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Up Topic Dog Boards / Behaviour / Please help! My puppy won't stop barking
- By Lottie_AFC [gb] Date 13.03.05 18:20 GMT
Hi all, I am new to the group and I hope with your wealth of experience you will be able to help me.

I have had my puppy for 2 weeks and got him used to a crate.  I have had puppies and adult dogs before and encountered toilet training and chewing and all kinds of behaviours, but this latest addition to the family is driving me to distraction.

He will not settle overnight.  he does not howl or whine, he barks, SOLIDLY, even when I keep him awake during the day as much as possible, he only then sleeps for 6 hours after the third night of consecutive barking.

I have tried:

Leaving a lamp on
Leaving the TV on
Leaving the radio on
Leaving the house in darkness and silence
Bones and chews - no interest in otherwise exciting foodstuffs at all overnight
Completely ignoring the barking
Stern reprimanding without coming down to him
Coming down and squirting a small amount of water into the crate and saying "NO!" very firmly
Tiring him out as much as possible

When desperate (I am in a new house and my neighbours have obviously complained about the disturbance) someone has slept on the sofa in the same room, whilst giving the dog no attention.

He seems to have cottoned on to the pecking order in the home and is better behaved, and intelligent -  he started puppy classes last week.

I have spoken to 2 vets and 2 dog behavioralist and we are all running out of ideas.

This is affecting my children's schooling (they are extrememly tired during the day through lack of sleep.  My housing situation (it cannot go on indefinately otherwise action wuill be taken against me) I also  do not want to get on the wrong side of my neighbours.

The place I got him from wasn't his first home, I suspect this was why they rehomed him, they have since had the telephone disconnected and moved away.  They were not firm with him and allowed him on the furniture and to have scraps from their food etc.  They had not got the pup vaccinated and so I am unable to take him out until another maybe 10 days (he has his final jab tomorrow).  I am hoping this will wear him out (more exercise) but I need to try something else in the meantime.

Largely I have undone everything they did badly, and he is a very sweet puppy with an awful lot of potential.  But I am affected detrimentally by 2 weeks with a total of maybe 20 hours sleep.  My mood is low and I am suffering from headaches.

It has been suggested that I have his crate in my room and gradually move it further and further away to the place it needs to be downstairs, however this would be awkward and difficult for me to do easily twice each day as i have a back injury that makes it difficult to lift.  Also This means if he does bark in the main area of the house (hallways) it will be more audible to my neighbours and possibly cause more nuiscance.

My son was going to sleep downstairs with him last night just so I could catch up with sleep, but puppy was barking with him in the room too. So how effective the crate moving would be is also unclear.

My dog therapist suggested I rent an anti bark (citronella) collar from the vets and attach it to the crate overnight (as they only have one for large dogs), however my puppy trainer said this would put the pup off of going in the crate altogether.  I did think of buying a small compact anti bark collar from Aboistop (pup is a jack russell X daschund) which would set me back £90, but when I rang the company and spoke to their behaviouralist for advice they said they did not recommend them on dogs under a year old.

How effective are these collars with citronella? Are the high pitched collars any more effective? I have seen ones that shock dogs but this seems somewhat inhumane and I don't think I could deal with using one of those! 

Whatever happens I have to sort out something soon otherwise I will have little option but to rehome him, as I cannot have my housing situation jeopardised for much longer.

Please help!
- By digger [gb] Date 13.03.05 20:57 GMT
Two questions - what breed is he?  Has he had his hearing tested?
- By Lottie_AFC [gb] Date 13.03.05 21:16 GMT
Hi digger, as mentioned in my message pup is a jack russell X wire haired daschund (I think) maybe has some Yorkie in him.  He's mainly terrier.

