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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
And I have been listening to my dog.
It's been a hard days night, I should be sleeping like a log.

But no, instead I have been listening to Toby barking at bloody nothing for the last 4 hours and 45 minutes.

Allow me to tell you of our situation and perhaps you guys who are more experienced with the Dobe mindset can give me some advice because right now I am at the end of my tether.

Our house has no air conditioning and tonight is a particularly stuffy night so all the windows are open in the house to let what cool night air is out there in so we might get some sleep.
Fat chance, at precisely the moment we went to bed Toby started rumbling, then yipping building himself up to a full on bark. So up I got, I always get up to check if there is anything or anyone around. Nope, nothing, no one in sight. So I told him to settle. He did for all of 5 minutes, then he started again. (Bear in mind he is in the living room less than 30 feet from our bedroom door so he is hard to ignore). So up I got and lo and behold there was nothing, no one, though there was a large owl hooting so I thought he was barking at that. After reassuring noises he put his head down but no sooner had I gotten back in bed, he starts up again.
So I let him out. Bringing Russell (my Terrier in, as I have adopted the policy one in, one out for the sake of peace). Well naturally he wasnt best pleased about the situation as he loves to sleep outside, showing his displeasure by barking when Toby barked. So I dragged Toby's crate outside and put Russell inside which he was more than happy with curling up and going to sleep almost instantly. But not Toby, oh no, bark, bark, bark, pause, bark, bark, bark. He went from the back of the house, to the corner, to the front, to the back, he did bloody circuits I swear. Stopping eventually at the back corner where he stood and barked his head off. I must have gotten up a dozen times, thing is he wasnt bothered that I was there. To my mind he wasnt doing it to get my attention as he ignored my calls for him to come to me so intent on barking was he. I then had a thought. As he barked the Parabolic Satellite Dish I have on that side of the house was making a funny metallic echo of his bark bounce around the small courtyard that leads via a small alleyway to the back of the house. Was he hearing this and thinking it was some strange dog barking back at him. So I called him to me and told him to. "Calm down, it's okay, go to sleep". He was so wound up however, he was practically beside himself. I eventually had to drag him indoors and sit with him on the sofa, gently stroking him and now he seems to have finally given in to sleep. (I hope).
This has been happening off and on since the warm evenings began. So far I have had 3 sleepless nights this past week and it is taking its toll and rather than losing my temper and shouting at him I want to understand what he is trying to tell me (if anything) and how to deal with it correctly.

Do any of you guys have this kind of problem. I honestly cannot hear/see anything that might cause him to bark like he is. My 2 Terriers don't join in the majority of the time, only when he gets so heated he is about to combust do they voice their support. However, they soon stop when they realise it is just Toby being a daft dog again. So I honestly do not think it is anything out there that is making him do this.

He barks if he is in the house, he barks if he is outside.

As I live in the middle of nowhere my dogs are an early warning system for any potential problems that might occur so I do not want to get one of those stop bark collars if I can avoid it. However, he doesnt seem to be able to hear me speaking to him when he gets into this kind of state, so how do I get him to shut up and only bark at the appropriate time.

He is now asleep on the sofa opposite me. It took me about half an hour of massaging him, telling him to sleep before he gave in. Perhaps he thinks 'mum is on patrol now, I can rest, she will tell me if I need to bark' I don't know. What I do know is he had backed himself into a corner the likes of which I don't think he knew how to get out of, so do you guys have any ideas how I can stop him reversing himself into it tomorrow night.

:thanx:
 

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Suggest putting Toby's bed mattress, beside yours / probably help him settle down, with mom just a few feet away.
- could have been a wild animal or a trespasser...more like it
He was probably barking, for a reason.
I would never use a bark collar...just control it...putting him at a further distance from you, will just wind him up, even more.
- and i have to rub Amy's belly (in bed) for 10 minutes every night, so she can fall asleep without the cry-whining, all night straight
Some dobes NEED their master, very close by...even to sleep / don't fight to change it, not a winning battle !!
(they need this comfort zone, for their on-off switch, to relax on stand-by)
 

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Perhaps you could try playing radio, music, computer, TV or some other repetitive noise so he can't hear the bogey-monster outside?

I assume you're absolutely sure there is no animal or person or whatever outside he's keying in on--'cause it would be easier (well, easier to stop his barking, anyway) if you took care of the problem at the source.
 

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My female has slept with me since we got her 4 years ago............one night she stood straight up in bed and started barking... she then went to the front door and started growling.............I whispered to her to come to bed she did but her ears were up............I've always praised her for barking because something is there we just don't know what............one night 2 big dogs were in my front yard using the bathroom .........my dog never moved a muscle to bark LOL!

