Need help stopping barking at night

gngracie

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#1
We currently have a full house (people and dogs) and various people working/coming and going at all hours of the day and night. Since my son has moved back in with us, Roscoe's been sleeping in our bedroom, initially in his crate, but he's been sleeping in bed with us for about a month now. The transition from crate to our bed hasn't been a problem at all and made no difference whatsoever in the barking. The problem is that Roscoe now barks (and won't quit) every time something (be it person or dog) wakes him up.

I'm drawing a blank on figuring out how to train him out of this since all the methods I've been using involve clicker training, treats, distractions, etc. However, it's the middle of the night when he's going crazy with the barking. I've been trying to teach him "quiet", but so far no luck.

Any ideas about how I can get us all back on track for sleeping through the night once again?
 

milos_mommy

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#2
Does he react the same way during the day when someone comes in if he's in his crate and you're in your room? If so (you may need to set up as if it's bedtime when you expect someone home during waking hours), you can use those methods you've discovered regarding clicker training, distracting, etc during the day (in training sessions) and desensitize him to people coming and going.

I would get a white noise machine or such to use at night, and minimize what's waking him (can the other dogs sleep in a crate so they're less likely to wake him? Have your son take his shoes off before he comes in the house or use a back door?) or, if possible, consider moving him to a different area of the house where he may feel less protective of the space or where he can see and identify who is coming in, which may or may not make him bark less if he can identify where the noise is coming from.

If you do desensitize him to the noise during the day, it will take a while if he's still reacting at night with no interference, plus some dogs will only bark at night due to nervousness of the dark or their disturbed sleep. I think management of the sounds causing it and why he's so stressed about it is the best bet, unless you're willing to do 2am training sessions for a few days.
 

gngracie

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#3
Does he react the same way during the day when someone comes in if he's in his crate and you're in your room? If so (you may need to set up as if it's bedtime when you expect someone home during waking hours), you can use those methods you've discovered regarding clicker training, distracting, etc during the day (in training sessions) and desensitize him to people coming and going.

I would get a white noise machine or such to use at night, and minimize what's waking him (can the other dogs sleep in a crate so they're less likely to wake him? Have your son take his shoes off before he comes in the house or use a back door?) or, if possible, consider moving him to a different area of the house where he may feel less protective of the space or where he can see and identify who is coming in, which may or may not make him bark less if he can identify where the noise is coming from.

If you do desensitize him to the noise during the day, it will take a while if he's still reacting at night with no interference, plus some dogs will only bark at night due to nervousness of the dark or their disturbed sleep. I think management of the sounds causing it and why he's so stressed about it is the best bet, unless you're willing to do 2am training sessions for a few days.
Thank you milos_mom. I hadn't really noticed it so much before, but he does bark during the day when someone comes home, although not as much as he does at night (or maybe I'm just more awake and alert myself and able to quiet him more quickly). I think part of the cause for his higher level of barking at night is that the noises are startling him awake. I''ll ask my husband to practice the bedtime routine with my kids since they're all in and out throughout the day most days. If they'll actually do it, I think it will work fairly quickly, but getting them to do it consistently might be a problem. :lol-sign:

We actually talked about a white noise type machine before when we knew we were going to be moving his crate to our bedroom. That's a great suggestion and I think we need to see about finding one now to see if that helps.
 

Maxy24

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#4
Definitely try white noise, even a loud fan would do the job. It's certainly the quickest and easiest option.
 

gngracie

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#5
Definitely try white noise, even a loud fan would do the job. It's certainly the quickest and easiest option.
I like quick and easy, especially in the middle of the night! I'm a heavy sleeper, so I'm never very cheerful or patient when woken up. :lol-sign:
 

*blackrose

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#9
On top of management, I found with my dogs that a "quiet" command, or a "go to place" type command, really helps with the alert barking. You can work on the basic principles during the day, then use them at night when you need them.

Don't ask me what thise basic principles are, because I can't verbalize them. But the point still stands. LOL
 

gngracie

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#10
On top of management, I found with my dogs that a "quiet" command, or a "go to place" type command, really helps with the alert barking. You can work on the basic principles during the day, then use them at night when you need them.

Don't ask me what thise basic principles are, because I can't verbalize them. But the point still stands. LOL
Your last sentence had me cracking up! We're starting to practice this, but so far not very successfully. I've had a fan in our room for the past couple of nights, and so far so good, but we still need to work on a quiet/settle command.

I appreciate everyone's suggestions! :)
 

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