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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

So my lovely little Toy Poodle is doing so great after a rough start and lots of change in living etc.

She is now 5 months old and pretty much potty trained and well behaved overall. The one thing I’d love to work on is her waking times. During the day she goes to the toilet every 1-2 hours, but can hold it longer if I’m out. She sleeps in her crate at night with the crate door open inside a playpen. We’re in a two bed apartment so I keep my bedroom door open so I can hear her.

I made the transition from crate with door closed to play pen about 2 weeks again and so far it’s gone great and no accidents.

Pretty much for the last 6 weeks she’s been sleeping through the night and waking up bang on 5:30 with a little whimper and then bursts out the door to go to the toilet when I let her out. We had one week where she slept till 6-6:30 before we made the transition to the pen. But then she went back to 5:30.

The 5:30 wake up may sound fine to many of you early birds but it’s wiping me out. If I try put her back in to bed after going to the toilet she’ll cry (and she never really cries at night). Unless I stay in the same room as her. I’m comfortable letting her cry if I know it’s just to be let out but the problem is waking up the rest of the house. Everyone’s so tired.

One last thing is regardless what time she goes to sleep 9:30pm, 10:30pm, 11;30pm she’s awake at 5:30. So I know she can hold it for 8 hours at night.

We have curtains in the lounge where she sleeps (not total blackout), have tried covering her crate (before we changed to pen but it made no difference).

Any ideas to shift the wake up even slightly to 6/6:30 would massively help. Maybe it’s something she’ll grow out of, but it’s something I’d love to sort as we have a very cranky and sleepy household atm.

The other option, I wondered could I have her in my room with the pen, because when I lie on the sofa in the morning she doesn’t cry. My concern with this I don’t want to make a rod for my own back and not be able to change this. Im not wanting her to sleep in my bed/ room and be completely codependent on me as she’s already showing signs of separation anxiety. Plus I’m likely moving into a villa with stairs which she’s going to struggle with given her size. So would prefer she was happy and content in lounge/downstairs.

Sorry for long explanation ❤
 

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Glad to hear Bow is doing well.

It's quite possible as a toy that she may actually need to get out then.... but I can see not wanting to set her up to continue this long term!!!

Two suggestions

1) "the Train your Dog Method" - set an alarm 30 min earlier than she normally asks to go out, and preempt her asking for out, and then deal with her crying for a few days without reinforcing that anyone will get up until she is quiet. No matter what you hear, dont let her out until the alarm sounds. Gradually increase the alarm clock time by 5 min every few days until you are getting enough sleep.

2) The "Desprate for sleep method" - aka "Dog trains you Method" this is what I did when Annie was that age and doing the same thing (not crying afterwards, but waking me for an early morning pee).... I was so exhausted that I fell asleep with her on my bed. When she woke me up, she woke me up more than an hour later than usual, I took her out, then put her in the crate afterwards. After 2 days, she went from waking me at 5 to us getting up at 8 :) you might try something similar if you have two crates? Crate her in your room then after her morning potty, move her into her crate outside the room. I suspect in a few days of that pattern you would know how long she can really hold it and have had a bit of a break with sleep and can try the other method. Over time, you could move the second crate from the bedroom to the doorway to the hall... etc.

I also suggest making nighttime potty breaks super boring - no petting, no talking, just a quick pee and back in the crate.

My poodle was driving me nuts for a while about walks... I started to put an alarm on for when we went for walks and it helped a lot. You might try this for out of crate time... so say, if she gets up for a potty at 5:30, alarm goes off for her to be up at 6 (.5 hrs in crate). Next day alarm for potty at 535, her out of crate alarm at 610 (5 min longer in the crate than the previous day AND 5 min later potty break- 35 min in crate). Then if it's going well, 540 and 620 (40 min in crate... 545 and 630... 550 and 6:40 etc, etc until you can get a reasonable amount of sleep! Basically - crying doesnt get her out of the crate, the alarm does, so there is no point in crying. You could also work on, after you get up in the morning, puppy is not immediately addressed. Puppy is ignored as you make coffee, go to the bathroom, and then, when you are ready and she is quiet and sitting/lying down, you take her out. I required a sit from Annie to get out of her crate and permission after I opened the door, if I approached and she stood, I turned back around and walked away until she was sitting again. She very quickly learned that sitting puppies get let out, and bouncy whiney excited puppies are ignored. She still loves to manipulate me into doing things by sitting down :)

Some people suggest restricting water at night, but I really dont like doing that.

