Today’s podcast topic comes from you! One of the questions I’m often asked is “how do I get my puppy to stop waking me up?”. Another is “how do I stop my dog waking me earlier and earlier?”. These are common problems, and there are three main reasons it happens, with the most likely being that you have been ‘shaped by dog’. I’ve got tips to help you. There are four things that you can put into action right now
to ensure you get some sleep.
In the episode you'll hear:
- The main reasons a puppy or dog will wake you up in the middle of the night.
- How you could be contributing to being woken by your dog.
- About inappropriate reinforcement that you may not realize is happening.
- The impact of routine and your dog predicting patterns of reinforcement.
- How you can turn things around to ensure you get sleep.
- Why what happens during the day can determine what happens at night!
- Easy observations you can make teach your puppy or dog the “forget it to get it” rule.
- The four things you need to know that will make a massive difference.
- Why your puppy being on leash to potty will improve your life together.
- How I teach my puppies and dogs “Don’t Wake Da Mama”.
- Podcast Episode 16: The Thing Before Your Dog’s Thing
- Crate Games Online
- Podcast Episode 5: What is Shaping And How Can Dogs Shape Us
- Blog Post: Forget It to Get It … Advanced IYC Cookie Jar Game
- Podcast Episode 18: 4 Puppy and Dog Training Games for Acquired Bite Inhibition
- GAME: Learn how to play “ItsYerChoice” (IYC)
- Blog Post: It’s Time to P-o-t-t-y! Inside Scoop on Housetraining
Susan, thank you so much for this! I set our crate on a table next to our bed and followed your other recommendations and our 9 week old yorkie puppies slept through the night for the first time.
Thank you. We have a new 6ish month rescue- stray, Shepard/corgi like. Night 4. She had been in it in the living area and she slept well for first 3 night, last night she started doing a scared whine. We listened to what you said about pack dogs and brought her huge crate into our NYC apartment sized room so she slept facing our old dog and us. Should we prepare for the crate always to be there?
How long should it be before I see improvement with a 7 mo old puppy if I am following these tips? I have been trying for 3 nights now and each night she has woken up about every 2 hours. Before that, she generally slept for longer spans of time but we started trying this new routine because she had been staying in my son’s room, sleeping on his bean bag or floor, and would cry anytime she heard someone moving around in the rest of the house, plus he was sleeping through her cries sometimes and she was having potty accidents. Because her crate is larger and she is already 30 lbs. I can’t have it at my eye level, but it is close enough to my bed that I can reach my fingers in, but she just whines and will not settle down until I take her out. I say nothing and leash her to walk outside to potty. I put her right back in the crate and she will go right back to sleep, but 2 hours later she is at it again. When she is going potty, it doesn’t seem urgent, like she was dying to go. I am a tired mama and am wondering if others have experience with how long this should take to improve? We are also learning crate games and home school the dog at the moment. I was hoping this would add value to her crate because she is getting to sleep right next to me and in the same room as her older dog brother.
Hi! I can’t wait to start fixing some of MY errors with my 11 week old GSD. The only difference is her crate is outside of the bedroom. It is a larger crate from my last Great Dane. She actually does fine out there but does whine at certain times in the middle of the night and I see now how I am reinforcing this. Do you think this is a problem that she’s not in the bedroom? Eventually I would like her to sleep with me but I have to get the play biting for attention to stop first. Thanks!!
Our puppy is four months old, and we have allowed him unwitting,y to be our alarm clock. He starts whining and barking now at sometime between 5:00 – 5:30, we take him out to pee and put him back into the crate, and then half an hour later he barks to start the day. is it to late to start retraining him? Do we just ignore his loud barking until we want to get up?
We are getting a puppy in about four weeks and starting to read all the things. The idea of Don’t Wake the Momma makes me very excited BUT, I’m a bit nervous about having the crate in our room. I usually wake up myself to pee at least once per night – my biggest worry about having the dog in our room with us is that I will wake the dog up when I go do this, where as they might have kept sleeping creating a cycle by accident …. do you have any thoughts/ideas about this? Or what to do if I wake up the dog (do I expect them to just go back to sleep?)
Hi Kasey, record keep what you find. It would be that you just get up – go and come back without any notice of the puppy. It may also be an opportunity to mix it up if you need to and take a wee puppy out before they wake up or to take a quiet puppy out after you go. Puppy potty training is all about schedules and anticipating but knowing their current schedule is something you will learn first by asking the breeder their current routine and then working it our for your own once the puppy is home. Dog training is all about observation so no nervousness on your part just a curious excitement to learn more about this little puppy once he arrives. Lynda (TeamSusan)
My puppy was doing awesome sleeping during the night ( he used to have a problem where he wouldn’t wake me to let me know he had to go when really young and now he is 8 months and hasn’t had an accident in his kennel in 3-4 months) and then recently I started the Ruff Love program and am on week 2 so his exercise has been dramatically reduced at the moment since we went from hour off leash walks putting up with him picking up every piece of garbage to not being able to walk because he pulls on leash so I am having to build up that confidence. Anyways this past week he has gotten up anytime between 12:30-2:30 doing his light soft whine. It seems like no matter if I don’t look or talk to him coming out of the kennel is reinforcement and going potty is reinforcement enough.
