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    1. #1
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      CoalandSaylor's Avatar
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      6 month old puppy wont sleep through the night/pretending to be hungry.

      Hi everyone who comes across this. I am desperate for some advice for my 6 month old black lab puppy who will not sleep through the night without waking up 3 or 4 times through the night to eat. This has been going on for over a month now and it is down right frustrating. Before this started happening she slept through the night in crate and would sleep in until 6-7am depending on what time we would wake up. We would always wake her up to feed her and now she wakes us up to feed her. the rolls have completely switched. We now feed her at 4am(because at that point she has persistently barked for 2-3 hours) and we feed her dinner @ 4-5pm when we get home from work. And a snack at 9-10pm before her we put her down for bed(we just recently tried and stopped since she was just getting smart and it wasn't stopping the consistent barking). Every time she wakes up we get up to take her to the bathroom and most of the time she wont go and will just run to where she knows where her food lives. We instantly take her back to her crate and two hours go by and the same thing happens until about 4am where we have had enough we just get up to feed her because she will not stop. We have tried everything it seems. We've given her a snack before bed, even in the middle of night because we thought she was really hungry, we are giving her more food about a scoop more at breakfast and dinner, We have given her favorite bone that she likes to chew on in case she is bored during the night time, we have taken her out potty every time. She is outside with her two older brothers all day long until it gets dark and we bring them in and they play for hours so it isn't like she isn't getting her energy out or isn't getting any play time with other dogs or with us. We put her in her crate while eating dinner and let her out to play some more. That leads us to bed time and she goes to bed and wakes up within 4 hours and that's when the night of her waking up and barking gets started. We also have a white noise fan that we put on when she sleeps to help drown out outside noises/ or in house noises. My hubs and I are at a lost. we have no idea what to do, and how to stop this. Its like having a new born baby except we don't. its frustrating since she used to sleep like an angel with no problems at all and now this. Our thought process has us believing that because we got up every time she barked she now thinks ok if I bark enough they will come and get me, and feed me. We have tried letting her barking it out but she is so persistent with the barking she will bark for 4-5 hours without skipping a beat.Has anybody else gone through this? if so, please help. we are seriously desperate. Thank you!


      **UPDATE: Thank you for all of your suggestions/advice. It is greatly appreciated! Last night, instead of letting her out to go potty every time(which was just making it worse and reinforcing bad behavior as I learned yesterday) little miss Saylor, of course barked once at 3am- and I went in to scold her, I stood right out her door to see if she would bark again... she did. So, I went back in and scolded her and walked back out... she continued to bark and I rolled up some newspaper and gave her one boop letting her know that every time she barked in her crate she would get booped. She quickly learned it(since she is very, very smart and learns things quickly) anyways, she stopped barking and slept until WE got her up to eat. We will continue the obedience on our part as it has only made her a better dog, already!! We totally created the monster, not her, and we have to squish that monster and be better obedient dog parents! Thank you again.
      Last edited by CoalandSaylor; 02-08-2018 at 11:42 AM.

    2. #2
      Chief Pooper Scooper
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      Puppies ARE like newborns. Grown dogs are like having toddlers forever. The dog is running your lives. Get her in an obedience class. Cover her crate at night with a sheet so she doesn't see you. She should be able to hold her potty for the whole night now. If she starts barking, you will either need to ignore her or tell her to knock it off. I would just start training all over from step 1.

    3. #3
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      Yes, I agree they are like newborns. However, We have 2 other grown labs and this has never happened to either one of them. So, we are just at a lost since this has never happened before. Our pup is in her own room with her crate and is fully covered every night, so that isn't an issue. We just hired a personal dog trainer. we've never had to do that since our boy labs are very obedient and didn't need a personal trainer's help, but our little girl needs the extra help. Thanks for your input.

    4. #4
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      I wasn't talking about a personal trainer. I was talking about going to obedience class. There is an element of putting the dog in a social situation and working with them with other people around. All Labradors need training. Have you called the breeder? Maybe they can offer some guidance. All dogs are different. How you trained one doesn't necessarily pertain to any other dogs you might ever have again.

      If you have the dog in a room by herself, then maybe you need to put the crate in the room with you so that you can correct the bad behavior immediately.

    5. #5
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      She has trained you well.

      SO the fact that this is a habit that has been well practiced means it will require some patience to get over it and that it may be worse during the extinction phase as they really test to see if it will continue to work.

      I would crate and ignore. Ensure you are feeding her the appropriate amount, feed her maybe a slightly bigger snack and then from bedtime until the time you decide to get up you ignore. she may bark the entire time. If she does pick a time that is reasonable, wait for a pause in the barking then let her out. Do no immediately feed her, wait at least 20-30 minutes. Again you are changing a habit that has worked VERY well for her so it wlil get worse before she learns that barking does not get food.

