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Hello ! I am hoping that somebody can offer some advice to help with our black lab Frankie.

We have had him, and his best friend Willow, since September 2013. We got them from a rescue shelter and they had been together all of their lives. Willow is a 9 year old yellow lab who is generally well behaved and good mannered. She can be left alone no problem, enjoys attention but isnt clingy etc.

Frankie is slightly younger, 7 year old black lab who we got in the same circumstances. He is very loving and affectionate and did not initially like being left alone for long periods of time whilst me and my OH worked. (We had been honest when we provided our rehoming information and the hand over sheet with the dogs information on said they were used to being left and coped well). Things have settled quite alot in this way with the help of kongs, treat balls and other toys (although we will occasionally come home to some "suprise" this is rare now - before we might have come home to a floor covered in wee and a destroyed house!).

The real problem is overnight. Initially F and W slept together in a spare room with the door open and a baby gate as we had a third dog living with us and we wanted to make sure they were all getting on well before we left them alone without our supervision (this dog has since moved out after about 2 weeks with my sister and sadly passed away). They had a bed each and would alternate between sleeping together or seperately. F would cry occasionally which we ignored. This carried on after they moved from this room to the hall way with one very large bed between them. F would cry and cry and cry at about the same time early morning. He didnt need a toilet break and stopped as soon as we came out of the room (which we only did because we were getting up at this point, not to reassure him which we never did - always ignored the crying). We got to the point that we could not cope anymore with 4am starts everymorning, so tried opening our bedroom door a small bit so that he could see we were there. This worked and we had a good few weeks/maybe even 2 months, where he would not cry and did not bother overnight at all. Recently - about last 3 weeks or more - he has started pushing into our room throughout the night and waking us on each occasion. We tell him to get out and he does, lying in the door way. Shortly after he will come back in and the same happens again. One time I woke up to find he had snuck in and was asleep on the last days dirty clothes which we had just dumped the night before!!! I have tried shutting the door again so he cant get in - to which he just starts crying again. W is always with him and does not cause any issues over night. I have tried putting an extra bed upstairs incase he is uncomfortable sharing but this didnt have any effect.

I really dont know what to do next. We always ignore his crying, I never give him attention when I first get up and wait until they have followed me downstairs and are calm before I go to them for cuddles. I do the same when I get in from work, and ignore them as I am leaving them to go out. This seems to have worked for when they are left through the day, but at the end of our tethers for a night time. Any advise would be greatly appriciated. We want to work through this and would never EVER want eeither of them to go back or to a different home as we love them, its very upsetting that he cant seem to settle on a night without us (I am quite strict that I do not want them in the bedroom overnight even though OH says just to let them in).

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to get everything down so that someone, somewhere might know what to do.

Thank you :)
 

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If you are adamant you don't want them in your bedroom, could you put a baby gate in your doorway so that the door is open, but they can't get in?

And welcome to LF and well done on rescuing Frankie and Willow :D
 

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I am afraid its a good old fashioned case of separation anxiety.

I am afraid I cannot ignore crying, and I don't believe that people should, our dogs do this to communicate with us, he is anxious and finds comfort in your presence, I don't think that is such a bad thing.

Cuddle your dog, acknowledge your dogs, all this ignoring them is old hat, I used that method years ago with a dog that had SA issues and when I when I started to show her affection on greeting, not over the top, just a pat on the head, and perhaps a hug her SA and anxiety levels dropped hugely.

Every dog is different and therefore you need to adapt and look at what makes your dog less anxious.

The fact he crept in and slept on your clothes indicates to me that he wants to be close to you, why not put an old item of clothing that you have worn and not washed in his bed?
 
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