Okay so my dog, Gator, has this really really bad, obnoxious, incredibly irritating habit of barking at night!! He ONLY does it when he is ALONE! Now, I realize that is probably our fault because when he was a puppy and cried, we went down and slept with him. We tried to ignore him at first like you are supposed to but it didn't work so when he cried we would all take turns going down there and sleeping with him for the night. Heck, we even brought a mattress down and slept on it or on the couch above it.... Yes, I know. We ruined him. Well now he is turning 5 in a few days and cannot be alone. My dad lets him sleep in bed with him every single night and he used to sleep in our beds sometimes too but no one else lets him so he always sleeps with my dad. My brother used to let him sleep in the bed too but hasn't in probably almost a year so when he goes to his house, he sleeps on the floor and it isn't a problem. He doesn't even dare get on the bed when he is not home. Normally him sleeping with my dad isn't a problem but the problem comes when my dad is out of town. Like right now. Gator is SO IRRITATING. He is 5 years old, not a little puppy. He should jot be doing this. Now, he has gotten a little bit better, it's now off and on or only a few hours instead of continuous or literally the whole night like he used to. But it's annoying. I know it's not a predator because he has a very different bark for that. This is like a whiny cry type bark but he mixes several types or barks and vocalizations in. So my question is: HOW DO WE STOP THIS!? I have tried yelling at him, petting/comforting him, spray bottle, etc. But nothing works or it works for a few minutes then he starts again. Do I just let him "cry himself to sleep" so speak? Is it anxiety? I had read something about extinction/extinguishing behaviors that said you have to ignore the behavior 100% of the time because even 1 in 100 times of reinforcing it they'll do it again because there's that chance of reward still there. So do we just need to TOTALLY ignore it? But at the same time, it has been 5 FREAKING YEARS. But again, we have never TOTALLY ignored it for any extended period of time. But at the same time, I feel like it needs correction and during the day if you correct him, he stops, otherwise he will keep going for fun. Yet when I correct this it seems to make things worse. I don't want to use an e-collar just because I feel like it wpuld be very uncomfortable and not recommended to wear it for the whole night but at the same time, it might achieve instant results without the reward of getting human attention. PLEASE HELP. Also please don't say he needs to not be allowed on the bed because I know that may help but my dad likes him there and is hard to convince. I am working on that but I need to know how to stop him now if possible. My dad is gone this whole week and will be traveling for the next 2 as well, only being home on weekends, so this needs to be brought under control. Is it just a matter of time? He is quiet at my brothers. Also, maybe there is no training solution? Maybe I just need to go to sleep at a reasonable hour so that I do not hear him barking and he does not get any reinforcement? Maybe that is the best approach? But how will I know if he is better or not? It is almost 3am right now and he started around 1am. He seems to start shortly after we go to bed and he gets lonely. Off and on since. I feel bad he has such anxiety but he is very annoying. And maybe I could install some sort of camera or microphone/recording software to show my dad and brother how much he barks (they don't believe me) and convince dad he needs to spend time alone? Dad is almost always with him. I was thinking another reason (to make him sleep on the floor) is the bed is also pretty high and he has bad hips, sometimes barely making it up, so that surely does not help it. I know this post was really long andnot even really asking anything but thank you in advance.