Dog Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Cobber's 1 yr 3 mo old now. We've just gotten to the point where I feel I can trust him to be out and about in the house while I work in the afternoons - so for about a 6-hr stretch.

So far, Cobber has slept in a crate by my bed basically every night of his life except the 2 months before I got him and a couple nights where he was boarded while I had surgery. He and I have a pretty elaborate get-ready-for-bed routine but he usually ends up in the crate sound asleep by 9pm. A few weeks ago I tried closing the bedroom door and letting him out of the crate, even up on the bed. For 2 hours past his usual bedtime, he had zoomies under the bed, then over the bed, played with various cat toys I didn't even know about, seemed to fall asleep for about 15 minutes at a stretch, then was up to play some more. It was like he was so excited with the openness of the situation, he didn't know what to do with himself. I finally couldn't take it and put him in his crate where he promptly fell into a sound sleep for the rest of the night.

Given that he obviously feels comfortable there, I wasn't going to try again, BUT he's developed a new habit of waking up in the middle of the night and whining but not really needing to do anything (I take him out and he just wanders around the yard then back inside and back to the crate to sleep). So I'm wondering if continuing to try and give him bedroom freedom at night will eventually help him settle into a "normal routine" where I can just go to bed and he'll follow and curl up in the bedroom.

I know I've said this a dozen times, but this is all new to me. My three previous dogs never had any trouble learning how to go to bed at night, and by that I mean sleeping on their own bed in the bedroom when I would go in there and go to bed myself. I never really taught them anything, I just went to bed and they followed, curled up, and slept there. For some reason, maybe because of the crate, it's like Cobber wouldn't even know what to do with himself if I just decided to go to bed one night and left him sitting on the couch in the livingroom :rolleyes: Maybe I've been making things worse by continuing to crate him.

All this long-winded way of asking how did you all transition from night crate to normal bedroom or even in-bed sleeping with your dog(s)? And were there any transition problems? If so, what did you do? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
Personally I prefer Trixie sleeping in her crate but its up to you.

I think you could just leave the door open to his crate and go to bed with him, stay up in bed for a while cuddling him/petting him. Then turn off the light and go to sleep. Like it is no big deal in the world.

But if he has that much energy at night he might just need to burn some of that off before bed. Take him for a long walk, a big huge play session before bed. If he is tired he is going to sleep lol

Him waking up at night and yet not needing to go outside makes even more sense that he might just have too much energy reserved at night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! The waking during the night happens even when we've spent the evening playing for hours with his best friend dog and they wear themselves out, so that's why I wondered if he's becoming tired of feeling confined in a crate. I'm just trying to understand since he can't really tell me. I'll try letting him out of the crate again tonight and see what happens. If he can't settle, at least I don't have to get up early and be coherent for work in the morning ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,884 Posts
I've never crated any of mine at night, but they generally still needed to be taught that when it's bed time, it's sleep time. It seems pretty common for puppies to get excited when somebody lays down especially. I did this by basically letting them be bored lol. They weren't allowed to be busy or zoom or play or do anything other than either a) go to sleep or b) chew on a nylabone or bully stick until you fall asleep, which was always available on the bed for them. If they tried to play with me, I would say "nope, bedtime!", give them the treat, and roll over and ignore any further attempts to play.

It honestly didn't take them long. But I also started my pups with this at like, 8 weeks old. Jumping off the bed wasn't even an option because they weren't big enough. I'd probably do something similar with an adult dog. Teach a "lay down" or "on the bed" command, make a chew toy available, and limit options. Be boring until they fall asleep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
I was PLANNING on Pax being a nightime crate sleeper. Then I let him snuggle in my bed one night that that was all over!

He was not yet a point where I would trust him in the room alone...so during the transition...it was the same mentality as coming out of the crate to go potty. His options were in the bed calm or in the crate. If he started running around...it was back in the crate. He figured out real fast the bed was the better place to be and settled down!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I tried again last night, but honestly -- although this is only the second time -- it seems as tho Cobber is really much happier or more "at home" in the crate. He did again what he'd done the first time: zoomies, growling, running, BARKING at me, all while I was journaling and studiously ignoring him. Then I'd bring him up on the bed and he'd lie down, then swan dive off and start all over. That went on for half an hour (this was after he insisted he was too tired to stay out in the livingroom area with me...). I popped him in his crate and he was out for the rest of the night.

