Thanks for all the wonderful information. It is helpful. There could be a couple of reasons for this behavior. It is possible that he actually hears something perhaps in the walls or outside that is waking him up. If he can not identify what it is or where it is coming from, it will cause a dog to become anxious and roam from one place to another trying to locate it. A dog's ear are much more sensitive as is their noses. I had a dog that kept going to one room and barking at the ceiling. It turned out that mice had built a nest in the light fixture and the dog could hear them. When we ignored him going to that room, he started barking so we couldn't ignore it. So it is possible that their is a small intruder in the house or walls that he is reacting to.
Dogs this age often have organ dysfunction which can lead to seizure activity. Seizures do have a habit of occurring when a dog first wakes up perhaps due to low blood sugar. Most people think of seizures as falling to the ground and shaking, but often it is just repetitive behavior instead. After a seizure there is often a period of time when a dog doesn't seem like themselves. You can read up on focal and partial seizures on the site below.
Then there is the dog form of alzheimers called canine dysfunction syndrome (CDS) where a dog tends to have changes in their sleep schedules frequently bein gup at night, asking to go out to eliminate but forgetting and coming back in, getting lost behind doors or furniture and often getting stuck. They will frequently forget who someone is one day but be fine another. Since a change in sleep patterns is one of the symptoms and the dog is older, this might be the cause. The good news is that there is a drug called L-Selegeline (Anipryl (R)) which has been recently approved for use in the clinical indication of cognitive dysfunction (CDS) in dogs.
Please see this site for more information and other causes that may exhibit the same symptoms.
There are a few thngs that might help in the meantime. A long walk before bedtime to help tire him out often helps a dog sleep longer and thus through the night. Often as dogs age, they can develop issues with excess bile which can wake them up. Giving pepcid at bedtime might help. Read about Pepcid dosages and usage information here:
A small meal right before sleeping can also cut down on that excess acid and we all know most animals and humans sleep better with a little something in their stomachs. Another trick is to give the dog a special toy/ treat either at bedtime or when they wake up. What I suggest is putting peanut butter or yogurt inside the treat compartment of a kong and freezing it. Giving it at bedtime will keep him up a little longer and thus perhaps keeping him sleeping longer during the night.
I would be sure he gets a senior checkup done soon as well to check for medical causes for the behavior. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .