Have you ever had trouble waking up in the morning? Many people do. It’s difficult to notice when you’ve woken up to your alarm bleary-eyed and groggy, only to turn it off and fall right back asleep. Sometimes, an alarm is just not enough to keep you conscious. But unlike an alarm, you can’t turn a dog off with a simple snooze button.
If your dog is lacking for a job to do around the home and your sleep schedule needs just the right amount of assistance, consider using your older dog’s awareness of your daily routine to help you get it better in check. An older dog may be more familiar with your daily schedule and can help be a part of your waking habits and keep you from missing important meetings or dates.
Your dog possesses everything he needs to be an effective alarm, whether it's the ability to use his paws, bark, or hop up onto the bed with you at the sound of your usual alarm clock. Your morning routine is a good trigger for your dog to hop into action and with the mental ability required to focus on the task of waking you up, it can also provide good practice in obedience.
Be aware that with an older dog, you’ll need to provide an alarm that will have ample volume to reach his ears and he will need to have access to the bed if you’d like him to join you on it in the morning. It may take an older dog some time to recognize what you’d like him to do in the mornings to get you up and ready for the day, but with consistency and repetition and just a few weeks of practice, you’ll never be late to another meeting again.
To get started, be sure that your alarm is a sound or a tune that can’t be heard anywhere else in your house. It should be something unique that your dog can recognize and should be loud enough that your dog can hear it in case he is in another room.
Next, get some treats together as a reward and head for your bed. Set your alarm for just a few minutes and bring your dog into your room with you. Lay down so he knows what this routine will look like from now on. From there, you can begin your training.