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).
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!