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Delilah- Jack Russell x Rat Terrier; Marshmellow- Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Delilah used to be so good about her crate and sleeping through the night but this has changed in the past week or so. She's been waking up in the middle of the night and crying. And eventually she starts barking and howling. We live in an apartment so this is a problem. Bf's up until about 12-1 am so he takes her out before he goes to bed and I'm up at 5-6 am for work so I don't think she has to go to the bathroom.

The problem is that my bf has been waking up and screaming at her when she cries- and I think it's making it worse long term. And when I told him this he said he doesn't care and she has to stop so I told him to let her cry and eventually she'll stop when she realizes we're ignoring her. So we tried that and she didn't stop, she just kept crying BUT she stops when he yells at her so now he's not listening to me. I'm so frustrated. Both him and my family keep telling me I'm too soft on her and that if I don't yell at her she'll never learn but I've taught her so much with positive training and I think the yelling is what's making her worse- either it's scaring her (hell, it scares me) or the yelling is reinforcing her crying because she learns that if she cries we'll wake up and pay attention to her.

What can I do?
 

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Delilah- Jack Russell x Rat Terrier; Marshmellow- Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah it's just at night. She's usually really good in the crate. She's fine when we leave the house. Yesterday I started doing some clicker games with the crate and she was fine with that but she still started crying again last night when it was time for bed.

She's a Velcro dog and has to be with us all the time (really annoying) so that might be the reason but idk why she's just started now.
 

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Delilah- Jack Russell x Rat Terrier; Marshmellow- Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Scream at your boyfriend when he screams at the dog, then ask him if he feels 'calmer' now. Or maybe that's too bitchy ...

Anyway, does your BF understand the concept of "shutting down"? Is that perhaps what's happening when he screams at her at night? Can you put a camera on her so you can record her reaction to his screaming?

Just some ideas.
Oh I'm sure that's what's happening. And I've told him that he's just shutting her down and he says he doesn't care as long as she stops. And I can understand where he's coming from- noise is pretty much the only thing pet owners get evicted for here- there are dogs that are destructive, aggressive, off leash, and whose owners don't pick up after them but the landlords don't care as long as they aren't being loud enough to disrupt other tenants. So he's worried about bothering other people and possibly getting evicted.


Last night though, I explained to him why he shouldn't yell at her- I don't think he really believed me but he humored me and let me try it my way. After about 4 minutes of ignoring her, she stopped crying. It's a good thing I didn't say "I told you so" though because after a couple minutes she started crying again and kept it up for another half hour. It was early last night- around 10 or so- so we could wait it out without worrying about waking our neighbors up. But I don't know what to do if she's going to be crying for that long in the middle of the night when people ARE sleeping. I can't let her go on for that long in that situation.


I've tried having the crate in my room and she's even worse when she knows we're nearby- cries louder, for longer, and starts digging at the door. She's better when she's completely alone.
 

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Delilah- Jack Russell x Rat Terrier; Marshmellow- Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@Red, that sounds similar to the problems I'm experiencing with Delilah. She was so good in her crate until a week or two ago. Now she cries when we put her in it and when she wakes up in the night.

I do give her peanut butter kongs almost every time she goes in, and always when she's going to be in there for a while. I also feed her in her crate. She's quiet until she finishes eating :eyeroll:

Last night I did try her in my bedroom again but this time I put a blanket over her crate and as soon as she started crying I said "shhhhh" and she stopped within a few minutes. I hope this will work every night and it wasn't just a one-off thing.
 

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Delilah- Jack Russell x Rat Terrier; Marshmellow- Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It was a one off- she's crying in the bedroom now and every time I put her in the crate, even during the day now. She's not even finishing her kong, she's digging at the door, and last night she cried for over an hour. My bfs not going to listen to me about anything now because he's been so good at ignoring her the past few days and it's not working, she's getting worse!

Edit: she got a lot of exercise yesterday- we went hiking and worked a lot on impulse control and tug so she should have been tired.
 
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