I have not had his hearing checked, since this seems to be extremely good and the vet and puppy trainer (and myself) have no concerns.  he responds well to all commands.  the main problem is overnight barking (and barking when left in the day although this is less of a nuiscance at the moment.
- By MINI-MEG [gb] Date 15.03.05 22:22 GMT
you mite be better moving him into your room until he settels.with him having daschund in him they arnt the type of dogs that like to be left,well my daschund doesnt anyway. she only barks wen she wants to be with you.hes probibly the same! obviosly alot of people have prob told you to ignor him,but its not always possible wen you have neighbours. try that and see how it works! you could move him back down staires gradually.hel settle in the end! goodluck hope you all finally get a good nites sleep!!!
regards sarah x
- By digger [gb] Date 15.03.05 23:30 GMT
If  you've only had him 2 weeks, and you've tried so many different methods I think you've just confused him......  You have to decide on a stratagy and stick to it. Moving his crate nearer to you at night will probably help, although he'll probably try to get your attention at first, especially as it has worked on occasions up until now.  When explaining this I like to use the analogy of starting a car - your pup has learnt that if he keeps up the noise, somebody might come eventually - just as if you had an old banger that usually started if you just kept turning the key.  If you had a new car that always started first time, and for some reason this morning it didn't, you'd soon give up.  The pup has to learn that his behaviour NEVER gets a reaction, but at the same time it will help if you can reduce his need to call you by having him not so isolated.
Citronella collars have their place, but I really don't think this is one of them to be honest with you - just choose a stratagy and stick with it ;)
- By Mr.Spock [us] Date 16.03.05 00:59 GMT
I would agree with Digger.  In the small time of 2 weeks you've tried so many different things, may resulting in the desired attention, that you're doing nothing to curb his behavior ultimately.  Sleeping near his cage is giving him attention, speaking to him and squirting him is giving him attention.  Negative attention is sometimes better than no attention at all.  If you have problems lifting due to your back injury, I would suggest purchasing a second crate for your room and using that at night time.
- By Lindsay Date 16.03.05 08:35 GMT
My suggestion would be to sleep with the pup because this is what i always recommend anyway. Gradually the pup learns to become more independent and sleep alone.
I have done it and although you may feel it backfires, in fact it doesn't as what happens is that the pup feels secure with you there and the security means he sleeps.This promotes good habits that last. It may not be immediate but I think this is your best bet, so either sleep downstairs or get a crate and have him upstairs (but watch out for him healthwise if he has a long back, on the stairs as it won'tbe good for him). I would also recommend getting a DAP diffuser, this is left on all the time and the pheromones from this will help him to relax, take off anxiety and help with calm behaviour.

I would be very surprised if that doesn't work. After a few weeks, you can gradually start to move his crate downstairs, ie to the landing, then down to the bottom of the stairs and so on, over a period of maybe 2 weeks.

I wouldn't worry too much about letting himon furniture or not, because none of the so called pack theory rules have anything to do with why your pup is trying to get you to come to him - he is small, a baby, and scared probably. He has had 2 homes and now on his 3rd and who knows how he was treated in his last home? I wish you lots of luck and hope things improve for you both :)

- By Lottie_AFC [gb] Date 16.03.05 09:42 GMT
OK everyone, many many thanks for your feedback. For some reason I hadn't even thought of getting 2 crates *doh*!

The squirting and vocal scolding I tried only once, and they both resulted in the negative attention better than no attention thinking for him - so I hear what you are saying.  In the main I have ignored him totally, and there's been no pattern so far to the good nights and bad nights.

My latest strategy is shutting my 2 cats in the sitting room with him, although they're not the best pals they are tolerant of him, and I thought they may help him be distracted, and feel less alone.

For the past 2 nights this has worked and I am getting 5 hours solid sleep - which is miraculous!  I find after 5 hours he stirs, and I have been getting up before any barking ensues to let him out to go to the toilet.  I take his food and water up from about 7.30pm, but I am uncertain how long he should be able to go overnight holding his bladder/bowel?

