How to Train Your Dog to Sleep Later

Medium
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

There’s nothing quite like a nice weekend after a long and stressful work week. You may love your leisure weekends; sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays, even if just for a bit, helps to bring a newfound sense of rejuvenation to your mind. Maybe you keep trying to sleep in on the weekends, but your dog won’t let you. Animals are often a creature of habit. They don’t need a watch to know when to expect you to be home from work, especially if you arrive home about the same time each day. If you feed your dog at five o’clock every day, your dog can probably tell you when it is five o’clock faster than it will take you to glance at a clock. The same applies to waking in the mornings. If your dog is an early riser during the week with you, he won’t often know the difference between a Friday workday and a Saturday sleep-in day. 

Defining Tasks

There are many reasons for wanting to train your dog to sleep later, from semi-annual time changes to changes in your schedule or even a new dog who is simply an early riser. But no matter the reason, training your dog to sleep later is something you and your dog can work on together. Changing habits takes time, even for dogs. You may start by feeding your dog dinner at a different time, or setting an example and heading to bed later yourself. Learning to ignore your dog will be imperative in retraining him to sleep in a bit later. Sure, you’ll probably be awake and frustrated or annoyed because he woke you, but give it some time. Your dog will learn from being ignored. If you live in an area where the time changes twice a year, you may have to set aside a few days to help your dog adjust to the new time just as your body adjusts. Any dog can be trained to sleep later. It will just require time and a bit of patience.

Getting Started

Be prepared with a schedule you’d like your dog to follow. Even getting him to sleep in on certain days such as days you are off work is possible, especially if they are the same days each week like weekends or every Wednesday. You may want to have some treats near your bed so you can toss your dog a reward for staying in bed. This kind of training may be easier if your dog is in your bedroom with you. If he can get close to you, it may be easier to provide quick comfort before spending the rest of the morning ignoring him rather than having him in another room barking for you. 

The Crate Method

Most Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Bed introduction
Introduce your dog to his crate bed.
Step
2
Bed time
Put him in the crate after he’s eaten his dinner and gone potty outside. Give him a treat and bid him good night.
Step
3
Eye contact
Make eye contact with him before you go to bed. Quietly tell him good night and go to bed yourself.
Step
4
Whining
He may whine at first. Ignore him. He will settle down.
Step
5
Environment
Create an environment for sleeping. With the right temperature, white noise, and no distractions, drift off to sleep with your dog in the crate.
Step
6
Early morning
When he wakes early, ignore him. Do not make eye contact at this time. If he sees you awake, he will think it’s time to wake. If you interact with him in the early morning hours, he will learn to wake you this way.
Step
7
Wake your dog
Wake your dog and take him out of his crate when you are ready. Give him lots of love and a trip outside. You can even start his morning off with a treat.
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The Varying Day Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Three meals
Give your dog three meals a day, splitting the amount he usually gets for breakfast and dinner into a breakfast meal, a dinner meal, and a late snack. Schedules these for the same time every day.
Step
2
Exercise
Help your dog get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. If you can do this at different times during the day so your dog's body doesn't get used to exercising at a certain time, it may help him sleep better at night. Evening exercise may wear him out more before bedtime than morning exercise will.
Step
3
Sleep ready
Create a space ready for your dog to sleep in. This should include a soft, comfortable bed for him to sleep. You may want to consider investing in blackout curtains to keep sunlight from coming in early in the morning and waking your dog.
Step
4
Break the habit
Especially during times of change, such as clocks changing back or moving forward, you will need to help your dog adjust and break the habit of waking too early. You can use an alarm to wake your dog in the morning. Each day, set this alarm 15 minutes later than he normally wakes. Over time, he might get used to the new time, especially if he is in your room and can hear the alarm.
Step
5
White noise
Turn on a ceiling or standing fan or create white noise to help your dog sleep longer. This may help you sleep in as well.
Step
6
If your dog wakes
Ignore him. If you must get up, do not feed him until you are ready to be awake. This will, over time, discourage an early waking.
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The Ease Into It Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Meals
Move your dog’s last meal back by about fifteen minutes a day until he’s eating at the desired time. This is ideal for getting your dog adjusted to daylight savings time changes. After fours days, you could have your dog’s dinner meal pushed back an hour.
Step
2
Evening exercise
Tire your dog out by taking an after dinner walk or playing fetch in the backyard. Making time for your dog to exercise more during the day will help tire him out by bedtime.
Step
3
Cool and comfy
Provide your dog with a comfortable place to sleep so he is likely to stay there longer.
Step
4
Go potty
As late as possible, take your dog outside to go potty so he can better sleep through the night.
Step
5
Routine
Give your dog a bedtime routine. You can start with a trip outside and then give your dog a small treat while you ready the house for night time. Most dogs will know it’s time for bed because their owners start a routine such as turning off lights and locking doors. This is the time to give your dog a new 'go to bed' command.
Step
6
Bedtime
Walk your dog to his bed using a command to 'get to bed'. Give him a treat once he’s settled down.
Step
7
Redirect
It may take a few nights, but if your dog gets out of bed, walk him back to his bed and use the command to tell him it’s bedtime.
Step
8
Ignore
If your dog wakes early and whines or tries to get your attention, ignore him. You might be awake and even irritated if he’s bothering you, but if you jump up and tend to him, you’ll just teach him to be your alarm clock. Be persistent. Try to go back to sleep. Even if you cannot, ignore him until you are ready to be up and about.
Step
9
Practice
It’ll take time, but as long as you create a bedtime routine, fill your dog’s belly, give him exercise, and ignore his attempts to wake you, your dog can learn to sleep in with you and wake with you.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Thor
Blue Heeler
4 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Thor
Blue Heeler
4 Months

I adopted Thor and his sister from our local shelter at 12 wks of age. Thor sleeps in a crate in my youngest son's room (his sister is in a crate in my oldest son's room). We put them to bed at 10 pm and Thor is up by 5 am or earlier. Once Freya hears Thor, she is up too. At what age should they be able to hold their bladder for a full 8 hours of night? We feed them at 6 am and 6 pm and take them potty right before bed. Some mornings he is up as early at 3 am. My 13 year old needs his sleep. Should I just find a new place to put his crate? My son really wants Thor to be "his dog". Please help!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shanna, Generally by five months of age both puppies should be able to hold their bladders for eight hours at night. Some puppies are able to hold their bladders for eight hours during the night by four months of age also, but as soon as a puppy wakes up, his bladder wakes up too, and he needs to go outside. It is possible that Thor is waking up out of habit at this point because he wants to eat or to play during that time, and once he is awake he then needs to go potty too. I would recommend crating the puppy in your room for one more month, and when he wakes up in the morning before it is time to be up, take him outside to go potty, but make the trip boring by taking him on a leash and not talking to him or playing with him, and then bring him back into your room afterwards and place him back into the crate until it is time to get up with the rest of the family. Overtime this should break the cycle of waking up to eat or play, and then he should begin to only wake up only when he needs to pee, and by five months of age you should be able to then put him back into your son's room. Unfortunately he will probably cry when you place him back into the crate the first three days, so be prepared for that, but do not let him out until it is 6am and he is quiet. His body needs to learn to go back to sleep after he eliminates, which will help him to learn that mornings are a time for sleep, so that he will sleep-in later. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

In a very similar situation. Just adopted a 12 week old pup. We go to bed around 10 pm and he is up at 5 and wants to go. So, would like to know how this worked out for you. Were you able to train them to go back to sleep with this method? How long did it take? How long did they cry once back in the crate? Any update/help would be appreciated.

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Question
Zephyr
Miniature Australian Shepherd
8 Weeks
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Question
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Zephyr
Miniature Australian Shepherd
8 Weeks

my puppy keeps waking up through the night but there isn't a set time. We try to play before bed so he is tired and he's been kinda good about going to potty before bed. He wakes up about every 3 hours to pee. He does eat dinner pretty early about 6. Is there anything we can do to help us sleep a bit more?

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

Hello, it sounds like little Zephyr is doing a great job at night. It is normal for a young puppy with a small bladder to wake up often to pee. They really cannot hold it very long at this age. Thankfully, he is walking you and not peeing in his crate or in the house. Part of puppy ownership is like parenting, with night waking. If you are already playing before bed, that is good. Keep him up as late as you can and provide mentally stimulating toys for the evenings. Take him to potty right before bed as you have been. You are doing everything right. There may be a few helpful pointers here: https://wagwalking.com/training/sleep-all-night such as room darkening shades and white noise (like a fan) in the background. Good luck and enjoy your pup!

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Question
Buster & Harry
Beagle mix
12 Years
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Question
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Buster & Harry
Beagle mix
12 Years

My dogs (beagle mix, 12 & chihuahua, 13) have started waking up to eat as early as 4:00 am. If we feed them, they immediately go back to sleep until at least 8. I don’t want to reward their whining and barking but some mornings we just want to go back to sleep. I have tried ignoring them for hours and feeding at a later time but it never sticks. We did that process for over a month. Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Caitlin, First, because they are getting older their bladders being full may be the actual issue...Once awake they think it's time to eat, and after being fed a few times their internal clock learns to eat at that time. When they wake, you will need to take them potty calmly on a leash - don't give food, affection, or play when you take them - keep things sleepy and boring, then take them straight back to their crates afterward without feeding. When they bark, use a Pet Convincer to spray a short puff of unscented air at their sides through the crates while saying "Ah Ah" or "No", then go back to bed. Repeat this whenever they bark - knowing they don't have to go potty, until they are quiet and it's the time you want to get up normally at. Do this each morning as long as things are continuing to improve doing it - if the barking for food stops, but they continue waking up to go potty - and are quiet when you put them back in the crate without food, then they may not be able to hold their urine as long overnight anymore. You will need to train an indoor potty and have them sleep in an exercise pen with access to that indoor potty - like a real grass pad, take them out later the night before so they aren't having to hold it for as long overnight, or wake to let them out when they ask to go in the morning but put them back into the crate right after without feeding and go back to sleep. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bear
Border Terrier
3 Years
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Question
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Bear
Border Terrier
3 Years

My neutered male dog is sweet, gentle and mellow, to the point of being largely disinterested in other dogs; he'll have a good sniff and maybe a bit of a run around but mostly will observe them playing and lie at my feet. However, he cannot stand intact male dogs. It is the only time he shows anything akin to aggression and barks non-stop at them. It is only towards intact male dogs that he displays this behavior. I understand this is not uncommon but I'm at a loss as to how to deal with it, short of removing him from the situation or restraining/distracting him. We live in an apartment block and there are a number of intact dogs that we encounter. We adopted him 9 months ago and from what we've been told, before that he lived with an intact male (he was also intact then). Do you have any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Octavia, You would need to work on managing his response just like you would with a dog that was aggressive toward all dogs. The difference is you will need intact males to practice around, which adds a bit of a challenge. I would suggest hiring a training who works at a training facility where there are in tact males around also. Some boarding and training facilities do not board intact males, so make sure that the one you go to does. A trainer who is also involved in canine sports where the males are commonly left in tact, such as Schlutzhund, hunting, Conformation, or other AKC sports is more likely to have in tact males on the property himself and is more likely to own in tact males, which is even more helpful. Since the issue is only with intact males, it is probably either trauma related since he lived with another intact male, or more likely, dominance related. A trainer can assess both and address whichever one it is if he or she trains using both positive reinforcement and fair discipline. For aggression management you need to build respect, trust, and self-control. You also need to work on creating a positive association toward other intact male dogs. Essentially, when your dog encounters a dog he does not like, he needs to learn to look to you for guidance and let you handle the interaction. For this to happen a trainer needs to correct, and show you how to correct, your dog's inappropriate behavior, then reward him for focusing back on you and off of the other dog, and then reward him calmly for being calm and relaxed around other dogs. Working on his general obedience and respect toward you should also help. To do that, check out the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you A trainer can help you build your dog's respect for you, but you can also work on that part more on your own. Once your dog trusts you more, then work with a trainer around other in-tact males at correcting your dog's bad response to interrupt him and rewarding him for focus on you and being calm instead. As he gets calmer around other dogs, then you can make the presence of other intact males fun by rewarding him when they are around with treats, games, and your own silliness. Don't be afraid to act a bit goofy to liven up his spirits and show him that he can relax. This will probably not be able to happen until his respect toward you is build and his outburst are corrected and refocused first though. If you are at all worried about being bitten when he is aroused or about another dog being hurt, then get Bear used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle, so that you can train safely and get as close to the other dogs as you need to without worrying about anyone being injured. When done right, Bear should not mind wearing the muzzle. Use a soft silicone basket muzzle because it will be more comfortable, and because the wider basket will still allow him to open his mouth and let you feed him treats through the holes. To get him comfortable wearing a muzzle, show him the muzzle and give him a treat. Touch the muzzle to him and give him a treat. Hold the muzzle on his face briefly and give him a treat. Hold the muzzle on his face for longer and give him treats through the muzzle's holes while you are holding it there. Finally, put the muzzle on him and give him treats while he is wearing it. Go slow and gradually increase the amount of time that you keep the muzzle on him for as he becomes more comfortable with it. Expect this process to take a couple of weeks. Don't move onto the next muzzle step until he is comfortable with the current step, and try to practice this for a few minutes every day. Doing this at one of his meal times, using his dog food pieces as treats can work well for many dogs. For further resources on treating and managing aggression check out Jeff Gelhman from SolidK9Training. He has a YouTube channel and website. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Calvin
Labrador Husky
2 Months
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Question
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Calvin
Labrador Husky
2 Months