Good luck, hope something helps. Puppy related sleep deprivation really sucks!!!
 

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The method that worked for us was to make sure we always called the shots on wakeup time. Since you've been responding to Bow whenever she's ready to get up for the day, this will take a little patience.

First, make sure she has a small bedtime snack (so tummy acid doesn't wake her up) and fresh water available in her crate or pen so she doesn't have to ask for your help if she's thirsty.

Then set your alarm for before she typically wakes up. Sorry. Lol. The key is to get her back to sleep after, so ideally this will be while it's still dark. And you want her to WANT to go back to sleep, so it's going to have to be at a slightly painful time.

And then slowly start pushing that time back. So if you're getting her up at 3 and she's eagerly going back to bed after, push it to 3:30 for a few days. Then 4. If that's going well, and she's looking at you like, "WHY are you waking me up??" try pushing it to 7am.

At that point, you're going to be getting up with her, so be realistic when you choose the time.

And then continue with pushing it. Wake up for good at 7:15. Then 7:30. And so on.

It might be a way quicker process than I'm outlining. Or it may take 6 months. But the goal is to never ever let her out of the pen unless she's quiet and settled. Each time you break this rule, you're setting yourself back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Glad to hear Bow is doing well.

It's quite possible as a toy that she may actually need to get out then.... but I can see not wanting to set her up to continue this long term!!!

Two suggestions

1) "the Train your Dog Method" - set an alarm 30 min earlier than she normally asks to go out, and preempt her asking for out, and then deal with her crying for a few days without reinforcing that anyone will get up until she is quiet. No matter what you hear, dont let her out until the alarm sounds. Gradually increase the alarm clock time by 5 min every few days until you are getting enough sleep.

2) The "Desprate for sleep method" - aka "Dog trains you Method" this is what I did when Annie was that age and doing the same thing (not crying afterwards, but waking me for an early morning pee).... I was so exhausted that I fell asleep with her on my bed. When she woke me up, she woke me up more than an hour later than usual, I took her out, then put her in the crate afterwards. After 2 days, she went from waking me at 5 to us getting up at 8 :) you might try something similar if you have two crates? Crate her in your room then after her morning potty, move her into her crate outside the room. I suspect in a few days of that pattern you would know how long she can really hold it and have had a bit of a break with sleep and can try the other method. Over time, you could move the second crate from the bedroom to the doorway to the hall... etc.

I also suggest making nighttime potty breaks super boring - no petting, no talking, just a quick pee and back in the crate.

My poodle was driving me nuts for a while about walks... I started to put an alarm on for when we went for walks and it helped a lot. You might try this for out of crate time... so say, if she gets up for a potty at 5:30, alarm goes off for her to be up at 6 (.5 hrs in crate). Next day alarm for potty at 535, her out of crate alarm at 610 (5 min longer in the crate than the previous day AND 5 min later potty break- 35 min in crate). Then if it's going well, 540 and 620 (40 min in crate... 545 and 630... 550 and 6:40 etc, etc until you can get a reasonable amount of sleep! Basically - crying doesnt get her out of the crate, the alarm does, so there is no point in crying. You could also work on, after you get up in the morning, puppy is not immediately addressed. Puppy is ignored as you make coffee, go to the bathroom, and then, when you are ready and she is quiet and sitting/lying down, you take her out. I required a sit from Annie to get out of her crate and permission after I opened the door, if I approached and she stood, I turned back around and walked away until she was sitting again. She very quickly learned that sitting puppies get let out, and bouncy whiney excited puppies are ignored. She still loves to manipulate me into doing things by sitting down :)

Some people suggest restricting water at night, but I really dont like doing that.

Good luck, hope something helps. Puppy related sleep deprivation really sucks!!!
Thanks so much for your detailed response. I think that sounds doable and like the alarm clock suggestion. She sleeps all through the night so I am lucky in that way, there’s no night time potty breaks once she goes to bed, it’s just those early mornings. It’s been two months and I think I’ve just been waiting for her to be able to hold it instead of trying to train her to a) pee then go back to sleep or b) hold it a little longer and wait for me. She is a little sweetie though, it’s the faintest little whimper to let me know she needs a wee. The problem is once she’s awake she’s awake. This morning I lay on the sofa and she was in her crate and she fell back to sleep but if I dare go to my room she does cry a lot more than any other time. I think she associates mornings with food, training, play and walks. As I’ve been getting up doing all that in the hope she’ll tire and I’ll get an extra hour when it’s done. But I’d prefer to just wait an extra hour then do it all and be up then for the day. Wish me luck I’ll let you know how it goes x
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The method that worked for us was to make sure we always called the shots on wakeup time. Since you've been responding to Bow whenever she's ready to get up for the day, this will take a little patience.

