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Hello there,

just dropping in for some advice. We have a 6 month old miniature apricot poodle called Buddy. He is lovely, happy, super animal and people friendly, easyish to train and has really great recall. He is house broken (aside from the odd accident when we haven't noticed him asking to be let out), he sleeps in a crate at night and is left in his crate when we leave him home alone.

We have one issue, he is still waking and barking relatively early, anytime between 05:50 and 06:30 usually. Occasionally he seems to really need a poo, most of the time he most certainly does not. he goes to bed after last potty trip anytime between 22:00-23:00, this makes no difference to what time he wakes, nor does a dark room, or feeding him earlier or later. His last feed and drink are between 17:00-18:00.

Routine isnt what it was a few weeks ago but be gets plenty of exercise, both physical and mental and is generally calm in the house and walks pretty well on lead. when life is normal we have doggy day care in the middle of the day so he is never in his crate for more than 2-3 hrs at a time. Always someone home at the minute though!!

So we are all a bit tired, daughter included. Night time is a vast improvement, he used to wake much earlier as well as during the night as well as barking before he would settle at night too. What we are wondering is if he will just naturally grow out of waking early and barking or if we should be doing something different now. At the minute, once he has done his business he will come upstairs with us and go straight back to sleep! If we were to put him in his crate again he would bark. We don't go in to him whilst he is barking but wait for a break when he is quiet for a minute or 2. The intensity of his barking is generally less than it was.

We have thought about putting him back in his crate, letting him out of his crate but not letting him out for potty until 7, setting an alarm for 7 and only going in after that, completely ignoring him until 7. Just not quite sure what would be best (first time dog owners).

He is currently fed wellness core puppy food but making the switch to raw.

Advice appreciated
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Aw. Buddy is SO CUTE!! And sounds like he's doing very well.

I would do two things to address the morning fussing:

1. I would start giving him a small bedtime snack. That's a long time to go without food and sometimes dogs get an acidic belly, which can be uncomfortable and wake them. (Also, I would never recommend withholding water.)

2. I would start preemptively waking him an hour before he wakes you, out for a quiet potty, and then back to his crate until you're ready to wake up. Then slowly start pushing this time back.

Unfortunately, you've taught him that barking gets him upstairs with you, so this part you'll just have to ride out. But by preemptively waking him, you're changing up the routine, calling the shots, and ensuring he's still sleepy, so it might resolve fairly quickly.
 

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Dogs often wake up at night. Maybe putting the crate next to your bed will solve the problem. A simple "hush hush" may be all he needs to feel secure and go back to snoozing.
 

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I was going to reply similarly to Peggy. I would wake him yourself before he wakes you to get him out of the habit of demanding things in the morning. Just a quick trip to potty and then back to crate. Then you can slowly push it later and later.
 

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My tack with Snarky (our morning dog) was different from the advice given by most behaviorists. We let the puppies loose in the bedroom once they were old enough to be housebroken. They could stay in the bedroom as long as they remained quietly on the floor. As soon as there was any doggie disturbance we would banish the perpetrator to our sunroom. Since Snarky wanted to stay with us, he learned to stay quiet for fear of eviction.
 

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His sleep habits might change as he gets older (for better or worse). But it's much easier to break bad habits when your dog is still a puppy. The sleep routines you establish now set the foundation for your puppy's adult behaviour.

I happen to really appreciate a good long sleep when I can get it, so nighttime training has always been one of my top puppy priorities. Last night, for example, my husband and I both slept for 12 hours. Unheard of!! I guess we really needed it? And Peggy (bless her heart) let us.

She gets a snack of plain chicken when she goes in her crate at night, and her water bowl is mounted off the ground inside. Plus, she's now nearing physical maturity so doesn't require frequent potty breaks. And we used a strict but evolving age-appropriate schedule in her younger months to teach her that we call the shots on when she goes outside (unless, of course, it's an emergency).

I expect we'll have some rocky nights through adolescence, but I have faith in the foundation we gave her. It's all about 1) anticipating and meeting their needs while 2) teaching them your expectations. Otherwise they make up their own rules.
 

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His sleep habits might change as he gets older (for better or worse). But it's much easier to break bad habits when your dog is still a puppy. The sleep routines you establish now set the foundation for your puppy's adult behaviour.

I happen to really appreciate a good long sleep when I can get it, so nighttime training has always been one of my top puppy priorities. Last night, for example, my husband and I both slept for 12 hours. Unheard of!! I guess we really needed it? And Peggy (bless her heart) let us.