Hello. We have had our puppy for a week now. We have been crate training him from the very beginning. We set our alarms at night to take him potty every 3 hours so as to get a jump on him waking/whining to pee. The goal is to gradually lengthen that time every week. (Is this a good approach)? We are a late to bed/late to rise family and I have 4 children who are used to a circadian rhythm of starting the day at 8. This is something that we technically “trained” our kids to do. Our puppy, Calvin, gets taken out to pee for the last time at night at 5 am but wakes on the dot at 6:30 and begins barking pretty crazily. We are trying extinction, but we are in the 5th morning of it. He doesn’t eliminate in his crate (thankfully) and we try to wait until he has a brief moment of silence before letting him out at 8, but he is still barking like mad at that time. The first 2 nights we had him, my husband would go and lay on the floor next to him when he started barking so that he would quiet down and we could squeeze in any more sleep, so we realize we created a mild habit of rewarding those barks, but it’s been twice that length time of ignoring him now. I am wondering how long extinction usually takes to garner change?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tiffany, Congratulations on the new puppy and it sounds like you have been working hard to get Calvin off to the right start. For the first two weeks the alarm every three hours is a good approach. After that I would suggest waiting until he wakes up on his own and asks, to take him outside. At night a puppy's bladder sort of shuts down while he sleeps so he will be able to hold his bladder for much longer at night by the time he is ten to twelve weeks old. He will probably still need to be taken out once, some nights twice, but waiting until he asks as he gets older will prevent him from waking out of habit to go out. When you take him outside, take him on a leash, and keep the trip extremely boring. After he goes, put him straight back in the crate and then ignore him. You don't want him to learn to wake up because fun things happen when he wakes up. You may already be doing this, but just in case, keep it in mind. If you just brought him home, then there is a good chance that 6:30am was when he normally woke up with his litter and so his internal clock is set to start the day then, even though he is still exhausted. In some baby mammals, being overtired can lead to excess cortisol in the body, and that cortisol can cause early wakings, frequent night wakings, and trouble going to sleep initially. It is possible that is happening too if he is going to bed to late. His body is likely just stuck on the early wake up time though. It can take up to two weeks of good habits to change his behavior. The very determined dog might take three. Try not to get too discouraged. It is unfortunately just normal for a puppy to protest a crate strongly for the first two weeks, especially if your puppy is a bit willful or very alert. To minimize the problem work on the following. Put him to bed no later than 10/10:30pm, even if you are going to wake him up again at 1:30am and 4:30am to ensure that he is not getting overtired. You may even want to experiment and wait to see when he naturally wakes up on his own to ask to go out, and then take him thirty minutes before that time after that. If he only needs to go out once, then not waking him in the early morning might help him stay in deeper sleep longer in the early mornings. He should be able to sleep at least ten hours total and make it until 8am eventually. When you put him to bed, make sure that it is quiet and dark where he is right now. He will learn to sleep through distractions more later on, but right now you want to set yourself up for success. If you can put him in a location where he will not see the sun come up at 6:30am do it! The sun will keep his body waking up at 6 until his rhythm changes. You can use black trash bags or thick blankets on windows, or put his crate in a closet or bathroom without windows. If you feel like he is waking because other people are awake in the house or because he wants attention, then put his crate on a different level of the house and use a baby monitor to listen to him later on, when you are no longer taking him outside every three hours during the night. By then he should be only waking up when he really needs to go potty. If you live in a one story home, then put his crate where he will be safe, it will be dark, and he will not wake up the rest of the house. The idea is to remove your presence so that he will give up barking soon and go back to sleep. It sounds cruel because he will have to adjust at first, but if he is doing it for attention the best route to take is to remove all attention, so he can learn that it is time for sleeping. He will be safe and taken care of, and in the long run he will learn more independence that way, which can actually prevent true separation anxiety later. If you move his crate further away, give him a favorite, safe, durable chew toy in his crate, so that he can learn to chew on that when he wakes up, until he goes back to sleep. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Dudley
Labrador Retriever
3 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Dudley
Labrador Retriever
3 Months

My dog always barks early in the morning and tries to get up before we need to. How can I get him to understand that barking in his crate to wake up is not okay? We live in an apartment and I feel awful for the people around us.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Holly, First, know that at his age the barking probably started because he needed to go potty early in the morning. It may have continued because he got to play or eat after going potty - so now he is waking up whether he needs to potty or not, but you can't ignore him potentially needing to potty, so I suggest the following... When he barks early in the morning, you will need to take him potty on a leash since he may really have to go. Keep the potty trip as boring as you can! No food, playing, or running around off leash during it. As soon as he finishes going potty, take him back inside, put him back into his crate, and don't let him out again until you know he has to go potty again or it's the time you want him to learn to sleep until (you are trying to reset his internal clock to the time you prefer). He will cry because he likely wants to play or eat at that point. You have three options here. 1. You can discipline the barking using a Pet Convincer (which is a small canister of unscented pressurized air). Just calmly say Quiet (teach the word Quiet beforehand using the Quiet method linked below), and if he doesn't stop barking, spray a small puff of air at his side through the crate without opening the door, then ignore him again. Don't use citronella and the spray should be brief and held further away - you just want to get his attention and interrupt his barking at this age. 2. You can ignore his barking until it's time to start your day...You have to be firm here and not give in sooner for long-term results. This is generally the ideal method for young puppies but since you live in an apartment, you probably don't want to disturb your neighbors or risk a complaint. 3. You can feed pup his breakfast early in the form of frozen food stuffed chew toys that will keep him busy for a long time. Pup needs to work for his food to make this effective, or he will just eat it, be bored, and start barking again. If you make the toys take pup long enough to free the food, than many young puppies will work to get the food out for an hour, then wear themselves out and fall back asleep afterwards. The plus of this is that it's very gentle and can keep pup quiet and let you go back to sleep after taking pup potty. The downside is that pup may continue waking up earlier than he really has to go potty as he gets older because he is simply used to eating at that time - if that happens past the point where you know pup can hold his bladder (6 months generally), you will have to use the Pet Conviner at that point to discipline the barking, but by then pup understands your house rules and and is ready for a little more gentle discipline. There are lots of ways to stuff hollow chew toys. You can google the options. One of my favorite ways for puppies is: At least a day ahead, place pup's breakfast kibble into a bowl and cover it with water. Let the food sit out in the water until it turns into mush. Mix a little peanut butter (No xylitol sweetener - it's toxic to dogs!), or liver paste or chew toy paste from the pet store into the food mush. Place a straw through both ends of the Kong holes, loosely stuff the mush around the straw (not too tight or pup won't be able to get it out - especially while first learning). Place the stuffed toy into a ziplock bag and freeze overnight. Pay attention to how many toys you had to stuff to equal pup's breakfast. Give that many toys in the crate for breakfast for pup - or spread them throughout the morning if you need to crate pup at other times. If pup has a sensitive stomach, then use plain liver past instead of peanut butter to avoid the extra fat from the peanut butter. You can make as many of these toys ahead of time as you want to buy and have room for in the freezer - then simply grab from the freezer as needed. You may want to start with just 2-3 hollow chew toys for a week to make sure pup likes them first though - it can take some dogs a couple of weeks to figure out how to get the food out - so give it a little time and make sure they are stuffed really loosely at first if pup is struggling. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Jackson
Yorkshire Terrier
10 Years
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Question
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Jackson
Yorkshire Terrier
10 Years

I can’t get Jackson to sleep pass 5am. I’ve tried everything. He goes for several walks daily. His last time out before bedtime is always after 11:30pm. Some times as late as 1am. But he still starts BARKING at 5am. When this first begin to happen I would go ahead and feed him and his brother. After reading several articles I realize I was rewarding this behavior. So I know let him bark from 5am until 6am. We then take him out of his crate. He runs through the house goes outside on a leash. If we bring him back in and puts him in his crate with his Breakfast he will go back to sleep.
This behavior started when I moved to a new house but not right away about 3 months later.
My old house my back yard was Fence In.
Unfortunately this house does not have a Fence. That’s why I take them for several walks a day. They never go out with a leash.
I am considering a Fence even though I don’t plan on living here more than a year. My other Yorkie Maxwell is on a low dose of prozac. I wonder if this might help Jackson sleeping issues.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Charity, How long is Jackson able to hold his bladder for during the day? If he cannot make it past five or six hours during the day, then your issue with be urinary incontinence that is simply a part of his aging. At ten years old this is common, especially for a small dog. You might be stuck with having to take him potty at 5 am or 6 am; however you should be able to get him to go back to sleep without any barking or feeding, with training. If he does not have urinary incontinence or a medical reason why he can't hold it, then the potty issue might resolve itself and he will start sleeping later when he is not being fed or allowed to bark at that time anymore. First, when he wakes up, take him outside to go potty on a leash. When he goes potty, praise him very calmly but do not give him a treat or let him play. Take him back inside and put him back into the crate without feeding him. He will likely bark when you do this. Leave the room and give him five minutes. After five minutes, if he stays quiet, go back in and give him a treat and then leave again. Make him wait ten minutes before you give the next treat. Over a three day period, gradually space the treats further and further apart until he only gets one treat when you wake back up and go to let him out of his crate for the day, which should be at the time you choose. Also, purchase a Pet Convincer, which is a small canister of pressurized air. If he barks, which he most likely will, then go to him, tell him "Ah Ah" in a calm but firm tone of voice, and then spray a small puff of air at his ribs on his side through the crate. Do not spray him in the face. After you do that, leave again. If he stays quiet for the amount of time he has worked up to at that point, such as ten or twenty minutes, then return to him and give him a treat. Whenever he barks, correct him with the spray of air. Whenever he stays quiet for long enough, reward him with a treat. Doing this for a few days simply teaches him that barking is not alright and being quiet is what he is supposed to do instead. When he learns to stop barking altogether, he should begin to go back to sleep on his own when he wakes up. Decide ahead of time what time you would like for him to sleep until, which should be when you get out of bed, and make that his regular breakfast feeding time. While you are training him and are awake early with him for a few mornings, do not feed him until it is the time that you wish that he would sleep until. You want his body to adjust to being hungry at that new time and expecting food then and not before. Let his body adjust so that his hunger will not wake him up earlier in the morning. When you address the barking and the feeding schedule, if he does not have urinary incontinence and the bathroom trip is really boring when you take him, he will likely stop waking up so early. If he does have incontinence, then it will at least let you go straight back to bed after taking him potty. Also, evaluate how bright it is in the room where he is crated. Early morning sunlight could also be to blame. It the area is really bright, then also try blocking out some of the light to trick his internal clock into thinking it's not morning yet. If those things do not solve the morning wakings and you are not convinced he is unable to hold his bladder because he can go for long periods of time during the day, then set an alarm and take him potty at 3 am for three night and when he wakes at 5 am to go potty, correct the barking with the air spray and do not take him potty or feed him until it is time to get up for the day. If you have taken him out at 3 am, then you will know for sure that he is not waking up at 5 am to go potty on those mornings and you can safely correct his barking and ignore his desire to go outside. Do this for a few days, until he stops waking up at 5 am, then stop waking him up at 3 am too, and ignore any further future waking if he can make it through the night without an accident. All of this is to help his internal clock reset, to stop waking up at odd times, without risking an accident at 5 am. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Louie
Yorkipoo
11 Months
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Louie
Yorkipoo
11 Months

