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I have a 12 year old lab named Harley. Other than arthritus, which he is on meds for, the vet says he's in great health. Recently, at night, once we are all in our rooms ready for bed, instead of going to sleep on his bed, he stands at the stairs and barks. Not the "There is someone outside" bark, but more of the "pay attention to me" bark. I have literally tried everything- taking him to my room, his kennel, giving him treats, laying with him, ignoring him, I don't know what else to do! It kills me to listen to him carry on, I just don't know what is wrong :( ...Please help if you have ANY advice at all it would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Old dogs can get Canine Cognitive Disorder...basically senility. There are meds that can help. You can also ask your vet about trying melatonin at night. It's generally safe for healthy dogs (but you should ck w/your vet due to dog's age), and can be bought at the grocery story/walgreens in the supplement or sleep aid section. Doseage is normally 1 mg per 20 lbs of weight. It doesn't make them really drugged but regulates sleep, and also helps dogs w/noise phobia like thunder/fireworks. It may help encourage your dog to go sleep.

It may also be that with it being summer, nighttime noises are more prevelant...cats in heat, people out late, kids out of school out late, crickets chirping, etc.

have you tried taking him for a long walk in the eve before bed? (long for him, keeping his age/condition in mind). maybe giving him a frozen peanut butter stuffed KONG to chew on for a while?

Some diseases can make a dog restless. I know you said vet said he is in good health, but if you haven't had blood work done recently you might. Some diseases like Cushings can make them restless. If he is on Tramadol for his arthritis, that can make them whiney/needy.
 

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I agree with the long walk in the evening. My 11 yo Lab mix seems to sleep 20 hours a day, but when he's awake, he wants to go for a walk. Usually we go twice, but he has 'asked to go as many as four times a day... I think the energy level is still OK, although the athleticism is less.
 

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also sometimes this is due to loss of vision which is much worse at night even causing complete blindness. sometimes when dogs lose their vision they can act out in strange ways. One of my patients Raven is an older german shepard who NEVER barked much. now that she is older and her vision is very poor. Her owner was complaining how she just whines and barks in a confused sort of way for no reason at night. and we determined it was because she couldn't see and this confused her. I do not know what he did to resolve the issue. Imagine not being able to see anymore but still able to hear things and not understand? it could cause confusion, but not all dogs experience this because most of them also lose their hearing! this is just one reason I thought might be the problem only because I have heard of this before. I would look up information on it online and maybe someone has some suggestions that worked for them.
 
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