How to Train Your Dog to Not Bark in the Morning

Hard
2-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

It all started when the dog had an upset tummy. In the early hours of the morning, he barked and, realizing this was unusual, you let got up and let him out for a toilet break. Disaster averted, you went back to bed. A short while later the dog barked again. Same thing. You let him out. 

Unfortunately, while his tummy is now back to normal, his barking habit seems well established. He has his own internal alarm clock which goes off about half an hour before you want to rise, and he barks. He even does this on the weekend when you want to sleep in. This is becoming a real issue now, as it seems a lifetime since you had a decent slow start in the morning, and you're accumulating a sleep debt, which is making you grumpy. 

If only there was something you could do about his early morning barking...

Defining Tasks

Barking in the morning can be a hard habit to break. This is because it's a 'self-rewarding' behavior. In other words, the dog wakes up and barks, and a short time later Mom appears with breakfast. In the dog's mind, it's a straight join-the-dots between barking and breakfast. 

There is no magic involved in breaking this habit. Success depends on not responding to the barking and only rewarding silence. However, this pitches you against a dog's natural instincts to bark louder and for longer, when ignored. The first hurdle is to be aware this 'extinction burst' behavior is normal and to be expected, so that you can stick with the plan and see things through. 

Getting Started

This training doesn't require special equipment, so much as an awareness of the importance of timing. 

You will mainly need: 

  • A dog crate
  • A comfortable dog bed
  • A collar and leash to take the dog for toilet breaks
  • The dog's breakfast (to reward him with when he's quiet)
  • The odd treat or titbit

The Prevention Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
Prevent is better than cure! OK, this might be too late for your dog, but read on none-the-less because it helps you understand what's going through the dog's mind, which will help with retraining. Preventing morning barking occurring in the first place, is about being careful not to accidentally reward the dog 's bark with attention or food. By only greeting the dog when he is calm and quiet, you can avoid this.
Step
2
Cause and effect
Understand what's going through your dog's mind. Modern training is based on a system of rewards: When a dog performs a desired action he is rewarded, which encourages him to repeat the activity next time. Similarly, if the dog barks in the morning and you appear with breakfast, he has just been rewarded. Effectively, giving him breakfast is rewarding the barking, and therefore he's more likely to bark tomorrow.
Step
3
Consider crate training
Crate training can be a boon to teaching more settled behavior in the morning. The crate acts as the dog's den, a safe place where he can rest without being disturbed. This also means he's less likely to see the neighbor walking to work, which could set the dog off barking. Likewise, the dog is confined while you get up and ready, which makes it easier to ignore the dog until he is quiet (and you then reward the calm behavior with attention)
Step
4
Only enter when the dog is quiet
Be it a puppy or dog, only enter the room when he is quiet. This teaches him that good behavior (rather than barking) is rewarded and makes breakfast more likely to happen.
Step
5
Ignore the dog
If the dog is barking but you have to enter to get ready for work, then it's essential to ignore the dog. He has to learn that barking earns a cold shoulder, and it's only when he's calm that he gets breakfast.
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The Extinction Bursts Method

Effective
2 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
Your dog barks in the morning and you have been advised that ignoring him is essential. Only when his barking doesn't get what he wants, will he learn to be quiet. This is all well and good in theory, except your dog hasn't read the manual. Instead of being quiet, the barking has got worse, way worse, and now you're at your wit's end. What you're experiencing is something called 'extinction burst' activity, and a necessary stage that the dog has to work through in order for him to get the message.
Step
2
What is an extinction burst?
Have you ever got into an elevator and pressed the button to close the doors but nothing happened? Did you wait patiently or press the button again? If you pressed the button, and the doors still stayed open, the chances are you beat that button with your fingertip. This is an example of extinction burst behavior. Basically, when you don't get the expected response to a behavior, you ramp up the behavior in the expectation of making the thing happen.
Step
3
Why your dog's barking has gotten worse
You have done the right thing and now ignore the dog, not letting him out of the crate despite the crazy barking. His barking has gotten worse...way worse. What's happening here is that regular barking didn't get your attention, so your dog assumes you didn't hear and ramped up the volume. When still he doesn't get attention, he decides that it must be the length of time he's expected to bark that's changed. Instead of a bark getting an immediate response, he thinks he needs to bark for 5, 10, 15, or even 30 minutes in order to get breakfast.
Step
4
Why giving in is a bad idea
OK, so the dog barks for a full 30 minutes before you snap and shout at him to be quiet and put his breakfast down. Bliss! At least he's quiet while he's eating. However, this was a bad idea. The dog now clocks up the 30 minutes of barking is required to get what he wants, which is the exact opposite of what you are aiming for.
Step
5
Only reward quiet and calm
Instead, it's essential you only reward the dog when he's quiet. Be aware that most dogs will pause from time to time, in order to listen to see if anyone has taken notice. If necessary, take advantage of this albeit brief silence to say "Good boy" and toss him a treat. Repeat this and the periods of silence will slowly grow more frequent. Similarly, only let him out of the crate when he's quiet, as a reward for this good (non-barking) behavior.
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The Do's and Don'ts Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Do: Ensure the dog doesn't deed the potty
Particularly if your dog is elderly, barking in the morning could be a sign they need a comfort break. If you suspect this is the case, only go to the dog in a pause (however brief) between the volleys of barking. This way the dog gets his comfort break, but his barking isn't rewarded.
Step
2
Don't: Shout at the dog to be quiet
Dogs can be strange creatures, in that they look on attention...any sort of attention...as a form of reward. Thus, if you yell at the dog to be quiet, he may well be secretly pleased and feel validated that barking is an appropriate thing to do. It's better to bite your tongue and ignore the dog, knowing that at least this way you aren't making things worse for the next day.
Step
3
Do: Teach the 'quiet' command
Learn how to teach a dog not to bark and be quiet on cue. This involves teaching the dog to bark on command (usually easy to do!) and when he's eating his reward for barking - gently hold his muzzle and say "quiet".
Step
4
Do: Ensure the dog is settled and comfortable
If the dog wakes because of hunger or boredom, then he may decide to bark and see what happens. Simple ways to promote him sleeping through include giving a small snack about half an hour before bedtime, and then letting the dog out for a comfort break immediately before lights out. Also, be sure to give the dog plenty of exercise in the day and the evening, so that he's pleasantly tired and more likely to have a good snooze.
Step
5
Don't: Despair
When all else fails, your last resort may be a dog bed or blanket in a corner of the bedroom. Simply being in your presence and knowing that you are not yet awake, may reassure the dog that the day hasn't started yet and he's OK to continue lying in.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Pippa Elliott

Published: 01/22/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Pomi
Pomeranian
4 Months
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Question
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Pomi
Pomeranian
4 Months

My dog is not eating biscuits at all. Any of the type. How could I train her to eat biscuits or the food I want to feed her ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Srishti, First, make sure you are feeding the right away and a decent quality food that isn't causing gi issues or a food allergy. Next, have her work for her food to make it more enticing...use it as treats for good behavior, sprinkle it on her bed to train her to stay there, or hide it in toys - it seems counter-intuitive but a lot of dogs get more interested in food if they have to work for it, plus this removes the need for additional treats. If that doesn't work, you can also purchase a kibble topper, like Stella and Chewy's freeze dried meat toppers, or Nature's Variety freeze dried meat toppers (a freeze dried meat kibble topper essentially). Crush a handful of the topper into a powder in a ziplock bag and add her dog food for the next day to the bag, shake it up and let it sit in the bag overnight or for a few hours. Feed the food from that bag. The kibble topper should flavor the food and make it smell good without having to go to extreme measures to get her interested. When she will eat her food really well consistently, you can gradually put less and less powder in the food overtime to transition back to just kibble. Honestly, many dogs simply don't like biscuits and they aren't good for them. It's kind of like trying to get a kid to eat a piece of plain white bread. Biscuits are hard, cheap ingredients, without a lot of flavor, and they aren't good for breaking up into small pieces for training. I would just use her dog food as treats like mentioned above or purchase a better quality treat like freeze dried real meat treats that are tastier and better for her. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
German Shepherd
5 Months
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Luna
German Shepherd
5 Months

I wake up early every morning at about 5:30 or 6:30. As soon as I start moving she begins to bark and doesn't stop until I leave the room. I've tried everything and it doesn't work. it's gotten so bad my neighbors have threatened to report her if it doesn't stop. She doesn't mind getting in her crate and staying there only in the morning around this time is when this starts.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Leah, Once she is awake, unfortunately she really will need to pee. I suggest taking her outside to pee when she wakes up, then putting her immediately back into the crate afterward rather than feeding her breakfast or letting her play - to help her get used to sleeping in later as she gets older, since the trip outside is uneventful. If she barks when you put her back into the crate (which she likely will), I suggest use a pet convincer to correct the barking. Since your neighbors are threatening to report her, you need to do something that works more quickly than other methods. A Pet Convincer is a small canister of pressurized air. When she barks in the morning, tell her "Quiet". If she continues barking, which she will at first before she learns what "Quiet" means, spray a small puff of air at her side through the crate (NOT at her face). The air will not hurt but it will surprise her enough that she should stop barking for a minute. After you spray her, leave the room. Repeat the correction every time that she barks. If she stays quiet for an extended period, such as a few minutes, return to her and sprinkle several treats into the crate, then leave again. When you reach the time when you would like for her to sleep until eventually, you can let her out of the crate while she is being quiet, then feed her breakfast. You want her internal clock to get used to eating at the time you would like for her to sleep until though, or her internal clock will continue to wake her up even with other changes. Another option is to crate her somewhere that she cannot hear you in the morning, such as another bedroom, walk-in closet, or large bathroom. She will be more likely to get used to sleeping in if she is not woken up by you in the morning in the first place. When you first crate her away from you, you may need to use the Pet Convincer and treats as I described above to get her used to being alone at night. She should adjust though. There are other methods for training this but those methods involve a certain amount of barking which is not an option with your neighbor it sounds like. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chico
Morkie
6 Months
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Chico
Morkie
6 Months

My dog will bark very early in the morning, it's always in between the times of 4 am to 5 am. I don't go to my dog when he starts barking but after 30 minutes of him barking i give in. Any tips on how to stop him from barking?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, how long has it been since pup last went potty? If it's been at least 8 hours, pup will need to be taken potty when they wake at this age. Take them potty on a leash and keep the trip super boring. When they finish, return them to crate to go back to sleep - don't feed or play yet. When they bark when returned, or if they wake before 7-8 hours, do the following. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. Practice for a few days until he is doing well during the day. You can either continue what you are currently doing at night during this process or go ahead and jump into what I explain below for night time training - waiting until the day is good before starting the night or starting the night and day both at the same time. When he cries at night (in the crate - where he needs to be sleeping for now) before it has been 7-8 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats in the early morning, but do practice proactively during the day with treats, to help pup adjust overall so mornings will go easier. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jackson
Golden Retriever
5 Months
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Jackson
Golden Retriever
5 Months

Hello! Jackson has an internal clock of 5 am. We use a leash and take him out to potty and then bring him back to bed. (He sleeps in a dog bed in our room, not a crate.) once he is awake, he craves attention and can not settle down. This is partially my fault, as I have gotten up with him since he was 8 weeks old but am now looking for ways to break the habit. I feel like he is looking for our older dog to play...which he is more than happy to oblige. Please help me to train him to break this habit of waking for the day at 5am. Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amy, To break this habit you need to crate train him and crate him at night until he is past this. Check out the crate manners video below and the Surprise method from the second article linked below for how to introduce the crate. When he is in the crate and wakes up at 5am (which he may not do while crated period), take him potty outside on a leash, but don't give attention, food, play or anything else to make the trip fun. As soon as he finishes pottying, take him directly back inside and put him back into the crate. If he barks, you will either need to ignore the barking if that's an option where you live, or use a Pet Convincer - which is a small canister of pressurized unscented air, and spray a small puff through the crate wires at his side (not face) while calmly saying "Ah Ah". The Pet Convincer usually works very fast, ignoring the barking can take up to two weeks. I know crating him and correcting the barking can feel harsh, doing so can actually pave the way for a lot more freedom and mental health for pup later though. Crate Training while young and correcting crying in a crate early can help prevent separation anxiety later, prevent bad habits like destructive chewing from developing (another worse chewing phase is probably coming around 6-9 months), prepare pup for being able to travel, be alone, have surgery at the vet's, be welcomed place, learn to self-sooth, learn to self-entertain, and a host of other things that make it easier to involve your dog in your life. Knowing the end goals can help make being a bit firm right now easier - if you know it's actually more loving in some ways in the long run. After crate training, correcting pup for barking, and keeping potty trips boring, pup should learn to only wake up and bark in the morning if he actually has to pee - which he should outgrow if he hasn't already, since pottying is the only thing he is given normally at that time. Most pups will sleep in more once crate trained and you may not even have to correct, but expect a lot of protesting in the crate at first - that is okay. Pup needs a chance to learn to self-sooth and calm down. During the day you can give a food stuffed Kong to help him entertain himself. At night he should just learn to go to sleep, so don't give food or that can make things worse. Surprise method- when you give treats for crate training, only use treats during daytime training, not during times when you want pup to learn to sleep more, like at 5am. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate Manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Garbanzo
terrier
11 Weeks
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Garbanzo
terrier
11 Weeks

