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Pablo - Liver Dalmatian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning all.

Our almost 14 month Dalmatian Pablo has always been such a good boy at night time, since we got him at 10 weeks old. He sleeps in his crate at night and always has done since we've had him, and bar the first 3 or 4 nights, never usually disturbs us in the night.

However, the last 4 nights he has woken us up early morning (3:30am today) by whimpering/crying.

Went downstairs and let him outside for a pee, he came back in the house and was a bit reluctant to get back in his crate... A bit of sausage tempted him in and he lay down and I came back upstairs.

No sooner had I gotten into bed and he was crying again. He carried on until around 5am :(

Is it normal for a dog to go through some sort of sleep regression like this? Maybe an age thing? His routine has never been set in stone, as me and my partner work shifts, but this has never been an issue before. I can't think of any changes to the situation that may have caused this, so I'm at a bit of a loss to be honest?

Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks,
Griff & Pablo.
 

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It's possible something is unsettling him, like wildlife in your garden or an electrical appliance (remember his hearing is far more sensitive). However please don't leave him whimpering in his crate. That won't encourage him to think of his crate as a safe space; and if you had a child who was anxious or upset in the night time you would reassure them and comfort them, your dog needs that too. The advice to leave them to cry it out is quite old fashioned and we now know it does more harm than good.

There are several things you can do, see what works best.

The easiest fix would be if he is simply waking up hungry. If he doesn't get a bedtime snack, try that.

Can you have his crate in your room for a bit? It doesn't have to be forever, once he is settled again you can move his crate (gradually, in stages, over several nights) back to where you want him sleeping.

Or, does he need to be in the crate? Would he settle better without it? Looking at your previous posts there does appear to have been an issue with this in daytime so it is possible his reluctance to use it in daytime is transferring to when he wakes up in it too.
 

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Pablo - Liver Dalmatian
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, thanks for the reply.

I don't think it's something disturbing him in the night - this has happened before when the dishwasher has beeped or an animal outside such as a cat or fox; however on these previous occasions he has barked a few times at the offender and then once its gone he has simply gone back to sleep, rather than to sit and cry.

It really is not in his nature to sit in his crate and cry. It's usually barking if he's unhappy. This new crying is very out of character.

He has his dinner fairly late in the day, around 6pm, and usually settles with a bone or treat before bed time, so I don't think it will be that he's hungry either.

Unfortunately having the crate in our bedroom is simply not possible due to the size of the crate.

I think we would like to keep him crate trained as it makes it far easier in cases where he may not sleep at home - on occasions he has to sleep at my mother's if my and me wife are both working at night, and the crate is absolutely necessary in that situation. So I'd rather try and get him nice and settled in his crate again, than to give up on it.

I don't mean to be dismissive of your suggestions, I'm just trying to answer as honestly as I can :)

Thanks for the help so far!
 

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Another possibility might be to let him sleep in your room some nights without the crate and let him sleep in the crate on other nights so he is used to both. Of course, that comes after you have solved the crate problem you are currently having. I agree with Joanne about sleeping next to him in his crate for a few nights to see if that will help.
 

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Pablo - Liver Dalmatian
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We tried giving him extra blankets last night, and invested in a night light to keep on and he seemed to sleep straight through again :) so hopefully it was as simple as maybe he was getting a bit cold in the early hours? Or, maybe it was the light? We'll try again tonight with the extra blankets and night light :)
 
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