My almost-two-year-old Jack Russell, Lyle (obligatory adorable dog photos here
) has had a week of gastrointestinal upset after getting into the kitchen cabinets for the first time ever, and he's needed to go out once or twice in the middle of the night, which is not our usual routine.
Now that things are back to normal with his tummy, he still seems to want to go explore the world at 3am, just for fun, and that's not so much fun for me. I don't want to ignore his requests to go out - he's always been perfectly housebroken and I want him to know that when he wants to go out, he can, but I'd really like to work back to a full night's sleep for both of us. What I'm doing now is taking him outside and giving him a chance to go to the bathroom but not to explore, and then coming right back upstairs and going to bed, but this doesn't seem to dissuade him from wanting to go out.
Our usual pattern is a late walk (between 11pm-12am), then we get up around 8am and go out first thing. So do I start ignoring the 3am leap out of bed and request for a walk? Will that confuse him about our general "you can go out anytime you need to" policy? Is there some way to get him back to sleeping through the night without wanting to jump up and explore? Help a sleepless girl and her dog, metafilter pals!