Dog Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

I have a 2 year old pug. Winters are always weird for him, he went through adolescence one year, the polar vortex here in WI and it scared him from peeing outside when it gets really cold out-

This winter, I stayed home with him for my 2 week Christmas break (i work in the school system). Ever since then, when the sun goes down (think 5pm), he gets all worked up. We feed him, walk him, play with him to get out extra energy. He does doggy daycare 2 days a week and has someone come on Fridays which has been his norm for months and transitioned really well.

But it's literally from 5pm-about 10pm when we actually go upstairs to go to bed that he's barking AND I MEAN BARKING just in the kitchen, begging for food, digging in our garbage, trying to open doors and drawers, going outside to go potty constantly even when he doesn't have to go. And all of this is after we have fed him dinner and given him a walk.

We have to literally gate him into the living room with us. 90% of the time he calms down and just sleeps on the couch from about 8pm-10pm, but until then (and especially if he isn't gated it) it's a constant him yelling bark, opening doors and drawers in our kitchen, digging through our empty garbage can (cuz he knows it gets our attention).

He used to LOVE just sleeping all night long- I mean he is a PUG- he sleeps literally all day when we're gone (I have a dog cam), and then we play and feed him and walk him at night to get out that energy. But it's only when the sun goes DOWN. He's only 2! And our routine has gone back to normal completely and he's still nuts at night. He's not aggressive/mean. He's just incredibly worked up. Is sundowners a thing for just a young dog?! I've read they only live for like 2 years afterwards and it's really scared me.

Any tips or has any dog gone through this phase? Our dog has gone through phases before but outgrow them within about a month.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
437 Posts
I'm not a vet but sundowning is a behaviour in humans and dogs living with dementia/canine cognitive dysfunction. It would as you say be incredibly rare at such a young age, if you are really concerned you should speak to your vet. But if it were that, I would expect to see other behaviours linked with CCD too, like pacing, staring, having accidents, not responding to you and not recognising people.

Since he settles in the living room with you, it's like something has upset him in the kitchen (can he hear anything outside, for example, which might also explain why he wants to go out). So being in the living room would seem like a fairly easy fix, can you go on with that for at least a few weeks to see if you can break the habit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah we've been struggling with this since about Jan 4th- It's been over a month now. When he goes out, he doesn't bark at anything. He simply goes potty then right back inside. It is like he is starving. We sometimes fill him up with lots more food then he's totally content. He sleeps perfectly at night, and when we say it's bedtime he RUNS to bed. It's like he's hungry then ready for bed at 6pm. When he hangs out upstairs with me at night, if I'm working on something, he's just sleeping on the bed totally content. It's when we go downstairs to the main floor that he like loses his mind. We do CBD treats which I hate doing to calm him down. Even on nights he goes to Doggy Daycare, he is exhausted but still so worked up. I think he chooses the kitchen because he can rattle doors, he knows food is in there, and gets us up to see what's going on with him. It's an attention getting location. In the living room we can see him at all times, hence us gating. Idk how to calm him down at all... The living room gating in works about 90% of the time, but the other 10% he's just barking at the kitchen. He eats the exact same amount he always has too, and it's evenly split in the morning/pm. Since he's a pug, overeating is really common and it's the last thing we want to do- to keep filling him with a ton of food when he doesn't need it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
437 Posts
So if having him in the living room works 90% of the time, why not continue with that and then on the other 10% of the time, maybe give him a frozen Kong? I realise you don't want to feed him more, but something like cooked vegetables such as carrot, swede, sweet potato, peas, green beans etc. won't do much harm. That will help him settle.

You could also train a 'settle'.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
How often do you think he gets rewarded for this behaviour - i.e. he barks and goes mad in the kitchen, and he gets more food (either because he manages to nick some or because you give him some)? Just as a gambling addict will keep gambling even if he only wins once in a blue moon, a dog only has to be rewarded very infrequently for the behaviour to continue. So the first thing would be to always keep him out of the kitchen at these times, and never to reward him (however hard it may be).

It could also be that he's being rewarded simply by your attention when he has these moments. I was just going to post a link to a vid about capturing (and rewarding) calm behaviour, but @JoanneF has beaten me to it. She's good at that...:ROFLMAO:

Is there a door to the kitchen you can shut so he can't even see it, and to reduce smells coming from there? That might help put it out of his mind a bit more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yeah we're all about the healthier snacks. I think it's just getting on the humans nerves having to be locked in with the dog. Like, even if I just leave to go to the bathroom he goes by the gate and barks. We're prisoners haha And when we have dinner or want to be in a different room- he is UNhappy lol I just don't want to be a prisoner is all. I'll watch the video thanks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I wish we did! That's why we invested in baby gates- to keep him out of there lol

I'll try my hardest. It's just so hard to relax at night because he's got this yell bark which is not cute at all. Until then we'll keep gating. I just want to break the habit all together and not have to step over 3 ft high gates every night. I'm not a spring chicken! haha!


How often do you think he gets rewarded for this behaviour - i.e. he barks and goes mad in the kitchen, and he gets more food (either because he manages to nick some or because you give him some)? Just as a gambling addict will keep gambling even if he only wins once in a blue moon, a dog only has to be rewarded very infrequently for the behaviour to continue. So the first thing would be to always keep him out of the kitchen at these times, and never to reward him (however hard it may be).

It could also be that he's being rewarded simply by your attention when he has these moments. I was just going to post a link to a vid about capturing (and rewarding) calm behaviour, but @JoanneF has beaten me to it. She's good at that...:ROFLMAO:

Is there a door to the kitchen you can shut so he can't even see it, and to reduce smells coming from there? That might help put it out of his mind a bit more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I just want to break the habit all together so I can just relax at night instead of fighting it and having to gate up our house. Winters are so hard for him. I wish we lived somewhere warmer. It honestly would help- he's outside like all day otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I'll try my hardest. It's just so hard to relax at night because he's got this yell bark which is not cute at all. Until then we'll keep gating. I just want to break the habit all together and not have to step over 3 ft high gates every night. I'm not a spring chicken! haha!
I can imagine... It's very easy for me to sit here and suggest what you ought to do but it'd drive me up the wall too! Think zen-like thoughts... and maybe take the CBD yourself... or at least wine and chocolate. I find that it only takes the slightest improvement to spur you on and reassure you that it will work eventually, so if you make yourself be really consistent for, say, a week, that might be the hardest bit done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I agree. Yeah, maybe we just reinforce the same stuff between me and my husband. I just feel bad because when he does calm down, my daughter pets him and he wakes up and gets all excited again. So I have to tell her not to touch the dog which isn't cool on my part, but ughhh. My husband and I will come up with a set of rules we will follow together. Usually i'm telling him to ignore him, and he goes 'REGIS that's enough!' and then I go "well that wasn't efficient" So a set of rules is step one. I know as the weather warms up, it'll get better but omggg. I just want to break the habit instead of "trying to ignore it to make it better"

I can imagine... It's very easy for me to sit here and suggest what you ought to do but it'd drive me up the wall too! Think zen-like thoughts... and maybe take the CBD yourself... or at least wine and chocolate. I find that it only takes the slightest improvement to spur you on and reassure you that it will work eventually, so if you make yourself be really consistent for, say, a week, that might be the hardest bit done.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top