First, make sure she has a small bedtime snack (so tummy acid doesn't wake her up) and fresh water available in her crate or pen so she doesn't have to ask for your help if she's thirsty.

Then set your alarm for before she typically wakes up. Sorry. Lol. The key is to get her back to sleep after, so ideally this will be while it's still dark. And you want her to WANT to go back to sleep, so it's going to have to be at a slightly painful time.

And then slowly start pushing that time back. So if you're getting her up at 3 and she's eagerly going back to bed after, push it to 3:30 for a few days. Then 4. If that's going well, and she's looking at you like, "WHY are you waking me up??" try pushing it to 7am.

At that point, you're going to be getting up with her, so be realistic when you choose the time.

And then continue with pushing it. Wake up for good at 7:15. Then 7:30. And so on.

It might be a way quicker process than I'm outlining. Or it may take 6 months. But the goal is to never ever let her out of the pen unless she's quiet and settled. Each time you break this rule, you're setting yourself back.
Thanks so much yes good advice similar to Annie’s Mumma. I’ll keep you posted and like the idea of gradually pushing it. She’s bang on 5:30 so I’ve set it for 5:20 tomorrow it perhaps should have been earlier but I’m soooooo tired our work week starts on a Sunday too. But hopefully I can get her to associate the alarm with being let out and keep pushing 5 mins.
 

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Let us know how it goes. :)
Will do! Also thanks for the tip on the food, I have her some kibble before bed tonight 🙏🏼 Let’s see how it goes it’s 10:30pm here so I’ll say goodnight and hopefully will start to see some improvement. Just one hour difference would make a huge improvement
 

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I think she associates mornings with food, training, play and walks. As I’ve been getting up doing all that in the hope she’ll tire and I’ll get an extra hour when it’s done. But I’d prefer to just wait an extra hour then do it all and be up then for the day. Wish me luck I’ll let you know how it goes x
If she's getting food, play, and training all after gettting you up - no wonder she wants you to get up lol. I would try and really strictly enforce no food, treats, play, etc until it's actual morning (however you define that), and see if it helps. Again - I can't judge, I was so desperate for sleep my dog trained me to let her sleep on my bed :D

Hope you find something that works - and get more sleep soon!!!!
 

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Glad to hear Bow is doing well.

It's quite possible as a toy that she may actually need to get out then.... but I can see not wanting to set her up to continue this long term!!!

Two suggestions

1) "the Train your Dog Method" - set an alarm 30 min earlier than she normally asks to go out, and preempt her asking for out, and then deal with her crying for a few days without reinforcing that anyone will get up until she is quiet. No matter what you hear, dont let her out until the alarm sounds. Gradually increase the alarm clock time by 5 min every few days until you are getting enough sleep.

2) The "Desprate for sleep method" - aka "Dog trains you Method" this is what I did when Annie was that age and doing the same thing (not crying afterwards, but waking me for an early morning pee).... I was so exhausted that I fell asleep with her on my bed. When she woke me up, she woke me up more than an hour later than usual, I took her out, then put her in the crate afterwards. After 2 days, she went from waking me at 5 to us getting up at 8 :) you might try something similar if you have two crates? Crate her in your room then after her morning potty, move her into her crate outside the room. I suspect in a few days of that pattern you would know how long she can really hold it and have had a bit of a break with sleep and can try the other method. Over time, you could move the second crate from the bedroom to the doorway to the hall... etc.

I also suggest making nighttime potty breaks super boring - no petting, no talking, just a quick pee and back in the crate.

My poodle was driving me nuts for a while about walks... I started to put an alarm on for when we went for walks and it helped a lot. You might try this for out of crate time... so say, if she gets up for a potty at 5:30, alarm goes off for her to be up at 6 (.5 hrs in crate). Next day alarm for potty at 535, her out of crate alarm at 610 (5 min longer in the crate than the previous day AND 5 min later potty break- 35 min in crate). Then if it's going well, 540 and 620 (40 min in crate... 545 and 630... 550 and 6:40 etc, etc until you can get a reasonable amount of sleep! Basically - crying doesnt get her out of the crate, the alarm does, so there is no point in crying. You could also work on, after you get up in the morning, puppy is not immediately addressed. Puppy is ignored as you make coffee, go to the bathroom, and then, when you are ready and she is quiet and sitting/lying down, you take her out. I required a sit from Annie to get out of her crate and permission after I opened the door, if I approached and she stood, I turned back around and walked away until she was sitting again. She very quickly learned that sitting puppies get let out, and bouncy whiney excited puppies are ignored. She still loves to manipulate me into doing things by sitting down :)

Some people suggest restricting water at night, but I really dont like doing that.

