Article on sleep aggression

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JudyN
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Article on sleep aggression

Post by JudyN » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:51 pm

http://www.akinfdt.net/greyhound_sleep_issues.html

This article is about sleep aggression in greyhounds, but I'm sure it applies to any dog. I'm wondering about trying this training method as the last couple of days Jasper has had a 'moment' when I've been on the sofa and he was on the floor by the sofa, and I just adjusted my position a bit :? Yesterday we ended up nose to nose, both with a surprised and confused look on our faces :lol:

As it's an automatic reaction, do you think desensitising a dog in this way can really help him wake up a little more peacefully?
Last edited by JudyN on Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Nettle
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Re: Articlce on sleep aggression

Post by Nettle » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:05 am

I think that is very VERY dangerous advice. And to any casual readers, I'd like to make plain that it is an American article, and while I have no idea how racing greyhounds are kept outside UK, over here they are kennelled in pairs in big kennels usually with a pen attached.

It is deeply unwise to touch any sleeping animal, including people, by touching them. For the most part, there is no need to touch a sleeping dog anyway (I get the impression she wants to touch hers just because she wants to touch it right now instead of having the courtesy to wait until it wakes up).

Aggression when suddenly awakened is a survival tool. Therefore we CANNOT train it away.


Jasper is - as we all acknowledge :lol: and extreme case, but he is as he is. I suspect if you star messing around with him when he is drowsing off or asleep or just awake and confused, he will react hard and fast.
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JudyN
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Re: Article on sleep aggression

Post by JudyN » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:32 am

Thanks Nettle - I'm glad I asked now! I can't see how pestering a dog when he's asleep or just dozing off is going to help him relax, even if you are pestering him with bits of steak.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

mansbestfriend
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Re: Article on sleep aggression

Post by mansbestfriend » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:26 am

"Let sleeping dogs lie", is true enough. :)

Capturing and rewarding calmness can be a good idea though. As just one technique in a plan, it sure helped my dog to be more relaxed overall. :!:
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Maxy24
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Re: Article on sleep aggression

Post by Maxy24 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:09 pm

But what would you suggest for a dog who will wake up biting if you accidentally bump them? I knew someone with a rescue greyhound who would swing and bite if startled while sleeping, like if they were walking by as he lie on the floor and accidentally bumped him.

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minkee
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Re: Article on sleep aggression

Post by minkee » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:41 pm

Semi-relatedly - what do you do when your dogs are dreaming? Scout never sounds happy in her dreams, she goes "Grrrrrrrr squeak squeak squeak, squeak squeak squeak. Grrrrrr, squeak squeak squeak." The squeaks sound to me like they would be her shouting, if only she were awake and moving her mouth instead of just dreaming :lol:

I tend to call out to her and just say it's okay, and she quiets down. D says he thinks they shouldn't be disturbed in a dream. What do you think?

mansbestfriend
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Re: Article on sleep aggression

Post by mansbestfriend » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:39 pm

When my dog is 'dreaming' or just sleeping, I usually let her sleep. Speaking or making some other non-startling noise or throwing a lollie paper or whatever wakes her gently, if needed. Since she may be dismembering a soft toy in her dreams, I'd rather not be part of the dream :) .
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Nettle
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Re: Article on sleep aggression

Post by Nettle » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:02 am

If the dreaming is very obviously distressed, I speak in a soothing voice in the hope that 'safe place person is here now' is incorporated into the dream the same way it happens with us. It seems to work.

Re: accidentally bumping a sleeping dog - it just shouldn't happen. When the dog is asleep, either don't go near it or take care when going near it. Dog beds should be out of main 'traffic' areas in the house, and if the dog is alseep on furniture, then it's a matter of avoiding that piece of furniture.

If someone absolutely has to get where the dog is asleep that very minute, then wake the dog by calling, and have a treat ready. But this is for emergencies only and not for stuff that can wait (most stuff can wait).
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Maxy24
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Re: Article on sleep aggression

Post by Maxy24 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:28 pm

I don't know, I guess we just step on our dog more than normal people. Tucker uses his dog bed at night but never during the day. He usually sleeps on the floor and usually right under our feet. We sit at the couch and usually put our feet up on the coffee table, he will lie exactly where our feet would be if they were on the ground (as I speak he's laying with his head in the spot my dad's feet will go if he puts them down). So when we put our feet down they land on him. Normally it's no big deal, we feel he's there and move our feet off of him before standing up. But we have all been bitten by him (somewhat painful bites but not enough to bruise or anything) when we've gone to get up too quickly and actually have begun to stand up on part of him. We don't blame him or really see it as a problem because of course biting someone who's stepping on you is understandable, it hurts! I can't even begin to imagine if he bit every single time I put my feet down on him though, I do it at least once a day. And that's me being careful.

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Nettle
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Re: Article on sleep aggression

Post by Nettle » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:30 am

Then you all need to do some thinking :wink: - because the time could come sooner than you realise that your dog is tense even when asleep, and that could make him ill or else hyper-reactive. Or he could bite a visitor who then tries to sue. He clearly wants to be with you while asleep, so maybe you should create him the most superb dog bed so he chooses to sleep in that rather than under your feet. Or move some furniture so you have a clear path that doesn't involve stepping on your dog. Use those wonderful human brains and think a better way.
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bendog
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Re: Article on sleep aggression

Post by bendog » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:45 am

Sash is sleep aggressive and for a while we had her sleep alone in the kitchen but she was going to the toilet in the night on the floor so now she is crated in our room so she can wake us up if she needs to go out and it is working really well and safest for all of us.

I'm never convinced Sashas sight/hearing is perfect, she has some, but sometimes she loses us on walks and little things like that, so it's even more vital she knows we are there and don't startle her. If she is on the sofa or bed it is only when we are busy doing other things and so don't need to sit down. She will wake up ok if spoken to, or we place a treat near her nose, and she doesn't react badly to that, it's just touch really.

She likes to cuddle, but then she's usually awake, or if she does go to sleep on our knee we always wake her up cautiously before we just move her.

Sometimes i think I am being paranoid and over cautious when I pet sit and won't sit on a sofa with a sleeping dog already on it, but better safe than sorry I reckon.

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