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Getting a dog to sleep in

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TL; DR: How do I get my older puppy to sleep past 5:30? 🥱

My puppy, Chill, is now almost 10 months old and is still waking me between 5 and 5:30 in the morning. Pre-puppy, my usual wake up time was between 6:00 and 7:00 AM, and I am NOT a morning person, so these early wake-up times are really starting to take their toll. My two older dogs have always (even as puppies) been willing to sleep as long as I wanted to, so I expected Chill to be following their lead by this age! I usually do “last outs” between 9 and 9:30 PM, with everyone in bed no later than 10. Chill has always been ready to rock n’ roll by 5:30 at the latest (even when it was still dark out), and with the sun now coming up earlier and the windows open and the birds starting to stir at 4:00… Chill’s wake up time seems to be getting earlier and earlier. He sleeps in a crate in my room, so it’s hard to ignore him once the barking starts.

This morning he started barking at 4:45. He sounded more desperate than demanding, so I got up, put him on leash, took him downstairs, then, because I wasn’t dressed to be outside, I took off the leash and sent him out Into the fenced yard. He peed pretty quickly (though not for all that long), and then wandered the yard until I was able to get him to come in again (yes, I’ve dropped the ball in teaching him to respond reliably to a recall 😕). When he finally came in, I gave him a treat to reward the recall, put him back on leash, and brought him back upstairs. A handful of kibble got him to willingly go back in his crate, where he settle for a minute or two, and I went back to bed. Within a few minutes, the barking began again… and continued for at least half an hour. I did my best to ignore him, and my occasional “No! Enough!” sometimes achieved a few seconds of quiet, before he started up again. He finally quieted down around 5:30 and stayed that way for about 15-20 minutes…and then the barking started again. At that point, my housemate couldn’t stand it anymore and got up and let him out of my room.

Things I’ve tried include covering the crate (sometimes helps a little), staying up to make “last outs“ closer to 10, ignoring the barking, and, as I did this morning, letting him out to pee and putting him back in. The only time he’s slept till 6 was after a super busy day where he almost didn’t sleep at all during the day (not practical as a daily thing, though I’m trying to figure out how to get him more exercise). The only thing I haven’t tried yet is making him sleep alone downstairs, where it would at least be easier to ignore the barking, but before I go that route, I’d figured it would be worth asking here… am I being unreasonable to expect a 9-10 month old puppy to let me sleep till 6? What has worked for others who had “morning dogs”?
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Do you think he might be thirsty in the morning? If he’s fully potty trained now, maybe you can leave some water in his crate? Other things you may have already tried or can try - cool temperature, fan, no bedding or blankets, white noise, crate cover. My dog likes his snuggle puppy but I think your dog might be pass that age?
TL; DR: How do I get my older puppy to sleep past 5:30? 🥱

My puppy, Chill, is now almost 10 months old and is still waking me between 5 and 5:30 in the morning. Pre-puppy, my usual wake up time was between 6:00 and 7:00 AM, and I am NOT a morning person, so these early wake-up times are really starting to take their toll. My two older dogs have always (even as puppies) been willing to sleep as long as I wanted to, so I expected Chill to be following their lead by this age! I usually do “last outs” between 9 and 9:30 PM, with everyone in bed no later than 10. Chill has always been ready to rock n’ roll by 5:30 at the latest (even when it was still dark out), and with the sun now coming up earlier and the windows open and the birds starting to stir at 4:00… Chill’s wake up time seems to be getting earlier and earlier. He sleeps in a crate in my room, so it’s hard to ignore him once the barking starts.

This morning he started barking at 4:45. He sounded more desperate than demanding, so I got up, put him on leash, took him downstairs, then, because I wasn’t dressed to be outside, I took off the leash and sent him out Into the fenced yard. He peed pretty quickly (though not for all that long), and then wandered the yard until I was able to get him to come in again (yes, I’ve dropped the ball in teaching him to respond reliably to a recall 😕). When he finally came in, I gave him a treat to reward the recall, put him back on leash, and brought him back upstairs. A handful of kibble got him to willingly go back in his crate, where he settle for a minute or two, and I went back to bed. Within a few minutes, the barking began again… and continued for at least half an hour. I did my best to ignore him, and my occasional “No! Enough!” sometimes achieved a few seconds of quiet, before he started up again. He finally quieted down around 5:30 and stayed that way for about 15-20 minutes…and then the barking started again. At that point, my housemate couldn’t stand it anymore and got up and let him out of my room.