I got my puppy when he was about 4 months old. The gentleman I purchased him from had one of those doggie doors so Louie could go in and out side whenever he wanted. Since my husband and I both work full time, I don’t crate him during the night because he’s in there during the day. We typically go to bed about 10, 11pm and I always let him out right before. Louie’s current schedule is to stand by the bedroom door and whine by 5am. I’ll let him out and we’ll come back in and go back to bed but then he’s up again within a half hour to an hour to eat. He typically eats at 6:30pm. I typically don’t get out of bed to start getting ready for work until 7. So as of right now, I’m up at least 2, sometimes 3 times before 7am. I’m okay with getting up once to let him out to potty but how can I make him go back to bed with me until I am ready to get up and feed him on MY time?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nicole, Since you don't want to crate him at night there are two options I would suggest: First, if you truly are alright with letting him out to go potty at 5am (as long as he goes back to bed), then I suggest taking him outside the first time he wakes up at 5am - keep the trip boring though and don't let him play. Bring him right back inside after he goes potty and put him into the crate with a food stuffed chew toy - that you prepared the night before, then ignore any crying until it is time for YOU to get up. It's important not to let him out of the crate earlier because you are helping his internal clock reset to a later time. Purchase a large hollow chew toy like a large Kong, use two if you need to, and put his entire breakfast in there so that he has to work for his breakfast and no longer expects a bowl of food in general in the morning...this will give him something to do, which helps him stay quiet in the crate until you wake up, it removes the bowl of food - which is why likely he is waking up again, and it may wear him out so that he will go back to sleep for longer. Also, sleeping less during the day will probably help, so giving him interesting things to do - like chewing on food stuffed Kong's - can help him sleep less in the crate during the day while still keeping him relaxed so that he is more tired at night. To stuff a Kong either put his dog food into it, cover the opening partially with a larger treat so that only a couple of pieces of food fall out at a time, and add a bit of liver paste or peanut butter (avoid Xylitol - it's toxic) - if he needs a bit of motivation to work for the food. You can also put his food into a bowl, cover it with water, let it sit out until the food turns to mush, mix a bit of peanut butter (avoid Xylitol sweetener) or liver paste into the mush, loosely stuff the Kong with the mixture, put it into a zip-lock bag, and freeze it overnight. You can purchase several Kong and make them all at once and simply pull them from the freezer as needed. Another option is to let him out to go potty the first time that he asks, but then ignore his barking any other times until it is the time that you want him to sleep until (when you desire to get up - if you didn't have a dog). You want to get him out of the habit of eating too early because his body is telling him that he is hungry then. He needs to be fed at a set later time, and any requests earlier to eat ignored to retrain his body to sleep later and not wake up unless he needs to pee. Also, make sure that he is not sleeping during the evening before you put him to bed. Even if he has not officially gone to bed yet, if he is taking longer evening naps, then that will count as part of his nighttime sleep - meaning that he is fully rested at 5am and ready for the day. Give him interesting things to do in the evening to keep him awake until you put him to bed, until his body readjusts to staying up later and sleeping in. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Otto
Labradoodle
9 Months
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Otto
Labradoodle
9 Months

Erratic early awakening. We are struggling with early awakening . He sleeps on a crate in the utility room, with a blackout bling, blanket over crate and radio on. He gets 2walks per day of 45-60 mins and a lunch time garden play. His evening walknis 7.30-8.30 with tea after (he gets half of it on his walk). He is a v settled dog in the day. He dozes off in the living room around 9pm quick pee at 11 then bed. Sometimes he wakes at 7, sometimes we wake him, but now he is waking increasingly early, today 5am. Previously we've tried getting up before him before he cries, but it's too erratic to predict now. So we have been letting him howl until it suits us. But this am after 90 mins of howling I gave in. He was castrated last week and spent 2nights in our room so I know this won't have helped. We would let him sleep in our room, but worry with lockdown that he is getting v little alone time and does we think bark/cry when we do leave him after 45 mins or so. We aren't sure how to improve his ability to be alone and sleep longer and worry letting him howl in the crate in the morning may make leaving him in the say worse.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rebecca, First, when he wakes at 5 right now, take him potty on the leash, but then return him back to the crate after, keeping the potty trip as boring as you can and not feeding or playing during that time. Later, the goal is not to do this, but since pup is still adjusting after surgery, make sure he doesn't really have to pee. 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. When he cries in the early morning after returning him to the crate, tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give food at that time though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lucky
Cocker Spaniel
16 Months
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Lucky
Cocker Spaniel
16 Months

We rehomed lucky 5 weeks ago - she was not socialised and lived mostly outside, we have managed to housetrain her, and she is placed in the crate every evening and wen we are working/out of house. My main problem is her separation anxiety, I have tried leaving her for small periods in the sitting room, during the day as I work through general household tasks to try and build up her independence and to stop her following me Everywhere!!

However, whenever she is left any longer she barks constantly- nighttime’s we are trying to create calm environment and waiting for her to fall asleep before going to bed around10.30 - however, if she wakes, she will start bark, this is normally around 4 am but can be earlier! I do not want her to sleep upstairs but downstairs, we are currently ignoring her, as she does not need to potty and obviously just wants our presence, as after going outside for a little while she then cones back in and settles

Feeding times are around 7.30 am, and 5.30/6.00 pm, walks are given am and evening and when possible lunchtime also

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christine, There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. The first is to initially start by simply working on building her independence (like it sounds like you have already begun doing), generally build 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 too. Changing the routines so that she does not anticipate alone time and build up her anxiety before you leave - which is hard for her to deescalate from. Being sure to give her something to do in the crate during the day (such as a food stuffed Kong to chew on), and ignoring her crying at night until she eventually learns to go back to sleep. This is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time. 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. Who is extremely knowledgeable in e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building her independence and structure in her 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 Lucky's 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 collar) 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 and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on Lucky. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with Lucky'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. Next, put the e-collar on Lucky while she is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on her, 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 she responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning her head, moving her ears, biting her fur, moving away from where she was, or changing her expression. If she does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when she 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 her reaction at that level until she indicates a little bit that she can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right stimulation level for her and have it correctly fitted on her, have her wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on her while she is in the crate. Put her into the crate while she is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on her from the other room or outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear her barking or see her start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time she barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate her again. If she does not decrease her barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. She may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because she has not learned what she is supposed to be doing yet. The level you end up using on her on the mini educator collar should be low to medium, within the first forty 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 her. If she 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 her or pay attention to her for ten minutes while you walk around 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 Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with her. Once she is less anxious she will likely enjoy it and that will help her to enjoy the crate more. First, she needs 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, since she will need something other than barking to do at that point. Practice all of this during the day at first. Once she has learned that e-collar corrections are for barking and is able to calm herself back down during the day, then you can transition the training to night time when she tries to bark then - if you are certain that she does not need to pee at that time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pepper
Cavoodle
4 Months
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Pepper
Cavoodle
4 Months

Pepper sleeps in a basket in our laundry. She wakes at 6am every morning barking and crying. My husband has told me to leave her until we are ready to get up at about 7am but she doesn’t stop barking. Is it worth persevering? She goes out for a final toilet between 10.30 and 11pm and if I leave her to cry in the morning she will have done a wee on the newspaper by the backdoor.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carolyne, At this age she likely really does have to pee at 6am still. Take her potty when she wakes on a leash - keep the trip super boring, no playing, no feeding, no treats, no affection or excited talking. Take her potty and as soon as she goes potty take her straight back to the laundry room to go back to bed. She will almost certainly bark, ignore the barking until it's time to get up. When she is quiet you can let her out. You can't ignore the barking at 6am just yet, because once she is awake, her bladder wakes up too and she really does have to go potty. If training her to potty outside, you don't want to mess up potty training by forcing her to have an accident when she needs to go. BUT you don't want her to decide when it's time to get up for the day either so treat the 6am wake up like you would a middle of the night wake up .If you keep it boring and don't give into barking after you put her back into the laundry room she should start sleeping in later as her bladder capacity increases. If ignoring her after putting her back into the laundry room once she has gone potty outside does work after a few days, then when she barks after being taken potty - just for attention and not because she needs to go potty, you can also use a Pet Convincer -which is a small canister of unscented air, to quickly puff a squirt of air at her side while saying "Ah Ah" calmly and close the door again and leave, doing this every time she barks until she stays quiet. Most puppies will adjust if you just don't reward the barking with attention and freedom and keep the potty trip boring when you take them though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Stanley
French Bulldog
14 Weeks
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Stanley
French Bulldog
14 Weeks

Waking up at 3am, tried leaving him to bark but he pooped in his cage so obviously needed to go.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Suzie, At 14 weeks old a puppy will often still need to be taken potty in the middle of the night. If he wakes up after being asleep for at least 3.5 hours and cries, take him potty at that time because he likely really has to go then. When you take him, take him on a leash, don't play, don't give treats, don't give a lot of attention or praise. Keep the trip sleepy, boring and calm. When he goes potty, take him straight back inside and put him into the crate. If he cries when you first put him to bed at night, after pottying outside, or when it's been less than 3 hours since he went potty last, then you can ignore those cries - knowing that they are probably just cries for attention and not a need to go potty. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Louis
Poodle toy
12 Months
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Louis
Poodle toy
12 Months

Louis is toilet trained and holds on all night. When he rises to go, he will uri aye fit up to 45 seconds. He goes to bed with us after a night wee around 9-10pm at the end of our bed on his blanket and doesn’t disturb us during the night. During the week he wakes with us at 6.45am. However on weekends when we want to sleep in, he’s waking us at the same time as weekdays by climbing on top of us and licking our faces! ( cute but frustrating!) if we push him away he will leave us for a little while, but basically there’s no sleep in!
He’s really smart and I know he wants to please us, so if I could have any tips on how to convey to him not to wake us on weekends, I’m sure he could learn!
Thank you 🙏

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Talia, First, during the week you need to be the one to start the day and not him waking you up (even though you want to get up at that time). On the weekend, make sure that you take him to go potty right before bed, even if that means taking him at 11pm instead of 9pm so that the number of hours that he holds his pee for is still not more than 10 over the course of the night. When he wakes in the morning early on the weekend, take him potty on a leash (keep the trip super boring), but then bring him back inside and put him in a crate (don't feed him yet!). Expect him to pitch a fit when you first do this while he is in the crate and be prepared to ignore him and just read in bed or generally not be able to go back to sleep (eventually you should be able to just don't expect it at first). When it is the time you would like him to sleep until, when he is being quiet for at least five seconds, let him out of the crate and start your day. If you cannot ignore his barking because of neighbors that will complain or a landlord, purchase a pet Convincer (which is a small canister of unscented pressurized air). Teach him 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 When he barks after you take him potty and put him into the crate, tell him Quiet. If he barks again say "Ah Ah" and spray a small puff of air at his side through the crate (don't spray him in the face just his side by his ribs). Repeat this whenever he barks until it is time to get up, at which time you will let him out when he is being quiet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jax
Shihpoo
5 Months
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Question
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Jax
Shihpoo
5 Months