I will keep everyone posted as to how I am doing.
- By Mr.Spock [us] Date 16.03.05 11:03 GMT
In my experience, my pups have woken me up about 4 hours into the night to go out whether they ate late or not.  It's always a good morning when they sleep through the night for the first time.  ;)
- By Lindsay Date 16.03.05 12:18 GMT
Are you free feeding him? I would tend not to, as you can't control when he eats :)

I would leave water out all the time, because i have always been told any animal must have a right to fresh water at all times; it seems unfair to not let him drink if he is thirsty; if you are lucky he may not take much anyway after bedtime :D

Yes, my pups have always woken me at night and i have gone out with them, then as their muscles control gets better, they learn to hold on for a bit longer and so on, until they are holding out until morning and that becomes their natural cycle so to speak :)

- By Mr.Spock [us] Date 16.03.05 12:25 GMT
I disagree with the free watering during potty training unless the pup and water bowl are under direct supervision at all times.  It leaves much room for error and accidents during the training phase.  A bowl of water down with each meal and snack, along with water after exercise and waking, is sufficient.
- By Jeangenie [gb] Date 16.03.05 12:29 GMT
Restriction of water at night has been found to have no effect on the frequency of bedwetting in children, so why should it work with puppies? They're far more likely to wake up and cry if they're thirsty rather than sleep through.

If you're feeding dry food even the manufacturers say that water should be available at all times - and the RSPCA take a dim view of the withholding of water, too.
- By Mr.Spock [us] Date 16.03.05 12:38 GMT
What the RSPCA takes a view of is of no concern to me.  I found the feed/water/walk schedule in a book on training dogs, cannot recall which as it was ages ago, tried it with my last puppy and had great success with is training which took only 4 weeks. 

My dogs, who now have water at the leisure, don't drink but 2 or 3 times per day at the most.  My puppy, during training, was given water, at a minimum, 7 times per day. 

The schedule goes something very similar to this and can be adjusted:

0700 feed/water
0710 walk
0900 snack/treat/water
0910 walk
1100 feed/water
1110 walk
1400 snack/treat/water
1410 walk
1700 feed/water
1710 walk
1900 water
1910 walk

It may not work for you or the OP, but it did work wonders for me and I would suggest it to anyone.  Water, as you can see, was put down every 2-3 hours which is plenty.
- By Jeangenie [gb] Date 16.03.05 12:41 GMT
I leave water down 24/7, and wouldn't consider anything else.
- By Lottie_AFC [gb] Date 16.03.05 12:58 GMT
I feed him a set amount at set times and take up what he has not eaten as soon as he's walked away.  He is not eating nearly as much as the manufacturer recommends, but my vet said not to worry as he is gaining weight.  He has water all the time during the day and evening.  His last food meal is 6pm and he has water up until 7.30 - 8pm.  If I give him a pork strip then I allow him extra water late on anyway as I know it will make him more thirsty, and I hate the thought of him being parched.

I'll definately give it some thought on leaving the water down.

Thanks again for so much input everyone, I am appreciative of all the help so far.
- By Mr.Spock [us] Date 16.03.05 13:35 GMT

As with anything, we all have to do what works for us and our individual dogs.  The key is taking opinions for what they're worth, taking the new ideas and doing your own research.  :)  You'll make it through, it just takes time and consistency.  When you find something that seems to suit you AND your dog, stick with it. 
- By digger [gb] Date 16.03.05 16:06 GMT
IMHO with holding water is risking kidney damage as well as other health risks as water is essential at all times for healthy bodily processes.......
- By Lottie_AFC [gb] Date 22.03.05 17:31 GMT

Hi everyone, I am coming back with great news.  Bobby has been quiet for the past 4-5 consecutive nights. I have had roughly 6 hours sleep each time.

I didn't want to say anything before as when I have mentioned it after 1 night to a friend he;s barked the following, so forgive me for being superstitious.

I'm really pleased that I managed to overcome this hurdle without using any other method apart from love, tolerance and perseverance - with a big dose of good old fashioned firmness and persistence.

The main thing that was worrying me was the neighbours complaining, as well as my children being very tired and going to school.  Now I have overcome this I am well on the way to being able to enjoy Bobby.

The previous owners had not got him vaccinated, but he's allowed out in a couple of days - as I had him vaccinated as soon as I got him.  I am sure that once I get him worn out and running off all that terrier energy, he'll sleep for longer and be more contented.

You've all been great and now I am not so tired I hope to become more active in the forum as a whole.

I have to dash now as I have puppy training to get to.
- By harry25 [gb] Date 22.03.05 18:53 GMT
Just looking at the schedule - I always understood you weren't supposed to exercise your dog straight after feeding because of the risk of bloat?
- By STARRYEYES Date 22.03.05 21:57 GMT
I never feed my dogs before exercise.
I think water should be available at all times even more so when feeding dry food.
- By Buzzard [gb] Date 09.08.12 06:49 GMT

I know your post was years ago, but we are experiencing this awful barking at night from our puppy. We have tried upteen things to no avail as yet! It's almost been 3 weeks.  The neighbours are fed up, we are tired and running out of ideas! I wondered if you solved the problem with your puppy, and if so what did you find resulted in the success?

I appreciate your time in replying.

Many thanks,

- By Brainless [gb] Date 09.08.12 08:19 GMT
I haven't gone back through the thread, so don't know if I already posted.

A method I have found that works is to go back to the pup if it does not settle, take out for a wee, but be really boring, no talking or much interaction other than repeating the chosen elimination word (I use wee wees for both).

Then go back into the kitchen and potter about ignoring the pup.  Put the kettle on, drink a cup of tea etc.  Pups should basically settle down as nothing worthwhile is going on.

If the pup has worked itself up into a state (heart pounding etc) then I will pick up pup holding against me but facing forward, again not speaking or making eye contact, but just stroking slowly until they are calm, and then do the above.

I have an 11 week old determined little darling at the moment!!!
- By Rhodach [gb] Date 09.08.12 11:55 GMT
Any pups I haven't bred myself get to sleep in bed with me[the others are asleep in my room anyway] so I can pick up on their need to go out or reassure if they are anxious, I certainly couldn't go 3 weeks with a pup barking at night.

You don't say where the pup is sleeping, if it is left alone downstairs after the humans have all gone to bed then it will let you know if it isn't happy, it will have been used to company of dam/litter mates/other dogs at the breeders and then suddenly is all alone in a strange place.

If you can't take them into bed then get a crate and put it by your bed,drape a blanket over the top to keep out the light and and any draughts, put an old T shirt[no buttons or zips] that you have been wearing in with the pup so your scent is present, talk softly to the pup till it settles, poke your fingers through the bars if needs be so they know you are still there. If you need to take them out during the night as Barbara says don't make it too exciting, take them as soon as they wake, if they get wound up first then they will be wide awake and take longer to settle again.

Hopefully things will settle soon.
- By Buzzard [gb] Date 09.08.12 14:56 GMT
Hi. We started putting him in the lobby attached to the kitchen. We had 8 nights of him barking and not being a happy boy at all. We then bought him upstairs in our bedroom next to the bed in his bed. This was ok, but bewilder be waking and playing at all hours, despite us ignoring him. We did this for a week and have now had 2 nights with him in the lobby again. He hates it and we found it very distressingly hear him. Today I got a crate and he is sleeping in it now! Going to take it up to bed with us and get him used to the crate then work on gradually moving down to finish up in the kitchen?! Hope this proves a good move.
- By Rhodach [gb] Date 09.08.12 16:50 GMT
I am not surprised that he wasn't happy to be left all alone. Puppies will want to play at the wrong time of the night, confining to a crate will stop him wandering but he will still be with you.

All my dogs at bedtime get a dental chew[whole or part of one depending on age], they soon learn that this means it is time to settle down and become calmer as they lie there chewing.

Is there a reason why he must sleep downstairs? It is so much easier to shush them if they are with you than them get really wound up waiting for you to come downstairs to them.
- By Buzzard [gb] Date 09.08.12 17:34 GMT
I will try a chew at bedtime. We don't really want to encourage him upstairs as we have two kids aged 4 and 7 who have lots of Lego etc etc and need to be able to play freely upstairs without the pup interfering! I feel they boys need a bit of a space to be able to do their thing do to speak. We will see how it goes. For now I just want some sleep!
- By Brainless [gb] Date 09.08.12 17:40 GMT

> We don't really want to encourage him upstairs as we have two kids aged 4 and 7 who have lots of Lego etc etc and need to be able to play freely upstairs without the pup interfering!

