Monday, June 27, 2016

Barking Puppy in the Middle of The Night.. Waking Me Up Before I Want To Get Up

Here is a question I get often. The dog who wakes the parents up too early. How do you re-train your pup to sleep in when you need an extra few winks?

Here is the question on Pawbly from Lindsay;

"After a few hours, usually between midnight-2, if I move or get up, she wakes up and wants to play. Starts walking all over me, pawing me in the face, etc. This is when I put her in her crate for the rest of the night. Every morning around 4:45 she starts barking continuously. I start getting up around 5:15 but am awake as soon as the barking starts. It drives me crazy and of course my husband sleeps right through it. How can I get her to stop barking in the mornings? Or how can I train her to sleep later, and wake up when I get her up? Please help!! I wake up earlier than normal to sit, drink coffee and relax before I have to start my day, and this pup is driving me crazy!! Thanks!"


Krista Magnifico, DVM, Founder of Pawbly answered ...

"Hello Lindsay,

I am not sure how much research you did on this breed, but I would say that this behavior is very normal for this breed. They are incredibly energetic and need lots and lots of exercise to keep them from developing a bad habit. Which is why they are such excellent farm dogs. Up early, out running after livestock ALL day,, sleep 8 hours at night, get up and repeat.

She needs more exercise, and you need to adjust your schedule to provide it. When I talk about an average exercise pattern for these guys I know some clients Aussies who run 10 -20 miles a day. Now I know that no normal person can provide this much, but try to get as much in as possible, dog parks, play dates, finding other friends with dogs to play with, doggie day care, anything like this will help.

Without drugs the only successful way to manage this is to get up and start exercising in the morning. I run my dogs (mind you I have less energetic dogs) 4 miles each morning. They sleep quietly until I get up at 6. ((thank goodness!). Here is the real dilemma with drug therapy to adjust a behavior; drugs are the least preferable and worst option. Drugs should only be used in two cases; 1. I am beginning the training program and need help transitioning, OR. 2. I have given up on training and accept that my dog will need life long medications to keep their behavior tolerable.

Your puppy is barking because she misses you and wants to spend more time with you. Remember being a kid on Christmas morning? Who could wait for the parents to wake up? We always woke them up at 4 am..

Best of luck!"

Lindsey commented ...
"Thank you! I will work on the place command with her! Also, she's getting spayed in a few weeks, does that cause a behavioral change in female dogs or is that mostly male dogs?"

Laura M., dog and cat owner, former reptile rescue owner commented ...
"I honestly don't know. I have not spayed my bitch...and I do not agree with pediatric spays."

Krista Magnifico, DVM, Founder of Pawbly replied ...

"At 8 months old I would not call this pediatric. adolescent maybe? But I would recommend spaying at this age. For most people accidental pregnancies would be occurring as common place. Most people cannot and do not have the ability to monitor and management intact pets after about 6-8 months old. I agree that there are benefits to the pets in some cases waiting to spay/neuter, but an average client with a pregnant dog can't manage puppies. Spay her asap. It wont help with barking, but it will help with not having to manage one more issue, or a whole bunch of little issues."

Laura M., dog and cat owner, former reptile rescue owner answered ...

"Have you worked on a place command with her?  That would help.  I'd also work on mental training late at night, just before bed, so she konks out.

Mental training at this stage would be obedience.  Work on things until she's 100% solid with every command."

Me and my Jekyll
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1 comment:

  1. Great advice! I usually just resign myself to a few months of sleep deprivation!