What is driving the couple mad is Harry’s whining! This mostly happens when they go upstairs and out of sight.
He seems to be fine when they are out, and he goes to bed happily at bedtime. He is quiet during the night….until….early in the morning! As soon as Harry hears movement upstairs he starts to whine and he seems to have an alarm clock in his head at weekends when they would like a lie-in. His whining becomes more insistent until it becomes yelping and is very hard to ignore.
In the past they would come down to him thinking he might want to go out, but on putting him back the noise would simply continue. If they leave him out of his room he simply cries at the bottom of the stairs. He has learnt that if he carries on for long enough someone will always come down to him eventually.
They had already decided to stop going downstairs to him, but when they eventually have to come down anyway he will for sure think it’s as a result of his whining, so whining is merely reinforced. To Harry whining works. This has to be broken. The first step is to make it quite clear that when they do come down it is not to see Harry – to simply walk past the gate (which he will be jumping up at) as though he’s not there. In their own good time they will go to him – but only when he is quiet. They will wait for his feet to be on the floor before opening the gate.
During the day he lies at the bottom of the stairs whining when anyone goes up – he has chewed some of the woodwork.
The result of unconsciously obeying Harry has only increased his stress. The humans need to let Harry understand that they can move around when and where they wish, and that he will remain where they wish, sometimes in his utility room bedroom, sometimes in the kitchen and only sometimes at the bottom of the stairs watching them disappear.
General tightening up of leadership skills will enable Harry to mature into a self-controlled adult dog.