Post # 1
We have the cutest 6 month old black lab puppy. We love the stuffing out of this little guy…..most of the time. We’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old and he’s pretty calm (as far as puppies go). Darling Husband has spent loads of time training him. He’s very smart and was easily house broken and crate trained. He knows all the basic commands like sit, stay, come, shake a paw, etc, etc. He’ll even sit in front of his food bowl and wait until you say “OK” before he will touch his food. At night he sleeps in his pen. He has a bed in there, water, and lots of space. When we put him to bed at night he doesn’t make a peep. In fact, if he’s tired he will whine and look to be “put to bed”. So I know he likes the pen. The problem is the morning. Darling Husband and I get up around 7:00 am during the work week and we let the dog out as soon as we are up. If the dog wakes up before that time he screams/barks/cires bloody murder until someone gets up and lets him out of the pen. No matter what time it starts, he will keep it up until we let him out. This could be anywhere from 5:00 – 7:00 am. So, if he wakes up at 5 he will tear the house down barking/crying for 2 solid hours until we let him out. We don’t run and let him out when he does this because we don’t want to teach him that barking means he will be let out of his pen. We want him to know that he will stay in there until we are ready to come get him. He’s not getting it! It’s been 4 months now and it hasn’t gotten any better. I think this morning’s episode was an hour (6:00 – 7:00). This dog is so persistent! I swear if I let him go for 3 hours he would bark for 3 hours. Once we get up and let him out he calms right down and lays on his bed in the family room. As annoying as it is right now to lay in bed being kept awake by the dog in the wee hours of the morning, it’s going to become more of an issue if we have a baby (we are TTC right now). I can’t have the dog waking him/her up every morning at whatever time he pleases. So Bees, how do we teach this dog that he is not the boss and doesn’t get to decide what time the entire family gets up for the day? Please help! This dog is as much our baby as a human baby will be so we gotta work this out!
And because it’s not fair to post about a puppy and not include a picture here is our little “alarm clock”……
Post # 3
AWWWW your puppy is so sticking cute!!
What time do you both go to bed? It could be he needs one more walk before bed. My black lab was doing that for awhile and I found I have to take her out then come in and go to bed. I also don’t leave the water bowl out all night. It goes down first thing in the morning and i refill it all day, but she doesn’t get any water after bed. It helped alot.
Post # 4
The first thing I’d look at is if its something making him uncomfortable- he has to potty/ is thirsty/ is hungry. When does he go to bed, when does he potty at night, and when does he get his last food/water. It may be that his body just isn’t ready to go from bedtime to 7am without a potty break and the crying is to let you know he needs to go out now.
If its not something physically making him uncomfortable, you can train him out of the behavior. It will mean sacrificing some sleep for a few days to break the habit, but long term, you’ll be getting more rest. You can adjust his schedule a little at a time so he gets into the habit of a 7am wake up. If he is consistently starting at 4, set your alarm, get up before him and let him out before he starts to cry. Stick to the 4 am wake up for a few days, then adjust the time in 10-15 minutes increments. So for 3-4 days you get up at 4:15, then a few days at 4:30 etc. Basically you want to get to him before he starts crying so he stops associating crying and mornings, and gradually adjust his schedule to match yours. It probably will mean a few weeks of early mornings, but like I said once he gets onto your schedule he should be good to go.
Post # 5
Sounds like puppy has to go, no water after 7pm….also he might be lonley…he’s still a little guy and waking up alone might be hard on him. Labs are terribly intelligent and also capable of deep emotional bonds, being separated from their people is not always a good thing for them….but then again, our dogs are spoiled rotten!
Post # 6
I agree with thise saying to remove the water at night. He might just be trying to tell you he has to pee.
Also make sure he gets a walk right before bed (and it is long enough for him to pee if he has to).
Post # 7
@MrsMoksha: Is puppy crying to just go to the living room, or is he crying because he has to go potty? Because- here is the thing- if he is crying- “I GOTTA GO! I am gonna poop myself!” -then he is being a good dog by letting you know. If this is the case, I would get up in the middle of the night- say 2 am, and let him outside to go potty. If this is not the case- have you taught him “quiet” or “no bark” as a command? I would start teaching this command during the day when he makes a bark or cry when he shouldn’t be- the way I do commands is I give a warning- “no bark!” and if they continue, I go over and give a little butt spank “no bark.” (And repeat the command.) Start training dog the command during the day, not during the stressful time in the morning. Then, when he cries in the morning (again, assuming he does not have to go potty), I would get up, go over and say firmly-looking in his eyes, “no bark!” (Once you have practiced/ trained him during the day as I was saying.) Follow through- if he doesn’t stop, I would take him out and give him a little pat on the butt, saying the command again. Then send him back to his kennel. He’ll get it. But again, if he is asking to go out, he is actually being a good boy- it is complicated- so in that case take him out and put him back in the kennel. Then follow up with the commands. A few times of you getting up and saying the command, followed by a butt pat if he doesn’t listen (after he knows the command) should do the trick.
Post # 8
Our yellow lab used to cry really early in the morning, and one night, Mr. 99 and I had him in bed with us before we went to sleep, we snuggled him and kissed his head and that night, he slept the whole night…he just needed a little extra love for a minute to get through the night.
Post # 9
@HisIrishPrincess: OP, this is good advice.
