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Thread: Sleepless Pup- Help!

  1. #1

    Unhappy Sleepless Pup- Help!

    I just brought home a new pup from the pound yesterday. He is a Staffi X (Trevor) around 10 months old. Great dog, no problems at all, well behaved, loves my other dog Ruby. When we brought him home from the pound that was 4 hours away, he didn’t make a peep once. Got to ours, he waiting till he was outside to do his business. Very good boy. And cute as a button.

    I spoke to the lady who worked at the pound. I asked her if he cries at all or barks. She said the only time he cries is when she would lock him up in his cage (do you blame him?)... so i thought well that he should be fine since he won’t be in a cage ever again and will have a mate with him all the time.

    Well... last night when we went to bed and turned all the lights off, he became stressed as was peeing everywhere. Pacing all over the house and then would sit right next to the bed crying. We tried many different things to try and calm him, but the only thing that worked was him sleeping on the end of our bed. Not my Fave resolution. But he fell asleep in two seconds.

    I’m guessing he doesn’t like to be alone.... And since he has been living in a cage for so long he wants to be with us. And when we turn the lights off and he can’t see us he stresses out. I feel really sad for him. And I hope that in time he calms down. But I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the same thing, or might have a tip for me to try and settle him better.

  2. #2


    I would suggest crate training. Crates ARE NOT cages.

    Proper crate training teaches your dog to LOVE his crate and want to be in there.
    If you can do some proper crate training with him, he will love his crate and will quietly sleep in a crate with the door open, that way he is not on your bed. I suggest you look up Susan Garrett's Crate Games and other information.

    It will also be that he has been living in a kennel environment for who knows how long and is feeling unsettled. I am sure he will settle down with the routine of life in a family. Make sure you try and keep things as routine as possible ie: feed at the same time each day, walks at the same time each day, bed at the same time each day. I would also suggest not giving him (or your other dog) any attention just before you leave home and not for at least 20 minutes after arriving home. This will help him not to develop separation anxiety and will develop good manners when greeting people who are arriving at the house.

    So Proper Crate Training, Routine, Mental and Physical Excercise, No attention before leaving or after arriving home and I believe you will do well.

    Good luck

  3. #3


    This is copied from another post I made a while ago on how to get your dog to love his crate.

    Copies from my posts in another thread

    This means not just putting them in their and shutting the door the first time they see it. It will probably take a few days to a few weeks to get them to really love their crates. Never force your dog into the crate.
    Personally I do it like this:-
    Day 1) I would start with setting up the crates and letting the dogs sniff around them and rewarding your dogs with treats for their interest in the crates. That is it.
    Day 2) Start with the same as day 1 and then maybe chuck some treats inside the crate so the dogs go in and eat and then come back out. That is it for day 2
    Day 3) Repeat day 1 and 2 steps and then chuck into the crate a chicken neck or something similar which is higher value than normal treats but takes a little longer to eat and then let them walk out again. End of day 3
    Day 4) Repeat previous steps and then while they are chewing on the chicken neck or similar item shut the door, just for 10 - 15 seconds and then open again and let them out.

    From there you should just gradually increase the time the door is shut and gradually increase the value of the food you give them while they are in their crate. Do not start locking them for the night in until you can see they are very comfy inside. Ie: They will walk in and lay down or relax without any or too much guidance from you, if they are sitting/standing at the door then they are still anxious of being in the crate.
    I would also suggest you start to play crate games (see below) with your dogs while you are gradually increasing their time in the crate, so they find it a fun place as well as a rewarding place to be.
    Verbal rewards/attention are also a really important past of crate training, especially if you have a dog who is not super food motivated. So make sure you give loads of praise and pats for the dogs going into the crates.

    I would highly recommend you buy the Susan Garrett crate games DVD

    That is just a sample of how her crate games get dogs to really love the crate.

    ETA - Feeding your dog dinner inside the crate when he is comfortable with it is also a great idea.
    Last edited by Keira & Phoenix; 08-09-2011 at 09:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    North QLD


    If your against crate training, has he got a bed, or a mat that's his to sleep on? You could try moving it with you where ever you are in the house. Praise him when he lies on it, give him treats ect to encourage him to lie on it if need be.

    Come bed time, put an old dirty shit of yours on his bed, put it right next to your bed. Dangle your hand down if he needs to know your still there.

    Once he gets used to the idea, slowly move his bed to where you want him to sleep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    My Rescue newfie sleeps on a bed next to me......She will now lie in other parts of the house, but initially she wanted to be as close as possible. She would not crate, even in steps, because she had been crated 24/7 in her early life. So we just parked her bed next to my side of the bed.........problem solved.
    Pets are forever

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Rural NSW


    He of course needs time to settle.
    If you are happy with him being on the bed then fine.
    If you prefer him to sleep elsewhere then that will have to be started now.
    Always start as you wish it to continue.

    Not exactlt the same problem but one of my dogs has just undergone some serious knee surgery. No jumping allowed. She sleeps between my husband and I on a high king sized bed. I will be having her on a short tether to the leg of the bed. This will be next to me (she feels she was put on this earth to be next to me at all times and in all places) The other two are not as bad, lol.

    My point is that she will still be near me on a comfy bed and my arm can hang down at times to reassure her and she would be incapable of jumping on the bed.

    Another solution could be baby gates to confine him to an area that you want him to get used to.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  7. #7


    I have got to agree with all that has been said about create training.
    We are new to it and I believe that these are the best thing since slices bread.
    Done right Trevor will go out for his last piddle of the night and say bed and he will run to it. As Murphy does now.
    The old shirt in there is also an idea that we did to plus I even threw in an old shoe only at night. The next day I dragged it out and wore it all day before putting it back in.
    Just hang in there and reassure Trevor that you are still there and you will laugh at this all later.
    All the best.

  8. #8


    It was Trevor's first night in your home, everything is different and he has been through a LOT of turmoil.

    It will take anywhere up to 8 weeks for him to settle into your home and for his true personality to come out too. Be calm and consistent with the rules. Set where he is to sleep and enforce it. Don't chop & change the rules all the time because it will NOT help him in the slightest, it will just cause confusion.

    I'm the first to recommend crate training - but at the moment my dog sleeps directly under where I do underneath my bed and the cat is crated. The cat kept attacking the dog at stupid times in the morning (2, 3 or 4am) so the dog would jump on me for help from the big bad cat....

    Decide the house rules Trevor needs to play by with the rest of the family. Enforce those rules, only alter what isn't working and be calm and consistant with those rules.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    Just a thought on the 'cage'. I'm not so convinced by crate training either... I'm sure there are many benefits to it and I'm probably biased without reason... it's more a gut feeling than anything else

    Anyway, in your case your pup has been living a cage for a long time. Even though the carer said he was crying when she locked him in, it probably gave him security too. Being in a strange environment with strange people around him and outside his safe cage must be quite terrifying. He probably needs just some time to settle in. I'd probably try to offer him a replacement cage/cave to make it a little easier for him. If you don't like a crate, how about a cardbord box or something similar next to your bed? Just a place to hide, but where he can still see/hear you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Melbourne, Australia


    Crate training has done good things for my beagle pup, she doesn't squeal as much at night anymore because it's somewhere comfy and warm for her to sleep in and she hasn't made a mess inside her crate at all... *touch wood* she waits to go to the bathroom in the morning and does both outside now.
    Meet Luna, a 13 month old Beagle pup in Melbourne with her sister Cynder a 13 week old Border Collie!
    Check out their blog at

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