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Thread: 10 year old collie exhibiting some signs of distress at night

  1. #1

    10 year old collie exhibiting some signs of distress at night

    we've had our rescue collie for nearly 5 years now.
    he took a little while to settle (been really abused earlier in life and through a succession of weak owners, stray and C&D homes)
    He eventually got the idea he was staying and has been brilliant since. very good on observing house rules i.e which rooms are off limits, not begging nor stealing, etc basically perfect indoors.
    Outdoors not quite perfect .. not aggresive but doesnt make friends easily or quickly. understandable given what we know of his history I guess. (surprisingly keen on shooting tho, not at all gunshy!!)

    Just recently he has started panic 'digging' in the night trying to escape the Kitchen where he has always stayed without any previous worries. letting him sleep in the living room (nearer our bedroom) has stopped the panic behaviour but he still starts awake every couple of hours in the night and needs to be stopped from 'nest scraping' into the carpet. a couple of words and a touch and he relaxes and off back to sleep...then repeat rinse every 2-3 horus till breakfast where he is back to absolute normal as per the last 5 years. just the night time change ...

    I gather this is fairly common in older dogs and just wondered how you all deal with this
    Last edited by urx; 13-11-2013 at 18:10.

  2. #2
    Vet visit. There are a lot of options that need considering, it's probably behavioural, but he needs examining to ensure he is clinically healthy first.

  3. #3
    Why would you say he's panic digging !
    The scratching the floor is the dogs natural behavior to make a bed for sleeping on, do you provide a bed in the kitchen for the dog to use or does he just sleep anywhere in the kitchen

  4. #4
    is it fireworks going off?

  5. #5
    sorry missed a few bits of vital info
    he's been to vet and had bloods etc and is physically a1 100% healthy. vet most happy there.
    he has a crate with tuffy base which he sleeps in and has always been comy in for last 5 years.
    if you are up early in the morning he steps out stretching leaving a nice warm spot where he was curled up.

    the usual 'sleepy dog' bedtime manoeuvre is usually 1 paw scratching up the ground/carpet/blanket ..2-3 circles then down for the count.
    this night time thing is leap out of bed in what seems to be a panic and double paw full speed dig at the door/floor...really'up to 90...' till one of us asks him to stop ...1-2mins and he is calm enough to lie down.

    dont think its fireworks as he is fine at clay grounds and when we go for a zeroing session or a wander with the 12g. fireworks never bothered him before but it is that time of year ..its a thought..

  6. #6
    Could be he is picking up another background noise you cant hear, any work going on nearby? my mate had similar and figured out the new fridge was making a noise every few hours, something to do with a water cooler unit in it, moved dog into hall all good..

  7. #7
    urx, rich5point5 may have a point, its usually this time of year that heating and boilers go on.

    I know we had a few unsettled nights after years of bliss, so I slept downstairs one night and found it was the gas meter making a very quiet squeak when the heating was on it really freaked one of ours out for a while.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    Might be worth trying one of the DAP collars or diffusers if he's been checked by the vet. Seems to help some dogs and no great expense.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  9. #9
    Further to Apache last post (maybe he can advise too) an alternative to the DAP collars is the use of a herbal remedy - Skullcap and Valerian, available from Dorwest Herbs (I have no connection with them).

    It has been great in the past for taking the edge off anxiety, especially caused by fireworks, building works etc.

    Depending on size/weight of dog, 4-5 drops on a biscuit seems to work wonders.

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