When we first brought Jax home he fell into our desired sleeping patern pretty quickly. We started taking him out at around 11:30pm, 3am and 6am, when he’d be up for the day. We eventually took away the 3am break and he was fine sleeping until 6 which was perfect. For the past month or so however, he usually wakes and asks to go out at least once per night (usually between 2:30-4), I’ll take him and he always does his business, comes back in and go backs to bed without a fight, but then he’ll wake up for the day at about 5:30am and doesn’t want to sleep later. How do I get him to break these habits, especially waking up on the middle of the night? I pushed his meal time back an hour and his last let out is still 11:30pm. I’ve probably gotten him into a bad habit now since I’ll wake when he barks and growls in the night, but I’m not sure what else to do!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kylie, First, pay attention to when he goes to sleep, even if you wake him back up at 11:30 pm to take him outside again. If he goes to sleep for the night, even with the lights on, at 8 pm, then he will be fully rested at 5:30 am and your chances of getting him back to sleep are not good. If he goes to sleep at 10:00 pm, then he should be able to sleep until 7 a.m. or possibly 8 a.m. Second, stop all food and water two hours before his bedtime, to give his body time for the food and water to move through him so that he empties every thing out when you take him outside at 11:30 pm. I suggest tackling the early morning wake up first. When he wakes up in the morning you will have two options. The first is to very calmly and quietly take him to go potty on a leash, and then take him straight back inside and put him back into the crate without feeding him. Decide when you would like him to wake up for the day in the future, which should be about nine to ten hours after he goes to bed for the night the night before, and feed him at that time, no debate. When he barks, don't give in and let him out or even go over to him. His internal clock needs to reset to become hungry at the new time. Also, he will continue to wake up early in the morning if he expects food at that time. If waking up only gets him a boring trip to go potty and then more crate time, he is less likely to wake up before that meal time. Also, he needs to be crated and to sleep somewhere quiet at this age. Don't expect him to sleep in if other people are up and keeping him awake where he can hear them, and it is extremely difficult to get a non-crated puppy to go back to sleep when he has free reign of your room or home in the morning. He needs to be crated at night until he is older. You can give him a favorite durable chew toy in the crate as long as it does not keep him awake in the middle of the night. This will give him something to sooth himself back to sleep with when he has pent up energy in the morning. A second option if he has gone potty in the middle of the night less than five hours beforehand, is to simply ignore him when he wakes up in the morning, without taking him outside. If he wakes up at 5:30 am and last went potty at 3 am, then he does not have to go potty yet, so you can safely ignore his barking, knowing that he is simply demanding food and play. There is a third option. It is initially easier for you, it will get him back to sleep more easily, but it may not guarantee that he stops initially waking up at 5:30 am. When he wakes up at 5:30 am, if he needs to go potty, then take him outside, but then put him back into the crate. When you put him back into the crate, give him a couple of large Kongs stuffed with his breakfast kibble. If he can easily get the dry food out of the Kongs, then you can put the food in a bowl and cover it with water the night before. When the food absorbs the water and turns mushy, then loosely stuff large Kong classic toys with the food and freeze them overnight. Give Jax the stuffed Kongs in the crate so that he has to work for his breakfast. You can also smear a little bit or peanut butter or liver paste on the rim of the Kong to get him interested in it if he needs encouraging. Doing this should break the habit of him expecting a bowl full of food at that time, it will help wear him out so that he is more likely to go back to sleep when he finishes the food, and it will keep him busy in the early hours, so that you can go back to bed. I suggest using this method if you want to break the middle of the night waking first. If you remove the middle of the night waking, then he will be even more likely to wake up at 5:30 am because he will genuinely need to go potty at that time. For the middle of the night waking, if the waking happens before 4/4:30 am, then ignore him until he goes back to sleep. That might take as long as two hours the first night. You may want some earplugs or to start this on the weekend. Some puppies give up in thirty-minutes, others need three nights worth of a couple of hours of crying. Hopefully he will give in easily, but stay strong either way. Even during the day, he should be able to hold his bladder for five to six hours if he is in a crate and you removed the food and water two hours before bedtime. Since you are taking him out at 11:30 pm, he should be able to go until at least 4/4:30. Any wakings before then are probably just habitual. When asleep, by this age he should be able to hold his bladder from 11:30 pm to 5:30 am most likely. Once awake he will need to go potty if it has been five to six hours, but if he stays asleep he can hold it much longer, even past 5:30 am. That is part of why I suggest letting him cry when it has been less than five hours since he last went potty, because letting him cry and not feeding him early should also take the fun out of waking up, so that he will learn to only wake up when he is fully rested or genuinely needs to go potty, teaching his body to sleep longer and letting him go longer between potty trips. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Teddy
Eurasier
12 Weeks
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Teddy
Eurasier
12 Weeks

We have finally got Teddy to crate without crying in an evening. He doesn’t go in by choice but no longer cries.
The problem is that he wakes at 04:30 each day. Too early!!!
He cries and howls Instantly as soon as he wakes up, we’ve left him for an hour but he doesn’t stop.
When we get up, he toilets, plays for half an hour and then sleeps 0530-0930 ish.
Will he grow past the 0430 wake up? I don’t feel like I can leave him crying in crate as he must need to toilet.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, He likely does need to go potty at that time at this age. If you keep the potty trips very boring (no play or food, but straight back to bed afterward and ignore any crying), he should eventually start sleeping past that time. The key is not to reward his wake ups by making them fun. Keep them calm, quiet, and business-like (to go potty, then back to bed), so that he doesn't start waking just because he wants to play or eat. Best of luck, Caitlin Crittenden

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Shiro
Miniature Husky
3 Months
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Shiro
Miniature Husky
3 Months

Shiro eats at 6am and pm, he gets a walk after dinner and doesn't get put to bed until about midnight. He is usually up by 4am, but sometimes not until 5am and as early as 3am. As he is still a young pup we don't want him to mess in the crate so we get up with him. From what I've read, it seems we should take him out to potty and then put him back to bed? Should his crate be our bedroom? Also we have taken out the things to make him comfy as he pees on them. Not sure what to do now as it seems we have not been going about this the right way. Now what?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rob, Your speculations are correct. When he wakes up at 4am or so, take him outside to pee, but take him on a leash and keep the trip as boring as possible. This is one time where you will not give him a treat for peeing outside and will not play with him afterwards because you want him to drop that potty break when he gets old enough and not continue to wake up because it is fun. After he goes potty, calmly praise him, bring him back inside, and put him directly back into his crate to go back to bed. If he is going to bed at midnight there is no way that he should be waking up for the day at 4am. Puppies need a lot of sleep. Also, you are correct to take the bedding out of his crate. Very few puppies are ready for soft bedding in their crates. It can encourage peeing in the crate, destructive chewing, and can be dangerous if they eat pieces of it. If you wish to add some form of padding to the crate, then look up PrimoPads. You can purchase them online according to the dimensions of your crate. They are not soft and fluffy but will provide firm support, are easy to clean, and can be anchored down to the sides of the crate to keep puppies from chewing on the edges. They are also covered with vinyl so they are not absorbent. You do not want absorbent bedding in the crate or it will encourage peeing. Expect some crying when you put him back into the crate after taking him potty since he is used to getting up at that time right now. Give him time and space to work it out. He is tired and simply needs to go to bed. Since you just took him potty you can feel confident that nothing is truly wrong with him. How many nights it takes him to stop the crying will depend on his personality. Some puppies give up quickly and relax and go back to sleep immediately in just a day or two of the new routine. Some especially stubborn puppies take two weeks or longer. Try to be firm and consistent even if he turns out to be one that takes longer. The ideal place to crate him is where you can hear him if he wakes up and needs to go potty but he is far enough away that he is learning a bit of independence. The hallway, closet, or bathroom connected to your room with the door to your bedroom open makes a good spot if there is space for the crate there. You absolutely can crate him in the same room that you sleep in, just make sure that you practice crating him in a room by himself sometimes during the day too so that he will learn how to be by himself when needed while he is young. During the day when he is in the crate give him a Kong chew toy stuffed with dog food, so that he will learn to entertain himself while he is alone. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Opie
Labrador Retriever
6 Months
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Opie
Labrador Retriever
6 Months

Opie has recently started sleeping in our bed at night. He has about 2 hours of exercise a day, and sleeps through the night from 10-4:30am. The first couple weeks he would wake up when we woke up (alarm goes off at 5:30am). Our wake up time has now changed to 6am, and he is up at 4:30am on the dot for about a week now. We try to ignore him, but he climbs on top of my head and barks. He gets taken out around 5:30am for a quick pee and for food, and is brought back to our bedroom and sleeps for about another hour. Around 6:30-6:45am, he is up and whining to play, and I don't get up until 7:30am. What do I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Masha, He needs to be crated at night until he forms a habit of sleeping later. When he does wake up and genuinely needs to pee, take him potty on a leash, bring him back inside calmly, put him back into the crate and do not feed or play with him until 7:30/8am. Ignore any barking between that potty trip and 7:30/8am. His internal clock needs a few days to reset, and things before 7:30 need to be kept calm and sleepy. He needs to sleep in the crate right now so that he will not wake up to play. Once he is in the habit of sleeping in and can hold his bladder better, then you can test whether he is ready for freedom at night. Also be aware that many puppies go through a second chew phase around 6-7 months, which can be dangerous if left unsupervised out of a crate at night. Some are fine but crating at night can be good for many for that reason too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Clyde
Mix
8 Months
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Clyde
Mix
8 Months

My dog wakes up at 6 AM every morning - he goes to bed after 11 PM and gets tons of exercise throughout the day. How do I get him to sleep later if the exercise isn't doing it?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Marley, First, he needs to be crated at night so that he cannot physically bother you or walk around in the morning, but will go back to sleep if you do what I am about to specify. To introduce a crate follow the "Surprise" method during the day (do not give treats at night): https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, make sure the room he is in is dark and quiet in the morning so that he is not accidentally woken up by something external. Third, when he cries in the morning, if it has been less than 8 hours so you know that he doesn't need to go potty, then ignore the crying until he goes back to sleep. If it has been long enough that he might really need to go potty, then calmly take him potty on a leash, keep the experience as boring as possible, and immediately put him back into the crate until the time you want him to wake up at in the future - do not feed him until your ideal wake up time unless he has a medical condition that would effect him not eating right away. Expect crying at first. Ignore or correct the barking when you know he is simply demanding to be let out and does not truly need anything. If the mornings are boring enough for long enough and he is not fed until the time when you want him to later wake up at, his internal clock should typically reset until his body gets used to sleeping in. If you cannot simply let him cry it out, then correct the barking with a Pet Convincer, which is a small canister of pressurized air. Teach him what "Quiet" means during the day using the "Quiet" method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once he understands Quiet, then when he barks in the morning in the crate, tell him "Quiet", and if he continues barking, spray a small puff of unscented air from the Pet Convincer at his side through the crate (NOT at his face), then go back to bed (or back to pretending to be in bed and reading under the covers). Correct whenever he barks if he does not truly need to go potty. Expect this to take anywhere from three days to two weeks - stay consistent. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Iggy
Dachshund
9 Weeks
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Iggy
Dachshund
9 Weeks

Hi,
My puppy is sleeping in a crate and the training is going well. The problem is she wakes at 4.30-5 (already toileted twice in night) and is ready to get up for the day. I’m not sure if I should try to keep her in the crate at this time as she is so awake and ready to go. She does go to bed around 7-8 pm. I can’t keep her up any longer as she just wants to sleep. Should I crate her at 5am even if she seems ready for the day?
Thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sally, She is waking up so early partially because her bedtime is so early too. You can expect her to sleep about ten hours at night (plus a lot of naps during the day). After ten hours she may be ready to play for the day. You have a couple of options. Since you do not want her to permanently think the day starts at 4am probably! You don't want to encourage her to start her day at that time. 1. Try letting her take an hour long nap in the evening, then playing with her and giving her food stuffed chew toys to work on as part of her dinner to keep her awake for longer after her nap - you will probably have to wake her up again after her nap instead of waiting for her to wake up on her own. As she gets older it should get easier for her to stay awake longer. Also consider though that if she is waking up at 4 am her body will be tired earlier in the evening - creating a cycle. If you can push her wake up time later and keep her awake longer at night, her sleep and wake cycles should shift so that she can sleep in later and stay up later. It will be harder to do at first but should get easier as she adjusts. Let her take an hour long nap in the evening, then spend time keeping her awake with interesting chew toys and low key training sessions or games until bedtime. Make bedtime about ten hours earlier than when you want her to wake up in the morning. After a few days of staying up later and sleeping in later this should get a bit easier, especially as she gets older. 2. If you don't want to keep her up later at night or cannot get her to stay up later, then when she wakes up in the morning, take her potty on a leash (no play time - keep this trip very boring). After she goes potty, put her back into the crate and feed her her breakfast in a hollow chewtoy stuffed with frozen dog food you prepared the night before. This should keep her busy and quieter in the crate so that you can go back to bed for a bit if you wish and so that she will learn to get into the habit of being calm in the morning. If you end up sticking to her current schedule, then she should learn to stay quiet in the crate in the morning but will continue waking up at that time until the schedule is adjusted when she is older. To prepare a Kong, place your puppy's dog food into a bowl and cover it with water. Let it sit out for several hours until the food absorbs the water and turns into soft mush. Mix a little peanut butter (Avoid Xylitol sweeteners - it's toxic), or a bit of litter paste or soft cheese with the mushy food. Very loosely stuff a medium sized Kong with the mixture, place into a zip-lock bag, then freeze overnight. You can make several of these at once to safe time, and simply grab one or two from the freezer as needed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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AJ
Cookerspaniel
6 Months
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AJ
Cookerspaniel
6 Months

