The Mysterious Case of the Howling Hound

Hey, everybody – feel like giving me some input?

Clue’s baby Ellery (now Buzzy) moved to NJ and lives with a wonderful family there. They are doing a great job with him.

A couple of weeks ago he became convinced that 1 AM is when you get up and go eat and play. He was sleeping on their beds with them and began waking them up every night, on the dot.

I advised them to go back to the crate with him, to re-train him to sleep through the night.

Well, our friend Buzzy has decided that this is the WOOOOORST THIIIIIING that has EEEEEVER HAAAAAAPPENED. And he’s yelling it. At the top of his lungs. All night. For seven days in a row.

I know what I’d do in my house, but I would truly love to give them a whole bunch of options to try – I am well aware that what works tends to be effective because of a combination of technique and personality. What would work for me might not work for them. And Buzzy’s got himself quite a head of steam worked up, and is not going to go easy.

So please – share your favorite “adolescent dog decides he’s a night-owl” tricks and tips and I’ll send them to his exhausted family so maybe they can get some rest!

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  • Reply Genie Murphy September 30, 2010 at 12:05 am

    1. I would put the crate next to the bed and give it a big thump when he starts making a fuss.
    2. Rescue Remedy just before bedtime
    3. Citronella collar

    Not all three at the same time. Try the simplest first. How old is the dog?

  • Reply penni September 30, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Wear his little body out during the day — let him run the fence with another dog, throw the ball for him until he can’t stand up. At night put his crate in a closet/laundry room — something far from the sleeping humans, and ignore him totally. Don’t yell QUIET because that is what he wants — attention. I actually had one puppy that I crated in the car for a couple of nights — couldn’t hear him in the garage.

    Good luck — once the little demon figures out that he will get no attention, he’ll knock it off — especially if he is dog-tired.
    penni recently posted…Happy Dirty DogsMy Profile

  • Reply Mary September 30, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Since this started out of the blue & he’s being so punctual about it, I’m wondering if something is happening outside that only he hears. Perhaps a neighbor coming home from work. But his people don’t hear it because they’re asleep when it happens. Then, once he’s awake, he’s raring to go since he had a few hours sleep.

    I wonder if it would be worth staying awake til that hour to see if they can hear it too. Of course a heavy dose of puppy fatigue never hurts either.

    Or maybe it’s something else. My Gracie started doing that as well, only at 4am. After a couple of weeks we figured out that she was up because she needed to go out. Is Buzzy asking to go out?

    We finally linked it to her going to bed too early in the evening. We were really busy with work for a while & she wasn’t getting a lot of attention. She was bored, so she went to sleep early. Once we put 2 & 2 together, we just kept her up later & also increased her evening activities. It really helped that work lightened up, too. Between the two we got her to sleep thru till 6 again, her usual time.

    good luck!

  • Reply Missy September 30, 2010 at 3:29 am

    We’re in a spot right now a bit too – dogs aren’t getting enough exercise while we’re trying to move out to the country. Kodi and Emma are getting a bit out of sorts and Rylee, who’s been through many moves, is nervous we’re not all going out there together. In other words, dog neurosis abounds (thank goodness for only a couple more days.) When we are home, we spend as much as possible time outside – especially playing ball. Kodi’s the ball freak, Emma likes to chase and run laps around him as he gets it, and Rylee just needs to feel we’re all together. Weather was rainy the past couple weeks and we still sat out (under the patio umbrella) and wore them out with the ball, etc. as much as possible.

    Crate training, and their enjoyment of crate time is a must. They are crated during the day – and Kodi didn’t get his out all night status until he turned one. Emma still is restricted at night. If we get a 3 or 4 am wake-up, then they get treats in their crate after they go out and potty. Of course, sometimes I think we’ve trained them to think that they can get us up to let them out and treat them, but they know that it means they must go back to their crates for awhile. Crate training is a must, and it’s never a bad thing they get crated for. They always get a Charlie Bear treat to go back in, and happily run back and in when asked. Of course, they also only get fed in their crates too – with Raw Feeding it’s a must. I’d love to have them all out all night, I feel guilty sometimes, but as long as they know that it’s not a punishment, I am okay with that. I don’t know what kind of crate they have, but maybe a towel or blanket over it to darken it into cave status might help, as would feeding him in it.

    If all else fails, when Kodi was a pup, I used to sing to him to put him to sleep when he was noisy. A soft calming voice seemed to help him match his volume to mine and eventually calm down.

  • Reply Julie September 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I would wear that puppy out as best I could before bedtime – kind of like a did with my kids when they were little. I wouldn’t play very exciting games (maybe for the first 1/2 hour) but long walks work pretty well.

    When the pup does howl, I would get up and drape a cloth over the crate and shut him in. No scolding, no words, no eye contact, no nothing. Just a towel on the crate.

    I also have noticed that sometimes an adolescent pup’s bladder and bowels seems to shrink. They could try the Most Boring Potty Trip Ever and see if that doesn’t help, and maybe look at mealtime and see if that doesn’t need an adjustment.

  • Reply kaye September 30, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Well cardigans do like to cuddle up, you may have to get another one. My two do not sleep in my room because I’m such a light sleeper and if I roll over they immediatly flap their ears, thinking I’m getting up. Which wakes me up and then I cannot fall back asleep!!

    They sleep in the other room with their crates open, but they have each other, so they are good. With just one you would have to get him super attached to his crate, and not you at night.

  • Reply Maggie September 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Oh my, he and Kipling should have a “this is the WOOOOORST THIIIIIING that has EEEEEVER HAAAAAAPPENED” contest!

    I’m curious to see what will work for Ellery. Please keep us updated! Kipling does not like the crate. He sleeps there at night solely because he is convinced that my husband is the boss of the universe. Maybe he is not in his adolescence yet.

  • Reply Taryn September 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I have to jump on the exercise bandwagon as well. Even now at 3 years old, Jimmy needs either a good long walk (at least a mile or more) just before bed, or lots and lots of indoor fetch, to settle him in for the night. And this is after his usual hour-long morning walk. I think some Cardigans are just super high-energy.
    Or, maybe a short obedience session right before bed. Ten minutes of brain/self-control work might do the same as a walk.
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  • Reply Lisa October 18, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Hi All
    Thank you all for your suggestion. Life is much better. I had to go away for a week and whilst I was gone, Buzzy’s Dad put the crate in the bedroom with him. At first he was getting up around 4:00 am (which is better than 1:00 am) and now is sleeping through the night in the crate without a fuss. In fact sometimes he goes into his crate when he doesn’t have to. I think the problem was that we let him out of the crate when he was much too young. I’m not going to try that again until he is at least 1 year if not older.

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