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Hi! New here. We are new, first-time dog owners. We went through a rescue group and are now the proud parents of a 6 year old male lab. He's very affectionate and has some very basic training, but gets excited easily.

He cannot stand to be alone, which is fine since I work from home and he can hang out with me all day long. The problem is at night -- we've been crating him on the first floor, away from us. We don't want to let him into the bedroom. Once he figures out we're not in the room with the crate, where he is, though, he begins barking. All night long.

I've looked around a bit online and found about a thousand different suggestions about what to do or not to do. Go to him and tell him quiet; ignore him. Squirt him with water; don't use water. Get a device; don't use a device. One thing we are definitely planning on doing is going back into training with him. In the meantime, though, we're losing a lot of sleep. The barking appears to be related to loneliness and not wanting to be by himself -- we've tried leaving the radio on, doesn't do much.

Any suggestions or ideas? We're open to just about anything except physical sanctions (like anti-bark collars) and letting him into the bedroom with us. There may be an obvious answer we're missing but, as I mentioned, we're first-time owners. Thanks!!
 

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Ok first suggestion is that you do something to get him used to being away from you for a little while a few days a week, a couple hours at a doggy daycare ect will do you both a world of good. It will tire him out playing with the other dogs and give you a break from him as well as helping to stop any separation anxiety from developing.

Also, be sure he's getting LOTS of excercise and do some training each day, this will wear him out mentally and physically so he will sleep better at night.

Last ,set up a bedtime routine for him, be sure you're making the crate a good place for him to be, give him something such as a frozen peanut butter or yogurt stuffed Kong ( he ONLY get this treat when he goes to the crate) when he goes in at night so he can chew that to relive stress and go to sleep. Then, get some ear plugs, close as many doors as possible and IGNORE him when he cries, it will get worse before it gets better, but once he realizes that the crate is where he has to spend his nights, he'll settle in and be quiet.
 

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One other thing you can try....give him a security blanket...one of your old, unwashed t-shirts. Only do that if you're sure he won't chew it to pieces/ingest it otherwise, you can leave it just outside the crate.
 

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Honestly, I would move the crate into the bedroom. They love being around people so much it just seems he would sleep so much better if he could sleep as part of the family. And I second the "security blanket" idea (something you've worn so its scent reminds him of you) and stuffed Kong so he has something to keep him busy until he falls asleep. He's lonely, not a bad dog, so I wouldn't squirt him with water or shock him just because he misses you so badly.
 

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I'm having a similar problem, would it be alright if I just amend this thread? We have a very protective dog and a very high-stress dog, and the littlest noise in the night will set them off. We have a downstairs neighbor who seems to come home late at night and leave early in the morning. It doesn't bother us, much, but every little bump he makes sets them off. Usually between 6AM and 8AM it's all we can do to get them to stop barking for a few minutes. They sleep in bed with us, so we can hush them and stuff, but we can't figure out what to do.
 
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