Hi, AJ is full of beans all of the time. We got him start of Dec 18 and wasn't sure how our older dog (choc lab age 13) would feel but they get on fine. AJ will just not sleep after 5.30am ish! we opted not to put him in a crate as we never did with any dog we have had and him and and the other dog just sleep in our kitchen in their beds. Once awake he scratches at the kitchen door until we get up, he will be jumping all over the kitchen and runs to the garden for a wee. As soon as he comes in his then wants food and will not settle after that. If we are off work i sometimes try and let him in our room after this to get him to fall back to sleep but all he wants to do is play fight. He seems to be able to hold his bladder most nights from about 10/10.30ish so i cont think its down to that. I started just getting up and walking him but i think this is making it worse as he is then used to it.

our other issue with him is that he chews EVERYTHING!!! from dog toys/shoes/clothes and all of the skirting boards in the kitchen.....i never had anything like this with any of the puppies we have had over the last 20 years.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carole Anne, Dogs are individuals too. Your other dogs may not have needed a crate at night but AJ needs to be crated to solve this issue, until he is a bit older, calmer and has formed a habit of sleeping later. Check out the article linked below and follow the "Surprise" method to help him adjust to the crate. Practice the Surprise method during the day for at least an hour to get him used to the crate. At night do not give treats. He should be comfortable with the crate at night if you have introduced it during the day at first for a couple or a few days, so when he cries at night if he doesn't need to go potty, ignore the crying! He needs to learn to go back to sleep and he needs to be given the opportunities to practice this. If you let him out when he cries - even though you know his bladder is empty, then he will continue crying to get out. If he does wake up while in the crate still (which he probably will when you first do this) and it has been at least 7 hours since he last went potty, take him outside to go potty on a leash, but keep the trip very boring, do not talk to him except to tell him to "Go Potty", don't let him play, don't feed him, and as soon as he goes potty take him straight back inside and put him back in the crate. If he barks when put him back in the crate, ignore the barking! The firmer you are about this the less days it will take for him to learn not to bark or wake up at that time. If the morning wake ups are boring for him and he is not fed at that time, then he will likely start sleeping through that time and sleep until his bladder wakes him up, he has gotten 10 hours of sleep, or you come get him up. Also, take a look at his schedule. Most puppies will sleep about 9-10 hours at night, plus daytime naps. Make sure that his bedtime is 9-10 hours before the time that you want him to wake up at. If he is napping in the evenings make sure that those naps are not longer than 1 hour, or they will become part of his nighttime sleep. Finally, make sure it is quiet and not too bright where he sleeps at night. If other people or animals are moving around and wake him up he will likely want to stay awake while he is still an energetic puppy. See if you can make windows darker if there is a lot of light. This will matter less as he gets older but the light could be waking him up at this age. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ziggy
Irish Terrier
2 Years
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Ziggy
Irish Terrier
2 Years

Our almost-2yr old Irish Terrier has started regularly waking up at 5-5:30am. We got her at 7 months old when she was already house trained, and she responded well to crate training and would sleep until 7:00ish. We eventually started letting her sleep in her bed near (but outside) our closed bedroom door and she did fine. That said, both in the crate and out of it, I realize now that we were getting up when SHE started whining, not at a time WE set. She started waking up earlier when we'd gone out of town a few times and had friends staying with her. Now she's been in a pattern of waking up at 5ish and frantically whining -- we've tried ignoring her but then we're still up listening to her whine (it's a small apartment). We take her out, she doesn't need to pee immediately or anything, but even if she does her business on a "boring" walk and then we go back to bed, she's whining again at 6:15. After reading all these answers, I think the issue is that she believes the only way we will get up is if she whines at us. So it seems like we need to set a wake up time and stick to it (I've seen people mention using an audible alarm, which we don't currently do). Can you give recommendations for how to transition her to waking up later? And how should we deal with her at 5am in the meantime? Should we get her back in her crate?

Also just for context: she gets a lot of exercise, but she's home by herself all day and sleep a lot then, and then usually is pretty sleepy starting at like 9pm, so gets extra sleep before we officially put her to bed...and we feed her twice a day (7am and pm more or less) but she's not super food motivated and doesn't usually eat right away.

Thanks in advance!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dani, Definitely stick to your set wake time. Honestly, knowing what you have already tried I suggest correcting the barking at this point. Teach her the Quiet command from the Quiet method found in the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once she knows the Quiet command, in the morning when she whines, take her potty if she really may need to go (if it's been more than 8 hours - once she is awake she will need to be taken if it's been that long, even though she could have gone longer if she had stayed asleep - which we will work towards). Keep the potty trip boring, then straight back into the crate after a short potty trip outside. If she doesn't need to go potty because it hasn't been that long or once she is back in the crate after going outside, if she makes noise in there, tell her Quiet, and if she doesn't get quiet or doesn't stay quiet, use a Pet Convincer (which is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air) and blow a small puff of air at her side (near her ribs) through the crate (NOT at her face), while saying "Ah Ah" calmly. After you correct her, go back into your room without her. Repeat the corrections every time that she barks. After 7am (or whenever you want the day to start normally), go to her while she is quiet and let her out of the crate using the method from the video linked below. Once she exits the crate calmly, then you can feed her and do your normal daily routines. Crate Manners video: 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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Enya
Mini Aussie
15 Weeks
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Enya
Mini Aussie
15 Weeks

Hi, I am crating Enya (15 weeks) at nights. She is in the same room as our 15 year old dog Cotton, that is not crated. Enya will bark at nights when I put her in the crate, but just for a couple of minutes. We put her in the crate around 10pm. At the beginning we gut up with her in the middle of the Night to let her potty, but the last 2 weeks or so we wake up with her at 430. most mornings when I get up she will bark like crazy, my daughter says she starts barking around 4 am. She has to go potty when I let her out at 430 but she has always time for kisses and getting petted for a while before going outside. Could it be that our old dog is the reason and she maybe wants out of the crate to bereits her?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Petra, You older dog's movement around might be waking her in the early morning and once awake she needs to pee and wants to play. When she wakes at this time I suggest taking her potty but when you take her don't talk to her, pet her, feed her, play with her, or do anything else fun - this potty trip is all business. After she goes potty, take her straight back inside and put in back into the crate to go back to bed until the time when you want her to eventually sleep until later (you are training her internal clock to sleep later). She will likely bark, ignore her until she goes back to sleep or at least stays quiet. If the 4am wake ups are super boring then she should gradually start sleeping through them as her bladder control increases, and learn to go back to sleep when she does wake up early. Another option is to do what I just mentioned above but have your older dog sleep in another room so that she is less likely to be woken up by your other dog. She will likely protest your older dog not being there or still wake up at 4am because she is in the habit of doing it now, but she may adjust a lot sooner if she isn't being woken up any more. You may already know this, but do NOT let her out to play with your older dog at 4am just because she demands it by barking though. She only gets to get out to go potty, then straight back to the crate. Letting her out to play too early sacrifices her sleep, your sleep, and your older dog's sleep and will only make teaching her to sleep in later when everyone is very tired a whole lot harder. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Vincent
German Shorthaired Pointer
20 Weeks
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Vincent
German Shorthaired Pointer
20 Weeks

Hi! We got Vincent a German short haired pointer when he was 9 weeks old and have had him for 11 weeks now. We have been using the crate training method as me and my partner both work, he is crated during the day and all seems to be fine (neighbours haven’t heard anything and partner only goes out for 4 hours at a time). The issue we have is nighttime. The first night we tried to crate him downstairs alone which I hindsight was a terrible idea! My partner ended up sleeping on the sofa with him. Ever since that first traumatic night we have tried various things (worried we aren’t sticking with anything and confusing him!) we had him in our room but on the floor for a few weeks but bless him he was too disruptive. For the last 6 weeks we have had him crated downstairs again which is our preference. He currently goes in around 10pm well, he walks in. For ages he was sleeping in until around 5am, partner would take him out but he wouldn’t settle again so we did probably the worst thing (sleep deprived!) and allowed him in our bed from 5am where we would all sleep for another couple of hours. That worked for all of us for a few weeks but then his wake up went from 5am to 3am and then 1am and midnight! With him refusing to go back in the crate so he would come upstairs with us. We can’t continue this so the last few nights we have just left him to bark. We hate it but we need a consistent plan and ideally want him crated all night downstairs now. How long do you think it will take him to get used to it? I suspect that we have inadvertently trained him to bark to get us to take him on to our bed! This makes me sad as I want him to be settled and happy but he is growing and I don’t think having him in the bed will be good long term! I want him to learn independence and get a good night sleep for me and partner as we are exhausted. Am I asking too much?! Please help! Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laura, What you are doing right now by crating him in a location where everyone can (eventually) get good sleep and letting him bark and learn to settle on his own is absolutely what you should be doing. He is very likely only barking because he has learned that if he barks, he gets to sleep in your bed, and is very simply having a temper tantrum because he prefers to sleep in bed with you (which is less restful for both people and dog and not a good thing to do if it interferes with sleep and you and your partner's relationship). You will hopefully have Vincent for a very long time, 10+ years, so the hard work now is worth him learning to do what's best for everyone long term -- All that to say, STAY STRONG and try not to feel sorry for him while he figures out what's expected of him. He needs the opportunity to learn how to settle himself down and learn. Most puppies take 1-2 weeks to learn not to bark in a crate. Some only take 3 nights. Because he has learned that barking gets him what he wants, it could take him longer - that all depends on how determined his personality is. Don't give in or it will take longer though. Your other option is to discipline the barking. This feels harsh but tends to work very quickly and is only a mild correction. If you decide to go this route, teach him "Quiet" during the day by following the "Quiet" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once he understands what Quiet means, purchase a "Pet Convincer" - which is a small canister of regular (NOT scented) pressurized air. When he barks, tell him "Quiet" (don't go all the way over to him - you want to limit attention as much as possible). If he gets quiet, go back to bed (no treats during the night for this or he will wake up, bark and stop just to get a treat). The command simply gives him a chance to understand what you want from him and avoid the correction that follows. If he starts barking again or doesn't stop, go over to his crate, tell him "Ah-Ah" and spray a small puff of air at his side by his ribs (not face), then leave the room. The air is simply to interrupt his barking and startle him a bit. It will not hurt. Whenever he barks, repeat the correction process and don't let him out of the crate unless you know he really needs something (like going potty). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Trappy
Rottweiler
11 Weeks
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Trappy
Rottweiler
11 Weeks

Sleep time
Hi is weak up so early

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Rocky
Shih Tzu cocker mix???
3 Years
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Rocky
Shih Tzu cocker mix???
3 Years

