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A few months ago my girlfriend and 2 cats moved in, and my dog (9 year old labrador) got shut out from the bedroom. Due to the large attached bath, it was the most logical place for their litterbox and therefore safe space for them. My dog never slept in the bedroom with me anyway, but he used to have access. Now he's shut out with a baby gate. He started out barking at night wanting to come in, but that was easy to ignore until it stopped.

Now, after I came back from a week long trip (so possible separation issues? My girlfriend stayed home with him and said he was fine while I was gone), he has started barking in the morning, ranging from 2am to 6am, but mostly around 4:30-5am. I thought this would end on its own, but it's carried on for 6 weeks now.

The problem is that it's hard to ignore. It wakes us up, but then once he sees me move he doesn't carry on, which makes it hard to "not respond to it" or do any kind of irritation such as squirt bottle or noise. The sonic collar I got doesn't detect his bark, only his head scratching and my bark.

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Consider putting a gate on the bathroom door that will allow the cats to get to the litter box, but keep the dog out. Then, the dog could have access to the bedroom, and will probably be happier. Here is an example: Gate with cat door

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  • That's actually the exact gate I have for the bedroom now, but it's too wide for our very narrow bathroom door. This is on my roadmap though, when I get a chance to fashion something for that door. Jan 25 '17 at 16:30
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You could try putting him in a crate at night (placed in the bedroom). This way the dog is not banned from the room, and ultimately, from you. This would require proper crate training, of course, if not already established.

If a crate is not for you, the gate idea mentioned by jalynn2 would also work just as well.

Also, I wouldn't suggest spraying him with anything to get him to stop barking. It might backfire, and instead, he may associate the negative experience with you and not the fact that he is barking.

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