Things I’ve tried include covering the crate (sometimes helps a little), staying up to make “last outs“ closer to 10, ignoring the barking, and, as I did this morning, letting him out to pee and putting him back in. The only time he’s slept till 6 was after a super busy day where he almost didn’t sleep at all during the day (not practical as a daily thing, though I’m trying to figure out how to get him more exercise). The only thing I haven’t tried yet is making him sleep alone downstairs, where it would at least be easier to ignore the barking, but before I go that route, I’d figured it would be worth asking here… am I being unreasonable to expect a 9-10 month old puppy to let me sleep till 6? What has worked for others who had “morning dogs”?
I have a few suggestions.

When I lived in a house, if my puppies were 6-8 mo and cried when the sun rose, we moved them somewhere we couldn’t hear the crying. This was usually a different room. A lot of people consider it cruel to let a puppy cry it out, but I’ve had a lot of success.

That said, my Ibizan hound is the bane of my existence. She used to scream and scream every morning. The only thing that has worked for her is a bark collar.
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I would set an alarm for 5 am. Then increase it by 5 min every few days. He will learn the sound of the alarm means wake up time. Make sure he has a nylabone or such in his crate, and a little water. You can try feeding him a small meal around 9 pm or so in case he's waking up hungry.

My 6 month old goes out for last potty at 8 pm before going in her crate (we relax and read/watch TV after that for another hour or two) and sleeps until my alarm goes off at 6 am. So not unreasonable but she's been conditioned to wake you up vs the other way around.

Also if you do think he needs to go potty take him out on leash and bring him right back inside on leash all the way up to the crate. That way he won't wake you up because he's bored :)
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What Ashley said. Let him cry it out all morning until whatever time you want to up.

At 10 months old he can hold it, so it’s not desperate. But he knows you’ll let him out. Also, letting him out unleashed first thing in the morning where he can wander is likely compounding the issue. I’d do a quick out and back in on the leash for the first trip out.
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At that point, my housemate couldn’t stand it anymore and got up and let him out of my room.
What happened then? Was he loose around the house, did he settle?

Is he around the other dogs? Can he see them sleeping?

With my guys - they typically are monkey see, monkey do. They are loose in my room and typically will not get up unless I'm out of bed. My Jovi won't even come out from under my bed unless I'm up. A lot of that is just trained behaviors from one dog to the next. <= I did crate train both my boys and Glee especially slept in his crate until he was about your dog's age. My early problems with letting him out to sleep with the other dogs was that he and his brother would play. So I would wait until the dogs were all sleeping before I opened the crate door, etc. And I did this because I have a small room and the crate was taking up a lot of space. But that's aside the point.

My feeling is that your dog is very active in the morning, wants breakfast probably and especially if there's other people who are awake and moving around that early in the morning - he's awake and wants to be out with them? Maybe?

If he's just peeing when he goes outside - odds are likely he doesn't actually have to potty.
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I work afternoons and evenings, and so have always had later starts to the day than most people and need my dogs to learn to sleep in.

I would suggest much later last outs (like at least 11pm). When Shala was a baby pup, I would take her out as soon as she woke in the morning (it was about 5am ish in the beginning), but very low energy, no lights on, out to the bathroom and then right back in the crate, and say, "go to sleep." And then no more reaction. My goal was to get her to 8, then 8:30, etc. As long as I knew she didn't need to go out, I just let her cry. It took time, but it works if you don't react to the crying. I also would do a brief walk last thing at night for the first little while (even just a walk up and down the street - it actually helped relax her and made her sleep better). And she just slowly learned to sleep later over time. Once she was out of the crate, it was much easier. She would happily sleep with me on the bed all day. Can Chili be out of the crate at night now? Baby gate your room to keep him in but let him sleep on the bed? That might help if he is closer to you.