Hi,

Garbanzo is a super well behaved pup when I am home. I live with roommates, but I leave for work hours before they typically wake up. Because no one is directly supervising him, I leave him in his crate. He usually has no problem with his crate. I feed him all his meals in there. He sleeps in there. I sometimes even leave him in there, and go up to my room (in the afternoons). He cries for maybe 5 minutes and settles down. My roommates, however, are saying that he cries and howls like he is dying when I leave for work, and he doesn't stop for a while. When he does stop, anything sets him off again. My roommates are upset with me, and I'm trying to find a solution. I've tried leaving him a stuffed Kong, leaving my shirt in there, giving him puzzle toys, covering the crate, putting on soothing music... I don't know what to do. I am moving to my own apartment in 3 weeks, and I don't want to get noise complaints from my neighbors if he is being crazy. Please help me.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laura, The first steps are the things you have already done: getting him used to the crate while you are home, giving food stuffed chew toys, and not letting him out when he cries - continue doing those things. Because of your situation it is time to correct also. Since this is only happening when you leave you can try this a couple of different ways, depending on what works. Option 1. Purchase a remote controlled vibration collar that is small enough to fit him. This will be used to interrupt the crying, so that you will have a chance to reward him for being quiet and so that he can learn to self-soothe. Put the collar on him at least 12 hours before you will be doing the training so that he gets used to wearing it and doesn't associate it with the training. If you are short on time, then just put it on as far ahead of training time as you can. Keep it off before you are ready to use it. Leave like you normally do, going outside or driving away. Sneak back up to your door or window where you can hear him but he does not know you are there. Set up a camera to spy on him if you cannot hear him. Whenever he barks or howls, push the button on the remote to vibrate the collar. Repeat this whenever he howls. He will be confused at first but that's alright. After a few corrections he should start to realize that is barking or howling makes the collar vibrate. When he gets quiet for at least 2 seconds, go back inside while he is quiet. Walk over to his crate without saying anything (you want things to stay calm), and drop a few small treats or pieces of his kibble into the crate as a reward for being quiet, then go back outside. Repeat the corrections and trips outside, and the rewards while quiet and going inside. Practice for 30-60 minutes each session (you can have multiple sessions per day with breaks in between). Continue to give a food stuffed chew toy because as he learns to calm himself he will be more likely to accept treats and toys and use those to sooth himself. Option 2. Purchase a Pet Convincer, which is a small canister of pressurized air. Have a reliable roommate go to him whenever he barks, spray a small puff of air at his side through the crate (NOT his face) while saying "Ah Ah" in a calm tone of voice. After the correction, the roommate should leave again. If he stays quiet for five minutes, then have your roommate go to him, sprinkle treats into the crate without letting him out, then leave again. Again, give him a food stuffed Kong. All of this should be done calmly and not in anger. You are simply interrupting the barking long enough for him to have the chance to try something different (like being quiet, chewing on a toy, ect...). The point of this exercise is also to interrupt his anxious mental state before he has a chance to escalate it - which can be hard to calm back down from because of the chemicals that are being released in his brain at that point. If you had a house where there were not others being bothered by the noise, then the behavior may stop on it's own within a month, but you cannot risk a complaint to your landlord or trouble with your roommates, and the corrections should stop the noise sooner. Remember to include the rewards in the training too while quiet. As he improves, wait until he is quiet for longer before you return to give a reward, so that he works up to being quiet for long periods of time as the normal. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bella
Bull Terrier
7 Years
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Question
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Bella
Bull Terrier
7 Years

She never used to bark in the morning to be fed. Once we moved in with my boyfriend (this has been a few months), she barks and it gets earlier and earlier every day. This morning she woke up and started barking at 1:45am. I would love to just ignore her as I get up at 6am anyway, but my boyfriend works second shift so he sleeps until 10 or so and is a light sleeper. if we dont respond to her right away, she stands outside of the bedroom door and barks louder and it is piercing. They get fed twice a day. the other time is when I get home from work around 4pm or later. Not sure how to correct this.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, First, check out the Quiet method from the article linked below and work on teaching her the meaning of the word Quiet from that method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark When she barks and you know she doesn't have to go potty, tell him quiet one time. If she continues barking stops but then starts up again within a few minutes, use a Pet Convincer. Open your bedroom door quickly, tell her "Ah Ah" and spray a small puff of air from the Pet Convincer at her side (Not face), then close the door again. Repeat this every time she barks. Use the unscented air ones. Do NOT use citronella. Another option is a stimulation based bark collar. If you believe that she actually has to go potty when she wake up, calmly take her potty on a leash - don't play with her, don't feed her, don't give treats, and keep the entire trip super boring. As soon as she finishes, go back to bed, and if she barks because you didn't feed her or she wants attention, then correct with the pet convincer like I described above. Pick a breakfast-wake up for the day time and don't feed her before that time each morning. Her barking sounds like attention seeking/demanding barking, which can be gently disciplined. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Scamp
Bernese Mountain Dog/Malamute Cross
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Scamp
Bernese Mountain Dog/Malamute Cross
6 Years

The back story- Scamp has been our baby since we got her as a puppy and while we moved every couple of years she has been an outside dog with a indoor privileges. About 3 years ago she damaged both her cruciate knees and after extensive hydrotherapy and indoor rehabilitation she made a great recovery. She went back out to her home outside and pretty much chewed through the outside door twice- at the time we thought maybe she was afraid of something outside so we allowed her to move inside. We moved two years later and she has been inside since. She is a massive dog so we confine her to the kitchen/laundry while at work. She’s always been good but since I became pregnant she’s been very badly behaved wanting the run of the house and opening doors to go into the rest of the rooms. She damaged the indoor doorframe so much we started putting chairs in her way which she also ruined. I then got a job further away and stay with my parents during weekdays and the behavior got worse- like three years before she got at the inside of the front door and ate it. We bought her a ten foot crate as we figured being alone while my husband was at work was causing the stress and boredom. She has cried and barked incessantly in the pen and hurt herself escaping on numerous occasions. We didn’t know what to do so we moved the pen to the garden and put it over her old house, attached a long lead so she has the run of the garden as well. This hasn’t worked - she barks, screams bloody murder and whines and has been getting panic attacks from noise as well. She has escaped the lead, jumped the fence (which is bad for her knees) and ran off multiple times. We tried calming tablets, we tried staying with her and playing in the garden all day, we tried bones and toys but she has lost all interest. The minute we leave all hell breaks loose. It’s not something we can change and because she was so distressed we decided to check her out with the vet and are awaiting blood tests. We’ve tried all of the separation anxiety tips putting radios on etc to no avail as well as upping her exercise on a daily basis to three walks a day. The vet prescribed zanex and she was her usual adventurous self in the garden playing with her bone and lying under trees and in the long grass which is a favorite hobby of hers for 4 HOURS. Then they wore off and she went back into full panic escape mode even when I sat in the garden with her. All of this has lead to a decrease in her obedience levels and happiness. She has even made one or two aggressive snaps at my husband.

She is in the house when we are home and, if in the same room as us, is as quiet as a mouse but still not herself. If she is in the kitchen, she goes straight at the door to open it. We are at ours wits end because we know she can’t be trusted in the house but outside isn’t keeping her safe or happy either. The only time she is quiet outside is night time until she wakes (earlier than us) and starts the yelping again. We are taking her to a behavioralist but with the baby on the way and our work schedules so vastly different, we are considering finding her a better home where she has more company. She always enjoys her kennel stays and loves other dogs even though there she sleeps outside. She is a wonderful happy dog in the right circumstances and it’s breaking our hearts to see her in such a state. Right now we don’t know how to make it better but as always would try anything for our lifelong baby Scamp.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Aideen, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced with behavior issues, using remote collar training, teaching commands that increase a dog's ability to calm themselves, and independence. Start by simply working on building his independence, and generally build his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open too. Changing the routines so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from. Being sure to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a food stuffed Kong to chew on). I also suggest helping him learn to cope with his anxiety by making his current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, to create an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough for him to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it can work much quicker alternatives. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. Who is extremely knowledgeable in e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating crate anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of his life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator is also a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh). Because of your dog's strong reaction, it is unlikely that the vibration or spray collars will work though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar at first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration. Set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Make sure that both mental pieces are touching skin and more just fur or it won't work or will be inconsistent. Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him the collar again by pushing the bottom. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after his collar is stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three additional levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar will probably be low to medium, within the first sixty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for him. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate after ten minutes. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in the video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. First, he needs his anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Practice all of this during the day at first. Once he has learned that e-collar corrections are for barking and is able to calm himself back down during the day, then you can transition the training to night time when he tries to bark then - if you are certain that he does not need to pee at that time. You can also let him sleep in your room but with the baby coming and with his current level of anxiety you may want to get him used to being crated in another room at night ahead of time if your baby will be sleeping in your new room at first. Continue working closely with your vet to ensure that there is also not a medical reason for the anxiety. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Margot
Cavapoo
5 Months
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Question
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Margot
Cavapoo
5 Months

Our puppy is crated but wakes everyday now between 5 and 6am, her crate in the kitchen downstairs, as we don’t want to have Margot in the bedroom. On waking she barks incessantly until we get up but as soon but as she hears us coming downstairs she stops barking, she just eagerly wants to get out of the crate. She is such a good puppy but we would like her to lay in until we’re ready to rise, at least for another hour say 7am. I believe this is now a habit as we have got up to let her out for a toilet break since getting her at 10 weeks old, from any time around 4am which we were advised to do but I think now she is able to hold it, she now knows if she barks we get up, we’ve started to ignore her the barking but it has got worse and lasts longer or until we get up, pet corrector isn’t useful for us because she stops barking once she hears coming into the kitchen. She’s not a barker at all during the day only in the morning when she wakes up. It’s not for food as she doesn’t demand food, I think it’s because she’s awake and just wants to be with us?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Andrew, Depending on when she last went potty the night before, her body might be in the habit of waking up at that time now, and then once awake because of her age she cannot hold her bladder any longer if it has been longer than six hours since she last peed - even though she could hold it for longer if she stayed asleep. When she wakes up, go to her, and take her potty on a leash. Don't speak to her (unless it's to tell her to Go Potty), don't pet her, don't let her play, don't give her any treats, or do anything else fun. This trip is all business. After she goes potty, take her straight back inside and put her back into the crate, to go back to bed (even though you are awake now). Once she is in the crate she will either go back to sleep because she no longer has to pee, or she will bark (probably bark for attention at first). Use a remote controlled vibration collar if she barks. Your bedroom, whenever she barks vibrate the collar for one second simply to interrupt her barking. Stay up stairs where she cannot see or hear you though (you can use a camera, such as a smart phone with Skype on mute to watch her if you want to). Repeat the vibrations until she finally stays quiet or goes back to sleep. When it is time to get up for the day, while she is quiet, go to her and sprinkle a few pieces of her food into the crate while you get breakfast ready (leaving her in the crate for a few minutes). After a few minutes, while she is quiet let her out of the crate and feed her like you normally do. The point of this last part is to still associate the crate with something pleasant to help her make the connection between the vibration and her barking and not just being in the crate, and to get her used to staying in the crate even while you are in the room, so that exiting is not overly exciting. Once you let her out of the crate, you can feed her the rest of her food however you normally do. You obviously won't get a lot of sleep from 5am onward when you first do this, but keep the house quiet as if people are still sleeping so that her body will adjust to a later wake up time and she will start to go back to sleep when returned to the crate, and eventually sleep through the 5am wake up - since waking up is not very exciting anymore and barking no longer works to get her attention. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Finn
Goldendoodle
6 Months
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Finn
Goldendoodle
6 Months

