Post # 1
Just saw a similar post about cats, but we’re having issues with our 2 dogs waking us up too early. Every day they’re up at 4-5 am (we normally get up at 6:30) whining and walking around the bed or sitting on us until we get up. They never used to do this and have been on a set routine for some time (they are 1 and 5 years old). When they get up there is no urgent rush to eat or go outside, they just want to play.
They eat dinner after work around 5-6pm and have their last walk at 10:30 before we go to bed. Normally they sleep in bed with us. They were both crate trained when younger and still like their crates so we tried crating at night, but then they still wake up early and just bark and whine from their crates or hit the sides to make noise. Telling then to stop is no use. In bed we’ll try to hold and cuddle them to get them back to sleep which usually works for one of them, but then the other will egg them on to get up and play. We have a fan on at night to cover noises that might be waking them, but we do live in an apartment with upstairs neighbors so noises do happen. We also can’t just put them out of the room becuase when left unsupervised they find trouble.
Any ideas on how we can get these two to sleep in like they used to?
Post # 3
Can you take them on a longer walk at night or even run them? If you really want them to sleep longer they need to be more tired at night.
Post # 4
@Kit_Kath: This is referred to as “your pets training you”. They are making you conform to their schedule rather than the other way around. My dog used to do this when he was younger and it was making me rather cranky, so I started locking him in the kitchen (where there isn’t anything he can get into) with a pet gate and some toys and he seemed content with that.
Telling them to stop, cuddling, etc are just reinforcement. They are asking for attention and you are giving it to them.
Post # 5
Another vote for longer walk. The more you exercise your dogs, the less of a nuisance they will be.
Post # 6
My dog tries this on some weekends but I just ignore her or tell her to go back to bed. I will never get up when she is bugging me to, even if I want to get up. I wait until she’s calmed down and gone back into her bed then I get up otherwise she’ll associate her whining with us getting up.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
You have given the dogs control of the situation, and you need to get it back. Try the “nothing in life is free” (google it) method to re-assert your control.
Post # 8
Thanks for all the quick feedback! For sure we’ll just need to get better at ignoring them when they try to get us up.
Lately our walks have been getting cut short due to winter weather; when it’s too cold and icy out they’ll start limping after 5 minutes becuase it hurts their paws. We have tennis balls for indoor fetch, are there any other good toys or games we can use indoors to tire them out? All of our neighbors have big dogs so no one gets mad at noise.
Post # 9
Do they know the command, “Go lay down?” or “No begging?” If not, I’d start working on those two commands during the day time. It’s very handy for dinner time, when eating or when guests come over. It works for early risers too. Cuddling seems to engage play in the other so don’t do the cuddling.
I probably would remove them from my bed too. Maybe they sense when you are starting to wake and they know you’ll respond to them regardless (negative or positive response).
I agree try NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) to reestablish who runs the household.
Hike and seek is a good indoor game. Sometimes we play with a ball (I hide the ball and have her find it), or I hide myself while she sits in another room. Then I yell out “Seek Mama!” So if they cannot sit in a room alone and wait for your release command, then they need NILIF. Having your SO help them sit stay in the room will help. Then you go hide.
Post # 10
I am SOOOO guilty of indulging this! Mr. 99 used to get up a 3am to go to work, so the dogs were always early risers, THEN we got our retired racing hound, who was used to be let out and fed every three hours….so I’ll admit that around midnight every night, me and the 99 Boys run to the kitchen for a quick pee and snack, then it’s back to bed until 5 when the lab wakes up like clock work and starts a mini-parade around the bed until one of us shows any sign of consciousness…then he hurls his 125lb frame onto the bed for a Good Morning Cuddle which is really more like a victory body slam…and then we’re all awake for the day….
Post # 11
Try adding in some training sessions at night with them. The mental stimulation along with some indoor fetch helps wear them out. Doesn’t have to be anything too complicated, just a few minutes of working on the basics will help. We do a couple of 5 minute sessions throughout the evening (OH does 5 minutes while I cook, I do 5 while he does the dishes, 5 more while he’s finishing work for the day, etc.). I like to mix it up so we’ll do leave it, down, go to your bed, stay, roll over, touch, etc. all within the same 5 minute session.
In the mornings you’ll have to ignore them, it might take a couple of days but they’ll catch on. Don’t get up until they have been quiet for a period of time (doesn’t have to be long, less than a minute is ok).
Post # 12
More walking or play time at night before bed. Wear them out as much as you can before you go to bed.
Sometimes you also need to just ignore them. We used to lock the dogs in our room and if they did this, we would both just ignore the dogs until they stopped. It took awhile, but they caught on. It was the only thing that worked. We still do this if one decides to get up and be a butt at night. We have found that anything more than 10-15mins means they need to go out now, so we take them out then right back to bed.
I also agree about the whole “ignore until quiet for a short period”. I used this method in crate training. They were not let out of the crate until they stopped crying/barking. Our dogs caught on pretty quick.
Post # 14
I would lock them out of the bedroom. Don’t acknowledge their barking or crying. Once they realize they get attention for doing it (cuddling them in bed for example) then they will continue to cry. When we first got our dog, he cried during the night for attention. It was very annoying and woke us up each night, but we just continued to completely ignore him. He doesn’t get anything for crying or barking, so he just doesn’t bother.
Post # 15
Cesar Milan would say “the alpha dog decides when to get up.” Your dogs are controlling you. My youngest Golden tried this when he was about a year old. It took patience and we repeated it every day for about a week. We didn’t respond to dog. We ignored him. It took a huge amount of self-control not to talk or yell or give any sort of response to him. When he submitted to us and gave us the behavior we wanted then we rewarded with our affection. It is really difficult because all you want to do is go back to sleep. Remember in the wild, the alpha would ignore this dog. Pick up a copy of some of Cesar Milan’s books his techniques really do work but again patience and reinforcing the wanted behavior is the key
Post # 16
I second all the “long walks and running at night”, but it’s been pretty cold here so we’ve been doing training and playing at night. Other than that those options it sounds hard but you’ll need get them to be quiet some other way (“lay down” or “quiet” command), otherwise you might train them on a new and much earlier schedule!