Yesterday I got more aggressive with trying to get a full night's sleep. It just so happened that in Theo's puppy class last night we were one of only two dogs that decided to attend class this week, so we got lots of one on one time with the trainer. When she asked what Theo was up to this week I told her about the sudden change in his sleeping habits. She said we need to immediately nip this behavior in the bud and loaned me a citronella collar, so that hopefully wearing it when he's in his crate at night will discourage the middle of the night barking that is waking me up. It seemed a bit extreme, but lack of sleep made me ready for an extreme measure, so last night I tried it.
I half expected him to sleep the whole night without a peep just to spite me, but sure enough, I was awoken in the middle of the night with barking yet again. This time it was much earlier, though. At 1am I faintly heard some barking and a very delayed puff of the collar. I can't be sure because I was still half asleep. Husband actually got up and took care of him (about time!), so I was able to fall right back to sleep without too much interruption to my brain waves or whatever. When Husband came back to bed he said that Theo "barely even went" and that he had left him in the pen downstairs. If he barked more after that, and if the collar properly discouraged him, I can't say because the door was closed and I was sleeping like a proper dead person again. But this morning I noticed that he was awfully quiet, so I have high hopes.
I'm considering if maybe he just doesn't like sleeping in the crate and he prefers his pen downstairs, but I don't think that's it. When I grab his bedtime treats and start heading upstairs, Theo excitedly goes bounding past me with a big smile on his face. There's never any hesitation to going into his crate, he actually seems to enjoy it. When I close the door and walk into the bedroom, he rarely protests and usually falls right to sleep. So if he likes it in there so much, why does he bark and whine to get out every night now? The trainer says he's just getting older, but why does Theo getting older make him less able to lay quietly in his crate for a few hours?
I'll keep you posted on how the collar works out. I'm wondering if the barking this morning was because the collar was uncomfortable for him. It must be awkward to sleep with a big plastic box right at your throat (though he is definitely accustomed to sleeping on his back). I'll try the collar again tonight, and maybe the next night without it and see how he does. Wish me luck!
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7 years ago