We have a 6 m/o goldendoodle who is playful, excitable and VERY smart. We have had him since he was 8 weeks and he potty trained/crate trained him. He passed potty training with flying colors so fortunately, that is not an issue. He is comfortable in his crate too. We started him off in our bedroom when he was younger and now he sleeps in his crate in the kitchen downstairs. However, occasionally we allowed him to sleep in our bed and that was our biggest mistake. Further, my boyfriend used to wake up for work around 5am and would let Finn out to pee/ eat breakfast/hang and I got up a few hours later (usually by 7) but now my boyfriend and I both wake up for work around 6 but Finn starts barking like clock work at 5am to get up for the day and WONT stop. We have given him and we will let him out and he immediately bolts upstairs to get into our bed. I realize this is an issue and I want to correct the behavior and have boundaries set. He is very smart and knows what he is doing so it is entirely frustrating. He used to bark at 330 am and we would let him out to pee and put him back in the crate and then 5 am bark alarm would start. We started feeding him dinner later, not letting him drink water 2 hours before bed and always letting him out to pee right before bed, and I feed him breakfast around 7am. The issue of bathroom and food intake is not the issue it is solely him wanting to get out of the crate!! I must also note that he is typically in his crate from 7-noon until my dad comes over to let him outside and then again from noon-3 or so when my boyfriend gets home. We try to play with him as much as we can and take him on a walk but he would benefit from more exercise.

He also will stop barking when he hears us coming down assuming we will let him out so that is hard to implement positive behavior association when there isn't a window of no barking when are present.

This morning was day 1 of re training as I have read through these stories/responses on suggestions and he barked from 4:30-6:00am.

We are looking at getting a zap collar but any other suggestions would be appreciated because i am exhausted!!

- Kelsey

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kelsey, He should be able to hold his bladder for longer if he stays asleep, but once awake after sleeping for that long he truly will have to pee. So first, take him potty when he wakes at 5am. Take him on a leash, do not play with him, speak to him (except to tell him to "Go Potty"), do not feed him, or do anything else fun. As soon as he finishes pottying, take him back inside and put him right back to into the crate. He will likely bark when you do. Use a remote controlled stimulation or vibration collar and push the bottom each time he barks. When he is quiet and it is at least 6am, you can let him out. You want to teach him that he gets out of the crate while he is quiet and when you decide. Also use the video linked below for teaching him how to enter and exit the crate politely - that can help with calmness and general manners too. For a collar I suggest a bark collar, stimulation electric collar (one that zaps like you said, but has a large number of levels so that you can find the lowest level he will respond to, and is of good quality, such as the Mini Educator collar), or a remote vibration collar (many stimulation collars like the Mini Educator have vibration modes that you can try first. Do NOT use a citronella collar - the scent lingers too long and can be confusing and harsh because it doesn't stop when the barking stops and dog's noses are extremely sensitive. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ When the barking stops, he should hopefully stop waking up at 5am completely - since he won't expect anything fun to happen at that time, and you won't need the extra early potty trip anymore. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pompom
Maltese x
8 Years
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Pompom
Maltese x
8 Years

My dog for seven years has spent mornings quietly. She is let out to do her business every morning around 7 am by my dad and stays in her crate quietly until around 10 am when I wake up and she is let out. The following issue is not a bladder issue but an attention issue. For the past few days, she has started to bark constantly - from the time my dad leaves the house at 7 until waking me up around 7:30 to let her out (purely for attention) I have tried ignoring her and waiting for silence as has often been suggested, however she will bark for up to two -three hours with no pauses before getting let out. I need help on new suggestions for how to stop this recent barking please.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Fionna, If she is being taken potty by your dad at 7, but then barking after she is put back into the crate, I suggest using a Pet Convincer. During the day teach her the Quiet command by following the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark When she barks in the morning, tell her Quiet calmly, then leave. If she continues barking or stops but starts right back up, then return again, but this time spray a small puff of air at her side while telling her "Ah Ah" or "No" calmly, then leave again. Repeat the corrections with the air whenever the barking starts back up again, until time to let her out of the crate at 10. Only let her out while she is being quiet. Make sure the Pet Convincer uses unscented air and NOT citronella - citronella is too harsh and lingers for too long to be effective. When you let her out, close the door again if she starts to rush out. Practice this until she will wait for permission to exit the crate even if the door is open. Tell her "Okay" and calmly encourage her to come out when she is waiting politely - this exercise also helps with calmness around the crate. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Min
Maltese Shih Tzu
4 Months
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Min
Maltese Shih Tzu
4 Months

Min is my 4 month old puppy, I got her when she was 2 months. The problem I am having with her is, her barking at 4am nearly every morning; it sounds like she is screaming in pain, but when I get up to her she is fine. I have done everthing I can, but putting her back in her kennel after taking her out to relieve herself in the morning only makes her barking worse. I also live in a quiet street and at that time of morning her bark echoes so I can't ignore her for too long. But when I pick her up she stops barking. I want to know if the barking is just attention seeking?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emma, Without being there it is hard to say for sure, but what could be happening is that she is waking up at 4 am, then once awake and not tired enough to fall back asleep (or needing to go potty because then her bladder is active again), she barks. The barking probably started as needing to go potty, but turned into attention seeking overtime. When she barks, take her potty on a leash, keep the trip super boring - no playing, no feeding, no petting. Put her back into the crate after she goes potty. When she barks after she has already gone potty, then correct the barking. I suggest using a vibration collar or pet convincer - which is a small canister of pressurized air. When she barks, return to her, say "Ah Ah", and spray a small puff of unscented air (NOT citronella) through the crate wires at her side (NOT her face), then leave again. Practice this during the day also by crating her for an hour while you are home. When she barks but doesn't need to pee, then correct with the air or vibration collar. When she stays quiet during the day for at least five minutes, then return and sprinkle a few treats through the crate. Repeat correcting when she barks and rewarding when she stays quiet for a few minutes. As she improves, space your treats out so that she goes longer between treat rewards and has to stay quiet for longer before getting a treat. Practice this until she will stay quiet for the entire hour even without treats. You can also give food stuffed hollow chew toys, like Kongs, in the crate with her once she is trained to stay quiet to continue the quietness. Only give treats during the day, at 4 am only correct because you don't want her to stay awake for food or have to go potty again from eating. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Millie
Rottweiler X
1 Year
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Millie
Rottweiler X
1 Year

Millie is a very smart and playful dog who loves attention she has been relatively vocal for most of her life, but in the past 1 year she has been barking a lot, every morning she wakes up at 4.00 to 5.00 and starts barking for no reason at all. I have also tried many things such as ignoring her and even using things such as citronella collar non of which have been effective. My family and I are close to breaking point and are about to sell her because of the barking if this doesn’t work. So what can I do to stop her barking?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lijo, First of all, what time is she going to bed at night? Most dogs will sleep for about ten hours at night, plus some during the day. If her bedtime is happening at 7:30 pm for example, she may need to go potty and not be tired at 5 am. If that's the case, keep her up 10 hours before when you want her to wake in the morning. Second, I suggest teaching the crate manners protocol from the video linked below to teach calmness and respect surrounding the crate. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Purchase a high quality stimulation collar (also known as bark or shock collar) - I am not a fan of the citronella ones because the spray lingers for a long time instead of stopping when the dog gets quiet, so the dog is just being continually corrected and isn't learning to tell the difference between quietness and barking. Choose a collar that depends on the vocal cord vibrations and the sound of the bark and has a manual mode where you can choose the level of correction (most high quality collars have an automatic mode and a manual mode - but some only have automatic). Experiment with levels for a couple of days. Start at the lowest level and let the collar correct your dog for barking a few times at that level. If she doesn't bark less after about 10 corrections, then increase the level by one level, repeat this sequence until the barking starts to decrease at the level you are at. The level that your dog is responding to or possibly one level up or down from that level will be her level to keep the collar on - instead of using the mode that starts the collar low and gradually raises the level each time automatically - which lets the dog bark several times before really feeling the correction. Brands like Sportdog and Dogtra that have been making e-collars for a long time are generally better quality than most. Don't go buy a cheap no-name brand online - they are often a waist of money and can be dangerous. You can also use a handheld remote training collar from Dogtra, E-collar technologies, or sportdog but you will have to be up and pushing the bottom at 5am when she wakes up (but you are right now anyway and the remote collar is more adjustable with levels and it doesn't have to touch the neck in the right spot to still work - as long as it's touching the skin somewhere). You could also try a Pet Convincer first (which is a small canister of pressurized unscented air), before buying a more expensive stimulation bark collar. The Pet Convincer feels weird when you spray it, unlike the citronella, so it is the feeling of the spray and not the smell that works for some dogs, and the spray is quick so as soon as the dog gets quiet you make the spray stop - making it less confusing. For the Pet Convincer you will have to get out of bed at 5 am to do the training for a few days though, but if that tool works well for him, he should learn simply to stay quiet in the morning and you not have to wake up and go to him for the barking after some practice. With the Pet Convincer, when he barks, go to him, say "Ah Ah" and spray a quick puff of air through the crate's wires at his side (not at his face), then leave again. Repeat this whenever he barks. During the day, while he is crated, you can also return to him when he has stayed quiet for several minutes and sprinkle a few treats in the crate - to help him learn that being quiet in the crate is the goal. Don't give food at night though - just when you practice during the day. Finally, check out the video from Jeff Gellman on treating Separation Anxiety - the barking in the crate advice, general obedience and structure used, and manners stuff from that video can help with something like boredom barking too - especially if he is barking due to anxiety or because he is demanding to be let out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk When a dog barks, they usually get highly aroused with certain chemicals being released in the brain - in your case you likely need a punisher to interrupt that state, then when quiet you can do the positive stuff during the day to encourage quietness instead, but the barking cycle needs to be interrupted with something that gets her attention and stops it first, rewarding for quiet comes second. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Anna
Standard Poodle
7 Months
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Anna
Standard Poodle
7 Months

Hello my puppy milli has gotten into a bad habit of waking up at 3 am and barking. I am getting no sleep. I take her out at 10:30pm and put her to bed in her kennel. She then barks at 3 and then again at 4 and again at 5. I can’t sleep in any day and it wake everyone up in the house. And we are having a hard time taking it anymore. Please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anna, First, make sure that there isn't anything medical going on that makes her genuinely need to go potty several times at night - like a urinary tract infection, kidney issue, or something causing diarrhea or frequent peeing (I am not a vet so consult with your vet if she genuinely seems to have an upset stomach, acting strange, peeing really often, or drinking lots of water, ect...) If there isn't anything medical going on, then she may be doing it for attention and because she wants you to play. Start by crating her at night if you are not already. You aren't going to see a lot of progress unless you can physically keep her from destroying things or jumping on you to wake you up - you want to only be dealing with the barking. Once she is crated, if she is not already crate trained, then use the Surprise method from the article linked below to introduce her to the crate. Because every one is so tired you can speed up the process some. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Practice crating her during the day. When she is quiet for 5 minutes, sprinkle treats into the crate. When she barks, tell her "Ah Ah" and spray a small puff of unscented air from a pet convincer through the crate wires aimed at her side (not face and NOT citronella). Each time she stays quiet - reward. Each time she barks - correct. After correcting or rewarding, leave the room again. Do both of these things during the day. At night, put her into the crate, having removed all food and water two hours before bed and taken her potty right before putting her into the crate. When she wakes up asking to be let out (and all medical issues have been addressed so you know she can hold it for longer), then if it's been less than 8 hours, correct with the pet convincer calmly, then go back to bed. Repeat the corrections each time she cries until it's been 8 hours - and she might really have to go potty (if she stays asleep the whole night she will probably hold it for 10 hours, but might have to potty sooner if she wakes up a lot). Do NOT give treats at night - only while you practice during the day, but DO give treats and practice during the day because that will make the night-time training much more effective! Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dexter
Papillon
11 Years
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Question
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Dexter
Papillon
11 Years

