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Current Replies for Help with a puppy who won't sleep past 4:30 am!
6/17/2008 5:41:07 AM
Posts: 2
We have a six month old Maltese-Bichon mix whom we absolutely adore! For the first two months we had him, I was not working, so I spent every day, all day and all night with him. He sleeps in our bed with us (something I was very hesitant to do but my husband really wanted). We just recently conquered the housebreaking hurdle, or at least my husband and I finally know all his signs that he needs to go out and he rarely has an accidents anymore. He lets us know when he needs to go out at night and we take him out, although the frequency of these occurances has decreased majorly.

A little over two months ago I went back to work and we started keeping our puppy crated during the day. We make sure to walk him and play with him extra hard when we get home and he seems to be adjusting well. He doesn't resist going in and never has accidents in the crate.

Our problem is that lately (for the last two or three weeks) he wants to get up around 4:30 am! During the winter months when the sun rose later, he would sleep until 6:00 am, right when we needed to get up and get ready for work. No matter what we do, we can't get him to be calm for another hour or so. Does anyone have any advice as to what we are doing wrong?

My husband sometimes will try to take him downstairs to our family room and let him hang out in there while he sleeps on the couch. I think that this is giving the dog mixed messages because what we want is for him to go back to sleep and our family room is where we play with him. Sometimes I will put his crate in our bedroom with the door open so he can hang out in it (as he sometimes does while we're all home) but this only works for about 15 minutes and he ends up sitting on the floor by the bed whining.

Are we doing something wrong? I feel like I'm being a bad doggy parent because I get frustrated! By the way, the whining and being awake aren't an issue of him needing to go out, as we take him out right away. Its when we bring him back to bed that he won't settle and is ready to go for the day.

Any advice you could offer would be great appreciated! We love our dog like most love their children (we dont have any yet!) and would just like to remedy this little issue. Maybe he is just a "morning dog" and this is something we will need to get used to? Thanks!
6/17/2008 10:40:10 AM
Posts: 75
I hope you will get some other more creative responses, but I would crate him again at night, if it were me. I would probably take him out to potty and then put him back in his crate and keep the lights out and ignore him when he whined. It wouldn't be easy, and you would not get much sleep while you trained him, but you're not getting it right now anyway. Maybe later, as he gets older, you could let him sleep in your bed again after he's figured out 4:30am is not playtime. If you don't want to do anything this drastic then you'll have to put the puppy's wants before your own (of sleeping until 6am). JMHO, there might be less-drastic ideas others can share.
6/19/2008 1:01:54 PM
Posts: 409
You can try playing with him later into the evening so that he is really worn out for bedtime, but your best bet is probably going to be the crate.

if he wakes up and needs to go out at 4:30, take him, but only go out to potty and come right back in. No playing, no talking to him in a happy "let's start the day" voice, just out and back. When you come inside put him in the crate and go back to bed. he may fuss for a while, but eventually he'll get the idea that he can't be up when you aren't.

Good luck and have patience.
6/26/2008 8:58:52 AM
Posts: 2
Thank you for your help! We've actually been taking him for walks around the neighborhood twice a day, once when we get home from work and once a little later in the evening. This seems to be helping. He has been sleeping until around 5 am and then needing to go out, once we come back in he'll lay down for another hour or so until its time for me to get up. Keep your fingers crossed for me that we have solved the issue!