You don't have far to go if you just want to get Chili to 7. It's definitely possible to do. Make your room dark if the light is waking him up. And if you are sure he doesn't need to go out, just say, "go to sleep," gently but firmly (and just once) and then be quiet (and keep your eyes closed).

Oh - the other thing I do is that I never feed my dogs as soon as we get up. That way, they never associate getting up with eating. We are up in the morning for at least an hour or more before I feed breakfast.

Hope this helps.
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Let me know when you figure it out. I feel like ours take turns deciding who's going to be the early bird. My goal is always last walk at 10 pm and up at 6 am. We make it about 4 days a week. Today Moe decided we should get up at 5, yesterday Cruz decided 5:45. The time change, and the darker hours in the winter, adjust their schedule a little. I am not a morning person, but I have come to enjoy coffee on the patio with the dogs during the nice months.

A few weeks ago my husband was out of town a lot and all the dogs went into high alert. You know you can't change the routine!! Moe decided 4:15 was my new wake up time. The first day I went along with it. The next two mornings I put him downstairs in the mud room until 6:30. I live on a farm, but I'm not a rooster. I'm not trudging around the yard in the dark to play fetch.
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TL; DR: How do I get my older puppy to sleep past 5:30? 🥱

My puppy, Chill, is now almost 10 months old and is still waking me between 5 and 5:30 in the morning. Pre-puppy, my usual wake up time was between 6:00 and 7:00 AM, and I am NOT a morning person, so these early wake-up times are really starting to take their toll. My two older dogs have always (even as puppies) been willing to sleep as long as I wanted to, so I expected Chill to be following their lead by this age! I usually do “last outs” between 9 and 9:30 PM, with everyone in bed no later than 10. Chill has always been ready to rock n’ roll by 5:30 at the latest (even when it was still dark out), and with the sun now coming up earlier and the windows open and the birds starting to stir at 4:00… Chill’s wake up time seems to be getting earlier and earlier. He sleeps in a crate in my room, so it’s hard to ignore him once the barking starts.

This morning he started barking at 4:45. He sounded more desperate than demanding, so I got up, put him on leash, took him downstairs, then, because I wasn’t dressed to be outside, I took off the leash and sent him out Into the fenced yard. He peed pretty quickly (though not for all that long), and then wandered the yard until I was able to get him to come in again (yes, I’ve dropped the ball in teaching him to respond reliably to a recall 😕). When he finally came in, I gave him a treat to reward the recall, put him back on leash, and brought him back upstairs. A handful of kibble got him to willingly go back in his crate, where he settle for a minute or two, and I went back to bed. Within a few minutes, the barking began again… and continued for at least half an hour. I did my best to ignore him, and my occasional “No! Enough!” sometimes achieved a few seconds of quiet, before he started up again. He finally quieted down around 5:30 and stayed that way for about 15-20 minutes…and then the barking started again. At that point, my housemate couldn’t stand it anymore and got up and let him out of my room.

Things I’ve tried include covering the crate (sometimes helps a little), staying up to make “last outs“ closer to 10, ignoring the barking, and, as I did this morning, letting him out to pee and putting him back in. The only time he’s slept till 6 was after a super busy day where he almost didn’t sleep at all during the day (not practical as a daily thing, though I’m trying to figure out how to get him more exercise). The only thing I haven’t tried yet is making him sleep alone downstairs, where it would at least be easier to ignore the barking, but before I go that route, I’d figured it would be worth asking here… am I being unreasonable to expect a 9-10 month old puppy to let me sleep till 6? What has worked for others who had “morning dogs”?
This is just a random suggestion, but do you think any type of white noise machine might help? I need one to sleep myself, so my Rosie has been used to it forever. It seems that when I turn it on at night and off in the morning she responds accordingly. I like that it blocks out some outside noises, including the birds.
Good luck, I've never been an early morning person by choice, so I understand how trying those regular early morning wake up "calls" can be.
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I have a few suggestions.