My dog barks non stop in the morning no matter where he is. I believe he does it to seek attention. He’s quiet when he knows that everyone in my house is out, but as soon as he relalises someone’s home, especially in the morning, he barks. I put him outside and ignore him but everyone else in the house tells me to give him attention so he doesn’t bark. Am I in the wrong for ignoring him and putting him outside when he barks?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alex, Attention for barking - if it's attention seeking barking will only make the problem worse. Ignoring him is a better option. However, I suggest an even more proactive approach. Work on teaching him the Quiet command from the Quiet method linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once he knows Quiet, when he barks in the morning (assuming he has already been taken potty and that's not the issue), tell him Quiet. If he gets quiet and stays quiet for several minutes give a treat. If he continues barking or stops and starts again right away, calmly tell him "Ah Ah" and spray a small puff of air from a Pet Convincer at his side. Reward if he stays quiet for a few minutes after the correction so that he learns quietness is the goal. Only use unscented air - NOT citronella because it lingers, is too harsh, and can be confusing since it lingers, and only spray on the side or chest - NOT in the face. If pup has any known aggression issues, you may need to adjust the training also for safety reasons. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kiwi
Dachshund
5 Months
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Kiwi
Dachshund
5 Months

Our puppy gets up in the morning and starts barking as soon as she hears me get up for work, She won't stop until I let her out then right back in her crate she goes and sleeps for a few more hours when breakfast is given. But if I don't get her up before 7 am on my off days she'll go crazy waking the whole house up and when I take her out she will only potty 1 and then come in and potty wherever she wants #2 even though I have a potty pad by the door which she knows she is supposed to use. She does whatever she wants and we've tried every training method possible. I've never had a dog i couldn't train... What now?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mercedes, First, once you are awake at 5 am and she wakes up, you will have to take her potty then and put her back into the crate after; however, you need to reset her internal clock and move breakfast to 7 am if someone is home then to feed her at that time instead of at 5 am - so that her internal clock will not wake her and want food at 5 am on the weekend either. So when you wake and she needs to go potty at 5 am - because her bladder turned on when she woke up so she then has to go, take her potty. Put her back into the crate right after you take her potty without feeding her breakfast, and when you take her, take her on a leash and walk her around slowly so that the potty trip is strictly business and not exciting. When you put her back into her crate without feeding her she will no doubt bark - I suggest starting this on a weekend and pretending like you have to get up at 5 am for a couple of days on the weekend to mimic the weekdays so that you can do what I am about to explain when she barks after being crated without breakfast. During the day go ahead and start practicing the Quiet method from the article linked below. You want her to know this command by the time you start the new morning routine. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark When she barks and you know she doesn't have to go potty because she went within the past 4 hours, tell her Quiet one time. If she gets quiet - great! Pretend to go back to bed like you would want to on the weekend. If she keeps barking or stops but starts again after being told Quiet, calmly go over to the crate, tell her "Ah Ah" calmly, and spray a small puff of air from a Pet Convincer at her side through the crate wires. Do NOT spray her in the face and only use the unscented air ones - citronella is too harsh. After spraying her, go back to bed. Repeat the corrections each time she barks. Expect to need to correct a lot the first three days. When it's 7 am (or whenever you want her to learn to sleep until) and she is currently not barking - let her out while she is being quiet, then feed her breakfast. When you let her out, practice the protocol from the video linked below - making her wait for permission and exiting calmly. That protocol practiced frequently with the crate should help facilitate a calmer and more respectful attitude surrounding the crate. When pup is in the crate during the day and doing well, you can also reward the quietness by sprinkling treats into the crate or giving a dog food stuffed chew toy - only give food during the day though, not in the early morning when you want her to sleep. Crate exiting and manners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 As far as pooping after breakfast, most puppies will need to poop 15-45 minutes after eating...Pay attention to what her timing seems to be. Even if the puppy was taken potty right before eating, eating will cause them to have to poop after but it's a bit of a delayed reaction. After feeding pup, someone needs to be watching pup like a hawk and taking pup potty during that poop window. I suggest attaching pup to yourself with a hands free leash for those fifteen minutes after eating, then taking pup potty about 15-20 minutes after she eats. If she tends to need to poop at the 30 minute mark, then attach with the leash for 30 minutes and then take her potty - pay attention to her timing. Having her tethered to you will keep her from wandering off to hide and poop. When pup poops outside, give a treat. Another option is to crate pup after breakfast for 15 minutes, then take pup potty. The crate will also keep pup from wandering off to poop before you can take them. If pup starts to cry 10 minutes into crating after being quiet beforehand - take pup potty a bit sooner, they may be crying because they need to go and don't want to soil the crate. A third option is to set up an exercise pen with a pad in it and place puppy in there right after breakfast until they poop. I don't know whether you are wanting to train pup to go potty outside or on pee pads, but if you are doing a bit of each that might be causing pup a lot of confusion and I would get rid of pee pads completely and adjust the schedule so that pup is being taken outside more often, if you can. If that's not an option and you need to continue using pee pads due to schedules, switch to real grass pads if the pads are a temporary measure. The grass pads will be more consistent with outside potty training. If the pee pads are a permanent plan since she is a small dog, set up an exercise pen and after breakfast place pup in the pen where the pad is so that they can't wander off to poop elsewhere and will develop a habit of pooping on the pad instead. Be sure to set up the exercise pen close to where you plan to use just a pee pad later on - many dogs go potty on pee pads not because they associate just the pads with going potty (otherwise they would also mess on rugs which many do), but they associate it being alright to go potty in a specific location - so the pad needs to be kept in that location consistently. If you move the pad around often, the dog will often resort to going potty on anything made of fabric, like a rug. This isn't an issue for many dogs - but some really struggle with the confusion of it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Indie
Collie
3 Years
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Indie
Collie
3 Years

Hi, Indie is a rescue, I have had her for about a year. Before she would bark constantly when I wasn’t in site of her, in the day / all through the night. I couldn’t leave her just to pop to the loo! Fast forward a year, she has gotten a lot better but as soon as she wakes up she still incessantly barks. She doesn’t give up. I try to ignore her but I live with my family and they do not appreciate these 4am/5am wake ups. I go down, tell her to be quiet and leave. Or I sometimes sleep on the sofa and when she starts to bark I make the ‘ahh’ noise. I’ve been doing this for months and I don’t see a change. How do I help her to stop barking when she wakes up.
She also will also still bark if she is left alone. She can usually be left for ten minutes or so before she starts up. The majority of time I can take her to work but when I can’t I worry the amount of time she barks before she stops.
And advice would be greatly appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stephanie, First, you need a way to communicate with her so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter. An e-collar or Pet Convincer are two of the most effective types of interrupter for most dogs. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). An e-collar, aka remote training collar, uses stimulation to interrupt the dog. Only use a high quality e-collar for this, such as E-collar technologies mini educator, Dogtra, SportDog, or Gamin. A good collar should have at least 40 levels, the more levels the more accurately you can train - finding the lowest level your dog will respond to, called a "Working level" so the training is less adverse. In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking (catch them before they bark if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Fitting an e-collar - it should be put on while she is calm, just standing around - Ideally have her wear the collar around for a while before starting any training so she won't associate the training with the collar but just with her barking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Finding the level to use for her (sometimes you will have to go 1 or 2 levels higher during training while the dog is aroused but once she improves you can usually decrease back to her normal level again) - this training level is called a dog's "Working level": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM An automatic bark collar can also be used during times when she likes to bark while you aren't there after the initial training is done - so she understands that the correction is for her barking at that point in the training. Finally, if she is waking up because she is sleeping somewhere in the main part of the house, like in the kitchen and you are in there getting ready for the day early in the morning, crate her in another room so that she is more likely to stay asleep. Once she is awake, you will need to take her potty, but keep it calm and return her back to the crate after without feeding yet - don't feed breakfast until it's the time you would like her to sleep until - so that her internal clock resets to that new time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden Fitting an e-collar - it should be put on while she is calm, just standing around - Ideally have her wear the collar around for a while before starting any training so she won't associate the training with the collar but just with her barking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Finding the level to use for her (sometimes you will have to go 1 or 2 levels higher during training while the dog is aroused but once she improves you can usually decrease back to her normal level again) - this training level is called a dog's "Working level": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM An automatic bark collar can also be used during times when she likes to bark while you aren't there after the initial training is done - so she understands that the correction is for her barking at that point in the training. Finally, if she is waking up because she is sleeping somewhere in the main part of the house, like in the kitchen and you are in there getting ready for the day early in the morning, crate her in another room so that she is more likely to stay asleep. Once she is awake, you will need to take her potty, but keep it calm and return her back to the crate after without feeding yet - don't feed breakfast until it's the time you would like her to sleep until - so that her internal clock resets to that new time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Hauk
Collie
1 Year
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Hauk
Collie
1 Year

My cats taunt my dog - usually at 6 in the morning - they meow and howl at him, tease him from the stairs (where he’s not allowed to go), taunt and meow at him from the top of the pony wall. This, in turn, turns him into a lunatic, barking and racing all over the house at 6 in the morning!!! How do I stop this??? It’s making me very unhappy in the morning (Note: my cats have never met a door handle they can’t ace in about 5 minutes)

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, it sounds like you actually need help with training the cats mostly. I am not a cat trainer, so cannot offer much guidance confidently in that area, but I suggest consulting someone who specializes in that - and working on a solution on the cat's end also. You might consider locking the cats in a room so that they aren't free roaming in the morning - obviously where the litter box is also- locking the door so that they can't open it, then finding an effective means of correcting the early morning meowing that will likely happen to get out of the room. That would likely be the easiest solution if this is primarily happening just in the morning. You could also work on training the cats to want to stay in a certain room using positive reinforcement, away from the stairs, and create an unpleasant association with hanging out at the top of the stairs early in the morning for them. I would contact someone with more experience specifically with cats. Cats can be trained - just like any wild animal can be trained, but the process and expectations for it are different than with a dog. I would also desensitize pup to the cats' meowing in general. Teach pup the quiet command, see if you can trigger the cat's to meow - such as with canned food, and practice the Quiet command in the presence of the meowing cats. Reward pup for tuning the cats out completely and staying quiet. You will want to practice this often enough - recreating similar circumstances to the morning, so that the cat's meowing actually become boring to pup. Check out the article and video linked below for teaching pup the Quiet command, and for teaching a dog to ignore cats in general. Quiet method - read the Desensitization method also, since what you will be doing with triggering the meowing is a bit similar to that method as well: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-to-not-bark Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Graham
Pit bull
1 Year
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Graham
Pit bull
1 Year

