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Re: barking in the night

Posted by:  Jane McClay
Posted on:  November 15, 2001 at 13:32:19

In Reply to: barking in the night
Posted by:  Tara Peterson
Posted on:  November 15, 2001 at 12:17:03

Question:

: My 5 month old JRT slept wonderfully in a crate for several months. Recently, he sleeps fine and quietly for a few hours then he's been waking up at 3 a.m. or so and won't stop barking unless I let him out of the crate. I'm not getting any sleep and neither or the neighbors. How can I stop this. I've tried EVERYTHING I can think of, short of a muzzle, which I really don't want to do.

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Hi, Tara,

I have one word for you (but I'm going to say it three times for emphais)...

Exercise... Exercise... Exercise...

Assuming that your terrier can make it through the night without going to the bathroom by now, I'd have to say that your little boy isn't sleeping through the night because he's ready to get up and get active, and he's hoping that if he barks at you enough, you'll let him out (which you've done - which basically means he trained you to do what he wants). He's probably hanging on to any kind of attention he can get from you at all, even if you're unhappy about letting him out of the crate.

You need to tire him out during the day so that he'll sleep through the night. If you are thinking "well... I DO exercise him every day," all I can say is you aren't exercising him enough. These dogs need to be literally tired out. Here in Maine, we have race days on most weekends so we can really get our dogs nice and exhausted, and then during the week I'm sure to let my dogs out to run in my back yard several times a day (or as often as they'd like). They all sleep through the night, but those that haven't gotten enough exercise will wake up and fuss a little. That's when obedience training comes in handy. I'm able to say "NO, SETTLE" to my dogs and they know that their whining won't get them what they want. They chill out and quiet down.

Now all of this being said, it's important that you be sure that your terrier isn't just waking you up because he can't hold his bladder through the night. If you're feeding him late in the day/evening, or he has access to water in the late day/evening (I hope you aren't free feeding) then he's not going to be able to make it though the night without having to go out, regardless of how he might have been previously. Puppies go through changes, and even if he was able to hold it before, he might not be able to, now. So please be sure not to force him to stay in the crate if he's got to relieve himself!

Good luck,
Jane