Healthy, house-trained dog insisting on being let out in the middle of the night… Necessary or Behavioral?

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Hi everyone!

I’ve been having a minor issue with one of the dogs and wanted your advice.

Maggie is a 6 year old, spayed female, black lab. Overall, awesome dog. However, she often wakes us up in the middle of the night and insists on being let out (very vocal and pushy). She absolutely owns my boyfriend, so he gets up and lets her out every time she asks. This happens 3-4 nights a week and normally isn’t an issue, but with stress of exams (yay vet school!) it’s been starting to be increasingly disruptive.

I’m starting to believe that it’s no more than a ploy for attention. She regularly goes a normal 8 hour school day without being let out and never has accidents in the house. I am always sure to let her out right before bed and make sure that she pees and has done appropriate business for the day (if she didn’t on our evening walkies – which she does 99% of the time). We only sleep 8 hours a night (11-7), so it’s not like she’s waking us up at 10am about ready to pop.

I have taken a urine sample into school to check for a UTI and the tests came back perfectly fine.

On top of this, she is very, very needy. Especially to the boyfriend. Very demanding for loves even during the day (again, I normally don’t mind, just something I thought might be relevant). I feel like the BF getting up at 3am every time she asks is simply reinforcing the behavior.

So… do you all have any suggestions on how to determine whether or not this is simply her trying to get attention in the middle of the night? Or suggestions on steps to take next?

Thanks for listening to the stressed-out rant. I’m running on 4 hours of sleep and have two exams this afternoon 😂

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