I hope everything is better now :)
 

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Maybe with the windows open he is smelling the animals that cone out at night. I think he would Sleep better if he was in the same room with you. Ant time he is not listening to you you can be close enough to Mon correct him and tell him enough then praise him when he becomes quite.

If I let Odin wonder the hour at night he is in constant protection mode. Crate him at night because that is the only way he will Sleep through out the night without having to Sleep with us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On top of my house I have massive floodlights that illuminate the countryside all around the house. I also have a huge rabbit spotter lamp which I take up onto the roof with me for shining down under the tree canopy just in case there is anyone lurking/hiding there.

I couldnt see or hear a thing. Granted we humans are blind and deaf compared to our Dobe babies so I defer to his senses everytime but I honestly don't think this barking is to tell me there is someone there otherwise my 2 Terriers would join in.
For instance, at 4.30am every monring a vixen walks past our house on her way home and the boys let me know she is out there, big time.
At 12 midnight the mail plane comes across and this is also conveyed to me by Toby at least that it is in the sky above us and he doesnt like it.
Now the fox I can do something about, ie shoot the damn thing because I know for a fact she is eyeing my chickens each and everytime she passes, but the mail plane is out of my control. Now this barking I have come to accept, I also recognise the type of bark Toby does, the fox is a 'come in here you little piece of vermin and see what I will do to you' kind of bark, whereas the plane is a 'I can make more noise than you buster.'
But the barking he does at night is a monotonous wha, wha, wha, whoooo, whooo, wha, wha that makes no sense.
The nearest dogs to us are on the other side of the valley and whilst we can hear them he doesnt usually bark in reply to them and vice versa.
I made up my mind long ago not to put one of those stop bark collars on him, seems daft to me to get a dog then stop it doing what it is meant to do.
At night he is crated or left in the living room to sleep in the sofa. It depends where he drops off to be honest, most nights he goes into his crate, but as the evenings are getting warmer he is sparking out on the rug or sofa to be more comfortable.
If I take him into our room I know for sure he will climb up on the bed and my hubby whilst he will accept a cuddle in the morning will draw the line at spending the night with him. Our room isn't big enough for his crate to be taken into it as I have a large four poster bed that dominates the room and leaves very little space to walk around because of.
Tonight I am going to try sitting up with him after my hubby has gone to bed and see if he will settle easier.
I do hope I can get this sorted, I have my hubby's side coming out end of May and the brother in law has already said he hopes we have sorted out the dogs.

Hey, something just occurred to me. Sasha his adoptive Boxer mum used to bark at the night so do you guys think he learnt it from her and is merely carrying the torch so to speak. Do dogs think this way?
 

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You are a very patient & loving mom.
Bless you for trying for find the solution instead of losing your cool. Having no sleep is hard to manage night after night.

We are also out in the country side (on the other side of the world) but I can appreciatte your settup. We too, have lights around our house and the horse barn, set on motion detectors.

Just a few nights ago, Chaos our senior Red female, was fussing and climbing on top of me in bed. She is a girl who likes her own space and only cuddles if there is a rain or snow storm. She was so upset, that I woke up.
I looked out the skylight to see only a perfect starry night. No rain, no thunder. She was climbing on top of me and so distressed. I stroked her and talked to her from 3:30am until 6:00 when we finally got up.

The other 2 dogs & hubby were snorring away.
I could not find an outside factor that led to her panic.
Like Toby's mom, I ran through all the scenarios in my mind. I became fearful that she was in pain and perhaps her cancer had returned.

The next morning my husband got up and realized he had left his fancy damn blackberry on. There was a message, and the high pitched beep was going off throughout the night.

Wait til I get my hands on the fool who called us at 3:00am!

Don't know if that is any help. Perhaps your baby is hearing something you are not.
 

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I don't really have any advice just to say good job with keeping your patience and not taking it out on him...I know that's tough to do when you are sleep deprived. Personally, Gunner very rarely barks. VERY rarely. He has never barked at night but a few weeks ago I was in bed and he started going nuts. I fussed at him because he was waking up the kids but I got up and checked everything out. Nothing. I layed back down and two minutes later he was barking again. I started to get mad but knowing that this was way out of character for my dog, I trusted him and turned on the outside lights for a more complete inspection. I looked out the front door and front yard and there was nothing. Gunner was still barking like crazy and the kids were wide awake by now. I turned on the back porch light and outside of our fence was a large herd of deer. We live right next to a neighborhood and a busy road. I've never seen deer back there before, but as they were running off, I could tell there were quite a few of them. Gunner knew they were there. I have NO idea how, but as soon as they were gone, he settled right down and never made another noise. It's frustrating but it really does seem like he is hearing something.
 