Is there a point where I just ignore the whine and hope it’s not because he really has to go/is projectile? Or do I just keep getting up and taking him out with no other reinforcement and hope that when we are able to build up his exercise more again he starts sleeping through the night again?
Stacy, let’s record keep the P & P schedule for the next week. When he does / when he doesn’t – and look at the last 6 hours before 12:30 & 2:30 – also when you take him that late at night keep notes. Look for patterns you can adjust to help him. It sounds like you have adjusted his schedule so you are just working through a new one. Lynda(TeamSusan)
Stacy, let’s record keep the P & P schedule for the next week. When he does / when he doesn’t – and look at the last 6 hours before 12:30 & 2:30 – also when you take him that late at night keep notes. Look for patterns you can adjust to help him. It sounds like you have adjusted his schedule so your just working through a new one. Lynda(TeamSusan)
My 8 mo GSD whines promptly between 6-6:30 every AM. After listening to the podcast, I haven’t been taking her out on leash but do not speak & put her back in crate afterwards (in weekends). Weekdays we get up at 6:08. Her crate is in foyer right outside our bedroom. Any advice? Chronic whiner…smart as a whip.
So my 16 month old Papillon will sometimes sleep through the night but mostly he’ll wake up and whine to go out somewhere between 3am and 6am.
I am guilty of talking to him during the process, because he isn’t keen on having the leash attached recently. He can be a bit sensitive and fearful and develop aversions to anything he suspects might hurt him especially if they happen suddenly and he’s not expecting it so I tell him I’m going to put the lead on and he’s much less likely to freak out about it.
I do genuinely think it’s physically difficult for a toy dog (he’s like 11 lbs) to hold it for 8 hours or more as a fully-grown dog and there’s absolutely no way he could have done it at 11 weeks when I brought him home.
I know I wake in the night, I usually have to pee pretty soon after. I think he’s the same. If he hears something outside wakes him he has to go. Even in the daytime he can’t hold it for much more than 2.5 hours. He just has a tiny bladder.
I mean seriously! You tell me and I can recognise my being shaped, but before you pointed it out I was at a loss as to why my youngster insists on getting me up at stupid o clock.:) I thought I was doing the right things and had a varied routine, and I do… except in the morning! I will be implementing my new protocol with immediate effect thank you! My hubby will be delighted because I am the Grinch when I dont get enough sleep!
Just a little update – we are sleeping! Morning routine changed into no routine, we had an upset tummy on night number 2 which slowed down progress but this has worked so quickly! I really cannot thank you enough for the guidance (and my sleep!!) I appreciate I have more work to do and ensure I keep being unpredictable, but goodness I am delighted!
Hi Sue, that’s super, it’s awesome you shared an update, great going!
With a 4 month old puppy.. I have got my puppy to sleep through the night.. started with crate right next to my head.. but I couldn’t help my self she sleeps with me along with my other Aussie.. but rules no playing in the bed.. and if mom gets up its out potty and right back to bed.. In evaluating, I seem to be doing the same but the crate from my head went to end of bed then the crate was removed.. but my question is I put her down and my dogs walks to door and they go out and I say word Potty.. they go…. but im having door problem… my puppy gets nose to door and tries to get out if I open.. ive tried different. its your choice.. but its very inconsistence on both our parts.. r u able to do a Podcast on going through doors … I do have a secure front gate and yard so when I walk out there is not leash unless we walk through yard gate onto ranch which is large acres with no secure fencing..
My puppies walk me at 6:00 everyday..without missing a beat. I’m going to use your suggestions to let me sleep longer! Thanks for your help. Pat Dean.
We are getting a new puppy tomorrow so very timely. Thank you. If we ultimately want the puppy to sleep in a crate in our bedroom but not by our bedside would it be best to put the crate where we want them to sleep long term and lay next to it or put the crate next to our bedside as you described in this episode and then move it once they are sleeping through the night? Hopefully in a day or two.
Hi Mike, Susan has a blog post to help you with that progression.
Here’s where you can read it:
THANK YOU! Every morning I am awake at 5:10 with our 8 month old puppy. The only time to walk is at the break of day due to the intense desert heat, but in about 5 days the weather is cooling. We will be able to walk anytime of the day all winter long and believe me, that routine is going to be changing. I can also see areas where we need to implement “you get it, when you forget it”. And I need to crate when we are just home. Wow, so thankful for this podcast and insight. And I am looking forward to sleeping past 5:10 am!