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Thread: Howling at 4.30am, why?

  1. #1

    Default Howling at 4.30am, why?

    So, as per my other thread, we are working on our 7 year old foxie with separation anxiety. It is up and down but I think we are making some progress, albeit slowly.

    The thing is now he is starting to howl, at around 4.30am to 5.00am. It's not a desperate howl, more of a slight bark that goes into a slight 'I'm not happy howl'. Now he has always been an outside dog and never had a problem. He doesn't do it when he goes to bed, either if we put him outside at 9.00pm or if just stays outside and goes to sleep on his bed at night. He just starts at around 5.00am.

    If I get up to call him, he comes to the back door, then cries a little when walk away. I then usually tale him for a walk around 6.00am and he settles down.

    Is he calling for a walk?
    Is he crying for me?
    Or is he just unhappy?

    Any help or advice would be welcome.

  2. #2

    Default

    Possibly he's communicating with another outside dog, although I could be wrong. Foxies develop obsessive routines pretty easily so if you responded the first time he did it, it could have formed a habit where he's just calling you to make you appear at the door. In that case he is calling for the pack leader because he can't hear or smell you.

    Be aware that the situation where a dog stays alone in the backyard and sleeps on its own is not exactly natural. Dogs are not solitary animals, a dog pack spends day and night together and rarely separates, so any separation anxiety problems are a result of those bonding instincts being confused by the solitude. There's not really any easy solution to a problem like this, because it would require you to be located closer to the dog. If you respond to his howls, you're reenforcing the behaviour. If you don't respond, he'll just keep howling.

  3. #3

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    ' Samboss260' - keep in mind that the sun is getting up earlier as we are nearing the longest day of the year - so 4.30 am will be the new 5.00 am !

    Is there any reason why your pup can't sleep inside at all at night ?

    There would be heaps of reasons why he is howling - lonely, unhappy and wants attention from you ! All of my pups have always slept inside and I find that the easiest way for all of us to get a good nights sleep.

  4. #4

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    My dogs have just always slept outside, unless severe weather conditions are present. Also, this was my dads dog until two years ago, and at dads place he always stayed outside. Only until 3 weeks ago he very rarely came into our place.

    I'm worried to put him inside now at night in case it makes the separation anxiety issue any worse during the day when he is outside when we go out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,596

    Default

    I think what Mosh said about you giving your dog attention for the behaviour - it's reassuring for him - which is good but it also encourages it. And what Riley said about everything waking up an hour or so before sparrow fart is also true.

    And as a dog gets older - they feel the cold more - and that hour of the night is the coldest.

    Other things that may cause it -
    ambulance sirens
    other dogs howling
    possums
    need for reassurance (maybe a baby monitor or radio - so he can hear you?) personally I like having my dog inside, cos if the burglars break in the front door - she can't help me if she's shut out the back.
    cats, cat fights
    rats
    mice
    early birds
    cold
    burglars making weird noises...

    about the burglars - a friend when she goes out - she leaves a voice recorder on so she can hear if her dogs are noisy or not while she's out. And recently she recorded the dogs howling then barking then this gawd awful horror movie creepy noise - which turned out to be some would be burglar putting his head in the dog door...

    Oh and my dog also goes off at the guy who has very early starts - so he gets in his car and drives off at 4:30am. And the freight trains.

    And she has started snoring.

    Sleep - what is that?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    tasmania
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post

    about the burglars - a friend when she goes out - she leaves a voice recorder on so she can hear if her dogs are noisy or not while she's out. And recently she recorded the dogs howling then barking then this gawd awful horror movie creepy noise - which turned out to be some would be burglar putting his head in the dog door...
    Bloody hell reading that just sent a chill up my spine.
    If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret

  7. #7

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    What are people's thoughts on training / behaviour consultants that cone to your home for a fee?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,596

    Default

    It would be a lot cheaper to let him sleep inside at night.

    But I'd consider getting a behavoirist to help me and my dog if I couldn't find a way that works without one, or I was doing the right thing but my timing was off so it wasn't working. Thinking about it because she's started having a go at labradoodles we meet on the way to the park - no idea why. But I'm ready for it now so easier to manage. I think she knows I hate labradoodles that have owners that let them pull at the end of the lead. Ie the rude badly trained ones with irresponsible owners.

    I'd avoid a certain well known franchise - heard exactly zero success stories with them and lots of "it didn't work at all". They use a lot of aversives and not enough rewards and the rewards and the aversives are both so silly the owners won't follow through with the training.

    I like this page on how to choose a trainer.
    How to Choose a Dog Trainer | Steve Courtney Dog Training

    If you post where your nearest capital city is - we can post the links to trainers we know in the area.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks Hyacinth, I'm in Brisbane. Also started another thread in the training area asking for god trainers in the area.

    Happy to receive PM's if that is preferred on this forum. I just don't know if I am doing the right thing in terms of training him, which surrounds this issue of him losing his pack leader.

  10. #10

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    I have a 6 year old un spayed female spoodle that has taken to howling in the middle of the night when the scrub hens start their calling. Can anyone suggest a way of putting a stop to this very annoying habit?

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