The sun has barely cracked the horizon. The world is quiet. Everyone is asleep. Well… everyone except for one super alert puppy. Whining, crying, sniffing, playing, stomping, barking, AWAKE!
A puppy is super cute and hard to ignore. It is perhaps a little easier to say no or grouch at a puppy if they disrupt our precious sleep.
But what you do when you are at your wit’s end? Here are the tips and strategies I use to manage and train my dogs when a new puppy wakes me up—top tips on how to train a puppy to wake up later.
Why does my puppy wake up so early?
When you bring your puppy home, the last thing you may have thought of was creating a sleeping schedule for your puppy. As a result, you’re likely to be woken up by your puppy’s persistent barking or even have them hop on your bed if you sleep with your doors open.
But why does your puppy insist on waking you up early – sometimes even before the sun is completely risen?
For starters, it isn’t that your puppy hates you and wants to make your life miserable. Instead, here are some reasons why your puppy could be waking up at such ungodly hours in the morning:
- Puppies are light sleepers: Some puppies tend to be light sleepers and may startle awake at the slightest sounds. If you’ve woken up to fetch a glass of water in the middle of the night, your puppy may assume that it’s time for them to wake up and play.
- Your puppy is hungry: Like humans, your puppy may wake up early if they’re feeling peckish. Thus, they would naturally look for you regardless of the time of day. After all, your puppy can’t tell the time like you do and can only act on its instincts.
- Your puppy needs the toilet: Unless you’ve prepared an indoor area for your puppy to pee or poop, your pup will likely wake you up early so they can use the toilet. Although this sounds annoying, it may be a better idea to set up a toilet area so your puppy can go about their business without having to wake you up.
Why doesn’t my puppy like being left alone at night?
Like most puppies, there may be various reasons why your puppy doesn’t like being left alone at night.
It may be due to your dog’s nature to be closely affectionate with its owners. Certain breeds (e.g., the Labradoodle and other family-friendly small dogs) are prone to having a social dependency on their owners.
Having them sleep through the night can be a challenge that will take time to train. As a result, you will probably have a sleepless night through your puppy’s barking or whimpering.
Before we dive deeper into explaining how you can calm your hyper puppy at night, let’s look at some reasons why your puppy is refusing to be left alone.
- Your puppy is scared: If you’ve just brought your puppy home, they are likely too afraid to rest through the night. As humans, we would be fearful if we’ve been taken somewhere with a new environment, so why wouldn’t your puppy?
- Give your puppy some time to familiarize themselves with your home. Eventually, they will be more comfortable even if they are left alone.
- Your puppy is lonely: puppies are known to be highly affectionate and need constant accompaniment. If you’ve left them outside your room to sleep, there’s a chance that your puppy is refusing to sleep because they are lonely and wish to have you by their side.
- There’s a lack of routine for your puppy: Like humans, puppies too will require a routine to help them understand when it’s time for bed. When you don’t instill a routine for your puppy to follow, it could be hard for them to differentiate between playtime and bedtime.
- Your puppy is bursting with energy: There are various reasons why your puppy may be hyper, and one of them is that they haven’t been well-tired out. Despite this, a physically tired puppy does not mean you’ll have a mentally tired puppy.
- You will need to address both energy levels if you’re looking to leave your puppy to sleep alone at night. Consider scent training to tire your dog.
- Simply hiding some treats around the house and having a puppy sniff them out often results in a happy tired puppy that does not wake you up throughout the night.
- Check out our list of 35 indoor dog games to play with a puppy to tire them out mentally and physically.
How do I train my puppy to wake up later?
So, now that we’ve addressed why your puppy is waking up early – or worse, staying up all night, perhaps you would be interested in training them to save your sleep. Remember that training your puppy may require some time and patience.
Follow these steps and ideas to try and get a better night’s sleep.
Provide a comfortable, dark, and quiet environment for a dog to sleep
Puppies typically sleep better in dark and peaceful environments. If your puppy still goes to bed in a crate, you may want to cover the crate with a dark cloth to help coax them to sleep.
A heavier dark cloth can also provide sound dampening. This can reduce the number of times a puppy wakes up due to a bump in the night or neighbourhood sounds.
In case you’re worried about your puppy feeling lonely, providing them with a companion like a soft toy should help them feel safer. Be sure to give them a companion that does not contain a squeaky toy inside as you don’t want to excite your puppy.
Set up a routine for your puppy to follow
Instead of prioritizing your puppy’s needs, it may be better for you to instill a routine for your dog to learn. When you wake up in the morning, avoid heading straight to your puppy’s living area to provide them food and water or to play with them.
It seems mean (but has a purpose) to prioritise human concerns first up in the morning.
Instead, you should go about your day and prepare yourself – whether it’s to shower or have your breakfast first. Once you’re ready, you can then attend to your puppy’s needs.
This will teach your puppy that there is a routine of how things work in your home. Suppose you attend to your puppy’s needs first. In that case, they will immediately associate you waking up to playtime or that they have your full attention. In doing this, your puppy will likely wake you up no matter the time of day because they want your utmost attention.
Tire out your puppy
Like children, tired puppies naturally sleep better and longer at night. It would help if you considered taking them for walks even twice a day to tire them out physically and teach them tricks after, so you can tire them out mentally. When your puppy is tired both mentally and physically, they will probably sleep through the night and wake up at a much more acceptable hour in the morning.
Ignore your puppy when they try to wake you up
Although it may sound complicated when you have a hyperactive puppy barking at your door or jumping on your bed, it is an excellent way to train them by ignoring. Completely ignore them no matter how hard they try to wake you up.
Eventually, your puppy will learn that no trick under their paw will work in getting your attention at certain hours of the day. They will stop their habit of disturbing you in the morning. Remember never to wake up a dog to scold them, as they may not know how to differentiate an angry owner from a playful owner.
Let your puppy entertain themselves
Finally, be sure to allow your puppy time to entertain themselves. By providing them toys to take their minds off you, you should be able to receive some extra hours of shut-eye without having your puppy wake you up too early.
Be sure to pick toys that don’t make any noises as they could overstimulate your puppy, causing them to be hyper.
A simple Kong toy (perhaps with treats, or even frozen) can bee ideal.
Self-entertainment could also provide you with extra time in the morning to address your personal needs. This means you could shower or prepare breakfast for yourself before you must tend to your puppy’s needs.
Puppy Wakes Me Up Conclusion
While it may be frustrating to have a hyper puppy, especially when you’re looking for a little shut-eye, you will soon realize that it’s a good sign to have.
After all, a excited and energetic puppy generally means your puppy is healthy and happy, so it’s not always a bad thing to have them bouncing in your bed in the morning.
With a little patience and love, we’re sure you’ll be able to train your puppy to wake up later. They will learn to differentiate playtime from bedtime and give you a good night’s rest.