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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 10 month old toy poodle puppy who sleeps in his bed right next to our bed upstairs in the master bedroom. The past several months he's been barking in the middle of the night at the slightest noise. It happens several times in the middle of the night. It's waking the entire family, and we're all exhausted! My husband thinks we should move him to sleep in our finished basement, but I know my poodle would be so upset....he wants to be where we are at all times. Any recommendations to stop the middle of the night barking?
 

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Something to try would be adding ambient noise to the room like a fan or a Sleep Easy to make it harder for your dog to alert to little noises.

Also, consider if your dog would benefit from a vet visit since there has been a behavior change. Ear infection?

I would not leave a toy poodle in the basement at night. The poor dog will definitely bark then AND be miserably lonely.
Hopefully others will chime in with advice.
 

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That is around the age mine started alert barking. It is as if they reach an age when they feel responsible, but they have not yet learned what is, and is not, important. I used the methods in Turid Rugaas' little book, "Barking: the sound of a language". In essence you acknowledge the warning, investigate (standing between the dog and the noise with your back turned to the dog), confirm there is nothing to worry about, and settle down again. At night a limited version - acknowledge, hand between dog and noise, reassure, settle down may work over a few nights. White noise may be quicker!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your replies. My gut was also saying that I can't put him in the finished basement alone; he'll cry all night long. I'll try the white noise. We are all just so exhausted, it's like having a newborn in the house in the middle of the night.
 

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One of my toys used to bark at night. It became a problem when we moved, because she did not recognize the new noises from the neighbors, the street, ect.

I never allowed her to bark for long, so she knows that she shouldn’t do it. I just tell her « No » (or shut up, because I’m not so nice when it’s 3 am...) and she knows I mean it. Basically it’s just letting the dog know when she can bark and when she can’t. I allow barking for a few seconds when there’s someone at the door or an odd noise.

With Beckie it took a few months and now she will very rarely wake me up at night. Maybe once a month. As others have said, you could put a white noise machine in your room. It might even help you sleep better, not just the dog !
 

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I'm also not so nice in the middle of the night when he starts barking! I've told him "no bark" very firmly, and he just doesn't stop. It actually started a couple of months ago when he heard a pack of coyotes howling outside, which made him crazy. The coyotes have been very vocal this year, and seem to be quite robust from photos I've seen from the neighbors, looks like they're eating well (that's a whole other thread)! Since then, he barks at the slightest sound (and also at the occasional coyote howl). I'll try a white noise machine will hopefully mask the occasional coyote howl and tiny home noises. Also, thank you Starvt, I will work on better "no bark" training during the day, too.
 

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Here's the noise machine I use at night:


It's quite effective. So is Turner Classic Movies. It's the best channel for background noise. NO loud and annoying commercials!!

When Peggy's bored or overtired, her alert barking shifts into overdrive. But, at 7.5 months, she's only barked once that I can recall while in her crate. Perhaps because I keep it covered?
 

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Hi, I wanted to update and let you all know that your tips and suggestions helped a lot. We have been running a fan at night, and closing our bedroom door, so he's less likely to hear every tiny noise in the house. Also, thank you for the advice from Dechi and Starvt to not let him bark too long during the day at anything....that has translated into him quieting down more quickly when he starts barking in the middle of the night. Thanks everyone, love this forum!
 

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Not too practical in the middle of the night. but I love Click-n-Treats suggestion for daytime barking. Think peanut butter :)

There are also ultrasonic devices that make a really unpleasant noise when dogs bark. You could try one of those. Also, no matter what device you get, you need some all natural smooth peanut butter, because I'm going to teach you a magic trick.

When the dog is barking, grab your peanut butter and a spoon.
Say, "Quiet!"
Even if the dog is still trying to bark, cram peanut butter in the dog's mouth. Not enough to choke the dog obviously, but a goodly amount. Peanut butter glues the dog's mouth shut so they can't bark. This gives you a chance to reinforce what quiet means. "Good dog. What a good quiet dog. Quiet. Good dog."

My dogs think, "Quiet!" means a glob of peanut butter is coming their way, so they shut up and get happy. It's actually kind of funny. Barking out the window, me, "Quiet!" Noelle and Francis race me to the kitchen. Mmm, peanut butter time. I get quiet dogs, they get peanut butter, and life is good.

An ultrasonic device and peanut butter might make things better for you.

Bark!
Unpleasant noise.
Dog pauses, what the heck was that?
You, "Quiet." Cram peanut butter in the dog's mouth. Praise for being quiet.

Also, make sure when you are telling your dog to stop barking, you are not barking yourself. If you're yelling, or getting worked up, the dog is more likely to think there is something worth barking about. Calm voice, calm and in control of the situation, "Quiet." Then glue the dog's mouth shut with peanut butter. I hope this helps.

Vibration collar, ultrasonic device, citronella spray, and even a shock collar are all bridges to help negatively reinforce what you really want, stop barking. Peanut butter adds a positive reinforcement for silence, too. Even if your dog learns that the word quiet means peanut butter, the result is the same, a quiet dog and hopefully a more peaceful house.
 

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Thank you Rose n Poos. That cracks me up, gluing the dog's mouth shut with peanut butter! It definitely won't work in the middle of the night, but will try it during the day. My guy does love to bark during the day, and I used to just let him do it if I didn't need him to be quiet at the moment, but now I stop him immediately (thanks to the tips here!) Definitely translates into him barking less in the middle of the night.
 

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I'm going to try out that peanut butter trick! Peggy likes to alert me to the most ridiculous things. Like if my husband WHO SHE JUST SAW FIVE MINUTES AGO walks back into the room. Or if our neighbours (gasp!) have the audacity to slam their car doors.

But the sump pump banging loudly beneath our feet every ten minutes on a rainy day? Nope, doesn't faze her.

These dogs are real mysteries sometimes.
 
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