When I lived in a house, if my puppies were 6-8 mo and cried when the sun rose, we moved them somewhere we couldn’t hear the crying. This was usually a different room. A lot of people consider it cruel to let a puppy cry it out, but I’ve had a lot of success.

That said, my Ibizan hound is the bane of my existence. She used to scream and scream every morning. The only thing that has worked for her is a bark collar.
This has worked for me as well. I placed the crate where I couldn't hear him. It sounds a little mean, but once you let him out after a bark, he has been taught that a bark=release. So he's going to keep doing it.

Best of luck!
We have a crate in the bedroom, and another in the kitchen. Our morning routine is to take him downstairs and let him out to do his business, then re-crate him in the kitchen with his breakfast. We started doing this when he was a puppy to encourage him to have additional morning quiet time when he got up early. Now he will run from outside right into the kitchen crate for his breakfast, eat, and fall asleep again. You could also give the morning meal in a frozen stuffed kong, which would keep him occupied and quiet longer.

Someone does still have to get up with the dog though to let him out and re-crate him, so it's not a perfect solution. But I make one of the kids do that part so it works perfectly for us! :ROFLMAO:
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What is your later afternoon and evening routine like? I'd work hard at making sure he gets very little nap time in the evenings. Even if you have to load up and go on an evening excursion and give up your evening netflix etc. Stay up later - (are you the only grown up in your house, anyone who could stay up later with him? ) Try for 10:30 and make sure he has a chewbone at night to keep him busy so he isn't napping before you crate him at bedtime. If I went to sleep at 9:00 after napping during day I'd be awake at 5:30 am too. Good luck, 4:45 am barking sounds like hell. I agree with others that if you can't work through this (have you tried white noise and foam earplugs?) I'd either get up, take him out and crate him downstairs or I'd start having him sleep somewhere else in the house. Be sure to update us!!
I think my husband would like the solution to this more so than I do. Ramses has had a very haphazard wake up time routine when I was back in France. We both work in Switzerland but my husband would leave earlier than me, he drives while I take the public transport (bus and train). My husband always does the morning pee session 6.30am- lets him out in the garden and he comes back home and just follows us around. I take him to work around 7am and then he gets fed there at work and we are there till 5,6,7pm depending what's happening at work before I take him back home. So he eats quite late at about 9pm during the weekdays.

If I'm alone on the weekends and my husband is on a business trip, there have been days where I am so utterly exhausted I have woken up at 11am. My normal wake up time for the weekend is 9am max. Ramses couldn't even be bothered to get me up if I'm not up - once I overslept till 12noon when he was a puppy and I freaked out. He however was sleeping peacefully no problems at all. On the other hand, if my husband was with me, Ramses will just keep prodding him gently or booping him with his wet nose at 6.30am.. No barking though. He never does that to me. He will go out to pee and then expect my husband to get on with his day - every single day. If my husband was alone and I was away, Ramses will do the same.

But with me, he's always let me wake up and sleep as I want even on all our field/work trips in the Arctic and other parts of Europe. He's generally always been very accommodating to me. I don't understand what that's about. But since he doesn't demand bark and is quiet, my husband relents all the time and I feel like that just reinforces the behavior for Ramses. I could be wrong though... Don't know if others have experienced this...
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Good morning all! Thanks for all the helpful suggestions! There are several good ideas here we can try. I want to reply to everyone’s questions, but I’m short on time this morning, so I just wanted to hop on quickly with a brief update…

So yesterday was fairly busy for the boy. He had very few (brief) naps yesterday. He had a good play session with Castor in the morning and in the afternoon a friend from his puppy class (a black lab his own age) came over for a play session. Chill was SO happy and they spent a solid half hour or more racing around the yard and taking turns chasing one another. It’s one of the first times I’ve seen him “tongue hanging out” tired. Once his friend left, he had about an hour’s nap while I was off at nosework class with Moxie, followed by dinner. We usually ask him to settle around 7:30, but as usual he was still pacing around, chewing on things, asking to go outside, harassing the cat, etc., and it was closer to 8:30 before he finally fell asleep. A half hour later it was last outs and up to bed. I usually let him sit up for a half hour or so before I crate him, but he usually spends the time trying to chew the rug, so last night I put him straight into his crate. He barked for about five minutes and then fell asleep.