First off, he’s ADORABLE! His eyes are so sweet, but those paws make me wonder how big he’ll be hahaha 🙂
What time are you putting him to bed? I would take him for a 15-20 minute walk just before bed so that he can do his business and get a little exercise, then let him have one small drink and take his water away overnight. Sounds like a combo of too much energy, too much water, and maybe too early of a bedtime. Good luck!
Post # 10
We have a Labradoodle and he at 6 months was allowed to sleep in our bedroom on the floor (once house trained) This was great at having him free to roam around and to feel our presence.
Maybe you can bring the dog pan into your bedroom so he feels close to you ?
6 month old lab should have a big enough bladder to hold it over night (ours did). I think he wakes you up in the mornign because you do eventually let him out becasue it’s that time of the morning.
If it is the bladder issue and he really needs to go, then set your alarm at 4 or 5 am and go to take him out to pee and bring him back to the pan. You will clearly know then if it’s the fact that he needs to go or the fact that he is lonely.
I’m not sure what your working day is. Our dog is crated during the day when we are at work and it was just unfair for the dog to be crated at night on top of it so as soon we made the transition the dog has been a lot calmer.
Post # 11
My guess is that he has to go to the bathroom. Have you tried taking her out to the bathroom and putting her back to bed?
Post # 12
Our dog barks at night when she has to go out. Usually its because we put her to bed too early so she just can’t hold it. Occasionally its because she ate something she shouldn’t and it doesn’t agree with her. We found that she didn’t like to be stuck in her crate where she couldn’t see us, so we started letting her sleep in the bedroom. The combination of making sure we let her out late enough at night (which sometimes means setting an alarm for midnight, which is when we normally go to bed, when we go to bed super early) and having her in our bedroom has improved her behaviour dramatically. Now instead of barking like crazy, she barks once in the morning to let us know she needs to go (part of this is due to her breed, which prefers to bark only if absolutely necessary). She generally tries under the breath barks first, but they aren’t loud enough to wake us up. Many mornings I wake up before her and she doesn’t bark at all. She only has accidents if you decide to shower before you let her out (which is our fault not hers).
Post # 13
Thanks for the quick replies Bees! Keep the advice coming!
I like the idea of taking the water dish away at night. I would have done that long ago but we tried it once and our vet did a house visit and told us never, ever deny a puppy access to water at all times. She says they have more of a need for water than adult dogs and can become dehydrated very quickly. So while I’m tempted to try this I’m also worried I would be doing harm 🙁
As for the suggestion of letting the dog into our bed. Never gonna happen. We have a house rule: NO DOGS IN THE BED EVER! Lol. Seriously though, we absolutely will not have a 60-lb lab in our bed. He’s not even allowed in the bedroom. Or any carpeted room for that matter. We have a 3000 sq ft house so he doesn’t lack space. We just don’t want dogs in the bedrooms. So sleeping with us either in our bed or in our room is out of the question. That may seem cruel to some of you but to me, that seems like the easy way out and will not enrich our lives or sleeping experience in the least! Of course the dog would be happier in our bed but we would be unhappy! Darling Husband and I both grew up with dogs and MIL/FIL have a lab and none of these dogs have ever slept in beds/bedrooms.
Puppy is in his pen all day if we are both at work but I only work 4 days a week and sometimes Darling Husband has a day off when I am working so I’d say at least 4 days a week he is out of his pen all day hanging out with one or both of us going on hikes, walks, etc. Even on those days he cries if he wakes up early.
Bedtime for him is anywhere from 11pm to midnight. He gets dinner around 6:00 pm and another small snack around 9 or 10 pm to get him through the night. We always make sure he goes potty before putting him to bed. I’m not convinced his bladder is the reason he cries in the morning because I sometimes have to force him out the door to go potty when he wakes up. His instinct is to run straight upstairs to his food bowl for his breakfast. I know he’s hungry in the morning but we are feeding him the recommended amount for his age/weight and he is a lab – he would eat 24/7 if we let him. He doesn’t have an off switch when it comes to food. So I really don’t think we should feed him more!
I think the Bees who suggested he might be lonely are on to something. He just wants to be around us. I get that. But, like I said, he is not coming into the bedroom. I don’t plan to give in to this behavior. My attitude is: he is a dog, we are his masters. He will not win! LOL. So what’s a Bee to do?? I know there has to be a solution to this that can make for a happy, healthy puppy and family. I need the Dog Whisperer!
Post # 14
@MrsMoksha: I agree. Stay with your rules. I really suggest, like I said, trying the commands and see how that goes. The best dog training book I read gave me two things: “Make them love to do it” and “It is a command, not a consideration.” (I sound like such a hard-ass, I’m really not! I just know how much happier I am once I figured out how to train my dog- and she is happy knowing what we want- because they want to do it!)
Post # 15
. OP she is giving you great advice if u don’t think its a potty issue. This will break the behavior.
Post # 16
When our girl was a puppy, she slept in her crate as well. What we did was bring the crate into our room at night so she would at least know we were there and wouldnt freak out when she woke up. Eventually, we put it back in the kitchen. Now, at 2 years old, she sleeps in her bed next to ours (But I know this isnt an option for you).
Maybe your dog doesnt get enough exercise so he’s having a hard time making it through the night. This is especially true if you say he is in his crate all day. Think about it, if you slept all day, you may not be able to sleep through the night.