4 min read


Why Do Dogs Wake You Up



4 min read


Why Do Dogs Wake You Up




It’s early in the morning on a Saturday and you are in a deep sleep. You were planning to sleep in but all of a sudden, you feel a furry face near yours as well as a furry paw next to your side. Before you open your eyes, you notice warm breath breezing across your face. It is your dog pawing at you and sitting at your side hoping you notice her. Your deep sleep is gone and she is waking you up. Dogs can wake their owners for many reasons, and understanding why can help you better take care of your dog, in times of need. 

The Root of the Behavior

It seems quite peculiar as to what your dog could possibly need in the middle of the night, but there may be a wide range of reasons. Just as we wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or get a snack, your dog can have the same tendency. The biggest concern with dogs waking their owners up in the middle of the night is because they form patterns. If your dog wakes you up once or twice and you satisfy their request, they will know that it works and it can become a common thing they do. As they grow with you in your home, they will learn how you are and how you raise them. From there they will make decisions and choose what is best.

You are your dog’s owner and in a way they worship you. You feed them, walk them, and give them all the love and attention they need. Therefore, when they are in need of something, they will come and get you for it. The most common reasons that dogs wake their owners up could be to use the bathroom, they are hungry for food, or they are just plain bored and want to be with you. These common reasons could come from any dog of any age but depending on the temperament and how your dog acts, it may be best to prepare. Feeding your dog enough food, taking them out to go to the bathroom before bed, and providing them with a comfortable place to sleep, will help them feel safe during the night. If they are bored, it may also be best to provide them with activities or toys that can occupy them. Setting boundaries, giving your dog what he needs, and helping him feel comfortable, safe, and near you can help with your dog waking you up in the night. 

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Encouraging the Behavior

When you are asleep, most likely you do not want to be woken up by your pet, although it may be cute the first few times they do it. Your dog always wants to be with you and they want your attention. Most people don't like having their dog wake them up. Therefore, it is not suggested to encourage your dog to continuously wake you up during the night. If your dog is in need of something in the middle of the night, it is suggested that you provide it for them. Yet, if your dog is continuously creating a habit of waking you up in the middle of the night to play or get attention, you may need to set up boundaries with your dog and show them that when you are asleep, you want to remain asleep. Encouraging your dog to spend time in their designated area and giving them food, toys, and a comfortable bed can help make all the difference in the world for their comfort and safety. It is recommended to not constantly give your dog what they want when they come to you in the middle of the night, but only when they are in great need. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

It is suggested to teach your dog to not wake you up in the middle of the night. When they come and wake you up, do not respond to their call. This can teach your dog that this is a pattern and behavior that you will not respond to in a positive manner. Therefore, it will not happen often and they will learn to self-soothe on their own. If your dog is in major need of the bathroom, food, or even comfort, you may want to find avenues for your dog to fulfill that need. Some suggestions for this could be to feed them more before they sleep, leave the door open for them so they may use the bathroom in your backyard, or even just allow them to sleep at the end of your bed. 


Your dog absolutely adores you and the time you give them. Whether you are asleep or you are awake, it does not seem to matter. Your dog knows that you are their owner and you provide them with all the comforts in the world. As owners, we must teach our dogs the right patterns, boundaries, and the ways of life so everyone is comfortable and sleeps through the night. 

By a Shiba Inu lover Patty Oelze

Published: 02/09/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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