We adopted Rocky about 1 1/2 months ago. a rescue group had picked him up from the pound where he had been shaved to the skin due to severe matting and his teeth are broken off likely from being kept caged. Despite that he is a very well-balanced dog. But he wants to be next to me or my daughter wherever we go in the house. He is not allowed in our room as it is or cats place of peace and our daughter wants her bedroom dog free at night so the living room is his nighttime place. He has blankets on the couch and dog bed. He falls asleep generally on the couch. By 2 or 3 a.m. in the morning he is crying at our door or manages to squeeze in pass the door brace delay near me. and if nothing else he and my elderly cat will start trying to wake me by 4 a.m. to be fed. I often get up and lay in the living room just to keep them quiet so everyone else can sleep. As you can guess and doing this and also as a mom to young child I barely get any sleep. I welcome any suggestions an assistance in making the easiest transition possible doing lowing me to sleep until 5 a.m. or 5:30 in the morning.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Audrey, First, I suggest working on building his independence and self-confidence during the day (to avoid as much training as possible during the middle of the night when it's exhausting). Work up to him staying on Place for up to an hour or two at a time (you can do this multiple times a day, but give breaks between the hours) while you go about your every day life, going in and out of the room. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ Add a bit more structure into his day. Expect more of him, such as staying on Place, doing a command before being petted, fed or walked, not nudging or pawing at or climbing into your lap without being invited first, and listening to commands the first time, then having commands enforced after one reminder. Calm leadership can help insecure dogs feel more secure and cope with anxiety better. Training and interactions should be calm, confident, and business-like. You can still praise and love on him, just keep the energy calmer and genuine or have him do a command first, instead of feeling worried, angry, sorry for him, or super excited and high pitched. While working on a calmer atmosphere and working on building self-control during the day, expect things to seem worse at first because he is learning how to cope with his own anxiety so may seem more worked up while on Place during the process - that's okay. He needs to the opportunity to work through it to learn, and the increase shouldn't last but should improve even more after a bit as it starts to make sense to him. In addition to the daytime training, at night fix the gate so that he cannot squeeze through. Teach the Quiet command from the Quiet method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark When he cries at night, tell him Quiet. If he stops, great! Go back to bed - don't give food rewards for obeying at night; it's sleep time. If he keeps barking, or stops but then starts again within a few minutes, return to him, say "Ah Ah" while spraying a small puff of pressurized unscented air from a Pet Convincer at his side (NOT face), then leave again. Repeat the corrections every time he barks, but don't give extra interaction/attention, and no rewards at night. During the day, if he stays quiet while you are out of the room, you can reward that quietness when you return then, but keep all rewards and praise calm. The daytime training should teach him the skills needed to calm himself and cope with anxiety and help him understand the Quiet command, and the nighttime training should enforce those lessons consistently. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bobby
cockapoo
9 Weeks
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Bobby
cockapoo
9 Weeks

Bobby wakes between 4.00am and 5.00am. He sleeps well in a crate up until that time. Should I be letting him out for a wee and ooo then return him to his crate as 4.00am is way to early to be up?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gem, Pup will definitely need to go potty by then, so take them potty and keep the trip boring. Whether they stay up at that time or go back to the crate depends on your schedule and when everyone went to bed. I generally suggest returning a dog to their crate and waiting to feed until it's the time you want pup to learn to sleep until later in life - so if you normally wake up at 7am, and go to bed at 11pm, I would put pup to bed at 11pm also, and return pup to the crate after potty trip wake ups that happen before 7am - feed pup at the time they wake up for the day for - such as 7am, so that their internal clock won't keep waking them early to eat sooner. Pup will probably cry when you first return them. Ignore the crying, and they will likely learn to adjust and settle back down to go to sleep at that time in a few days, if you stay consistent. If pup is really struggling to settle back down, giving a dog food stuffed chew toy in the crate while you go back to bed can help pup tire themselves out and fall back asleep in an hour or so. You can place pup's dog food into a bowl, cover with water, insert a straw through a medium or large Kong, loosely stuff the mush around the straw, and freeze the whole thing. Remove the straw before giving to pup. The frozen toy tends to keep pup occupied for longer and tire them out more. Start by simply ignoring the crying and giving pup a chance to learn to go back to sleep, so that you don't have to break the additional chew toy habit later though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
german shepard
1 Year
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Luna
german shepard
1 Year

My dog wakes up every day at 5 am and rings the bells to go outside. Once we take her out and try to lay back down she wants to play and run around. My in-laws live with us and my father-in-law will wake up early on occasion and take her out when he hears whining. When they are gone, or not up that early, we don’t wake up until around 7:30-8. We have tried ignoring her but she will ring the bells and whine until someone takes her out and then will be ready to run and play until 10 when she will then fall back asleep. What should we do to get her to sleep longer?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kaityln, When she wakes up, once awake she might really need to go potty if it's been longer than 8 hours since she last went - even though she could hold it if she kept sleeping; however, playing once awake is motivating her to wake up early and stay awake, so the goal needs to be making mornings super boring until 7:30am. After you take her potty early in the morning, everyone should go back to bed (or pretend if you can't sleep). Do not feed, play with or give her attention. When you take her potty early, take her on a leash, and doing give praise, treats, affection, or breakfast during that time. After she goes potty bring her back inside and either put her into a crate and ignore or correct any barking, or if you aren't willing to crate train, use a Pet Convincer to correct her any time she barks or pesters you to wake up. To correct, teach her the Quiet and Out commands. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ When she barks, tell her Quiet one time. If she doesn't stop barking or stops but starts again, then spray a small puff of air through the crate at her side - or just at her side if not crated, while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Do not spray her in the face and do NOT use citronella - only use the unscented air canisters. If she is pestering you in bed, tell her Out and if she doesn't leave, also correct with the Pet Convincer. Once mornings are boring and she isn't being fed or played with she will likely begin to sleep through the 5am wake up on mornings she doesn't actually need to pee. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pearl
Labrador Retriever
10 Weeks
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Pearl
Labrador Retriever
10 Weeks

we are trying to get our 4 labs to sleep later. all are in our room. recently 4:30 they are up...Pearl the 10 week old puppy goes in crate that is in our room at 11 and was getting up at 2 and then up at 4:30 to pee and start her day. I feel she would start day later if she wasnt woken up by our other labs who also sleep in our room. the almost 14 year old gets up at 4:30-5 and is loud and needs to go to the bathroom but then wakes everyone else up and they (3 year old and 4 year old) are ready to eat. I have tried putting them outside in fenced yard but can't in the winter. my husband needs to sleep to function.. I can't put a 14 year old in a crate when he has never been in one. we have tried adjusting times of feeding pup pearl and last night fed her at 8:30 pm and we got rid of 2AM wake up to pee but still up at 4:30. what to do w my zo0?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Julianna, First, know that the time that you feed them at is the time that their internal clock will begin waking them to eat at. You won't get much sleep but when everyone wakes, you need to delay breakfast until the time you want them to learn to wake at unless one of the dogs has a medical reason why it's unsafe to do so. The puppy and older dog will need to go potty early - that can't be helped right now. Pup can outgrow that as bladder function improves and you may be able to improve that by taking your older dog potty really late in the evening an additional time, but for right now pup will be up so both will need to be taken potty; however, after the potty trip, everyone needs to get into the habit of going back to bed - honestly, this will take a lot of resolve from you while you are tired in the early morning. Crate each dog that you can and have those dogs return to their crates until your designated breakfast time after potty trips for those who need it. Teach your older dog to go to Place and stay there and have them do that after the morning potty trip - this will take a lot of enforcing in the early morning at first. You can crate train adult dogs - rescues do it all the time, but using Place for your oldest dog is also a good option if you prefer that and are willing to be consistent - the crate is just easier to enforce. Pup definitely needs to be crated for safety reasons - since the goal is for you to be able to go back to sleep eventually. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Pup will probably protest in the crate at first - pup is young and this is normal. Ignore pup's crying after they have pottied outside - and give them a chance to adjust to the crate for a couple of weeks. If the two adult dogs cry in the crate, you have two options. 1. You can ignore the crying - knowing that most dogs settle down and learn to adjust if you don't give in for up to two weeks (three days is what it takes many but you have to be willing to commit to two weeks - because it could take that long). Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. Practicing the surprise method during the day will help all of the crated dogs learn to be calm in the crate and do better in the morning, but don't give any treats in the morning - the goal is for them to sleep then. 2. If the adult dogs continue protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can also use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" by using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell the dog barking "Quiet" when they bark or cry. If they get quiet and stays quiet, if it's the morning - they great! Go back to bed. If you are practicing this during the middle of the day, then when they get quiet you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food through the wires calmly, then leave again. If they disobey your command and keep crying or stop but start again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at that dog side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If that dog stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her quietness if it's the middle of the day. In the early morning - simply ignore and go back to bed so she will learn to go back to sleep too at that time. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Husky
2 Months
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Luna
Husky
2 Months

Hii , Luna is my 2 months old husky and ever since she’s been at home , Luna wakes up at 2:30am or sometimes 4:45am then goes back to sleep and wake up at 6:20am and she doesn’t go back to sleep. Her time to go to bed is usually 10:30pm and idk what to do to make lune sleep throughout the night and get her to wake up later then 6:20am

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Yeny, First, know that she will need to go potty at those two times she is waking up at this age. When she wakes then at this age, quietly and calmly take her potty on a leash without giving attention or rewards - make it boring, then put her straight back into the crate. If you aren't crating her at night, that's a must! Start there. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate For the next two weeks, after you take her potty at those times, calmly place her back into the crate and close the crate door. Ignore any crying at night, and work on the Surprise method proactively during the day (don't give treats at night though - night is time to sleep). Wait to let her out for the morning and feed her breakfast until it is the time when you usually want to wake up in the morning (within reason) so that her internal clock can reset to that time also. At first, she may cry for a long time at 6 am. Ignore the crying as long as you know she doesn't have to go potty because you already took her. When it's the correct time and she is quiet for at least a few seconds, let her out while she is quiet - not crying. It's very important to be consistent to help her learn that calmness is how she gets out of the crate and to let her internal clock adjust. It's also important to practice the Surprise method for 30 minutes -2 hours often during the day or at least once during early evening if you are gone to work (before giving her some time out of the crate between practice and bedtime), to help her learn what to do in the crate instead of crying - i.e. be quiet, to entertain herself with a durable dog food stuffed chew toy during the day, and to rest. It takes most puppies two consistent weeks of crate training to learn to relax in the crate and not cry, so keep at it - two weeks can seem really long but consider that in light of the rest of her life and it's not so long. Crate training can actually prevent adult separation anxiety when done correctly, can keep pups safe during harder chewing phases that hit around 5-7 months, make a huge difference in potty training, make boarding and traveling easier later, and give pup a safe, calm space to retreat to as adults. Puppies that are given good boundaries and proactive training like crate training are usually able to be trusted in the home when left out of the crate as adults, if crate trained effectively as puppies during the first year - and bad, dangerous habits prevented during that time. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mickey
Standard Poodle
3 Months
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Mickey
Standard Poodle
3 Months

In regards to the article on sleep training a dog, it said:
STEP 4 Whining
He may whine at first. Ignore him. He will settle down.

So.... if she doesn’t settle down? what then? Screeching barks for hours, charging the crate walls, crying. No settling down.
Literally everything in this article has not worked for my pup no matter how diligent I’ve been.
1 hour of sleep a night for a week is not enough sleep, especially for a dad of a toddler who has a day job.

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

Thank you for the question. How long have you had Mickey? Is this a new habit or is she new to your home and has been like this from the beginning? How about the crate? Are you crating her in your room? I feel there is nothing wrong with having the crate in your room. It will allow Mickey comfort at night and she should sleep better. Dogs often like a crate that has a blanket over the top and sides (leaving the front so that she can see out) but make sure that she cannot chew the blanket. Let her sleep in your room and as she gets older, gradually move the crate (a few inches a night) out of the room if you do not want her there. You can also try dog-appeasing pheromones (ask her vet about this) which may calm her. It is a synthetic product that calms a dog via a diffuser. Many puppies will need a bathroom break in the middle of the night and that could be an issue, too. Good luck!

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Ares
Golden Mix
3 Years
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Ares
Golden Mix
3 Years

Hello! So my dog ares is coming up to 4 this year and ever since he was a puppy I’ve always had early mornings but he’s gone from getting up at 7:30 to 6 these past few months and I have no idea how to get him to lay in with me!! Help!!! He’s so persistent and will bark and whine no matter how long I ignore him What can I do?