Good luck, hope something helps. Puppy related sleep deprivation really sucks!!!
So bit of a mixed week so far, I’ve kept notes to see the progress she’s waking up a little later. But crying a lot between when I put her back in and take her out the second time. Today she actually managed to escape out the back which she’s never done before and was smashed her bowl. So far she’s been crying for 20 mins and next wake up is in 10 mins. I’m not sure if I’m doing it right.
468221
 

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I'm wondering if you are pushing it a bit? If she's still crying every day... Do you go to her when your alarm goes off, or do you wait a few min (probably best if it's immediately after the alarm for now). Maybe give her a few days of the alarm set back to exactly 5:30, and see if you can get to her BEFORE she cries. Right now, it sounds like she's learning to cry longer to get you to come, and get more and more upset, which is exactly the opposite of what you want. If she cries before the alarm, move the next days alarm back 5 min. If she doesn't cry - move forward 5 min.

If you can train her to wait for that alarm - then you can go back to increasing it again, at that same rate, without the crying. Patience now, reward yourself with more sleep later (and a dog that doesn't learn to cry to get out of the crate!) :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I do get her out immediately after the alarm as I set my bedroom 2 mins before so I’m there ready. Yeah I thought the same. Before I get up it’s just a few little whimpers and that is getting a little later each day even by few minutes. But the between is the tricky part. When I put her back in she doesn’t really settle, today was the worst. 🙈
 

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I'm a little confused as to why you're putting her back in after you've woken her up. Isn't the process you chose to just slowly push back her wake-up time?

I think this could be inadvertently making the situation worse.

If you want to put her back to bed after, I would be waking her up well before sunrise. But I'm not sure she still needs that nighttime potty. It doesn't seem like it.
 

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It was the suggestion from want of a poodle, she explains it much better, but I thought it was great way to let her out for her potty but then get more sleep. She always wakes at 5:30 because she needs the toilet, so I let her out and then use to stay up with her. The idea is this was her potty break and then her out of crate/wake up was after that when I’m ready to wake up. But yeah I feel like it’s confusing for her and I’m not actually going back to sleep all it’s doing is waking everyone.

So do you think skip the second part and just keep working on pushing her wake up time? Because the putting her back is where she’s going crazy and crying, the morning cry (5:30) is getting later albeit slowly.

468225
 

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Different methods work for different puppies (and people!) but you originally mentioned she got up at 5:30 regardless of what time she went to bed. So that told me this isn't a potty issue so much as a waking routine that's turned into a habit. (My guess is it's currently timed to sunrise or just before.)

I think if you just keep pushing your wake-up time later by a few minutes every few days you can get this quickly under control.

But keep assessing as you go.

Ideally, you want to always be the one waking her up. So time your wake-ups accordingly. At the very least, she should be quiet when you wake up. If she's already whimpering, set your alarm earlier for a few days until you're consistently the one doing the waking.

And I know you said it didn't help, but I think it's worth blacking out her sleeping space if you can, just like you'd do with a baby. We use a black blanket over the top and three sides of Peggy's crate, with one side open to the wall for airflow.

You need your sleep! :)
 

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Yes this makes sense! Ok great I’ll preserveer and go back to just before she wakes up. The good news is she can definitely hold it. Today the alarm went off at 5:50 and she hasn’t had any accidents.

The goal isn’t that far away as target wake up time is 6:30 instead of 5:30. Just one hour difference.

We have blackout curtains but obviously the light can still creep in and yes you’re correct 5:30 is sunrise.

She sleeps in the crate with door open inside her pen. So I could cover three of the sides but not the front that makes sense.

So maybe tomorrow I’ll set the alarm for 5:30 or 5:25 and try again with 5 min increments.

Thank you so much for helping I sometimes feel a bit clueless and don’t want to do more harm than good.
 

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I think creating a dark little corner at the back of her crate could definitely help her sleep more deeply through that first light.

And P.S. You're doing a great job with her, even when you feel clueless. I promise. :)
 
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