      I also agree with crate in bedroom. It just seems to work better with most dogs.

      I completely agree with training classes.

      I would also consider increasing both mental and physical exercise. how much is she currently getting? what time? And labs are a sporting breed so need mental exerecise. short training sessions, sniffy walks to smell new smells at their pace and feed using interactive toys (or training).

      Shock collars ARE punishment. that is how they are used in training, positive punishment; addition of something aversive (that the dog does not like) to reduce an unwanted behaviour. there is zero need to use one for this type of situation (and really there are always alternatives). The dog would get punished while in her safe place, the crate. you have no way to ensure that she associates the punishment to the barking and not the crate or the room (ditto barking collars).

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by CoalandSaylor View Post
      Yes, I agree they are like newborns. However, We have 2 other grown labs and this has never happened to either one of them. So, we are just at a lost since this has never happened before. Our pup is in her own room with her crate and is fully covered every night, so that isn't an issue. We just hired a personal dog trainer. we've never had to do that since our boy labs are very obedient and didn't need a personal trainer's help, but our little girl needs the extra help. Thanks for your input.
      good to get professional help. remember anyone can call thesmelves a trainer and charge and have a few refferals. Ask about their education and experience and their ongoing education (if the last course they took was 10 years ago i'd be wary). Personally i would run away from anyone that mentions alpha, pack theory and all that.

    7. #7
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      Just a thought...are you feeding her enough? Maybe she is hungry. I would think if her belly is full, she would be more content to sleep.

      I would never use a shock collar (just my opinion) you don't want to instill any negativity on such a young dog.

      Has she had a Vet check recently?

      I also agree with getting her enrolled in a good obedience class...that should help.

    8. #8
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      Well, Once we are home or one of us goes to the yard where our dogs are kept during the day and throw the ball. Sometimes instead of doing it with all three dogs we will have one on one time with only her and we will be out there for about an hour to 2 hours playing, sitting down and giving her human stimulation I feel a puppy needs.. also once the dogs are back inside we are constantly throwing a toy for her in the house. Every day we put her on her leash and go outside to do 30 minutes of training with little treats for rewarding. She knows basic commands already. We also take her to dog parks, walks around our neighborhood, dog beaches and we do hikes every Saturday. I'm not sure if she needs more activity. Anyways, as far as our dog training goes... Our dog trainer has done wonders with other dog's in my family and also my husband's. So we aren't really worried about that. Thank you for your input, as it is very appreciate. I am feeling down as I feel like this is nobody's fault but our own creating this middle of the night sleepless monster. We will try the tips and tricks you have given. Thanks again. Wish us luck!

    9. #9
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      Hello. well we started giving her more food about a month ago when this whole thing started happening. My mom who has been a Vet for 30+ years gave me the suggestion that she was going through a weird growth spurt and maybe she really was hungry. So, my mom said to start giving her a snack before being put to bed and to up her food. As of right now she is 45 pounds and we give her about 2 cups of food and 1 cup before bed. You would think her belly is full, but i am starting to think she is testing us instead of actually being hungry because every time she wakes up she wants to eat(we don't give in) and end up putting her back to bed. I'm starting to think she's just getting smart and greedy with her food. we can only up her food so much.. I am with you, I am very opposed to using a shock collar. I put it in the statement because someone in my husband's family used one and told us to be very careful because we didn't want to train her in a negative way. I have never used a shock collar and don't plan on using one. Yes, she just had a vet check up about a week ago and everything is fine and dandy. We are just going to have to try and break this habit. I feel like we have tried a lot of things, but all have a dead end. I'm thinking maybe it's us and it is our fault this happened. I'm trying to retrace and see where we went wrong. I think we are going to do personal training once a week and sign up for obedience classes and see how that works.

    10. #10
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      I know. that is what I'm saying is that we've have been able to train our other dogs with no problem(both trained very differently) My 9 year old is very obedient and does the things I need him to do but he's old now he gets it and doesn't need to be told much anymore and my 4 year old lab is trained to be a court dog with the help of my dad who has been law enforcement for over 30 years. So I get it... Just because you trained one or the other that way doesn't mean its going to work with the other. She is just a very different pup to what we are used to and need a little bit more guidance that's all. like you said... every dog is different. We've tried putting her in the room with us in the crate and she is still very persistent on getting out and eating and barks until done so. (we don't cave though, only to let her out potty and back in the crate that's the only way she will stop for 2 hours) We put her back in her room because having a dog bark very loud and constantly in our bedroom is a good way to go insane without any sleep. We are going to try signing her up for obedient classes and having a one on one training sessions once a week and go from there.

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