Move Over Rover

If you're a dog owner, chances are you've been there or are going through it: Seemingly endless, sleepless nights because your pup refuses to settle at night. It not only barks you right into insomnia, but some very grouchy mornings, too.

Woman with Dog in Bed

What can you do if your pet keeps you up all night? And why do dogs behave this way anyway?

Missing you

Michael's dog, Willy, was a barker. In fact, he would bark and whine all night long. "It got to the point that everyone in the house was sleep deprived -- the kids, the wife," Michael said. "We'd only had him for two years, when we moved to an actual house. Once we moved in, we decided to put him in the laundry room at night. It wasn't an awful place; it was comfy and even had a bed. But he kept barking from bedtime until morning."

Michael was astonished to hear from one of his friends that his dog might be suffering from separation anxiety. Willy couldn't understand why he was so far away from everyone. 

"In our last place, he slept in the kitchen, which was close to our bedrooms," Michael said. "So we decided to move his bed in the bedroom at night with us."

A great crate

Alison had a different problem. "I've had Rex since he was a puppy and he has always slept with me. But now that he's grown up, he's become too big. He sprawls out and takes up a lot of the bed, causing me to sleep at weird angles -- it just doesn't work. I push him down, but he gets back up again. I've tried putting him outside of the room, but he barks and whines and I still can't sleep. And I feel bad."

So Alison spoke to her local vet for a solution and she suggested crate training the dog to sleep on the floor. It worked! "I felt awful doing that, but he had a comfy bed in there. And he didn't bark because he was in the room with me. Now he has his own bed on the floor," said Alison. "He jumps on the bed to cuddle in the mornings, but I can live with that."


Laura's allergies, meanwhile, meant their dog, Maya, had to sleep outside of the bedroom -- something her dog wasn't happy about." My boyfriend and I both work, so she wants a lot of attention and cuddles. Even if my boyfriend spends time out in the living room with her, the moment he goes to bed, Maya whines and knocks things down. It's annoying."

Their solution? Adopt another dog."Now Maya has a buddy to play with during the day, and companionship at night." As she pointed out, they were helping out another animal by rescuing him from the pound.

Excess energy

Jeff and his wife, Maria, are in a different stage of their lives. They work long hours and their only child has already left home. "Our dog is only a few years old and has a lot of energy, so he runs around the house all night long, barks at shadows, you name it," Jeff said."We were exhausted."

They tried taking him for an extra walk in the morning, but it wasn't working. "Finally we realized we needed to incorporate our exercise regime with him," Maria said. "Now when we get home, instead of going to the gym, we take him for walks or runs. Sometimes we play in the park, and later on, a few hours before bed, we'll walk. Basically, we wear him out." They have also employed a dog walker, one who will exercise their pet on a daily basis. The outcome? All three of them get a good night's sleep!

Your turn

So now you have a few helpful tips to try on your dog if he won't let you sleep! Good night, don't let the bed "bugs" bark ... I mean, bite. And if you have suggestions or solutions, please share them in the comments section below!



Comments on "Is your dog keeping you awake at night?"

barkloudly January 18, 2013 | 7:01 PM

Why don't you just train your dog to sleep in your bedroom but NOT on your bed? It's not that hard.

sue ronald January 04, 2013 | 5:42 AM

My 4 yr old rescue brown and white collie has just the past 4 nights after his last walk at 10.30pm, started to wine and paw the bed, asking for another walk and ball play outside...he has not urinary or other problems, why is he doing this? and what is the cure?

Adriana April 14, 2012 | 10:20 PM

I just got two yorkies and there only 9 weeks old and since they're from the same litter I thought they wouldn't be lonely but I was surprised to hear them whining so every 2-3 hours I'm waking up because they're whining and I have to go lay down with them on the floor next to their doggy bed until they go to sleep and I got no sleep. Any suggestions??

Holly January 11, 2012 | 7:47 PM

To Debbie - Try a Dog Cave bed. My beagles loves his. It has a hood and he can "burrow" in. He used to like to be covered as well but this did the trick.

Debbie June 06, 2011 | 12:08 PM

I spoilt my dog by covering her when she was a puppy. She is now six years old and i have not had a decent night sleep for six years. She wakes me up 2-4 times a night and either wants to get up on the bed or wants to be covered i her basket. I have taken to wearing ear plugs at night but i can hear her over and above this. I don't want to lock her in the kitchen at night as i am away at work all day (she has a dog walker her takes her from 9.30 to 2.30 so i feel bad as i only see her from about 5pm onwards. Any suggestions? Thanks Debbie

elizabeth February 07, 2011 | 11:09 AM

my name is elizabeth we have had my dog warsaw for one year he was ok at first he sleeps with us but now that he is getting older we have a female dog either of them are fix and at night he will not let us sleep we want to keep him but if he dont stop we will have to give him or sell him he is a black,brown, and white american fox holn

sandy perlman September 05, 2010 | 9:54 AM

Our six year old rescue dog Harry insists on getting up at 4 o'clock in the morning go out. He's a Maltese, terrier mix and we live in an area that has coyotes. I'd like to walk him at seven o'clock when it's light out. We don't have a back yard so I have to walk him. He gets up at the same time no matter how late I take him out in the evening. How can I retrain him? Thanks for your help.

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