Sleeping arrangements update

Thanks to you all for your advice regarding our goal of switching up sleeping arrangements and gradually giving Eden more freedom in the house.

Sunday

We’ve made a few domestic changes, and I’m happy to report that things are going well.

Specifically:

  • We’ve moved the dogs’ crates into our (finished, walk-out) basement, so that Guion could use the main floor bedroom as studio space. This is also our entertainment/music room, so they like to chill on the couches or in their crates when we’re watching Orange Is the New Black, Game of Thrones, The Wire, etc. (So many shows!) They’ve adjusted to this transition smoothly.
  • We’re crating them at night, after a few experiments with leaving them out at night time. We’ve discovered that both dogs like to wake up at 4:45 a.m., regardless of the day, and burst into our room and jump on our faces. This is not our favorite thing. So, for now, crate time for bed time. They seem fine with this arrangement, and there is no crying or whimpering about it. And we get to sleep in at least until 6…
  • Our weekday arrangement is now: Both dogs crated from 7:45 a.m. until noon > Hour of backyard play when one of us comes home for lunch > Both dogs get free reign of the main floor from 1 to 5 p.m. We close all the doors and put up all tempting items, and the dogs have freedom to move around in the kitchen, dining room, and living room. To our delight, they’ve been GREAT at this arrangement. Eden hasn’t torn up a single thing; there have been no accidents; and, specifically, Pyrrha is lessening her reactive freak-outs when I come home and they’re loose in the house.

We are still proceeding with caution, but I’m very pleased with how well this new set-up has been going. It also makes me happy to know that they don’t have to be crated all day on weekdays and can enjoy that modicum of independence to sleep where they please and move about freely. Eventually, I think we’ll work up to a place in which both dogs won’t use the crates at all during weekdays. For now, though, this arrangement has been going smoothly. I’m happy, and I think the dogs are happy!

What’s your domestic, weekday schedule with the dogs? What kind of privileges do they have when you’re not home?

Bedtime routines: Where does your dog sleep?

Sleepy wolf. #dogdaysofsummer
Nap time on our dirty kitchen floor.

Where does your dog sleep?

For the past year, Pyrrha slept in her crate. She likes her crate; it’s her safe place. When she feels overwhelmed by a situation, she’ll retreat there, and we’ve always left that as an option for her.

As of last week, though, we’ve been experimenting with a new routine: Pyrrha getting to sleep wherever she wants in the house.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to give her this freedom in the house, and I think this is a good way to ease her into it. She has proven herself to be very reliable in the house, and she has not shown any inclination to get into things she’s not supposed to. Pyrrha is kind of the perfect house dog in that way; I can count on one hand the number of things she has chewed up that she wasn’t supposed to.

So, this is Pyrrha’s new sleep routine: We leave her crate door open, and say “Goodnight!” I think this confused her the first few nights; she would run into her crate, and then when I didn’t close the door, she’d peek her head out and look at me, like, “Um, mom? You forgot something…” But she’s adapting quickly. I think she sleeps in crate still, but she also has a dog bed in the living room (and she also considers our couch fair game for naps).

The weird thing she does now, though, which is not my favorite, is that she comes into our room at 5:30 a.m., sticks her nose in my face, and wags her tail against my nightstand. I mumble, “Chill out,” and then she lies down on the floor next to me, until I wake up (around 6:15–6:30). I’m not sure why it’s been exactly 5:30 a.m. every day. It’s not light out yet, so I’m curious why that time has a trigger for her.

All in all, though, it’s been going well!

Where do your dogs sleep? Did you ever transition them from one routine to another?