desperate, and I fully understand how disrupted nights and lack of sleep can be exhausting and discouraging. However, as you mentioned, Oreo was doing great before this visit from the children. It sounds like he was effected more than you realize by the “strangers” in the house (HIS house) ... new smells and noises, different routines and activities, possibly feelings similar to jealousy ... all these are stressful to a young dog, and he finally dealt with it by not settling after being woken, and perhaps just needing comfort and company to get him through. We can’t really know what he was feeling, but the causes seem obvious!

I would not predict that this will happen every time the grandkids visit. He will get used to them, even if it is infrequent, plus the kids will get older and will sleep better themselves. Bingo has travelled with me three times now to visit my mother in California and each time, you can see clearly, he remembers the routines and differences more and more.

If it were me, I would have laid down with a blanket and pillow next to his pen and stuck my hand in and stayed there until he settled (This is what I did with Bingo as a puppy in his crate by my bed. I never let him cry, and it did not take long for him to sleep through the night and in a different room). This might simply work, or it might set him back a bit for sleeping on his own, but I think it is important for the guests (and the husbands) to not be traumatized for the night by the upset puppy, and I would muster up patience for returning to normal in the nights ahead. Other tactics to incorporate would be a large amount of excersize in the evening before bedtime on sleepover nights and having more fun guest/family sleepovers with the purpose of ‘helping to train Oreo’ to get used to it.

Years ago, I re-homed a young dog because I did not like his personality much (now I realize it was MY lack of socializing him properly). I gave him to a family who came took him away, and I, my husband and two young kids all felt awful about it. Later that evening they called to say they didn’t want him because he stayed under the table growling at the husband when he came home from work. They brought him back and, OMG, we were overjoyed! Our Zap-a-doo was back! We literally fell in love with this dog all over again and cherished him happily ever after, despite his faults.

I have a feeling it is only your frustration and lack of sleep talking when you say you may give up on Oreo ... I’m suggesting that this is just a small glitch that needs to be worked through, and the outcome will ultimately be a well adjusted and well loved member of the family, if you can just persevere.

Cross posted with Karen ... : )


——————
Cheers,
Ci





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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Karen and Ci, Don't worry, it was definitely my sleep deprivation talking, I couldn't even follow through with my initial inclination to put Oreo out in the garage to spend the rest of the night! The situation seems to have begun while we were at my son's house during the hurricane. Oreo was up barking every time anyone in the house got up to go to the bathroom or anything, and annoyed everyone in the house. My husband has had heart surgery, and can't have his sleep disrupted. So in order to keep Oreo from ruining everyone else's sleep, I spent the night laying on the floor beside him and averaged 3 hours of sleep a night for the 4 nights we were there. Our little grandsons spent many nights here prior to the hurricane, and we never had this kind of issue, and he sleeps fine now when it is only my husband and me here. It would seem that out of consideration to others, and to preserve my husband's health, some medication might help when others are spending the night here. I did put in a call to my vet, and hopefully she will have a suggestion. On a more positive note, Karen may remember he used to jump on and torment my older grandson, and now with a little maturity on both parts that issue has improved. However, we do have a long way to go on this journey with Oreo and grandchildren, our daughter's first is only 13 months old, and has never been around a dog!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Other tactics to incorporate would be a large amount of excersize in the evening before bedtime on sleepover nights
This morning, after a good night's sleep, I am finally able to reflect on your comments with a clear head, and your advice about exercise really hit home. When we were at our son's house for the hurricane, we had flooding rains for 3 days, and with downed trees and power lines there was no opportunity for walks. (Not to mention that everyone was under a great deal of stress, which Oreo certainly could have picked up on.) On Friday, I had a busy day with work, so there were only short walks before the boys came over. Going forward, if we are planning on overnight guests, I will make a concerted effort to make sure he gets an abundance of exercise and really wear him out before the guests arrive!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 09:55 AM
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Thanks Karen and Ci, Don't worry, it was definitely my sleep deprivation talking, I couldn't even follow through with my initial inclination to put Oreo out in the garage to spend the rest of the night! The situation seems to have begun while we were at my son's house during the hurricane. Oreo was up barking every time anyone in the house got up to go to the bathroom or anything, and annoyed everyone in the house. My husband has had heart surgery, and can't have his sleep disrupted. So in order to keep Oreo from ruining everyone else's sleep, I spent the night laying on the floor beside him and averaged 3 hours of sleep a night for the 4 nights we were there. Our little grandsons spent many nights here prior to the hurricane, and we never had this kind of issue, and he sleeps fine now when it is only my husband and me here. It would seem that out of consideration to others, and to preserve my husband's health, some medication might help when others are spending the night here. I did put in a call to my vet, and hopefully she will have a suggestion. On a more positive note, Karen may remember he used to jump on and torment my older grandson, and now with a little maturity on both parts that issue has improved. However, we do have a long way to go on this journey with Oreo and grandchildren, our daughter's first is only 13 months old, and has never been around a dog!
Yup! Managing kids and dogs is an on-going challenge. You'll figure it out!


