Hi Dogs Today,
My five-year-old Greyhound, Suki, has developed an annoying habit of barking to be let out in the early hours of the morning. This started a few months ago with the occasional request to go out for the toilet, as we thought. Gradually this has increased until she now barks roughly every other night. I have recently had to move away into rented accommodation for work reasons, and have had to leave Suki and my other dog Oscar (a nine-year-old crossbreed) at home with my parents. Since prior to this I was living at home with my parents, Suki and Oscar have always lived in my parents’ home and have not been disrupted by my move. While very much a 'people' dog, Suki is not particularly attached to me personally, being happy with any family member, and since the barking first started just before I moved out, I doubt that it has any connection to my moving away.
As you can imagine, Suki's barking is very annoying for my parents and wakes first my mum, followed by my dad (my brother, his wife and their three month old baby also live with my parents). Because my mum is worried that my brother and his wife will be disturbed, she has always gone straight down and let Suki out, despite my advice not to as I believe Suki is seeking attention and thus being rewarded by my mum's appearance.
My parents make sure they feed Suki early in the evening and ensure that she goes to the toilet before they go to bed, so I can't believe she genuinely needs the toilet every time. Would it be reasonable to limit the amount of water Suki has access to in the evenings to make sure she isn't drinking too much (she always has drunk a lot more than my other dog, but it hasn't been a problem before)?
Please could someone advise me how my parents can deal with this problem? My mum is very busy and stressed at the moment, and lack of sleep really isn't helping! Times are tight for all of us at the moment, so we really need a solution that we can implement ourselves.
Any advice would be gratefully received!
Rose Hodkinson, by email