She gets a snack of plain chicken when she goes in her crate at night, and her water bowl is mounted off the ground inside. Plus, she's now nearing physical maturity so doesn't require frequent potty breaks. And we used a strict but evolving age-appropriate schedule in her younger months to teach her that we call the shots on when she goes outside (unless, of course, it's an emergency).

I expect we'll have some rocky nights through adolescence, but I have faith in the foundation we gave her. It's all about 1) anticipating and meeting their needs while 2) teaching them your expectations. Otherwise they make up their own rules.
what did you do to train Peggy at night? How old is she now?

thanks

J x
 

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Peggy's 10.5 months old. :)

We crate trained her very much as I described above:

She gets a tummy-soothing snack right before bed and always has access to fresh water, so she never fusses due to thirst or an acidic belly.

We always woke her before she could wake us, took her out quietly, and then back to the crate until we're ready to wake up. These late-night potties started around 3am when she was very small, and then got pushed back about a half hour at a time, until she was sleeping right through the night. If she was extremely sleepy when we'd wake her to go out, we used that as an indicator that we could push it back a little extra. But we always led. She never had the opportunity to wake us first. In fact, I can think of only one time she's ever woken us up in the night, and she wasn't even barking or crying, just restless. My husband took her out and she went right back to sleep.

We also cover the crate with a thin, dark blanket, so the morning sun doesn't pull her from sleep. And we follow an identical bedtime routine, every single night, so she knows what to expect, and keep that routine very dimly lit so her melatonin naturally kicks in. (Poodles are so smart. They benefit extra from predictable routines.)

Of course, Peggy's never been allowed to sleep at night in the bedroom, so she doesn't know there's an alternative to her current routine. In that regard, you've got a little bit of work to do, to reset your puppy's expectations and make him feel cozy in his crate in the mornings.

But I think preemptively waking him for a while, making note of the time and pushing it back very slowly, might be all you need. Just remember to keep it quiet and dark.

You might also consider moving the crate to your bedroom if you're not making progress. Or put a second crate up there. Still stick with the routine so he learns to sleep until you're ready to wake up, but pick your battles. :)
 

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Hi all, not sure this is going so well! He just keeps waking earlier and earlier! I don’t think him needing a wee is the problem, I think he just needs to know that he is not allowed to bark in the morning and he maybe needs some negative feedback to help with that? I k ow that won’t be popular but still, looking for anyone who may have used that with success. We are feeling now that we may just need to completely ignore him (when) he barks in the morning. 😔
 

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Is he cold? I had a couple of shorthaired dogs who would get fussy in the early morning, but "pajamas" at bedtime solved that problem. Maybe moving the crate somewhere warmer would help. Our pup sleeps where all of his predecessors slept and he's quite reluctant to leave that toasty-warm location in the morning, but I understand that's not to everyone's taste. I thought my husband was resting his hand on me in a loving way this morning, but then I got suspicious and checked the "hand" — four toes, curly fur.
 

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Not really sure what you mean by negative feedback, unless you mean simply ignoring him?

Shooting in the dark here, possibly he just wakes and upon finding himself alone, he objects unhappily. Something which has worked for several members is the SmartPetLove Snuggle Heartbeat Puppy.

 

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I actually don’t see 6 AM as all that early for a six month old puppy, but it sounds like you think he’s just doing it out of boredom.

If you’re not averse to putting the crate in your bedroom, I would do that, and put it close to your bed. I’d also take the water bowl out of the crate, he doesn’t need water in the middle of the night and it may be contributing to the problem.
He is stinking cute, good luck with him!
 

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Ah, Buddy's twin lives - and wakes early - with us. Normie's 6 months old too. It doesn't matter if we take him out on our time frame, he only pees on his. He knows the 'tinkle' command during his waking hours, but once he's sleepy he only pees to his own inner need.

I think that he gets lonely in his crate. My poor husband takes him out around 4 and he does pee, but by 5 he's whining again - he wants company.

Normie is confident that the world loves him and we don't want to do anything to change his attitude. So the most 'discipline' he's getting is a loud handclap and a stern "NO!" That works for us in most situations and quiets him in the crate. But by 5:30 or 6 he and my husband are snuggled together on the sofa and both seem happy about it.

I'm not much help. : )
 

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Unpopular solution similar to cowpony's.... I taught annie to stop waking me in the night with a simple rule. Poodles who are asleep get to be on the bed. Poodles who wake me up to go pee get to go outside, go pee, then go into their crate until morning. By the second night she stopped waking me at 6 am.

Scolding or negative attention is still attention. It's likely he is lonely.

If you have two crates, you could consider letting him sleep in one in your room, and putting him in the other after he wakes you up.
 
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