Hello,

I am fostering Graham, and he is my first foster dog. The shelter knows nothing about him as he was found wandering. His previous owners did abolutely no training. He is a very sweet boy but has many puppy behaviours that were not broken. He sleeps in a crate at night. For about a week or so he did great. Now though, he starts barking around 8 am when I would usually get up. I've tried waiting it out but he was still going strong after an hour. When he hears me get up he stops long before I get to the cage, so I cannot correct him. He is also very calm when I let him out. I know I've encouraged the behaviour by feeding him breakfast after I let him back insid. I don't know how to fix it. I have my own dog who I let outside with him and they play for a moment. Should I put him back in the cage and feed her breakfast as she has done nothing wrong, and doesn't need to be punished?I want to help him get adopted but this behaviour will get him returned.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, When he wakes up at 8 am he likely does need to go potty after holding it all night - once awake. Take him potty on a leash, don't allow him to play with the other dog then and don't feed. After he goes potty, place him back into the crate until the time when you want him to wake up. While doing all of this, the house should be quiet though. You and your other pup either need to go back to bed or go somewhere so else so that it at least seems like you have gone to bed. Let pup out and feed them when it's the time you wish for pup to sleep until. Try ignoring the barking that follows after putting pup back into the crate - knowing that pup doesn't have to go potty and is just protesting. If it continues past a week or you don't want to wait pup out, you can use a mild correction as well. First, start by teaching the Quiet command using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Practice the Quiet command method during the day until he learns the meaning of the word Quiet. Since you want him to learn it quickly, I suggest practicing for a few minutes several times per day to speed up learning. Only give treats while practicing this during the day - no treats at night. Once he understands Quiet, when he barks after being returned to the crate after pottying - so you know he doesn't have to go potty, then when he cries tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - great! Go back to bed, nothing else happens until time to get up and feed him. If he doesn't get quiet or starts barking again right away, calmly say "Ah Ah" and use a small canister of pressurized air, called a Pet Convincer, to spray a quick puff of unscented air at his side through the crate's wires (do NOT use citronella and avoid spraying him in the face). After spraying him, go back to bed. Repeat the corrections each time he barks until he goes back to sleep. When he is quiet and it's the time you wish to get up, let him out on your terms and feed him. What will likely happen is that he will learn to go back into the crate quietly the days you do so, he will wake up at 8 am but then go back to sleep if no one comes, or he won't wake up at 8 am at all on the days when the house stays quiet. That will take a bit of time for him to stop waking up and needing that initial pee trip before being crated again - because his internal clock needs to reset. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ellie
Bernedoodle
7 Months
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Ellie
Bernedoodle
7 Months

At 6 months old, Ellie started waking up between 5:00-6:15am and barking. Prior to 6 months she was sleeping through the night with no problem. I normally get up at 6:30 am to take her out to go to the bathroom. From whenever she wakes up until 6:30am, the barking and whining come in bursts. Since this started she is completely ignored in her crate (which is covered) until 6:30am. She has show no signs of letting up. How do we break this awful habit?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Sounds like Ellie is ready to greet the world bright and early! There are a few things you can try: Have Ellie stay up later than usual (as long as you are, too). Take her for long walks in the evening to tire her out or at the very least, play fetch in the yard - remember, both parent breeds like to work and the Poodle parent is an especially busy breed. Give her mentally stimulating toys to play with in the evening, too. Obedience classes would help as would an activity like agility. Tire this little dynamo out! Take a look here: https://wagwalking.com/training/sleep-later. You can also try the alarm clock. Since Ellie wakes between 5 and 6, make a judgment and set the alarm for around when she typically wakes. Let's say 5:30. Try that for a week. The next week, move it to 5:45 for a week. Then to 6 a.m. for a week, then 6:15 and finally 6:30. This should train her to wake at 6:30. Good luck!

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Penny
Jack Russell
3 Years
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Penny
Jack Russell
3 Years

Our dog (a jack russell crosses with a Tibetan spaniel) has recently started growling and barking In the early hours of the morning. We have a baby who is now 4 months old and this has only started in the last week. She is a ‘protective’ barker so usually only barks when she can hear neighbours/postman/possums. She sleeps in our bed (which hasn’t been an issue until now!). The first time this happened she absolutely howled the neighbourhood down and we realised there was a possum stuck in some netting outside but now she is doing it every morning. My baby sleeps but my dog doesn’t! How can I train this behaviour out of her?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amy, I highly suggest crate training pup and crating her at night for a few months until she has learned a long-term habit of sleeping through the night. If it's been more than 8 hours since she last went potty, you will need to take her potty when she wakes until she learns to sleep through the waking. If so, take her on the leash and keep the trip as boring as possible - no play, no affection, no food, then after she goes potty, bring her inside and straight back into the crate until the time you want her to learn to sleep until. Don't feed breakfast or play until it's the time you want her to learn to sleep until later. If she wakes when its been less than 8 hours since she last went potty, or protests being crated after having gone outside to pee, you will correct the barking. To do that, first First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. Practice for a couple of weeks during the day until she is doing well during the day. When she cries at night before it has been 8 hours, tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night though, only during daytime practice. Once she has learned Quiet well and is sleeping well through the night for at least a couple of months - long enough for it to become habit, then you can transition away from the crate and onto a dog bed again, but go back to the crate temporarily whenever she tests boundaries by waking you for attention again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jimmy
dobarnman pinchers
6 Months
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Jimmy
dobarnman pinchers
6 Months

My dog ​​eats at 7/8 at night and barks from 4 in the morning. If I feed her, she will bark in the morning. And how many days does it take to get used to?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Cute photo! Don't feed Jimmy at 4 in the morning - you are right, she will continue to bark and expect it. At 6 months old, there is a chance that she needs to go potty. Make sure that you are taking her out the last thing at night before bed, giving her the opportunity to do everything she needs to do. In the evenings, tire her out with lots of exercise, games of fetch and ball, long walks. Let her play with interactive feeders and puzzle feeders to have her use her brain, giving her mental stimulation. When she wakes at 4, take Jimmy to the bathroom. Take her out on the leash, no talking, keep it boring, no treats, no food, and then back to bed. She will soon learn that barking at 4 a.m. is not worth her time. If you are sure that she does not need to go out for a pee, then ignore the barking. It may take a few weeks, but she will learn. Take a look at this guide as well: https://wagwalking.com/training/sleep-all-night/. Good luck!

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Martha
miniature dachshund
1 Year
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Martha
miniature dachshund
1 Year

Hi, we’ve had Martha for a year now and over the last two months she has started barking from around 6am in her crate. Nothing in her routine has changed at all which makes it even more frustrating, she goes to the toilet straight before bed as always and has a treat at bedtime. When she does get let out of the crate, she doesn’t need the toilet and she just comes and sits with us and falls asleep again! Therefore I think she must just want attention. As soon as she hears us get out of bed she stops barking and will then start again if we don’t appear so I’m not sure rewarding the quietness will work? Again, her routine is EXACTLY the same as it always was so I don’t understand what’s changed. Help! Thanks, Greg

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I think from the description that Martha is not in the room with you? It does sound like she is looking for attention. You have the option of letting her bark and eventually, she should give up - but this may take a few weeks. I would tire her out as much as possible before bedtime and as well take her to obedience classes if you have not already. Martha sounds like a well-behaved pup and I do think that teaching her the quiet command will work. See the method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-barking-for-attention and https://wagwalking.com/training/be-quiet. You could also try her crate in your room, but that depends on your preferences. Other suggestions are room darkening curtains and white noise such as a fan. Take a look here at the science behind the behavior: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Stop-a-Dog-From-Barking-in-the-Morning Good luck!

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Happy
Golden Retriever
4 Months
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Happy
Golden Retriever
4 Months

We have multiple but for now biggest challenge is that he wake us up early morning everyday just to go out and play

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, this is always a challenge. If you know for sure that Happy does not need to pee, the best thing is to just persevere and ignore the barking as best you can. It may take a few weeks, but he will eventually learn. Lots of exercise and a long walk before bed, a pee break minutes before bedtime, keeping him up as late as you can in the evening (waking him in the evening if he is napping and occupying him) are all things to try. Also, see the Varying Day Method for pointers: https://wagwalking.com/training/sleep-later. If Happy wakes at 6 every day, set an alarm for 6 for a week. Then, the next week, 6:15. The next week, 6:30 and the next week 6:45. Lastly, 7 a.m. Waking to the alarm clock a little later each week may teach him to wake at the alarm and you set it for when you want. Good luck!

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Roxie
Bulldog
2 Months
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Roxie
Bulldog
2 Months

My puppy just constantly barks

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Adorable! Yes, most puppies like to bark and it takes a bit of training to change the habit. Take a look at this guide and you will find several good suggestions: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark.Read the entire guide. Also provide Roxie with lots of exercise and mentally stimulating toys like interactive feeders. Keep white noise going in the house to block out outside sounds until the habit is broken (such as a fan). Block the windows with a foggy plastic covering to remove outside stimuli like squirrels until the barking is occurring less. Good luck and have fun!

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Quincy
Labradoodle
8 Years
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Quincy
Labradoodle
8 Years

My dog Quincy barks when my mom gets up in the morning, before she has even left her room sometimes. The weird part is, he doesnt bark when my little sister gets up, or my dad (who is moving around in and coming out of the same room as my mom). Sometimes he also barks when my brother moves around (his room is downstairs while the rest of us are upstairs), but not nearly as frequently as when my mom makes a noise. As soon as he sees my mom he stops barking/growling and greets her lovingly. How can we get Quincy to not bark when he heres her and cant see her?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Great picture! Chances are that Quincy barks when he hears your mom (and this is a guess) is because she is the one feeding him. He knows that mom getting up means breakfast time and that's a pretty exciting thing when you are hungry. I think that Quincy is sleeping downstairs? That means that the verbal command Quiet will be most effective. You can teach Quincy to understand the Quiet command. Take a look here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-stop-barking. What you are working on is to teach Quincy that Quiet means to stop the barking, even when he is at a distance. Good luck!

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Daisy
Labrador Retriever
4 Years
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Daisy
Labrador Retriever
4 Years

I have two dogs Oliver who is 2 and Daisy who is 4. We recently rescued daisy and she is doing fantastic, we just have a couple of quirks to figure out. She has been mistreated in the past so she is quite delicate and cowers if you tell her no. She is crated at night and oliver sleeps on the couch, we sleep in the bedroom. The first problem we are having is her whining in the crate at night, this usually only occurs for around 15 mins and we ignore it. We cant have this happening as we have tenants downstairs. It progressed last night to more of a whine/ bark. In the morning they have both started whining for their breakfast, because we have to keep things quiet we have not been able to let them whine it out. What would you suggest in that situation, they also have a habit of playing at 630 in the morning which sounds like a herd of elephants, again not acceptable because we have tenants downstairs. My thought was maybe give them a stuffed kong at 9:30 pm when she goes in her crate hopefully this will curve the hunger in the morning, then only come out of the room when they are silent. I was also thinking that we should start feeding them half an hour after everyone is up and about not immediately after waking. Do you think this would work? Do you have any other suggestions? thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sophie, If you can wait it out, I do suggest doing so and ignoring the crying - 15 minutes this early into crate training is actually great, and pup will most likely adjust if you are just consistent with that. Also practice crating during the day, and whenever she is quiet in the crate during the day, sprinkle in treats. If you absolutely cannot wait it out due to neighbors, I suggest the following for the whining. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues whining/barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. When she cries at night before it has been 8 hours, tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give the treats at bedtime though. You will have to experiment with the Kong. You can certainly try that approach and see if it will work for her. The act of eating will make many dogs need to poop - but not all. If it doesn't cause her to need to poop too late, and encourages the quietness, that is a great approach in my opinion. Not letting them out of the room until silent is a good approach. I also suggest teaching both the Place command and having a morning routine of: wake up, you fix your meal and go about your business while they wait, then feed breakfast to them at the designated time without you being rushed - this might be a good time to have them practice being on Place once they know that command well. Have them stay on Place when they cannot be calm that early. Have some form of physical or mental exercise after a period of calm in the morning - since they will need to take the edge off at some point in the morning - but they can learn to be self-controlled and wait for that. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Star
Shiba Inu
12 Years
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Star
Shiba Inu
12 Years

