Early Mornings!!

Posted by kahardy
Jul 13, 2010
We have a female 6 month old white lab. She wakes at 5 am everyday and we take her out to do her business. When we bring her back in, she cannot settle down again. She sleeps on her dog bed next to our bed, on her leash with room to move around and lay where she likes. She will sit there and bark at us for 45 minutes solid until we finally get up with her. How do we get her to go back to sleep or at least settle down? We have tried ignoring her, putting her in a crate, etc...but the pitch of her bark will make you pull your hair out! Otherwise, she is very eager and learns well, but in the mornings she is too excited to sit for more than a minute. Help!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jul 14, 2010
Hi kahardy,

I am a night person so I understand how you feel about being waken up that early in the morning.

I assume your dog is housebroken. I would suggest to put her in a different room and ignore her barking until you are ready to wake up but you might have already tried it.

Once she goes outside for toilet it will be hard for her to go back to sleep. Therefore, you should not take her out at 5am. How about changing the toilet time later and later gradually.

In other words, tomorrow morning when she wakes you up at 5am, just pretend that you are still sleeping and make her wait 15 more minutes. The next morning make her wait until 5:30am, then 5:45am, so forth until your desired time.

One of my dogs knows exactly when my alarm clock goes off. They sleep outside of our bedroom but she starts whining just before the alarm clock goes off. I hate to get up right away so I would just snooze it for half an hour ignoring her whining. However, when we change the time to standard time from daylight savings time, she would go back to the standard time so hopefully your puppy's inner clock can accommodate the above suggested incremental changes.

Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jul 15, 2010
Hey kahardy,

MaxHollyNoah has a great suggestion, changing the dogs inside alarm clock by increments should work fantastically.

In addition, you might try saving some of her daily exercise until right before bed time, that way she is more tired at bed, and a bit more likely to sleep a little later.

You could also keep up working on her general barking behavior, until she really only does it on a "speak" command. Daily training, in small sessions, is a great way to teach your dog new behaviors. When she barks, at any time, give her a stern "no" command, and if she continues anyway, put her in her kennel or on her chain outside and leave her for a bit. Just so she knows she did not do what you asked When she quiets down, praise her bigtime, and give her treats if she does it on command.

There are aids to help stop annoyance barking, like citronella collars that spray the dogs face with citrus (which they don't particularly like) upon barking. You could also try putting a halti head collar or muzzle on her, so that its harder for her to move her mouth.

Overall, youre ignoring her when she makes noise in the morning, like MaxHollyNoah said, is a good step. Eventually she should quiet down, part of the problem is also that she's 6 months old, and therefor pretty young with a short attention span. Once she grows up a bit she will settle into your routines better.