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Puppy cries around 5am but wants nothing-why??

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Potoft, May 19, 2017.


  1. Potoft

    Potoft PetForums Newbie

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    OK so we have a lovely 10.5 month old cocker spaniel bitch. All is fine but she starts crying at anywhere between 4am and 6am every morning. She doesn't need to be let out or anything but it now seems to be her routine. She is in a crate with playpen addition in the lounge. We cover the crate and playpen as she seems to prefer thay. She has no problems going in and out of it. We leave a soft toy and chew type toy and even tried leaving toys with food in just in case it was boredom or hunger but these aren't touched.
    The way we've dealt with it so far:
    + go down let her out for a wee as thought that is what she wanted but then she is fully up and won't go back to bed. We've worked out she doesn't actually need the toilet as she has a different alert for that one!
    + tell her to 'settle down' this method works after a few times of saying it and she will sleep for another hour or 2. However sometimes she will go back to sleep and I can return to bed but other times she will start crying again 10 minutes later so I end up sleeping on sofa next to her. This is the only method that is working
    + letting her out and bringing her up to our room but then she thinks it's play time even though she will then eventually settle and go back to sleep on pur bed, trouble is we are then wide awake!
    + ignore her but this doesn't stop it and it just goes on, and on, and on and on.....we left her doing this for 30/45mins and if anything it ramped up.
    How do we get her out of this apparent routine?!!
     
  2. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

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    She's lonely. She's spent however many hours asleep and she's full of energy and she wants to see you. She should eventually grow out of it.
     
  3. Potoft

    Potoft PetForums Newbie

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    That is the conclusion we've come to thanks Mirandashell. When she hears us and we hear her sniffing she must smell us and feel ok that she isn't alone. We dont let her see us as that ramps up her excitement and she is then at the door with a toy in her mouth which is her greeting!
    Just didn't know if there was something we should be doing or whether we were inadvertently reinforcing this behaviour. I was away for 2 days and she was with my husband and had him up at 4am and 4:15am. Last night when I was back she went to her more normal 5am! Hope she grows out of it soon as she gets to nap during the day but we work haha!
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  4. Amelia66

    Amelia66 PetForums VIP

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    you could try using an alarm.
    Set the alarm for before she would usually wake and get up with her at that time. After she gets used to this routine start setting the alarm 15 minutes later each mrning till you get to the desired wake up time. She needs to be able to hear the alarm too for this to work.

    It helps to get her into the routine of alarm noise = humans and not before. You also need to do it slow so shes comfortable with the time and not waking up before. Means more early mornings but could eventually solve your issue
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  5. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    To be honest the dawn chorus starts around 4ish ....and it starts to get light .... my youngsters can be woken by the arrival of the day in the summer. There are also animals sounds outside that they can hear. And then it becomes a habit ...and i suspect by trying different things you have inadvertently implemented variable reinforcement .

    To look to break the habit I would look to implement a different day/night routine altogether. 10.5 months of age isn't a puppy ...it's a young adolescent and young adolescents need different exercise and training routines. Is she happily fulfilled through the day. Can she settle on her bed in the daytime when you are there. In prep for the evening, I would change her last walk time. change her last feed time and change her bed time. In fact I would remove toys and anything food related from her pen ...night time isn't playtime ..it's sleep time! I will sometimes leave an Antler. Chewing helps a dog relax (and sleep!)

    I would probably personally look to work on telling her to settle ...and then when she does, only leaving her for 10 minutes max so that her 'settle' (quiet) is rewarded by my coming down. I would gradually increase this over time until we have a more advantageous wake up time.

    In my house I wake at 5am anyway lol

    J
     
  6. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    If this is something that has started more recently since the mornings have gotten lighter then that is probably why. The day light and the noise of birds which normally starts with daybreak and daylight tends to wake them and starts them off. Both mine were summer pups and did exactly the same thing. The flight variation between the exact time she is waking could be that its a bit later on dull over cast days, and earlier on really bright sunny days. If you keep a note what time she wakes and what the weathers like on that day, that may give you the answer. I know you cover the crate, but are the curtains closed in the room she is in too, and if so do they block out much light? The good news is that they do seem to grow out of it, or both mine did.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  7. LittleKrystal

    LittleKrystal PetForums Junior

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    You could set up a sleeping area in your room for your puppy. My puppy tends to wake up around 5am but he doesn't really make a sound, he just sometimes wets himself. If we take him out for a toilet break, and then pop him back into the crate he'll tend to cry and cry.

    So what we've done the last few days is pop him into our room, get him up at around 4:30am/5am, take him out for a toilet break and then pop him back into bed. He whines a bit but he can see that we're sleeping, so he'll fall back asleep. Also, he feels less lonely as he can see us there. It does help to give us a few more hours of sleep, especially over the weekend.

    You can try something like that as well as increase exercise. I find off leash running around in a field massively tires my puppy out. If you've done some off leash training (or even use a long 10m line), you can let him off in a big park/field before it gets too dark and let him tire himself out. There's a few parks/fields around my area that tend to be pretty empty by early evening, so we sometimes take my puppy there for an hr and let hm run and run and run, while we stroke around slowly, he's usually pretty drained by the end of it.
     
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