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 10:04 AM
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This morning, after a good night's sleep, I am finally able to reflect on your comments with a clear head, and your advice about exercise really hit home. When we were at our son's house for the hurricane, we had flooding rains for 3 days, and with downed trees and power lines there was no opportunity for walks. (Not to mention that everyone was under a great deal of stress, which Oreo certainly could have picked up on.) On Friday, I had a busy day with work, so there were only short walks before the boys came over. Going forward, if we are planning on overnight guests, I will make a concerted effort to make sure he gets an abundance of exercise and really wear him out before the guests arrive!
The stress issue (and stacking stressors) can't be over-emphasized. We have had several serious health issues going on in our family recently, and as much as both my husband and I TRY not to let the stress get to us, I can still see it in our dogs. They are ALL more "barky". Kodi with demand barking, and the girls with alarm barking at ANYTHING they hear outside... and with the heavy winds and swirling leaves we've had in the past week, that's pretty often! Then I find myself yelling at them, (which, when my brain is engaged, I KNOW doesn't help!!!) Pixel reacting to the plows the other night was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back that night!

The good thing about it was that it made both Dave and me recognize what was happening, and come up with a plan. We are now making a concerted effort to play with them more and cuddle with them more. ...And we are trying NOT to react negatively to the barking, but to redirect and manage as much as we can. Will we make mistakes again? Of course, but at least we are aware of what's happening and why, and that helps.

Our dogs pick up on stress and anxiety in the household MUCH more than we realize.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 10:13 AM
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I think this would be a fantastic excuse to have your grandkids visit more often for a while!!!

I have noticed that issues like this resolve faster when it happens more frequently. I wouldn’t schedule visits a bunch of days in a row because it sounds like it would be hard to catch up on sleep during the day, but if you can have a few sleepovers fairly close together, I think he’ll get used to the company faster. How far away do they live?

Maybe calm music in the grandkids room would provide some cover for any noises the dog makes if he wakes up. Would your husband be willing to wear ear plugs, just for a few nights? It would sort of be his way of helping you while he’s sleeping because it would take a little of the pressure off. My husband is a light sleeper and has to work nights once a month and he found really comfortable moldable ear plugs at the pharmacy so he can sleep before or after when the house is busy.

I know you feel like it’s your responsibility, but I think it’s okay to give everyone a little heads up and let them know what to do. You can tell the older grandkids something like if they hear him in the night, he doesn’t understand it’s sleeping time and just wants to play, and their “job” is to pretend to be sleeping. “Pretending” to be sleeping was always a fun game with DD when she was coming to the end of nap age. Doesn’t help so much with the baby, though!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Eva, We normally have them over a lot, but due to the hurricane and some other things we had going on, we hadn't had them since August. Hopefully we will get back into more of a routine of having them sleep over. Your suggestion about the soft music made me chuckle. Everyone in the house, including Oreo, has a white noise machine playing in their room. My husband actually wears hearing aids, but unfortunately even though he doesn't wear them at night, he is still a very light sleeper. I will see if I can talk him into ear plugs the next time the boys are over. Hopefully if I am more focused on making sure that Oreo has had a lot of exercise before they arrive, we will all sleep better. Thanks!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 06:56 PM
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When you have decided the pup is not ill, doesn't need to empty bladder etc., I suggest the soft silicone ear plugs. For me I have to tear them in half and smash into cone shape, then stuff in my ears. Now, this is for light whining or grumbling, not full out barking. With full out barking the neighbors must be considered. And, your dog is maybe trying to warn you of something, so don't let a burglar catch you in earplugs!

Of course, you can't dress the grandkids in earplugs.

I used earplugs for two nights and then did not have to use them again. I think after two nights of not responding to Zoey's cries she decided she was not going to be rewarded for the racket and it ceased. I was, till then, up four times a night.

I had the same thoughts of rehoming mine, when I moved to the new house and my pet would not shut up. The new place is half the size and not as well insulated against sound and the resulting lack of sleep made me feel desperate. So, a sympathetic friend actually showed me what the earplugs looked like (as I had tried the foam ones when staying in hotels and they were useless).

Different barks and whines mean different things, so make sure you don't have a sick animal on your hands before tuning your pup out. My Zoey wanted everyone to know she liked the larger house with the deer and the lake view, I deduced, and decided her whines were worthy of earplugs.

"Shut up Zoey, we are downsizing."
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