Working nights w/ barking/needy dogs that probably wouldn't let me sleep during the day

  1. I am about to graduate from nursing school and am looking for jobs. A lot of positions are night shift. I would absolutely work night shift for a job I know I would get the best experience but I am also really worried about it. I have two dogs that constantly bark at nothing during the day and frequently want to go run outside in the backyard. The one dog is even more high energy and will literally bark at me for as long as it takes until I take him in the back yard, sometimes not that long after we were already were there. Just so you know, these dogs get a lot of exercise and attention so their behavior is not because of a lack of those things, I can assure you. So I know that if they know I am home they will try to wake me and/or just bark a lot while I'm trying to sleep. On days when I would be at home studying I would give them Kongs filled with peanut butter and dog treats which occupies them for just a little bit and also take them in the backyard a lot to burn off some energy. I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to deal with this or if you have been in a similar situation. I would like to try to work night shift if it means I will have a great job but I worry that it won't work out because of this which is silly so please let me know!
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    About lmb93

    Joined: Jun '16; Posts: 10; Likes: 4
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    18 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    It's not at all "silly" to be worried that you won't be able to sleep during the day if you take a night shift job. Any chance they will just sleep with you during the day if you're home, sleeping? Maybe you could experiment with that now and see how they do. Or maybe taking them to "doggie daycare" on the days that you need to be able to sleep during the day would be an option (or maybe you have a friend or neighbor who could keep them for you on those days?)
  4. by   OldDude
    You could invest in a really good bark collar for them to wear during the times you need to sleep. They would eventually learn not to bark when the collar is on. I heard of a novel trick from a friend, who claims it worked perfectly, but I've never tested it myself. His neighbor's dogs barked incessantly at night. He bought one of those high frequency "dog whistles" and attached it to an aquarium pump and let it run all day while he was at work. After the dogs were kept awake all day they were too tired to stay up at night and were quiet. You may try that...keep your dogs up all night while you're working and maybe they'd sleep all day while you are sleeping.
  5. by   missmollie
    I second the bark collar. It is amazing how quickly it will train them to not bark during the day.

    If you decide to take a night shift job, welcome to the dark side! Nights are the absolute best in so many ways, and I would have to be hard pressed to give up my nights.
  6. by   ChryssyD
    Let them inside to sleep along with you. Dogs are pack animals who want to be with the pack leader (hopefully you!). Letting them inside will greatly reduce their anxiety, and then they will stop barking. It's so comforting to hear your dogs snoring alongside you--their mission in life is to love and protect you. Let them!
  7. by   sasera
    Quote from ChryssyD
    Letting them inside will greatly reduce their anxiety, and then they will stop barking.
    This is really good advice. I've worked night shift with 3 energetic dogs and after a few days they learned to just sleep with me on the bed. Occasionally they would go nuts becuase they saw a squirrel in the backyard, but for the majority of my 4 years working nights, we all just cuddled on the bed together. Maybe if you do accept a night job, switch your schedule a few days before you start working so you and the dogs can get used to the new hours.

    Re: the anti-bark collar...I don't recommend that. I bought one when I first got a dog but decided to try it out on myself first (on the lowest setting!) I nearly had a heart attack. I returned it the next day.
    Those things are just plain cruel.
  8. by   stren003
    I have 4 crazy, wound up labs and work nights. For my house, I have a routine that works well. By the time I arrive home around 8:00 am, everyone else in the family is gone for the day. My son has fed the dogs breakfast around 7:00 am and let them outside for a bit. Then when I get home, everyone goes outside one more time. We all go to the bedroom which is very dark. I turn on my white noise machine, give everyone a little pet and crawl into bed. Some come up on the bed and some prefer the floor. They go to sleep very quickly. I make sure there are no distractions like phone, ect in the room. The white noise machine keeps outside noise like traffic, people noise, mail person, ect out, so the dogs do not get distracted. It may take a few days of practice for them to get into the routine, but like others have said, they should adapt well. Start doing it a week of so before your new night shift starts, even if it is just for a few hours to begin with. I have been doing this with my dogs for over 15 years. Good luck!!!
  9. by   Cat365
    Do you have a room or garage where you could put in a dog door so they could let themselves in and out? I don't like giving dogs a completely free access to the house from a dog door because I don't like muddy dogs on my couch or bed.

    Another option would be locking them in a bedroom with you, crate training them, using another area of the house to confine them, or depending on the breed and climate getting a dog house and leaving them outside.

    I've always had dogs and they have always adjusted to my schedule. My current dog looks at me like I'm crazy when I get up before noon. She was raised with me working night shift.

    Also, I don't give in to constant barking. I'm not an automatic door opener. My dogs know that barking after I tell them to stop earns them a time out in the bathroom which lasts until they are not barking for at least two minutes.

    My dogs bark, but never excessively because that drives me nuts. My dogs bark to bet let out and then they have to sit quietly before I open the door. No charging the door is allowed.

    Now if I could just get the cat to understand the rules.
  10. by   Quota
    Dogs adapt pretty well. As long as they are getting their needed exercise and mental stimulation they'll chill out and sleep when you sleep. I'm still in school but odds are I'll end up working night shift after I graduate. My dog will adjust. They sleep most of the day anyways so it's really not that big a change. And say no to the bark collar, it's not needed.
  11. by   klone
    I remember worrying about that when I worked nights. Turns out, dogs sleep a LOT. I bet if you let them lie on the bed with you, they'll probably just sleep all day.
  12. by   poppycat
    My dog loves our life. I work nights & my husband works days so there's always someone for the dog to sleep with.
  13. by   jennylee321
    Quote from klone
    I remember worrying about that when I worked nights. Turns out, dogs sleep a LOT. I bet if you let them lie on the bed with you, they'll probably just sleep all day.
    Agreed my dog sleeps quite a lot during the day when I'm on nights, but he still barks plenty. I sleep between the barking sessions, he usually stops once whoever is walking by has passed.
  14. by   brownbook
    This is soooo crazy. Anytime I read about dogs sleeping with their owners it is a big no no! From dogs need to know you are the alpha to your sleep will be negatively affected. I heard a veterinarian on a call in show say it wasn't recommended that dogs sleep with their owners, but she gave up on asking owners where their dog slept!

    Needless to say my dog sleeps in bed with us. Starts out on top of the bedspread, by the morning is under the covers. But we didn't have a dog when I worked night shift.

    Good luck with your job, your dogs, and your sleep. Don't invite trouble by worrying to much about something that may not be a problem. Maybe just some ear plugs will be all you need if they do bark.

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