My dogs, Radar and Zuko are adjusting to our moving a little strangely. I got them at 8 weeks old and they had been living in our old house with me as their “parent”. I walk them, trained them, feed them, I am their sole care giver and favourite person for their entire lives, without being separated from me for any significant amount of time because of health concerns I haven't working properly for the last 6 years.

We moved on December 1st to a new home, I brought them here a few times before the move but they just seemed keen to leave, now they are here they are eating well, playing well, even exercising better because of a dog friendly oval just around the corner but at night when I put them out to sleep, (they sleep on old dog beds from the old house on an outside old futon bed, they are brothers from the same litter and generally never separate) after I go through the same good night routine I always do they bolt off their beds! They run and separate, Radar heads for an old table we brought with us and hides under in and Zuko runs around to the other side of the house to lay under my bedroom window. I really don't know what to do, it gets cold here at night but they don't seem happy on their beds unless I sit with them. Any tips on getting them better adjusted or is it just gonna take time?

One thing that's a bit different, their old yard was bigger and they could see through a gate to the road outside, here they can't see out and are totally fenced in.


1 Answer 1


There are probably real reasons for them to seek a different place to sleep. Some that came to my mind are:

  • Their bed gets wet at night from fog or dew and they found themselves a dry bed.
  • Their beds are in an unprotected place and your dogs found a place that stays warmer at night.
  • There are animals like cats, racoons or badgers visiting at night. Your dogs don't want to be disturbed by them.
  • There are rodents, martens or similar animals living on your property. Your dogs want to protect the house from them.
  • A neighbor has installed a sonic rodent repeller and your dogs are disturbed by the sound. Dogs can hear much higher pitches than humans can.
  • There is something in the bed (like ticks or a bad smell) they don't like. My own dog always acts strange when he notices a tick on himself or in his bed.
  • They act up to get more attention from you.

I propose you have a closer look (and sniff) at the beds to see if anything's strange. You could also install a wildlife observation camera to see if they return to their beds at night or if there's anything that could disturb them. If you don't have such a camera, a hidden webcam could do as well.

If there is no objective reason for them to avoid their beds, don't fret.

... they are brothers from the same litter and gernally never seperate

They are dogs and they are adult. It's perfectly fine for them to be seperate or to have an own will to seek their own sleeping place. Don't project your human emotions onto dogs, that almost always hurts the dog.

Instead, put their beds where they choose to sleep to make it more comfortable.

  • Hi, thanks for your reply, I live in Australia, so some things you said don’t apply to us, it’s also summer here right now but the nights are cold enough for me to care where they are sleeping. But what you said about them being uncomfortable in the new yard or not feeling safe in the dark at night makes sense, they are totally fenced in in a decent sized yard (not as large as our last yard) by a 6ft plus fence, which is very standard here. Where Radar is choosing to lay under the old table gives him a better view into the back of the house so it might just comfort him outside in the dark. Dec 20, 2018 at 16:17
  • Their bed is fine it’s from the old house, it’s placed under the patio conntected to the back door out of the wind and covered from rain. Essentially there is no reason aside from fear and anxiety that I can determine is making then seek shelter where they feel ‘safe’ hiding under the table, and acting up so they can get my attention, but I’ve never caved before and they have never really tried it before, I’ve placed their beds their for now until they are more settled in. Dec 20, 2018 at 16:21

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