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Sleeping problems

Species: dog | Category: behaviour | Submitted: 30 April 2007 09:39PM | viewed 5647 times
Q Kate asks:

Our dog Charlie is absolutely wonderful but we have one quite serious problem with him. He barks at night at least two or three times and wakes the whole house up. It makes no difference where he sleeps, if he hears a noise then he will bark relentlessly. He will bark if its windy outside, or if there is heavy rain or he hears a car etc etc. It is like he is constantly on guard but it is becoming a serious problem now. The children are being woken up every night and my husband and I both work full-time and are struggling to cope with this. My first thought is to ask is are there medication available equivalent to sleeping tablets for humans but for dogs, or is there something herbal that works equally well. I imagine my vet would be very reluctant to prescribe sleeping tabs for him if available, but we really are having a very difficult time at the moment. Hope you can advise me.

Q Our vet says: This sounds like quite a serious problem for you and your family and I think that you will need professional help from an animal behaviourist to solve this one. Get in contact with your local vet or the Association of Pet Behavioural Counsellors to find a behaviourist in your area. Your vet may be willing to prescribe something to help you get through the first few weeks of behavioural therapy but this will depend upon their professional opinion and safety etc for your dog and circumstances (sometimes sedatives can make things worse!). I hope things get better soon. Also consider asking your vet about the Abiostop collar for your dog to wear at night; it squirts a citronella spray at the dog when it barks and can help where barking is a problem.

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