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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 15 year old Shi Tzu. She has poor eye sight and hearing, but otherwise is in reasonably good health for her age. Within the last year or so she has gone through several periods lasting a week or so where she starts barking in her cage at about 6:00 in the morning. We have tried to ignore her thinking she would stop but this doesn't work. We get her out of her cage and all is well. She isn't hungry or thirsty, and doesn't seem to need to go outside to do her business. She just wants out of her cage! For 14 years she slept peacefully in her cage each night. Help!! Any suggestions?
 

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She might be needing less sleep now. She might not want to be alone. She's pretty old...she could be getting a bit senile and waking up disoriented and scared. Is she safe when loose in the house, or does she absolutely need to be in there when you're not watching? Maybe she'd be better off if you just started leaving the door open for her?
 

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why not just leave the cage door open? with age comes wisdom, works in the canine world, too.

give it a shot, what have you got to lose?
 

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Maybe if you put her to bed a little later she would wake up a little later? I agree with the above -- she may need less sleep, or she is starting to get a bit disoriented at times.

For the record, my adolescent wakes me up at 5:55am on the dot every single morning (weekends included!) so I'm envious that you've had 14 years of sleep beyond 6am. lol.
 

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Kabota wakes me up at 5:45 every morning. Saturday and Sunday included.

I think your Shiba Inu is likely in pain from arthritis. Very few dogs get to that age without some degree of joint damage. I have had arthritis since 27 (bad genetics happen in people, too) and I can tell you that after a night of not moving, 5:45 is my least favorite time of day. I am stiff, my joints are screaming, and the only thing to do is move around. That's probably what your dog wants to do, but she's stuck in her cage. I'd let her out and let her walk it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Success!! We put her in the cage last night but left the door open. Kept two night lights on.She did not bark early morning and was laying on the couch when we got up at 7:00am. Thanks for your suggestions!
 
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