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

Thank you for the question. Ares is a beauty! So, your little charmer wants to start the day early. This is always a challenge but I think that you can overcome it. I would suggest exercising Ares a lot before bedtime. He is most likely an active dog, ready for adventure, so tiring him out may help. I know in the evenings we are often tired, so take him for a long walk or jog in the early evening and then entertain him with mentally stimulating games later, such as an interactive toy that he has to work at to get the treats out. This may give him a snack to hold him through the night until you are ready to give him breakfast. Another idea is to gradually move his evening meal later, by 15 minutes a day, until he is eating one to two hours later than he used to. He may be hungry at 6 a.m. and that's why he is being so persistent. Thirdly, buy him a new super comfy bed - he may choose to sleep longer if it's thick and cozy. If you crate Ares, put a sheet over three sides to provide darkness and calm (just be sure he cannot chew on the sheet and ingest it). Lastly, have a medical checkuo done; there could be a reason that Ares is waking earlier. It may be a bladder issue - if he was doing so well all along and now cannot wait to go out, it is best to rule out something medical. Good luck!

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Auggie
Border Collie
9 Months
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Auggie
Border Collie
9 Months

We crate our dog during the night in the hallway outside the bedroom and every morning he wines to get out of the crate at 7am. On weekends we links to sleep in and he continues to wine. He goes to bed just fine. Usually falls asleep around eight. Then will wake up and chew a little and then put himself to bed in the crate around 10-11. We take him out to pee before. Regardless of what time we put him in the crate he wines to get out at 7.
I wouldn’t mind letting him out to pee if he’d go back in the crate but he just wines. Please help with suggestions.
We have thought about putting the crate in the garage. But not sure if that’s mean.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sumita, First, know that his night sleep is essentially beginning at 8 pm. From 8 pm - 7 am that is 11 hours so he simple isn't tired anymore by 7 am. Start by keeping him up more in the evenings. A thirty minute nap is fine but don't let him sleep for long periods that close to bedtime so that his night sleep will begin later (at 10 or 11 when he goes into the crate) and he will be more tired and willing to sleep in in the morning. A good way to keep him awake it to give him a frozen, dog food stuffed Kong mid evening to keep him busy. You can look up different ways to stuff and freeze them. At 7 am once awake, he really will need to pee once awake. So on mornings when he wakes up, take him potty on a leash - keep the trip boring, then return him to the crate. He will likely learn to eventually sleep through that wake up, but right now he is in the habit of waking then and once awake, a dog's bladder "wakes up" too so they need to go sooner than if they had stayed asleep. When he whines at that point, but you know he went to bed late enough and doesn't need to go potty anymore because you already took him, then you can deal with the whining. I would try ignoring it completely for two weekends in a row (4 days) until the clock reaches the time you want him to learn to sleep until. When it's late enough, wait for at least a few seconds of quiet, then free him while he is being quiet. For some dogs, adjusting their evening schedule, addressing potty needs, and being really consistent with not rewarding the whining with letting him out is enough to fix the issue. If it's not, you will need to teach the Quiet command during the daytime ahead of time. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Command him to be Quiet after you have returned him to his crate, then leave. If he begins whining after you leave, use a Pet Convincer - which is a small, pressurized canister of unscented air, and tell him "Ah Ah" very calmly and squirt a small puff of air through the crate at his side (avoid his face and only use unscented air - NOT citronella), then go back to the bedroom. Repeat this each time he whines, very calmly, then leave again each time. If he gets quiet and stays quiet for thirty minutes, return to him and sprinkle treats into his crate, then leave again. Repeat the rewards at thirty minute internals for an hour, then let him out after an hour or this while he is being quiet. If you want to sleep later than 8 am, gradually stretch the crate time to 1-2-3 hours as he improves. You may need to feed him in the crate and take him potty to poop if you sleep too much later than what he is used to though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Hollie
Labradoodle
6 Months
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Hollie
Labradoodle
6 Months

Our dog wakes at about 6-6:30am and I have started letting her come up to us whilst we’re in bed and she goes back to sleep at the bottom of our bed because I don’t want her barking to wake anyone else up.
She was crated up to 4 months but now she sleeps in the kitchen and we have a baby gate up. She goes to bed and well and is ok when we go upstairs but in the mornings and when we go out she barks constantly. How can I get this to stop as I need to go back to the start with her

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Harriet, The easiest thing in the long run will be to go back to crate training her. She will probably protest some at first if you haven't been crating her at other times though, so expect that and time it so that most of the initial crate practice happens during the day when no one is sleeping. Practice crating during the day. Follow the Surprise method from the article linked below - skipping to the section where you close the door to the crate with her in it, and reward periods of quietness intermittently. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate You will modify the Surprise method with your pup. The difference is, when she does bark, instead of ignoring the barking, use a Pet Convincer, which is a small canister of pressurized, UNSCENTED air, to spray a small puff of air through the crate's wires at her side while saying "Ah Ah" calmly. Do not use citronella and do not spray her in the face. Right after you correct, leave again. If she stays quiet for a few minutes, return and sprinkle treats into the crate. Practice the above routine during the day for 30 minutes - 2 hours at a time. In the morning when pup barks, and it's been a long time since they last went potty so likely need to go, take pup potty on a leash and keep the trip as boring as possible. Do not feed pup breakfast yet if you want pup to learn to sleep later. Wait until it's the time you want pup to begin to sleep until before you feed breakfast at that time - to reset their internal clock. After you take them potty, bring them back inside and return them to the crate. They will likely bark. When they do - but you know they don't have to go potty, correct with the Pet Convincer, blowing a puff of air through the crate at their side while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. Return and calmly repeat the correction each time they bark. In the morning - do not give treats for quietness - the goal is just for them to go back to sleep. This should be practiced ahead of time with both the treats and the corrections during the day (but not early morning) so that when you correct in the morning without giving treats, pup understands by then that they are supposed to be quiet from having practiced during the day. When pup is quiet and it's time for them to get up for the day (at a reasonable hour that works for your family), then calmly let pup out of the crate while they are being quiet, and feed breakfast - this will most likely become the time they learn to sleep until as an adult. If pup is barking because they are in the kitchen and lots of things are going on there as you get ready to leave for breakfast, but you don't want them to get up for the day yet at that time, crate them in another room that stays quieter at this age. If pup is barking after you leave the house, you have a couple of options. After practicing with pup during the day, you can have an older family member practice the corrections in the morning like I described, after you "leave" - set up times to train this and pretend like you are leaving without actually having to go somewhere, so that you can monitor the training via phone or camera while a family member implements it. If family members are young or not comfortable following the training, you can also use another form of correction that can be implemented remotely - like a manual remote vibration collar, or bark collar, and correction each time pup barks, from outside. If pup has been falling asleep super early in the evening - even when not in bed yet, keeping pup awake more in the evening prior to bedtime (10-12 hours before you want pup to be up for the day), can also help pup go back to sleep in the morning. A good way to keep pup awake in the evening is to give them a dog-food stuffed chew toy, like a Kong, kibble filled puzzle toy, or other interactive but calm device to play with on their own. Pup will likely nap during the evenings but try to keep their nap to one hour and not longer or all evening. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Millie
Tibetan Terrier
10 Weeks
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Millie
Tibetan Terrier
10 Weeks

Ny pup goes to bed in crate but is waking 2 to 3 times so take her to potty and she just lays down, not once has she weed. Her crate was dry this morning but we took her water away early but previous night bed was wet. She had only gone diwn at 10.45 last night and was up at 12.10 2 and 5 but the last run she did a poo. Do we leave her to cry we dont open crate till whining stopped

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jayne, At this age pup really will need to go potty 1-2 times per night. Likely just one time once she adjusts to sleeping in the crate and wakes less, but part of the wakings are probably wanting attention and adjusting to being alone in the crate. First, I suggest practicing the Surprise method from the article linked below during the day - to help her adjust to time alone in the crate, at a time when you can use treats to help that process (don't give food at night). https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, start teaching her the Go Potty command and rewarding her when she goes potty outside during the day. Check out the Crate Training method linked below for details on that. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Third, learning Go Potty will help her to go potty quicker at night, the surprise method will help her learn how to be calmer in the crate overall, then when you take her potty (after it's been at least 2.5 hours - ignore crying before then), walk her around slowly on the leash for 10-15 minutes outside, while telling her Go Potty calmly. The movement will help get things going and encourage sniffing- it's important to keep her moving slowly to get a pee. Keep these trips super boring - no play, little talk, and no food. After she goes potty, put her back into the crate and ignore any crying while her bladder is now empty until she goes back to sleep. It's normal for this process to take a couple of weeks. As pup gets faster at going potty at night when you take her, adjusts to the crate and starts to only wake when she actually has to pee, she should begin waking less - although expect at least 1 wake up for a few more weeks due to a small bladder. As pup gets older, if you are consistent, she should also start to sleep through that remaining wake-up as her physical bladder capacity increases with age. As a puppy, the general rule is that a puppy can hold it for the number they are in age plus one - meaning at 2 months - 3 hours. That number will increase every month - at 4 months - 5 hours. If pup stays asleep longer, that number can as much as double at night - but once awake pup's bladder wakes up too and she really will need to go out if it's been that long. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Frizzy
Bichon Frise
18 Years
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Frizzy
Bichon Frise
18 Years

Moderately blind and deaf 18 year old bichon with dimentia. We leave his food out all day and he has been a grazer his entire life, with his biggest meal being before bed. He will not go to sleep until he’s had his last meal. This has never been an issue but for the past week he has woken up at 5 am every morning to poop. We have tried taking him out later and later but he won’t poop before bed. Last poop is usually early afternoon. I believe if we could get him to poop at night he would sleep later. Is there any way to change his poop schedule?

For some background info: he has always eaten dry kibble. For the last few months we have also been giving him a little bit of wet food in the mornings because it makes him really excited and we wanted him to put some weight on. After he’s finished his small portion of wet food, we leave the dry food out for the remainder of the day and he usually has a small meal around lunch time and a bigger meal before bed.

Also if it matters he sleeps in bed with us and is unable to get on/off the bed by himself - he whines to wake us up when he wakes up and needs to go out.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kenneth, He may need the quietness of the evening and knowing the bedtime is coming to get him to eat. I suggest acting like you are going to bed two hours earlier in the evening, and seeing if you can get him to eat earlier by moving your routine earlier. If that works, I would begin facilitating a quieter evening for him starting soon - to get him to eat his last meal earlier then go to bed. I would also make his earlier day meals more tempting during the first half of the day - feeding a lunch or dinner with freeze dried kibble toppers crushed to powder mixed in, or a small amount of wet food. Since he has dementia, there is a lot you cannot do training wise do to his limited capacity to learn now, so management is your best route. If despite a quieter evening and fuller meal then and more tempting food earlier in the day, he still needs to eat right before bed, make that food a very small amount - having hopefully gotten him to eat more earlier in the day so that he is also less hungry - but may just want something in his stomach. Less on his stomach will make him less likely to need to poop. It's possible the pooping is also related to health and physical issues though (I am not a vet, so consult your vet about anything medical). Many dogs develop varying levels of incontinence as they age - and despite what you do with food, he may still need to poop at 5am. If so, you can try switching him to sleeping in an exercise pen with a disposable grass pad area on one side, and a non-absorbent bed, like www.primopads, or a cot type bed on the other end. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Delilah
Coca poo
12 Weeks
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Delilah
Coca poo
12 Weeks

Hi - we have had our pup for 3 /4weeks she’s a dream and sleeps for 8 hours BUT she wakes up at 5am no matter what as she is desperate for a wee and poo - we take her out keep it dull and encourage her to back in to her crate - but she won’t she so awake it’s mad. We don’t feed her till 7am - we have tried ignoring her and it take me a painful hour of braking and wining - any suggestions to how to get her back to sleep? Thanks so much