We just got Star from a shelter about a week ago. She sleeps in the same room as us and will pace, whine, and if all else fails, bark as soon as she's woken up by the sun or if she wakes up in the middle of the night until she's let out. It's clear she does need to pee, and in the middle of the night, sometimes if we let her out very briefly to pee and come back in she'll go right back to sleep. However, in the morning, sometimes when she returns from a quick pee she will continue the barking behavior and continue signalling as though she needs to go out. She might need to poo, but she might also just want her full morning walk which we normally give her as soon as we wake up around 6:00 AM. Unfortunately, she cannot be crated and exhibits extreme escape behavior when left in a crate. We live in an apartment, so we cannot leave a door/doggy door open to relieve herself and we have neighbors we are worried about waking. Any extra tips other than 'ignore her'? We'd like her to be able to stay in that same room with us so she can bond with us and because she's had a couple accidents downstairs in the only other room we could really keep her and we don't want to reinforce this. Please help! We are getting pretty sleep deprived and grumpy.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachael, First, since she is older, she might really have to go potty when she wakes up. You will either need to take her potty or you can set up an indoor potty in an exercise pen and have her go in there. To use the exercise pen, I suggest setting up an exercise pen in your room and using a disposable real grass pad in the pen, to avoid some of the confusion associated with pee pads and rugs. Place a non-absorbent bed with some firm cushioning on one end of the pen and the grass pad on the opposite end. If you can, either use the Exercise pen method from the article linked below, or if you cannot use that method for similar reasons as the crate, take pup potty to the grass pad every couple of hours, rewarding with treats when she goes there, for several days during the day. Tell her to "Go Potty" whenever you take her potty there or outside and reward with a treat after, to help her learn Go Potty, so that that command can be used to tell her to go on the grass pads also. Exercise pen method - this method mentions a litter box but can also be used with grass pads and other indoor potty pads: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Between potty trips, keep pup tethered to yourself to prevent accidents while she is learning if you are not using the exercise pen method. Once she is doing well with going potty on the grass pad, then have her sleep in the pen so she is near the pad in your room at night. You can try phasing the exercise pen out later too once she is fully pad trained, keeping the grass pad in the same location in your room consistently (location is a large part of the training in addition to teaching the grass surface). Disposable real grass pads - amazon also: www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com www.doggielawn.com For the barking, once potty needs have been addressed, either through training her to go to the grass pad or having taken her potty outside already - so that you know she doesn't have to pee when she barks again after going potty, teach pup the Quiet command during the day. When pup barks when her bladder is empty, tell pup Quiet. If she gets quiet, great. Go back to sleep. If she continues barking after being told to be quiet, very calmly tell her "Ah Ah" and spray a quick puff of plain air from a pet convincer at her side, then ignore her again. Repeat this each time she barks until she settles down, and it's time to either take her potty again or get up for the day. Do NOT spray the air in her face and avoid citronella - it lingers too long, making it confusing for dogs, and is too harsh because of how sensitive a dog's nose is. Use the unscented air canisters. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Fluffy
Pomeranian
7 Months
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Fluffy
Pomeranian
7 Months

Well.. My dog sleeps in the kitchen. Every morning my boyfriend wakes up at 7 and opens the door for him. Then he runs to the room and starts barking like crazy next to my ear.Pomeranian barking isn't really easy to tolerate so three minutes later I am up. I don't play with him until he is calm but it doesn't have anything to do with going potty or eating breakfast because he has an automatic feeder at 7:50am and he has a space to do potty at night. Please, I don't want this problem to be a routine so I need help. For now it has been 3/4 days.

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Shiloh
Golden Labrador
8 Years
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Shiloh
Golden Labrador
8 Years

Hi. So my family and I have a Golden Labrador. He is a really sweet boy. His age seems he getting old. He has vision problems and not able to see because when we call him he looks at a different direction and can’t really hear us sometimes. We have to yell loud in order for him to hear us. But he still acts like a pup loves to play outside and a take a bath on the grass. So my main concern is we put him in the garage during the summer since it’s really hot. Every morning 4:45am I’m sleeping in my bed and I hear him barking and whining, scratching the door nonstop. I get up walk him. Sometimes he doesn’t have to go but sometimes he does. Once we get back from the walk. I Make sure he has water. Then I head back inside and leave him in the garage. He then starts whining and barking, scratching the door. So I get frustrated because I wanna go back to bed. I bring him inside. Because he is always wagging his tail wanting to go inside. I bring him inside and he stops. What is the reason??

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Teddi
Shihpoo
4 Months
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Teddi
Shihpoo
4 Months

Teddi barks at night and in the morning. The morning being the bigger issue because it can go on for hours. Ignoring doesn't work. As soon as I take her out and let her come on the couch with me she is silent and goes back to sleep.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I assume that Teddi is waking at an early hour that is unacceptable to you. When she wakes, take her outside for a pee break, no talking, no interaction, a quick pee and then back to bed. You may have to let her bark at that point. Other things to consider are the time that she is going to bed at night. Keeping her up as late as you can in the evenings may help, with a long walk in the evening to tire her out. Try white noise near her cage for the overnight hours, such as a fan (not pointed at her).Dog appeasing pheromones are another idea. These are natural and emitted via a diffuser. Check at the pet supply store for them. As well, look at the Varying Day Method as described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/sleep-later. Try setting an alarm clock for the time when Teddi normally awakes (starting with the early hour she is waking now). Set the alarm for a week at this time, getting her up then. The following week, set the alarm 15 minutes later. Stay at that time for a week (getting her up then) and then set the alarm 15 minutes later for the next week. Keep this up until you reach the desired time you want to get up. Hopefully, she will be trained to the sound of the alarm by then. Good luck!

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Lily
Miniature Australian Shepherd
7 Months
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Lily
Miniature Australian Shepherd
7 Months

We got Lily from my stepsister because she couldn't handle or train her due to her energy. we are having issues with barking when on walks and barking while in the kennel at night. My stepsister said she was kennel trained but we have had Lily for a few weeks now and it's been difficult trying to get her to go in on her own and stay quiet.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello! The barking while on walks is a form of energy release. She is excited as well as probably a little frustrated because she wants to run and explore everything. This excitement/frustrated barking will likely resolve itself as she ages and matures. But not doing anything runs the risk of her developing a habit that will follow her into adulthood. So for the time being, you can start implementing the use of commands while out walking. And giving her some exercise BEFORE walking. Which I know seems counterintuitive since walking is exercise. But until she stops barking so much, walking has now become a time for training. Plan your walks a little ahead of time. Before you take her out on a walk, spend some time playing fetch with her, or running around with her. You can also run through some training commands she already knows. This will help re-engage her brain a bit. One tool that may help with this training is a head halter. It looks somewhat like a combination collar/muzzle, but it allows the dog to breath and drink. (It is NOT a muzzle and isn't used for discipline). Used with supervision (never leave it on the dog when he is alone), it may have a controlling and calming effect on your walks and at home, reducing the likelihood of barking. A head halter does not replace training, rewards and praise, but is a tool to help you in your counter-bark training. They usually go by the name brand, Gentle Leader. They are available online and in any pet store. Start your walk off as calm as you can. If she begins barking, have her stop and sit for you. Then you can continue on your walk. Take some treats with you, and use treats to keep your attention on you, and to reward her for calm, quiet behavior. This won't be forever. You will start to see results within a few weeks of consistent practice. Then you can slowly start to phase out the treats as her behavior improves. Crate training. When dogs have issues with crate training, it is best to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Some of this information is going to be a little remedial, and you may know some of it, but starting over with crate training will be the best route to go. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thanks for writing in.

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Chára
Cocker Spaniel x Poodle
3 Years
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Chára
Cocker Spaniel x Poodle
3 Years

We have tried for weeks, but our dog will not stop barking in the morning or when left alone in a room. She will cry and pace and howl even if she can see us through the glass. Even if I open the door and command her to wait outside the room, she will whimper and bark. I've tried feeding her later in the day, playing with her more often (unfortunately, in the past two weeks, I've been unable to walk her due to dog thieves in the neighborhood, but this barking problem has gone on for months) and every other method I could find. There's four people living here. What do I do?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I assume that Chara is crated somewhere in the house overnight and that is why she barks in the morning? Is there any chance she needs the bathroom? Make sure that you do not feed her or give her a lot of water for at least 2 hours before bed. Take her out for a pee last thing before you go to bed at night. She definitely needs her walks - if the neighborhood is not safe in that regard, hop in the car and take her to a fenced in dog park so she can run off steam there. The Comfort Crate Method here may help: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-separation-anxiety. Many dogs love a crate because they feel safer in a den-like setting. There are great tips for helping a dog like their crate here: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. Good luck!

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Champ
German Shorthaired Pointer
19 Weeks
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Champ
German Shorthaired Pointer
19 Weeks

We are having some trouble crate training our 4 month old puppy. He sleeps through the night in a separate room and rarely barks during the night now (huge improvement to a few months ago!). However, in the morning he wakes us up to tell us he has to go pee by barking. By letting him out, are we teaching him to bark? If we set an alarm for, say, 5am to let him out, are we teaching him to wake up earlier? Our goal is to get him to sleep later than he is now. Also, we are trying to crate him for a few hours during the day bc he has separation anxiety (because of COVID, my husband and I are both working from home all day). We give him some kibble and a special bone when we put him in but he will bark for over an hour nonstop. We’ve tried to build up the amount of time he’s in the crate but at least once per day he goes absolutely crazy- scratching at this bedding, whining, barking, etc. During the day, we only take him out once he’s quiet but we usually only have a 2-3 min window after he’s really riled up. Of course, we do not put him in the crate unless he’s gone to the bathroom, eaten and exercised. Are we doing anything wrong? Do we just stick with it? It’s been painful to try to get work done. Finally, how will we know when we no longer need the crate? Thank you! - Olivia

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Olivia, When he barks in the morning, it sounds like he really is alerting he needs to go potty and not attention seeking barking - since you don't want pup to have an accident, let him out at that time, but wait until he is quiet at all other times when he isn't at risk of having an accident. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Go ahead and skip to the part where the door is closed, but pay attention to how to use rewards when pup gets quiet for even a few seconds. It's completely normal for pup to bark a lot the first 2 weeks of crate training - since it sounds like you may have just started and pup is a bit older, up to 4 weeks of protesting at least some is normal, but by following the Surprise method, the barking length of time should gradually decrease as pup learns how to relax and settle themselves in the crate. Crating while young can actually prevent adult, more severe separation anxiety when done correctly - and it does sound like you are doing it right in general - gradually building up the time length, giving pup plenty or mental and physical exercise and attention other times of the day when not being crated, and providing something to do in the crate like the dog food stuffed chew toy. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If the barking continues past two weeks, you can use corrections for barking in addition to rewards for quietness, but I since it's normal for it to take a couple of weeks for pup to adjust, I suggest doing the above, and just using corrections if pup doesn't adjust within that amount of time - 90% of puppies will adjust with just the above training without needing corrections, a few dogs need it though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
English Bulldog
1 Year
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Luna
English Bulldog
1 Year

As soon as I leave at 530 am for work she will not stop barking even if we give her treat or food or toy

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mike, First, pup needs to be crate trained to help build independence. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below and work on that method to get her used to you being out of the room while she is crated. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. She also needs to build her independence and her confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into her routine. Things such as making her work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching her to remain inside a crate when the door is open as well as closed. Give her something to do in the crate or on Place during the day while you are out of the room (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on). Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction to help you implement the training. Building her independence and structure in her life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of pup's life too. Second, purchase a Pet convincer. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh and the smell lingers a long time so the dog continues to be corrected even after they stop the behavior). Next, set up a camera to spy on her. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear her but she will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Set up your camera to spy on her while she is in the crate and leave. Spy on her from outside or another room. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear her crying or see her start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, quietly return, spray a small puff of air from the pet convincer at her side through the crate wires, without opening the door, then leave again. Every time she barks or tries to get out of the crate, correct, then leave again. After five minutes to ten minutes of practice, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back into the room where she is and sprinkle several treats into the crate without saying anything, then leave again. Practice correcting when she barks or tries to escape, going back inside and sprinkling treats when she stays quiet, for up to 30 minutes a session at first. After 30 minutes -1 hour of practicing this, while she is quiet, go back into the room and sprinkle more treats. This time stay in the room. Do not speak to her or pay attention to her for ten minutes while you walk around and get stuff done inside. When she is being calm, then you can let her out of the crate. When you let her out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want her to be calm when she comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore her when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Also, for longer alone times give her a food stuffed Kong into the crate/room with her. Once she is less anxious she will likely enjoy it even if she didn't pay any attention to it in the past, and that will help her to enjoy alone time more. First, she may need her anxious state of mind interrupted so that she is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give her a food stuffed Kong in the crate for her to relieve her boredom instead of barking, since she will need something other than barking to do at that point. Regularly practice her staying on Place and in the open crate while you are home and leave the room as well. Finally, teach pup the Quiet command to make communication with her clearer. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sophie
Yorkie
7 Years
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Sophie
Yorkie
7 Years

