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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sleep Walking Dog?

Dakota: Chocolate Pup Sleeping
Question:
Hi Shannon - I've been enjoying your Lab Brats blog and reading about Dakota and Cheyenne. I also appreciate your links to helpful lab information. I have a 3 year chocolate lab named Gracie. Several times last year she fell out of bed in the middle of the night (yes, she does sleep with me). Occasionally, this year, she will jump off the bed in the middle of the night. When I turn on the light to see what she is doing, she is just standing in the middle of the room. I'll call her name and she'll look at me, blink a few times and then crawl back in bed. I wonder if she is sleep walking. Do you know if dogs sleep walk?

Answer:
Gracie may be jumping out of the bed for fear of falling out of it. For example, when I make any movements in my recliner, Cheyenne will jump up no matter where she may be lying. This is because the recliner had come down on her paw a couple of times when she was younger. To make sure it doesn't happen again, she is quick to get out of the way - even if we aren't bringing the foot of the recliner down.

It seems to me that your Gracie may be doing the same thing. You may move in a certain way while in bed that makes her believe she is going to fall out or be pushed out of the bed. Instead of risking it, she gets out of the way - just like our Cheyenne.

As for sleep walking... it seems the common consensus from all my resources that dogs do not really sleep walk. Is it possible? Sure, anything is possible. However, it is very unlikely. *smile*

Maybe Gracie needs her own bed on the floor next to yours in order to feel close to you but safe at the same time. *wink*

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3 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

Hi Shannon,
I think it's great that you are able to answer everyone's questions about Labs (although I'm sure your intent for this site was not to become a "dear abby" type column!) Anyway, I've got a question for you - when is a lab old enough to be left alone in the house NOT in his crate? I know there is no specific age, but what signs should I be watching for? Diesel is 11 months old...he still gets into things while we are home if he is curious about them, but I would love to be able to not leave him in his crate when we go out. He is in it everyday while we are at work (although I do go home at lunch everyday and let him out for about 25 minutes (I live only about 7 minutes from work, so not a big deal), but I would really like for him to be able to just roam the house and look out the window. I just don't know if he's ready....

Thanks Shannon!

Kate

April 02, 2008 7:45 AM  
Blogger Turbo the Sibe said...

Your blog is very interesting!

April 02, 2008 11:50 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Kate,

Each Lab is different on when they can be allowed out of the crate unsupervised. My experience has shown that you should give little tests here and there to see where your pup stands. For us, we first tried them in the house alone while we were doing yard work and would check on them every 15 minutes. After being able to go some time without any damage, then we would try short outings such as food shopping. If that worked, would continue that for time until we felt safe. Then extended the time and so on.

The thing you need to remember is that being allowed to do anything for a dog is a privilege and if they abuse it, then it gets taken away. You keep going through this until they prove that they will not abuse it and you will know (and feel at peace) when the time comes that you can leave Diesel out all day. :)

Hope that helps!
Shannon

PS - Yes, I have turned into somewhat of a Dr. Labby but I don’t mind at all. Once upon a time I was new to the Lab breed as well and wish I had a "mentor" of sorts to explain things to me rather then me finding out the hard way. *wink*

April 07, 2008 7:59 AM  

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