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tiff, How long has pup been doing this? If it's been less than two weeks, you may simply need to ignore the crying for the full hour until she learns to sooth and fall back asleep. It's not fun but it is normal, and giving in and letting her out will only prolong the learning process. During the day, practice the Surprise method from the article linked below to help her to learn how to self-sooth more quickly. Don't give any treats during the early morning or night wake up times though. Practice this proactively later during the day with treats so that she will learn the skills necessary to settle again in the early morning. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Pup will need that early morning potty trip for a while - so continue taking her potty and keeping it boring and returning her to the crate again after, without feeding until 7 am. All of that is great, pup just needs to learn how to settle again once back in the crate. Pay attention to pup's evening schedule. What time is she going to bed and how much is she napping during the evening? Pup should need about 10 hours of sleep at night, but if pup is napping too much during the evening or going to bed too early that can count toward her sleep, so she will be rested and ready to go at 5 am. Try to keep her awake more during the evenings leading up to bedtime. She will probably still need at least one nap in the evening at this age, but try not to let that nap lost longer than an hour or be multiple naps once it's past dinner. Giving her treat filled toys as a way to feed her dinner in the evening can help her stay more awake and engaged during the evening. Toys like Kongs, durable puzzle toys with treats inside, kong wobbles, ect...You can even give pup a frozen kong that will take her longer to get the food out of. Place pup's food in a bowl with water the night before. Let the food turn to mush, poke a straw through the Kong's holes, loosely stuff the mush around the straw, freeze the entire thing, then remove the straw and give it to her in the early evening. Add a bit of peanut butter or liver paste to the mush if she needs help being interested in it - don't pack it tightly or she won't be able to get it out. You can make several of these ahead of time to have on hand. Just subtract the food in the kong from her dinner kibble amount, to avoid overfeeding. If pup is still crying in the crate in the early morning after doing all of the above for two consistent weeks, then you can also do the following. I would highly suggest ignoring the crying, practicing crating during the day with treats, and adjusting schedule for two weeks before jumping to this method however - since this method is typically only used for older puppies and dogs - most young puppies just need time to adjust to all the new things in life. During the day, work on teaching "Quiet" by using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell her "Quiet" when she barks and cries. If she gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If she stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her quietness. Once she understands the training during daytime practice with the pet convincer AND treats, then simply use the quiet command and pet convincer in the early morning when she cries - without giving treats - which could encourage staying awake. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lottie
Cocker Spaniel
12 Months
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Lottie
Cocker Spaniel
12 Months

Lottie has started getting up anywhere between 5 and 6 am every morning. Cassie and Lottie sleep in our utility room and are not crate trained. Lottie scratches at the door until someone (normally me) gets up to let them out, then we go through to the living room so I can snooze on the sofa until it’s time to get up. My husband and I don’t like her scratching the door but we have no idea how to stop this and get her to sleep longer

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shona, First, make sure pup doesn't physically have to go potty at that time. At one-year old, pup should be able to hold their bladder for at least 8 hours overnight - up to 10 if they stay asleep. Take pup potty last thing before you go to bed at night. Go with pup even if they are used to being let out in a fence - to ensure that they actually go at that time. Don't let pup sleep for more than 1 hour at a time in the evening, otherwise that will count toward their night sleep and they will be awake too early. Giving pup a dog food stuffed chew toy to work on in the evening can help pup stay awake more until bedtime. A short nap is to be expected, but you don't want more than 1 hour. Remove all food and water - except perhaps a small amount of kibble in the kong, 2 hours before bed. Doing all of the above may cause pup to sleep in later on their own if they are waking you because they need to go potty or are not tired anymore. If pup wakes you up still and it has been longer than 8 hours since they last went potty - take pup potty on a leash, keeping the trip very boring, with no play, little talk, and no treats. Do not feed pup when you bring them back inside. As soon as pup is back inside, return them back to the utility room. Each time pup scratches on the door, open the door enough to just put your arm through, tell pup "Ah Ah", and spray pup's side with a small puff of air from a Pet Convincer. Only use the unscented air canister - NOT citronella, and avoid spraying in the face. After correcting, close the door again. This process should be quick - to avoid giving lots of attention. Repeat the corrections each time pup scratches or barks until pup stops, then go back to bed until it's the time you want pup to learn to sleep until. When it's that time, and pup isn't scratching at the door, then you can let pup out and feed them breakfast. If pup wakes up and it's been less than 8 hours since they last went potty, you can simply correct pup for the scratching without taking them outside first. You know pup's potty habits at this point most likely, so you can decide whether you think they really need to go potty first - then be corrected for scratching after, or if you can go straight to correcting if it hasn't approached the time pup usually needs to go potty at. Even if you have to take pup potty then correct scratching after you return them to the utility room - if pup is scratching in the morning because they want breakfast or attention, then making the potty trip boring, returning them to the utility room after, postponing breakfast, and correcting any protests should help pup learn to also sleep in without waking to begin with - if the wake ups are due to attention seeking or wanting to eat, and not a true potty need initially that is. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Murphy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
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Murphy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

She wakes up really early around 3:30 or 4:00 and starts scratching us and braking and Even biting to an extent.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shatakshi, 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 at 4am 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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Codee
Corgi mix
6 Months
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Codee
Corgi mix
6 Months

Our pup sleeps in our bed (never used a crate), every morning she's up at 6:30 no matter what time we go to bed. She doesnt need to go potty when she gets up, she just wants us up. I will take her to the living room,open the back door for her (she never goes out), I lay on the couch and she hops up and falls back asleep until I wake up (usually around 7:30-8). She doesnt bark or whine when she gets up, but she makes loud huffing, sigh noises that wake us up. I dont usually feed her until 8am, so shes not getting up for food, potty breaks, or play, she literally wakes us up and falls back asleep. We also make sure she gets plenty of exercise during day/night.i work from home so I dont have a certain time I need to get up everyday, but my husband works nights and needs to be able to sleep in. Other than putting her in a crate, any suggestions how we can get her to sleep or be quiet in the morning?

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

Thank you for the question. I used to have a Corgi mix - adorable! It sounds like Codee just simply wants to get up and see if there is anything exciting going on in the rest of the house. My advice would be to ignore her (yes, it will be tough listening to her huff and puff for a few days or weeks). That may be all it takes. The other option is to try an alarm clock. Since you would like to get up at 7:30, set the alarm for 6:45. Even if she is asking, don't get up until the alarm. Try this time for a week. Then, move the alarm to 7:00 for a week. Lastly, set the alarm for 7:30 or 8:00 for the 3rd week. Remember, you do not get up until the alarm, despite her huffing and sighing. Hopefully, by the 3rd week, she will understand that the alarm signals the time to get up, and not before. It will take a few weeks, yes, and be disruptive to your husband but it will be worth it. Good luck!

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Harley
German Shepherd
8 Weeks
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Harley
German Shepherd
8 Weeks

We have had Harley for four days now. He sleeps a couple hours at a time throughout the day and night. We put him to bed around 10. He then wakes up around 1:00, then again at 3:30/3:45, then at 5:30. I was just wondering if there is any way to get him to sleep a little longer apart throughout the night.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kamara, When you take him outside, take him on a leash, keep the trip very boring (no treats at night, no playing, and very little talking), and after he goes potty put him straight back into the crate to go back to sleep, and ignore any crying (because you know he doesn't have to pee since he just went). If he is not sleeping in the crate at night, start doing that. That will help a lot and when he gets older if he is out of the crate, he will be less sleepy and have stronger jaws and be able to chew things and potentially swallow something dangerous...so start crating him now because you will need him to be crated later too, and it will be easiest now while he is sleepier. Crating him in a separate room where he can't see you, like a walk in closet in your bedroom, bathroom, or guest room can also help, but if you do that you will need an audio monitor to listen for him needing to go potty. If you do the above, the wake ups usually improve overtime as a puppy's bladder matures. The first two weeks tend to be the hardest for wake ups for most pups. Hang in there, stay consistent, keep potty trips boring and to the point, and have him sleep in a crate. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Molly
Mixed
10 Weeks
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Molly
Mixed
10 Weeks

Hi - we've had Molly for almost 3 weeks now, and we live in an apartment on the 22nd floor in Singapore

We have her penned off in a separate area (wet kitchen), where she sleeps and has her pee pads. She is very good at going on her pee pads during the night. During the day we take her out for elimination, but is a little bit hit and miss for her wee, with accidents still occurring as we're trying to slowly open up the rest of our apartment to her.

We turn out her lights in her containment area at 10pm (she sometimes is asleep earlier than this, sometimes not) and aim to be getting her up at 6am at the moment for a walk outside and then breakfast.

Initially she waited for us at 6am without making noise, or sometimes a whine. Now she has started barking from 5.15 onwards until we get up. We've tried ignoring, but having trouble as it's an apartment and the neighbours will be woken up. We're not sure if she's just hungry or wants to see us. We feed her after her walk, as we don't want her to get bloat.

As we live in Singapore, we try and do a longer walk in the morning as it is slightly cooler.

How can we get her to the barking and sleep later?

Also any tips on opening up the apartment with the pee pad training and then eventually getting her to only go outside (taking into account we have a 22nd floor elevator ride included) would be much appreciated!

Thanks!

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

Hi there, it sounds as though Molly is doing a great job for her age. Yes, it may be that Molly is ready for the world at 5:15 and will want to get up. But with the neighbors, it does present a problem. There are a few things you can do. 1. Try to keep Molly up later at night by giving her toys to play with and interacting with her. She may sleep later if she goes to bed later. 2. When she wakes up, give her a Kong filled with a little bit of breakfast (if she eats kibble, you can make it into mush and put in in the kong. Prepare it the night before and freeze it - then give it to her, in case she is hungry. (There is the chance she will wake early every day in hopes of the treat, but she may settle back down to sleep after the toy - so there are benefits.) 3. Lastly, since she wakes at 5:15, start setting an alarm for 5:15 for a week, then gradually make it 5:30 for a week, then 5:45 am for a week, and finally 6 am. The goal is for her to learn that the alarm signals when she is allowed to get up. Good luck!

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Roxie
Cavapoo
2 Years
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Roxie
Cavapoo
2 Years

Hi there, we have a 2 year old cavapoo who has been sleeping very well, all through the night and on weekends we have had to wake her up at 9am! She has a really strong bladder and can last hours. However, we have recently moved to a new house and since this, she wakes up every morning at 5am!! We have made the room as dark as possible, locked our cat in another room so he doesn't distract her and i feel like we are now out of ideas. Any guidance would be very much appreciated as 5am mornings are no fun.... thanks, Faye

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

Hello, it sounds as though Roxie is excited about the new house and you are right, there is something that's disturbing her. Do you get up with her at 5 am? Can you freeze a kong with a bit of mushed up kibble inside to keep her busy so you can sleep longer? This would be a temporary measure only though, because you don't want to train her to wake for the treat. Just do it on a day that you really need the sleep. Try keeping her up later than usual as well, and maybe try a white noise appliance (like a floor fan) to block out neighborhood noises. I would suggest that you try the alarm clock method. It will be tough at first! But you'll have to set the alarm for 5:15 for a week, then 5:30 for a week. Next, 5:45 for a week, and then 6 a.m. for a week, etc. until you get Roxie to the time you want. She should then be trained to wake to the alarm clock and not before. Good luck!

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Yoda
German Shepherd, Boston Terrior, Akita, Boxer
7 Weeks
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Yoda
German Shepherd, Boston Terrior, Akita, Boxer
7 Weeks

Hello, I've been crate training my dog and he's been doing pretty well for almost a week and I put him to bed at 10pm and he was waking up at 6am Which is perfect but recently I've been putting him to bed at 10 and he wakes up at 5 now. I thought I was making progress and I even started walking him before bed hoping to tire him out but it's still 5am any suggestions?

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

Hello, Yoda is doing amazing sleeping through the night at 7 weeks! I am sure that he needs to wake up at 5 for a pee break, no doubt. Early mornings and middle of the night pee breaks are par for the course for sometimes up to a year with a puppy. If you are sure he does not need to pee, then you can train him by the alarm clock. This week, set the alarm for 5 am. Wake up at that time and take him out. Next week, set it for 5:15. The following week, do a week of 5:30 wakeups, and the following week 5:45. Hopefully by then, Yoda's body clock is following the alarm. The last week you set the alarm for 6 a.m. That may do the trick - Yoda may wake to the alarm from now on, at 6 a.m. If this does not do the trick, when he wakes at 5, take him for a pee break, no talking, on the leash, pee and no treat, and straight back to bed so that he learns that 5 a.m. is not wakeup time. Good luck!

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