Sophie is our alpha female. She wakes us with uncontrollable barking every morning. The other 2 dogs mostly just stay quiet. Sophie is 7 and very protective over Willow, also a Yorkie. Willow is a rescue with no teeth and smaller than Sophie. Then there is Sadie! Sadie is a Golden Retriever puppy almost 5 months old and very active and playful.
Sophie will bark the minute my husband leaves for work at 5:30 am and go nonstop u til someone comes to get her. All 3 dogs are in the laundry room together. Sadie, the golden puppy is in a crate.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christie, First, I would initially crate all three dogs so that Sophie won't bully any of the other dogs when you work on changing the barking behavior. Second, how good is Sophie's bladder capacity, and how long has it been since she last went potty when the barking begins? If it's been less than 8 hours, you will need to take her potty when she wakes, then return her to the laundry room afterwards without feeding, then deal with the barking. Once she learns to be quiet in the morning, chances are she won't need that potty trip if she can learn to simply go back to sleep until you let them out. Ideally, your husband or you would take her potty before she barks if she needs to go - so that the barking isn't being rewarded with freedom. Once she is returned to the laundry room or wakes up and it's been less than 8 hours, when she barks, correct pup with a brief spray of unscented air sprayed at her side through the crate from a pet convincer while tell pup "Ah Ah" calmly. Then tell her Quiet calmly and leave the room again. Don't use citronella, only unscented air, and avoid spraying in the face. Each time she barks again - knowing she doesn't need to go potty, correct calmly with a puff of air then leave again; do this until it's breakfast time and you want the dogs to get up for the day. Before you do all this, proactively practice the following, so that pup will understand what you are doing and how to behave, and will learn better and things be gentler overall. Work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark During the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once all the dogs are calm and quiet in the morning for a month, you can try having her out of the crate and into the laundry room like she is now and see if she stays quiet that way too Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sasha
Miniature Schnauzer
7 Months
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Sasha
Miniature Schnauzer
7 Months

My dog is an early bird and has decided that I should also need to be one too. She wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 most mornings. When she was younger I was feeding her 3 times a day and the first meal was before work at 7:30. Now that shes older she gets two and I decided to make her first meal later to see if it helped her sleep in, it didn't. Every morning she wakes up and barks incessantly. I always wait til shes quiet and then take her out and give her a treat with the command "quiet". The problem is within another hour or thirty minutes shes barking again she will calm down after about 20 minutes and then if a loud car or truck rolls by there's more barking for another twenty minutes. then she will quiet down. Long story short, she barks for long periods of time and I ignore her and even give her treats or a snack to reward her quiet. But how do I eliminate all of the morning barking completely because every morning its a cycle of on and off incessant barking.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, is it possible that Sasha needs to go for a pee? Due to her age, her bladder could be full and that is why the non-stop barking. You could try taking her out for a pee, no talking, no playing, just a pee, and straight back in the crate. She may bark after the pee because she is disappointed that it's not time to get up. You can ignore the after-pee barking for a few days or weeks until she learns that you are making the decision of when to get up. I do think it is important that she has a pee break though, just in case. You can also try giving her a kong toy in the crate after the pee break to keep her occupied so you can sleep later. To prepare the kong, fill it with moistened kibble and a smear of dog-safe peanut butter (no xylitol - it is toxic to dogs!). Then place in a ziplock bag and put in the freezer. It will last quite a while as an activity. Prepare one every evening before bed and then it is ready for morning. Some may not agree with this method, but if you need the sleep it does the trick until she gets older and perhaps sleeps later. Many dogs just like to get up early and start the day (my dogs are like that). All the best to you and Sasha!

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Hank
Golden Labrador
2 Years
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Hank
Golden Labrador
2 Years

Hi,

Hank is about two. We’ve had him five months. We do let him out at night before bed and he also gets fed twice a day. Everything was fine until daylight savings time hit. He does tend to bark before our alarm goes off and we know he needs to go potty again. 6 am (alarm time) is pretty much right at 8 hours. Currently we just ignore the barking and get up at the alarm. Anything else we can do? Some nights work better than others. Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello David, For the first two weeks I generally just advise ignoring the barking if it's been no more than 8-8.5 hours for an adult dog. Since it sounds like this has been going on for longer than that, you can either try ignoring it for longer (especially if it is gradually getting better), or correct. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. When he cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 8 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though, only correct in early morning - practice during the later parts of the day proactively with treats too to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning with treats, but to go back to sleep instead. If it's been more than 8 hours but its not time to get up yet and pup barks, take pup potty as boring as possible, return them to the crate after, then correct any barking pup does before wakeup time, once they are in the crate with an empty bladder. If pup is waking to play or eat and not because they have to go potty, they will typically begin to sleep in later if all they get is a potty trip. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nevada
terrier
11 Months
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Nevada
terrier
11 Months

We just rescued her and she barks excessively all the time. In the morning, when she sees someone and when she sees another dog. We can’t do the ignoring because we live in an apartment and our neighbors would not be happy with us. Is there any other advice you can give?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello River, First, for the barking, I suggest combining a few things in your case. You need a way to communicate with her so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - neither too harsh nor ineffective. A Pet Convincer is one example of an interrupter. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking (catch them before they bark if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing him a lot to the things that trigger the barking normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever she DOESN'T bark around something that she normally would have, calmly praise and reward her to continue the desensitization process. If pup is fearful of you or aggressive, that will need to be addressed before the barking can be fully addressed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dart
Labrador Retriever
6 Months
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Dart
Labrador Retriever
6 Months

Hi. Dart is crate trained and goes in over night. Morning barking is beginning at about half 6 every morning and continuing / escalating. Despite us ignoring him. We do get up to take him to the loo but then put him back in his crate. In the end my partner gave up and followed the advice of bringing him into the room. What happened then is that he started barking earlier and earlier until he was waking us up at 4am. Weve stopped that now but this morning we've been listening to barking for over an hour and its mot stopping. Its loud and consistent. What do we do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sian, First, at this age pup likely really does need to go potty at that time. I suggest taking pup potty on leash when they wake then if it's been at least five hours since they last went potty outside. Keep the trip calm and boring - no play or treats, then right back to the crate after they go. When you return them to the crate, you have three options at this age. 1. You can either ignore pup barking until 7/8/9 (whenever you normally want to get up) - which will probably mean an hour of barking for a few days until pup learns to just go back to sleep until breakfast, and gradually begins to sleep longer and not need that 4:30am potty trip as their bladder capacity increases. It sounds like you may probably already tried this option. If so, I recommend moving onto option 2 or 3. 2. Another option is to stuff 1 or 2 kongs with puppy food and freeze the night before, and give pup that in the crate for a few weeks, until they are old enough to not need to 4:30am potty trip, then you will need to ignore/correct the crying later, once pup is older and can be expected to sleep through. To stuff a kong you can either place pup's dry dog food loosely in it and cover 1/2 of the opening with a larger treat - so the dog food will dispense more slowly, or place pup's food in a bowl, cover with water, let sit out until the food turns to mush, mix the mush with a little liver paste, treat paste, or peanut butte (avoid xylitol! - it's extremely toxic to dogs and a common sweetener substitute), place a straw through the kong's holes, loosely stuff the kong with the mush, place in a baggie, and free overnight. Remove the straw before giving pup and grab the kong from the freezer as needed - for a time-released treat. 3. The third option is to correct the crying once you return pup to the crate after the potty trip. 5 months is usually the earliest I would recommend doing this, so it can be done now or once pup is a bit older if you use the Kong solution for a bit. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. When he cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 5-6 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Only correct at night/early morning - don't give treats at night/morning - practice during the day proactively with treats also to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Arlovski
Pit/lab mix
8 Years
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Arlovski
Pit/lab mix
8 Years

Arlovski gets very excited anytime my husband sneezes let alone wakes in the morning. He was his dog before we got married and their bond is unbreakable. Whenever my husband wakes up to let the dogs out in the morning and feed them, Arlovski’s excitement has now spread to his loud, echoing bark. It so loud and wakes everyone up. He goes out at 10-11pm and goes out at 7:30am. This never used to be a habit until we got back from a visit at my sister’s house three months ago. We have a new baby coming in 8 weeks and we have tried ignoring, crating, nearly everything with no luck. The only way we broke his barking habit years ago was with a vibrating no bark collar. When I let him out, there is zero barking at all. But, with homeschooling my other two children and a new baby on the way, it’s been my husband’s responsibility to take care of the dogs in the morning to delegate chores. What can we do?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello. The vibrating or sonic collars are a very humane way to curb this issue. They work directly by cause and effect. Since it has worked for you in the past, I would suggest utilizing that tool once again. And it's something you won't have to use forever as you know. You may need to refresh here and there, but once he gets out of the habit of barking, he should continue to stay quiet with or without the collar.

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Lula
Bichon Frise
5 Months
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Lula
Bichon Frise
5 Months

She sleeps in a crate. She whines and eventually will bark early in the morning , 4-5 a.m. If we could just make it to 6 or 6:30. Suggestions to achieve this goal would be awesome.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Denise, Since you cannot let pup cry it out due to neighbors, I recommend correcting the crying, practicing some alone time for pup during the day with rewards, and taking pup outside to go potty after it's been at least 6 hours since they last went potty, then returning them to the crate after and correcting after they have been returned and their bladder is empty - to help them learn to go back to sleep and ultimately sleep through that early wake up. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. When she cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 5 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though - practice during the day proactively to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Moose
Golden Retriever
14 Weeks
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Moose
Golden Retriever
14 Weeks

Hi I’m the owner of moose, but have a few different questions. He seems to wake up at 5AM every morning Barking really loud in his crate. I’m not sure what to do about this behavior. It keeps me and my family up in the morning and leaves tired and restless. Do you have any training ideas cause I have to say I’m a little desperate right now. I also want to add that he goes to bed at 8pm everyday and eats at 9am, 2pm and 6pm 1 1/2 cups every feeding

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lemon, First, at this age pup likely really does need to go potty at that time. I suggest taking pup potty on leash when they wake then if it's been at least five hours since they last went potty outside. Keep the trip calm and boring - no play or treats, then right back to the crate after they go. When you return them to the crate, you have three options at this age. 1. You can either ignore pup barking until 7/8/9 (whenever you normally want to get up) - which will probably mean an hour of barking for a few days until pup learns to just go back to sleep until breakfast, and gradually begins to sleep longer and not need that 5am potty trip as their bladder capacity increases. 2. Another option is to stuff 1 or 2 kongs with puppy food and freeze the night before, and give pup that in the crate for a few weeks, until they are old enough to not need to 5 potty trip, then you will need to ignore/correct the crying later, once pup is older and can be expected to sleep through. To stuff a kong you can either place pup's dry dog food loosely in it and cover 1/2 of the opening with a larger treat - so the dog food will dispense more slowly, or place pup's food in a bowl, cover with water, let sit out until the food turns to mush, mix the mush with a little liver paste, treat paste, or peanut butte (avoid xylitol! - it's extremely toxic to dogs and a common sweetener substitute), place a straw through the kong's holes, loosely stuff the kong with the mush, place in a baggie, and free overnight. Remove the straw before giving pup and grab the kong from the freezer as needed - for a time-released treat. 3. The third option is to correct the crying once you return pup to the crate after the potty trip. 5 months is usually the earliest I would recommend doing this, but it can be done a littler younger if other options aren't working, so it can be done now or once pup is a bit older if you use the Kong solution for a bit. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. When he cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 4-5 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though - practice during the day proactively to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Teddy
Neapolitan Mastiff
10 Weeks
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Teddy
Neapolitan Mastiff
10 Weeks