I will probably keep doing this -- for one thing, it seems to help tire him out an extra amount to avoid any mid-night waking up -- and at some point, he may start to make an adjustment. If he continues treating this new bedtime routine as hyper-time, then I will just go with the flow and let him be a night-crate dog :) Truthfully, it makes things a lot easier on me, and the cats are much happier to have the house back at night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,490 Posts
Two thoughts, first my transition for all my dogs since I've used crates was simply limiting available distractions and leaving the door to the crate open, and that's always worked :)
Second on the waking up in the night, is it becoming summer where you are ? You didn't list a location. The change in weather may be making the crate too hot, and your pup is becoming uncomfortable ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Two thoughts, first my transition for all my dogs since I've used crates was simply limiting available distractions and leaving the door to the crate open, and that's always worked :)
Second on the waking up in the night, is it becoming summer where you are ? You didn't list a location. The change in weather may be making the crate too hot, and your pup is becoming uncomfortable ?
Yes, the crate door was open both times, and part of all his running around the room was to run into the crate then back out a few times. He never seemed interested in flopping down into it while the door was open.

And yes, it's now officially summer here (we're in Central PA), although I keep the a/c on so it's a pretty steady 73-75 degrees here in the house. But, yes, one of the reasons I started wondering about all this was because I thought he might be feeling warmish in there at night and getting uncomfortable as a result.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,490 Posts
Sorry can't really add much to what your doing, freeze a Kong with something, to chew on, I think was mentioned. Otherwise give it some time :) Sometimes it's just personality, my youngest loves her crate and will go in when she wants alone time. My oldest goes in her xpen and literally close the door lol Both are conditioned to crate and xpen, but each have their preference :thumbsup: Sometimes they sleep on my bed, other times on the floor, whatever they feel like, as long as it's not my head :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Might be a silly question, but why would you want to transition your dog out of the crate at night?
Sophie spends all day out of the crate, she is in there at night (11pm - 7am) and if I need to run (dogs-not-allowed) errands.

I kinda like her not roaming the house at night and giving the cats a brake from dealing with the love of a 40lb dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,490 Posts
@Timrf79, for me it's simply choice and always has been there is no right or wrong :) My girls and I are a team, in everything we do, just part of my personal philosophy I guess. I don't know if it builds a better bond, but it certainly doesn't hurt :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Well, as with everything else I try to do with Cobber, I seem to have screwed things up. I can't get him to sleep out of the crate, but now he doesn't particularly want to sleep in the crate either.

I'm about ready to shoot myself just to get a decent night's sleep... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Might be a silly question, but why would you want to transition your dog out of the crate at night?
Sophie spends all day out of the crate, she is in there at night (11pm - 7am) and if I need to run (dogs-not-allowed) errands.

I kinda like her not roaming the house at night and giving the cats a brake from dealing with the love of a 40lb dog.
This started because he began waking up at night for no apparent reason. I had no idea why and was wondering if being in a crate was finally starting to annoy him more than relax him.

Up until recently, Cobber was crated all afternoon and then at night, too. It seemed like a lot, even if I did tons of play/walk/exercise with him in the evenings. Now he's no longer crated in the afternoons, but as I said he's started waking me up at night for no apparent reason, so I honestly thought maybe he would be more relaxed and sleep better if he weren't crated at night.

I was wrong, but I really didn't know until I tried it since he can't talk to me. It hasn't solved his waking up at night issues (neither has increased exercise, later dinner, later bedtime, or anything else I've tried).

I think if you go back to my original post, I did explain that I've never had a dog that didn't just go to sleep in the bedroom at night, and I never needed to teach them how to do it, either. Cobber's a total enigma to me when I compare him to past dogs. I'm learning a ton of stuff from this (most of it in the "what not to do" category), but I'm also getting pretty exasperated and sleep-deprived, as well. I see so many posts about dogs sleeping out of the crate at night and even sleeping in in the morning because they love being in their human's bed rather than in a crate, so I started to wonder if I was actually causing some sort of trouble for Cobber by keeping him crated and if that's why he'd started waking up at night. Now I'm trying to put the genie back in the bottle. I think you know how that goes... :eyeroll:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Ahhhh, two nights in a row that he's slept all night through with not even a hint of whining. YAY!!! I hope it lasts but at this point, I'm just so happy I've gotten 2 nights of decent sleep again ;)

Have been keeping him up later, feeding him later, and will not be asking him to sleep outside the crate again now that he's apparently re-adjusted to being in it at night.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top