He was up and barking at 5:00 AM this morning. I ignored him and he continued to bark pretty much continually until 5:30 when my roommate finally caved and got up and let him out (the roommate is going to be a different challenge! 😆).

So there’s the current status. Apparently giving him adequate exercise is not going to be the miracle cure. I’ll come back when I have more time and answer some of your questions! Thanks again for all the feedback.
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Well, I'm kind of a pushover, so I'd probably adapt to my dog's schedule and get up earlier <g>. Nonetheless, a few suggestions:
1) have you tried giving him a snack before bedtime? A dog biscuit or a small meal? Maybe his young dog metabolism is so high, he's getting hungry.
2) If he sleeps in a crate, have you tried letting him be loose in your bedroom so he can move around and find a comfy spot?

That's all I got. Regardless, as you know, he'll get lazier with age so no matter what you do, he'll grow out of it.
OK, I finally have a few minutes on a "real" keyboard to answer your questions and suggestions...

Do you think he might be thirsty in the morning? If he’s fully potty trained now, maybe you can leave some water in his crate? Other things you may have already tried or can try - cool temperature, fan, no bedding or blankets, white noise, crate cover
  • He's in a soft sided crate at the moment, so no way to leave him water in the crate without him tipping it over.
  • My bedroom is usually the coolest room in the house and I have him directly under an open window, so that's about as cool as I can make him. I tried taking out his bed but he wouldn't settle and the sound of him moving around on the floor of the crate was, I swear, worse than the barking!
  • I've tried a crate cover - sometimes helps but not a full solution.
  • White noise has promise (see update at the end of this post).

I would set an alarm for 5 am. Then increase it by 5 min every few days. He will learn the sound of the alarm means wake up time. Make sure he has a nylabone or such in his crate, and a little water. You can try feeding him a small meal around 9 pm or so in case he's waking up hungry.
This suggestion makes me cringe, but we'll definitely try it if all else fails! He does have a nylabone in his crate (I've never heard him chewing it in there though). When I put him to bed he does get a handful of kibble. I can try a slightly bigger snack... but I don't want him to have to poop before morning!

Also if you do think he needs to go potty take him out on leash and bring him right back inside on leash all the way up to the crate.
At 10 months old he can hold it, so it’s not desperate. But he knows you’ll let him out. Also, letting him out unleashed first thing in the morning where he can wander is likely compounding the issue. I’d do a quick out and back in on the leash for the first trip out
I agree with you in theory, but the reality is that would mean putting on at least a robe and slippers (we border a busy road and the early morning drivers don't need to see me in my nightshirt!), and he often refuses to pee on leash in the yard (he'll just stand there and stare at me, or lay down) so at the least, I think I'd be wide awake before I ever got him back upstairs and crated.

What happened then? Was he loose around the house, did he settle?

Is he around the other dogs? Can he see them sleeping
  • When my housemate lets him out, he and the other two dogs all barrel downstairs and head out to the yard to potty and check out the new smells. Then there is about a half hour of just laying around (or in Chill's case, getting into trouble) before my housemate feeds them breakfast.
  • There is almost always at least one other dog in my room at night - usually my old girl, who is in a bed a few feet away and is usually pretty sound asleep until we start moving in the morning.
I would suggest much later last outs (like at least 11pm).
Stay up later - (are you the only grown up in your house, anyone who could stay up later with him? )
Not practical I'm afraid. Although I'd love to stay up that late, I'd have to sleep in till 7 or 8 to get my full sleep quota, which isn't practical when I have to be out of the house by 7:30 or 8 to get to work. My housemate is usually falling asleep in her chair by 8:30 and is the one who gets up early and takes the morning dog duties, so, again, not practical for her to sit up that late. I tried staying up till 10 one weekend night, but by the time I was in bed and feeling sleepy it was almost 11, and Chill was still awake and barking to get up by 5:30/