Early morning barking. Stops when hears me moving around upstairs but continues again when I go back to bed. I do not shout down to him - have given him a comfort break at 6am with no interaction other than command to have a wee. Then returned to the crate with no fuss. Then the barking continues when I go back up to bed.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Helen, When you return them to the crate, you have three options at this age. 1. You can either ignore pup barking until 7/8/9 (whenever you normally want to get up) - which will probably mean an hour of barking for a few days until pup learns to just go back to sleep until breakfast, and gradually begins to sleep longer and not need that 4:30am potty trip as their bladder capacity increases. 2. Another option is to stuff 1 or 2 kongs with puppy food and freeze the night before, and give pup that in the crate for a few weeks, until they are old enough to not need to 4:30am potty trip, then you will need to ignore/correct the crying later, once pup is older and can be expected to sleep through. To stuff a kong you can either place pup's dry dog food loosely in it and cover 1/2 of the opening with a larger treat - so the dog food will dispense more slowly, or place pup's food in a bowl, cover with water, let sit out until the food turns to mush, mix the mush with a little liver paste, treat paste, or peanut butte (avoid xylitol! - it's extremely toxic to dogs and a common sweetener substitute), place a straw through the kong's holes, loosely stuff the kong with the mush, place in a baggie, and free overnight. Remove the straw before giving pup and grab the kong from the freezer as needed - for a time-released treat. 3. The third option is to correct the crying once you return pup to the crate after the potty trip. 5 months is usually the earliest I would recommend doing this, so I would recommend either ignoring the barking to see if pup will adjust within a week, or giving a kong when pup wakes until pup is old enough to do this when pup can hold their bladder longer and be expected to sleep better with age. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. When he cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 3 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though - practice during the day proactively to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Simba
Bichon Frise
4 Months
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Simba
Bichon Frise
4 Months

My dog has started waking up and barking earlier and earlier in the morning. Need to keep him quiet until I wake up

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karina, First, at this age pup likely really does need to go potty once awake if it's been at least 4-5 hours since they last went potty. I suggest taking pup potty on leash when they wake then if it's been at least five hours since they last went potty outside. Keep the trip calm and boring - no play or treats, then right back to the crate after they go. When you return them to the crate, you have three options at this age. 1. You can either ignore pup barking until 7/8/9 (whenever you normally want to get up) - which will probably mean an hour of barking for a few days until pup learns to just go back to sleep until breakfast, and gradually begins to sleep longer and not need that early potty trip as their bladder capacity increases. 2. Another option is to stuff 1 or 2 kongs with puppy food and freeze the night before, and give pup that in the crate for a few weeks, until they are old enough to not need an early potty trip, then you will need to ignore/correct the crying later, once pup is older and can be expected to sleep through. To stuff a kong you can either place pup's dry dog food loosely in it and cover 1/2 of the opening with a larger treat - so the dog food will dispense more slowly, or place pup's food in a bowl, cover with water, let sit out until the food turns to mush, mix the mush with a little liver paste, treat paste, or peanut butte (avoid xylitol! - it's extremely toxic to dogs and a common sweetener substitute), place a straw through the kong's holes, loosely stuff the kong with the mush, place in a baggie, and free overnight. Remove the straw before giving pup and grab the kong from the freezer as needed - for a time-released treat. 3. The third option is to correct the crying once you return pup to the crate after the potty trip. 5 months is usually the earliest I would recommend doing this, so it can be done now or once pup is a bit older if you use the Kong solution for a bit. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. When he cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 4-5 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though - practice during the day proactively to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. If pup is waking right now to get breakfast or for attention, the change in routine, with a boring potty trip and then back to bed should help pup start waking less, once they are practiced at going back to sleep - instead of waking fully in the early morning they will probably go right back to sleep when they wake slightly, with only the occasional true need to go potty on some mornings for a while longer. At four months puppies "wake up" in general more and want to explore life and their environment, a bit like a toddler. It can be normal for pup to protest because they want to play and be up, when they really are still tired. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tess
Labrador Retriever
23 Weeks
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Tess
Labrador Retriever
23 Weeks

Tess sleeps in her cage all night.. perfectly fine but she is waking up really early and barking the house down. She is relentless though.. she barks for so long that eventually I need to get up for work so I have to go and see to her to get her sorted before I head out for work so it is difficult to do the ‘ignore until quiet’ method.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kate, Since pup is barking for along period of time and older than five months, you can use the following approach instead or only ignoring if you don't feel that ignoring is an option for you, and especially if you have been ignoring for two weeks and pup is still persisting. First, at this age pup likely really does need to go potty at that time, depending how long it's been since they last when potty. Once pup is staying asleep, they can likely hold it for longer but while they are in the habit of waking up then, their bladder will also be awake and need to go potty as often as every 5-6 hours. I suggest taking pup potty on leash when they wake then if it's been at least five hours since they last went potty outside. Keep the trip calm and boring - no play or treats, then right back to the crate after they go. When you return them to the crate and they bark, you have three options at this age. 1. You can either ignore pup barking until 7/8/9 (whenever you normally want to get up) - which will probably mean an hour of barking for a few days (up to two weeks for some) until pup learns to just go back to sleep until breakfast, and gradually begins to sleep longer and not need that 4:30am potty trip as their bladder capacity increases. 2. another option is to correct the crying once you return pup to the crate after the potty trip. 5 months is usually the earliest I would recommend doing this. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell her "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. When she cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 4-5 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though - practice during the day proactively to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Winston
Minature Dachshund
5 Months
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Winston
Minature Dachshund
5 Months

Hi, our puppy is waking anywhere from 4-6 in the morning, initially he starts to whine and then begins to bark when he isn't responded to. We do take him out for toilet but even on returning he rarely will settle back down and sleep. He does however settle down if I come out and just lay down on the couch. Is it a good idea to continue to do this or should I try another way. He does cry/bark when we leave, we put him in his crate when we do this (he is also in there overnight). He will bark sometimes for a couple minutes sometimes 10 minutes but usually settles down.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karina, First, at this age pup likely really does need to go potty at that time. I suggest taking pup potty on leash when they wake then if it's been at least five hours since they last went potty outside. Keep the trip calm and boring - no play or treats, then right back to the crate after they go. When you return them to the crate, you have four options at this age. 1. You can continue laying on the couch until pup is a bit older and you feel more comfortable letting pup cry it out or correcting the crying, but doing so will prolong the wakeups possibly and you will probably end up needing to use a firmer approach in about a month. Laying on the couch can buy you a bit of time to work on crate training in general and allow pup to get older though. 2. After taking pup potty and returning them to the crate, you can ignore pup barking until 7/8/9 (whenever you normally want to get up) - which will probably mean an hour of barking for a few days until pup learns to just go back to sleep until breakfast, and gradually begins to sleep longer and not need that 5 am potty trip as their bladder capacity increases. 3. You can stuff 1 or 2 kongs with puppy food and freeze the night before, and give pup that in the crate for a few weeks, until they are old enough to not need to 5 am potty trip, then you will need to ignore/correct the crying later, once pup is older and can be expected to sleep through. To stuff a kong you can either place pup's dry dog food loosely in it and cover 1/2 of the opening with a larger treat - so the dog food will dispense more slowly, or place pup's food in a bowl, cover with water, let sit out until the food turns to mush, mix the mush with a little liver paste, treat paste, or peanut butte (avoid xylitol! - it's extremely toxic to dogs and a common sweetener substitute), place a straw through the kong's holes, loosely stuff the kong with the mush, place in a baggie, and free overnight. Remove the straw before giving pup and grab the kong from the freezer as needed - for a time-released treat. 3. You can correct the crying once you return pup to the crate after the potty trip. 5 months is usually the earliest I would recommend doing this, so it can be done now or once pup is a bit older if you use the Kong or couch solution for a bit. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. When he cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 4-5 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though - practice during the day proactively to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tobi
cockapoo
18 Weeks
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Tobi
cockapoo
18 Weeks

Greetings! I chanced upon your website and has been reading with great interest. It has provided me with lots of good advice. I live in an apartment and tobi is well trained in a playpen/crate. He has a pee tray in the crate where he does all his business. He usually sleeps in the playpen area during the night. We have him since he was 3 months. We are trying to re-adjust his “waking/feeding” time as he recently starts to bark every morning from 5am intermittently and will only stop after we finally walk out from our room. His pen is right outside our room door. We tried to ignore his 5am bark but he continues and it is very disturbing to all my neighbors. We usually try to tolerate for about 45mins but it is not improving. Tobi doesn’t bark much during the day. Would be most appreciated if you can provide with some advice. Many thanks!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lyn, have three options at this age. 1. You can either ignore pup barking until 7/8/9 (whenever you normally want to get up) - which will probably mean an hour of barking for a few days until pup learns to just go back to sleep until breakfast, and gradually begins to sleep longer and isn't initially waking to pee at that early morning time as their bladder capacity increases. 2. Another option is to stuff 1 or 2 kongs with puppy food and freeze the night before, and give pup that in the crate for a few weeks. With this method you may still end up needing to ignore or correct the crying later if they don't begin sleeping in once their body isn't waking them early in the morning to pee and them staying awake after that. To stuff a kong you can either place pup's dry dog food loosely in it and cover 1/2 of the opening with a larger treat - so the dog food will dispense more slowly, or place pup's food in a bowl, cover with water, let sit out until the food turns to mush, mix the mush with a little liver paste, treat paste, or peanut butte (avoid xylitol! - it's extremely toxic to dogs and a common sweetener substitute), place a straw through the kong's holes, loosely stuff the kong with the mush, place in a baggie, and free overnight. Remove the straw before giving pup and grab the kong from the freezer as needed - for a time-released treat. 3. The third option is to correct the crying, as long as you are confident pup is okay having gone potty in the crate and doesn't need a potty trip. 5 months is usually the earliest I would recommend doing this, so it can be done now a bit early or once pup is a bit older if you use the Kong solution for a bit. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. When he cries at night or early morning, after they have gone potty, tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though - practice during the day proactively to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. This age is an age where puppies will commonly test things like the crate to see if the rules are still consistent. It can also be an age where pup is more alert. If pup is going to bed 10 or more hours before the morning wake up is happening the night before, or sleeping a lot in the evening leading up to bed, pup also may be waking early because they are fully rested at that time. Keeping pup up until it's 10 hours before whenever you want them to begin sleeping until in the morning, and preventing pup from napping for longer than an hour at a time in the evening by giving them a dog food stuffed chew toy or play can also help, when not being tired enough in the morning is the issue. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Taj
Bull Terrier
3 Months
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Taj
Bull Terrier
3 Months

This is my rescue puppy, he’s three months old. We’re in the middle of getting him vaccinated and back to being healthy. He’s a good puppy but all he does is bark, nonstop. He wakes me up super early barking and my mom hates it. Not only that but he bites, not like a super hard break skin bite but it’s almost there because he’s getting stronger. He’s ripped pants, shoes, and sweater apart, how do I get him to stop biting and barking

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lala, Check out the free PDF e-book, AFTER You Get Your Puppy, which can be downloaded at the link below. This free e-book addressed most of the things you have mentioned. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Biting: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Barking - Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Barking in the crate - Surprise method. If pup is already crate trained, you can skip to the step where you close the door while pup is inside, and work on rewarding pup for the quietness while crated. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Know that all of these things are normal puppy behaviors. It's not always easy, but you aren't alone in this. Many puppy classes focus on the very things you mentioned because these behaviors are so common. First, at this age pup likely really does need to go potty at that time. I suggest taking pup potty on leash when they wake then if it's been at least four hours since they last went potty outside. Keep the trip calm and boring - no play or treats, then right back to the crate after they go. When you return them to the crate, you have three options at this age. 1. You can either ignore pup barking until 7/8/9 (whenever you normally want to get up) - which will probably mean an hour of barking for a few days until pup learns to just go back to sleep until breakfast, and gradually begins to sleep longer and not need that early potty trip as their bladder capacity increases. 2. Another option is to stuff 1 or 2 kongs with puppy food and freeze the night before, and give pup that in the crate for a few weeks, until they are old enough to not need the early morning potty trip, then you will need to ignore/correct the crying later, once pup is older and can be expected to sleep through. To stuff a kong you can either place pup's dry dog food loosely in it and cover 1/2 of the opening with a larger treat - so the dog food will dispense more slowly, or place pup's food in a bowl, cover with water, let sit out until the food turns to mush, mix the mush with a little liver paste, treat paste, or peanut butte (avoid xylitol! - it's extremely toxic to dogs and a common sweetener substitute), place a straw through the kong's holes, loosely stuff the kong with the mush, place in a baggie, and free overnight. Remove the straw before giving pup and grab the kong from the freezer as needed - for a time-released treat. 3. The third option is to correct the crying once you return pup to the crate after the potty trip. 5 months is usually the earliest I would recommend doing this, so it can be done now or once pup is a bit older if you use the Kong solution for a bit. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. When he cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 3-4 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though - practice during the day proactively to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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