How to Get a Dog to Sleep Laterby Susan Paretts
When little Eddie wakes up early in the morning, he may disturb your sleep and try to get you up along with him. If your pup has turned into an "alarm clock dog," reset his timing by training him to sleep later. With changes to his daily routine and a comfy resting spot of his own, your pup should wake along with you, allowing you to sleep later in the morning.
Exercise your pup for at least a half-hour each day, recommends Dr. Marty Becker of the Vetstreet website. Ideally, exercise him an hour or two before bedtime with some interactive outdoor play or a brisk walk. This tires him out so that he'll sleep longer in the morning.
Change your dog's feeding schedule by moving his dinner and breakfast times later by an hour. Adjust the feeding times slowly, in 10- to 15-minute increments every couple of days, until you reach an hour's difference. This will encourage him to wake up later, especially if he's motivated by food. Further discourage Eddie's early rising by not feeding him immediately after you wake; instead wait at least a half-hour after getting up to fill his dish.
Take your pup out right before bedtime to potty on a leash, observing him to ensure that he truly does eliminate. Some dogs are awoken early because of the need to go to the bathroom, which a before-bedtime potty break should put a stop to.
Crate your pup with you in your room, but don't allow him on your bed. Sometimes your tossing and turning may wake up Eddie early in the morning.
Darken the room in which your dog sleeps with thick, light-blocking curtains and cover his crate with a towel or blanket. This prevents him from being woken early by the light of the sun. Use a white-noise machine to block out any neighborhood sounds that could also wake him early, recommends an article on the Whole Dog Journal website.
Ignore your pup's attempts to wake you in the morning. If you react to your pooch in any way, it only reinforces the behavior, teaching him that by bothering you, he'll awaken you and you'll interact with him. By ignoring him, he'll soon understand that waking early to engage you won't elicit the response he wants, so he'll be more apt to sleep later and rise only when you do.
Items You Will Need
- Dog crate
- Thick curtains
- Blanket or towel
- White noise machine
- Set up an automatic, timed feeder for your pooch to dispense his portion of food in the morning if necessary. This is a hedge against a food-motivated pooch attempting to wake you early for his breakfast.
- Provide your pup with a nice, comfy bed in his crate, which gives him a pleasant spot to rest so that he'll be more apt to sleep later.
- Puppies younger than eight months of age can wait only as many hours as their age in months, plus one, between potty breaks, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If little Eddie wakes you early in the morning to "go," don't ignore him.
- Your pup suddenly waking up early and bothering you to go potty in the morning could indicate that he has a urinary tract infection or other medical issue. Visit the vet to rule out such a problem.
- The Whole Dog Journal: My Dog Wakes Up Too Early!
- Cesar's Way: How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep for You and Your Dog
- Vetstreet: How to Get Your Dog to Sleep In
- petMD: Is Your Dog Keeping You Awake at Night?
- Petside.com: The Dog or Cat Alarm Clock
- DogsTrust: Sleeping and Resting
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: House Training Your Puppy
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images