> For now I just want some sleep!

Just how I felt, and I prefer to limit the dog hair to mostly downstairs for my own convenience when doing the dreaded minimal housework.  Also I get up frequently during the night for the loo.

An alternative method would be to sleep with him downstairs, beside his crate by the sofa, gradually moving it to the kitchen.  One he is happy then you can move back upstairs.

May people prefer not to share their bedrooms with their pets, or their children for that matter.
- By Rhodach [gb] Date 09.08.12 18:22 GMT
As kids our dogs got to sleep where ever they wanted to,they were part of the family, usually on the landing but in the cold weather they would get into bed with one of us, this habit has continued with my own son[soon learn to pick up their toys if they didn't want them chewed], now I am on my own with the dogs the older ones get to pick where they sleep, usually piled into a small bed/crate together and the youngest who is nearly 17 months old is in bed with me.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 09.08.12 18:36 GMT
but that doesn't suit everyone, just like with babies.  In my family a baby slept in a cot beside parents bed for the first two years.

I breastfed and had my son in bed with me and my daughter (who was 3 1/2).  My daughter moved into her own room at around 4 1/2, and my son used his cot in my bedroom when no longer having night feeds and moved into his own room at 3 as he wanted to be like big sister.

Other people bring a baby home and it is ion it's own room from the start (alien to me) but fine for some people.

What matters is that both babies/children and our pups are settled happilly into whatever lifestyle we choose to adopt.
- By Buzzard [gb] Date 09.08.12 19:14 GMT
We were just discussing if it would be better for me to sleep downstairs next to his crate and over a few nights gradually move it to the kitchen and hope he settles so I can get back to sleeping in my bed. I feel this may be easier than getting him used to being upstairs as he is already comfortable sleeping downstairs in the lounge and kitchen when we're there.
- By St.Domingo Date 09.08.12 19:18 GMT
I cover the top and 3 sides of my pups crate with a dark coloured towel to make it a snug place to be and to stop the light waking her up.
Also, I have her in my room as if she needs a wee in the night she won't wake up the whole house - just me !
- By marisa [gb] Date 09.08.12 20:46 GMT
"May people prefer not to share their bedrooms with their pets, or their children for that matter."

Yikes, can't imagine not having a dog in the bedroom. Our 10 have the run of the place and all but one prefer to sleep in the bedroom. If the OP is worried about the dog getting to the Lego - or going in the kids' bedrooms - she could use a babygate across their doorways?
- By Lacy Date 09.08.12 21:34 GMT
Our dogs don't do stairs (well not very often), so if unwell or injured always sleep down stairs. Older of the two came to us at 9 months, he was so obviously upset his first night - baying - ended up sleeping on the floor just out of sight. It took me three weeks to get back upstairs, moving a little further away each night, he was settled, quiet, everyone got to sleep & more than anything he wasn't stressed. Personally find it easier to do it this way, your pup is still a baby.
- By dogs a babe Date 09.08.12 23:01 GMT

> better for me to sleep downstairs next to his crate
> I feel this may be easier than getting him used to being upstairs

Do what is easier for you, but do choose a place where YOU can sleep well.  If you are using a crate it doesn't really matter where it is as it's the crate that your pup will associate with bed, not the room you put it in.  Don't worry either that you are making a habit you can't break.  If you are carrying your pup upstairs to bed (better for young joints) then he genuinely won't have much of a clue where he is anyway and will have no real concept that he isn't downstairs

I generally use two crates with puppies, one downstairs in the utility room, where the dogs sleep as adults and any time during the day, and a smaller one upstairs next to the bed.  My pups have generally stayed upstairs at night for the first few weeks as I sleep better in my own bed.  Your nightly routines about switching TV off, last wee, bed, lights out etc, and then your sleep noises are very comforting for puppies and they soon adjust and learn what is expected.  You will soon learn the snuffling noises they make when they're fidgetting (which you can gently shush, or drop a hand to them) V's the "quick I need a wee" yells that precipitate a mid night dash to the garden.