Can Chili be out of the crate at night now? Baby gate your room to keep him in but let him sleep on the bed?
2) If he sleeps in a crate, have you tried letting him be loose in your bedroom so he can move around and find a comfy spot?
Not yet. I try to sit up with him for a half hour or so before I crate him and he won't snuggle on the bed and mostly tries to eat my throw rug or pull up the corner of my carpet. I definitely wouldn't trust him loose in my room at night while I was asleep!

h - the other thing I do is that I never feed my dogs as soon as we get up. That way, they never associate getting up with eating. We are up in the morning for at least an hour or more before I feed breakfast.
My housemate is in charge of the morning routine and for reasons I don't quite follow, she says feeding them much later than a half hour after she gets up doesn't work for her. 🤷‍♀️If all else fails, I'll push on that one a bit more...

This is just a random suggestion, but do you think any type of white noise machine might help?
Possibly. See my update from last night, below.

What is your later afternoon and evening routine like?
My housemate takes all three dogs out late afternoon and, as long as they are active/playing, she'll stay out with them, throwing balls and playing tug if they're interested, for at least a half hour. I get home around 6, and generally feed them dinner soon after I get home. Eating usually energizes Chill, so from dinner to whenever he settles for the night (which we try to make 7:30 so we can get some downtime before bed), he's usually pacing around and in and out and generally looking for trouble, or if we're lucky, laying down and chewing on a nylabone. Some nights, if he's really struggling, and if I have the energy, I’ll do a brief training session with him. Otherwise I sometimes have to put him on a leash to enforce an end to activity. We usually wake all the dogs for last outs at 9:00. Very often it takes a half hour to convince all the dogs to potty before bed (there’s a lot of wandering and sniffing, or laying down to enjoy the night). Once we're upstairs, he has about a half hour hanging out while we get ready for bed, and then he goes into his crate (sometime between 9:30 and 10 PM).
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OK, I think that's all the questions... here's today's update...

Last night I stayed up till 10 PM with him (knowing I could sleep in this morning), and it was warm enough to run the fan all night, and, miracle of miracles, he slept until my housemate got up and let him out at 5:45. Success! Not sure yet if it was the later let out or the fan that made the difference. I'm hoping it was the fan since I should be running the fan or the AC most nights for the next few months (whereas staying up till 10 every night isn't the easiest solution).

I'll update again if we find the ultimate solution. Thanks again for all the good ideas!
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  • When my housemate lets him out, he and the other two dogs all barrel downstairs and head out to the yard to potty and check out the new smells. Then there is about a half hour of just laying around (or in Chill's case, getting into trouble) before my housemate feeds them breakfast.
I think this is your problem. Or close to it.

We owned a couple goldens with similar issues in the morning and it generally was because you had the dog pack moving around and the expectation of going out playing with the other dogs, being dogs outside, and coming back inside to eat breakfast, etc...

If your housemate is getting up around that time and getting the dogs moving - they could do you the favor and let the dogs do their thing outside for a little while, eat breakfast, and then come back inside and get used to a routine of hanging out and settling. Basically there needs to be adjustments.
If your housemate is getting up around that time and getting the dogs moving - they could do you the favor and let the dogs do their thing outside for a little while, eat breakfast, and then come back inside and get used to a routine of hanging out and settling. Basically there needs to be adjustments.
Sorry Kate - Can you clarify? This sounds like what is already happening…
Sorry Kate - Can you clarify? This sounds like what is already happening…
I'm saying that your housemate moving around, letting dogs out, feeding them + is creating the whole routine where the dogs know 5-6 AM is time to get up, run around outside, etc. And the barking is getting encouraged as well, because pup barks... and housemate pops in and give them what they want.

It would be better if the housemate who I assume is getting up at 5AM or doing something that is waking the pup.... could just let her outside with the other dogs a little earlier, and feed them.... and then either bringing them back to bed, or just letting them hanging out in a dog-proofed area together (assuming they don't playfight/wrestle when loose, I wouldn't leave active playing dogs along together, especially if one is a puppy) while they go on to work or whatever and you enjoy the remaining 1-2 hours or whatever of sleep.

Just doing that on a regular basis - vs waiting for the dog to start barking and rewarding the barking by letting her out and starting her day.
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