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There was more than likely something out there. Tali will bark, pace, and growl her fool head off if there's a small animal that makes the mistake of rustling alongside the house at night (a family of opossums scuttles around my property almost nightly, as do some of the neighborhood cats that are left loose rather than taken in at night). It doesn't matter if I "check out" whatever it is, it only works temporarily if I tell her "Enough", etc. So I just put her bum in her crate on those nights and turn on a box fan in the dog room to drown out any noise and help relax her. She quiets down after about 3-5 minutes - it really does work that fast - however, I have a/c so I can keep my house closed up at night to help block out other noises, too.

Maybe this is excessive, but could you put him in his crate and set up a few fans in that room so he can't run around and continue to work himself up? Maybe a few biggish fans would create enough of a hum to dull whatever he's hearing.

The downside is, if he were really alerting to something you may be voiding his effectiveness by quieting him. I stick Tali in her crate because Fiona will actually quiet down and go to bed when I tell her. So she's still loose to prowl and alert if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Toby has slept all day.

I do hope he isn't building up his reserves for another night of wha, wha, wha, whoo, whoo, wha.

I will try get a video of him doing his stuff tonight if he starts up. That way if I can figure out how to post it on the internet you guys if you are interested can listen to it and give me your opinions as to what the heck is going on in his head. If anything lol.
 

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The downside is, if he were really alerting to something you may be voiding his effectiveness by quieting him.
Well, I look at the oppposite end of that spectrum, too-what good is a dog who barks at EVERYTHING and NOTHING? That certainly isn't particularly effective, it gets to be like the dog who cried wolf, eventually the owner will just ignore any and every bark. This *isn't* protective behavior, this is nervy behavior, IMO.

I think some dogs *do* need some guidance about appropriate behavior. If I looked once and there was nothing out there, I'd MAKE the dog lie down and shut up. I wouldn't let him pace around and bark all night-that results in nothing productive for either the dog or the owner.
 

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:)

been there.

Pearl had me up a few nights ago for hours.................

I could not even coax her inside with FOOD, and if you knew Pearl you would know she is ruled by FOOD! :)

So I know something was out and about that night.
 

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I play a radio if my dogs are sounding off at everything. If the dog is just being unreasonable and there is nothing going on, I will tell them to quiet, use a squirt bottle if I have to, and yes- I do own a bark collar. Never really have to use it at home, but occasionally have to when traveling due to hotels and crowded noisy hallways.


Right now my group is sounding off to the new herd of cows up on the back hill! Every time those cows come up and lie down in the corner of the neighbor's fence- we are all alerted to the Angus alert, Angus alert- the Angus have moved!! Geesh! Even my horses ran over to investigate what the dogs were barking at the first two days the Angus were there. At least this is during daylight hours, and not in the evening however. More bearable to me.
 

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This just makes me laugh a little :) Two nights ago my neighbor's JRT yapped for 12+ hours continuously!!! Apparently his owner left him home alone, which he is not used to, so he decided to alert THE WORLD about his loneliness! Thanks, we got it- as well as no sleep.
 

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Well, I look at the oppposite end of that spectrum, too-what good is a dog who barks at EVERYTHING and NOTHING? That certainly isn't particularly effective, it gets to be like the dog who cried wolf, eventually the owner will just ignore any and every bark. This *isn't* protective behavior, this is nervy behavior, IMO.

I think some dogs *do* need some guidance about appropriate behavior. If I looked once and there was nothing out there, I'd MAKE the dog lie down and shut up. I wouldn't let him pace around and bark all night-that results in nothing productive for either the dog or the owner.
Good point.

Tali gets one shot at getting it right each night. I'll tell her once to knock it off. If she alerts to nothing a second time, I put her up and Fiona and I go back to bed.
 
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Toby has slept all day.

I do hope he isn't building up his reserves for another night of wha, wha, wha, whoo, whoo, wha.

I will try get a video of him doing his stuff tonight if he starts up. That way if I can figure out how to post it on the internet you guys if you are interested can listen to it and give me your opinions as to what the heck is going on in his head. If anything lol.
maybe get him up and put him to work for the day. Teach him that night is for sleeping. unless of course he alerts you to suspicious happenings going on out there in the night world.
 
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