Once you've taught your pup the expected night time routines, and he's taught you what times he needs to go outside, and you've learnt his bladder capacity, then you can move him back downstairs and just set an alarm instead, or use a baby monitor so you can hear him.  Interestingly I've always found my pups sleep longer upstairs because we do, and because we have blackout blinds in the bedroom to keep it dark for longer.
- By STARRYEYES Date 10.08.12 09:02 GMT
Agree with everything dogs a babe has said... but also another factor that hasnt been mentioned is the build up to bed time , when the last meal is given, last toilet and mental stimulation during the day/evening for a young pup to make him tired and ready for bed.
If they get to excited near bed time then when everyone else is ready to sleep pup will be wide awake... you have to find a routine that suits his body clock and set a routine so that he knows what happens next and when its time for bed.

dont worry he will soon settle but the yapping during the night must be keep calm as the more upset you get about it he will pick up on.
- By Buzzard [gb] Date 10.08.12 10:21 GMT
I'm hoping it will settle down soon. Yesterday we started with the crate and had it my the bed. He didn't bark, but whined on and off through the night. Going to stick with it until the whining stops then gradually relocate the crate I think. I considered leaving crate downstairs and sleeping on the sofa, but I think I would get very litte sleep on the sofa and if it went on for more than a couple of nights I'd be even more tired than I am now. Thanks everyone for the advice it's reassuring to hear that we are on the right tracks and that he will soon settle down.
- By dogs a babe Date 10.08.12 10:56 GMT
It's worth considering too that a puppy can sometimes be unsettled during the night because of hunger.  I noticed on your other thread that you are concerned about the amount of food he eats...

I'd still have him on 4 meals per day at this age and I'd have a look at your feed-sleep-play schedule.  Most puppies are fairly easy to predict, governed as they usually are by the need to eat, sleep, and charge about like loonies!  Make sure that he has a feed fairly late in the evening so that he can make it through to the next morning without getting too hungry.  Oddly enough a puppy that is over hungry can sometimes be a bit hesitant about eating - it's as if they get too empty and the feeling subsides or is replaced by an acid tummy.  Double check that your 4 meals are relatively evenly spaced - you could check with Brainless what her current timings are as I think her pup is 11 weeks.

By the way - have another think about the food you've got him on.  You don't have a large breed so that's unnecessary, you also don't have to pay Hills prices from your vet, there are plenty of other good foods of similar composition, or better, that will also be cheaper in the long run :)
- By Brainless [gb] Date 10.08.12 17:48 GMT
I have just cut my girl to 3 meals as she was messing about a bit with her lunch so brought her tea forward and left her last meal as 10pm.

She now gets fed at about 9am, then 3 - 4pm, and 10pm.  Bed time is about 11pm to midnight.

I walk my dogs last thing, and she is being carried on the walk, and when we get back, the adults get sent to bed, with the oldest in the kitchen with her, and she goes in the puppy pen.  She was shouting, a bit, even when her sisters were still here at 9 weeks, but over the last two weeks the protests have either ceased or been half hearted.

She was yelling her head off 8am this morning, and she was dry and clean (was usually finding at least one pee by the time I got down).  Once she is reliably clean at night I will fold up the puppy pen and use a crate instead.  If she isn't a chewer then she will have the door open in a few months and then just have a bed, though I often leave the crate up, with door permanently open.
- By Buzzard [gb] Date 11.08.12 06:19 GMT
Well, we had the first decent nights sleep in 3 weeks last night! He was happily in his crate yesterday napping and playing. I decided not to move the crate and leave it in the lounge, and I slept on the sofa in view of Mac. Not a peep from 11pm-4am, then quick toilet trip and back until 6am! Going to do the same tonight, but may try the other sofa which is more out of sight from the crate. Fingers crossed, and thank you everyone for you tips and support.
Up Topic Dog Boards / Behaviour / Please help! My puppy won't stop barking

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