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Bark it out?

(8 Posts)
KarinMurphy Mon 24-Mar-14 12:36:47

I have recently taken on my Mum and Dad's 7 month old labrador puppy because they couldn't cope with her. She's adorable and has, so far, settled down well with my two dogs.

The problem is that she has started to wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning and it's getting earlier and earlier. We usually get up between 7.30 and 8.00 and the dogs would be let out and given breakfast then. She was fine for a few nights but then started waking and barking which woke the other two and they'd bark too. I've been going down to them and letting them out thinking that maybe she needed a wee or something but then they won't settle down again once they are up. If I put them back in the Utility room they bark and bark, if I leave them loose in the house they play like wild things and wake everybody up.

I'm starting to hit menopause and the hot flushes are badly disrupting my sleep and with teenagers who are usually up till 11 at least, the day starting so early is really not welcome. I've got to the stage where I'm so sleep deprived that I'm just not coping. Actually it reminds me of when the boys were babies.

This morning I set the alarm for 6.30, closed all the doors so that I can't hear them barking as much and although they woke at just before 5, I didn't let them out till the alarm went off. There was no poo or wee so they clearly can hold it just fine. If I stick with doing this till the clocks go forward and then start letting them out at 7.30 will they eventually get used to their getting up time? Assuming that the neighbours don't lynch me first! grin

moosemama Mon 24-Mar-14 17:37:22

Is there a window in your utility room? I reckon it's probably due to it being so much brighter earlier recently. Would it be worth trying a black out blind and seeing if that makes any difference?

Two of my dcs (11 and 5) so not toddlers have suddenly started waking up before 6.00 am over the past week or so. We took their blinds down to replace them over the winter and didn't get around to buying the new ones.

My 9 month old pup needs to go out between 6.00 and 6.30 am every day and used to make a real racket and not settle afterwards. We taught him to 'settle' on cue and now we just let him out with minimal attention, put him back in his bed, say settle and go back to bed - which would be great if the dcs weren't waking us up. hmm

To teach the settle you need to capture times when she's lying quietly and calmly and put in on cue using a calm soothing voice. You can also cue them to 'down' on a specific mat or rug and then capture/cue when they start relaxing. Once you've done this several times and used it with a reliable response at different times and in different rooms, you can put them on their mat after you've let them out, tell them to settle and they will know you are expecting them to be calm and quiet.

KarinMurphy Mon 24-Mar-14 17:57:06

Thanks for that moosemamma. I'll work on settle for a while. It's a useful behaviour that I haven't done with her specifically. My two know to go and lie down and she tends to go and lie down with them so it's not something I've worked on individually.

I did wonder about the daylight so had tacked a heavy, dark towel over the window but it does still let a little bit of light in. Hopefully, next weekend, when the clocks go forward it'll at least be 6.00 that they are waking up. smile

cashewfrenzy Tue 25-Mar-14 08:47:42

I've had a couple of cases like this which have responded fantastically well to an Adaptil collar. It's worth a try, especially since this puppy has had a period of disruption and may be feeling insecure.

KarinMurphy Tue 25-Mar-14 11:08:06

Oh, I hadn't thought of Adaptil. It worked wonders for my very nervous Curly. Will give it a go. Thank you.

cashewfrenzy Tue 25-Mar-14 11:52:21

No promises but definitely worth a shot smile

nuttymutty1 Tue 25-Mar-14 13:24:13

What time is the evening meal - I would move this a bit later in case hunger is waking up the puppy. People do worry that it will mean the dog will poo in the night but I doubt it - usually it means the dog will poo later in the morning

KarinMurphy Tue 25-Mar-14 14:29:45

At the moment they have their evening meal at about 6 o'clock. It's only that time because it fits neatly between walking them and cooking dinner. I could easily feed later.

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