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Morning Time Issues


Guest ramses
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Hello! Let me preface this by saying I'm a new dog owner. What I mean is, I owned a dog as a child and was minimally involved in the care for it and he wasn't "my" dog, so pardon me if I sound particularly confused and worrisome, though the confusion and inevitable bad syntax is likely because of sleep deprivation. :nappy And now for a wall of text.

 

We got our boy Ramses at the end of July. For the most part, the biggest and most persistent issue we've had is pudding poop. He's a great dog. Very quiet, very gentle, and a happy little couch potato. Until recently. I don't work and I'm a night owl so I tend to go to bed very late (2:00-3:00 am) and wake up late (11:00-12:00p). Getting up earlier to let him out and feed him has been an adjustment but he was never very needy. He hasn't shown that he's needed to be crated so he sleeps on a comforter in our bedroom. Because of his freedom, he'd very politely kind of nose my partner and I until we got up. My partner works varying shifts and has been on first shift a lot since we got him so he's generally the first to take him on a potty walk at 5. At first we were feeding him around 10:00 and it got earlier and earlier by demand, but always varied between 7:00 and 10:00. No big deal. It was always the same. He'd shock us with his cold nose and rub himself along the bed so it shook until we got up. After he was fed, I'd go back up to bed, he'd join eventually, and I'd sleep soundly until noon.

 

Holy WOW this changed very abruptly on Monday. Partner got up before the crack of dawn as usual to get ready for work, took him out, and left. 20 minutes later, Ramses was waking me up with some distressed noises. I took him out and he pooped. Problem solved, I thought. I can't remember when I fed him, but he got fed. Aaaaand back up to bed I went. Oh, no. This did not fly. He kept waking me up every now and then, very excited every time. He was running up and down the stairs and didn't want to settle and I thought (see: panicked) it was gastric torsion. Once it became clear it wasn't, I ruled it out as a weird and hyper morning.

 

Yesterday was worse. Woke me up while my partner was in the shower so I took him out and went back to bed. Again, he kept very excitedly coming up to the bed and prodding and he growled and then barked. I think they were related, like the growl was leading up to the bark because he's ALWAYS so quiet. Never makes a peep. Holy crap, the bark scared me half to death. It was very surprising. He's so excited when he tries to get me up it could almost read as aggressive. Not that I think he's being aggressive, but that's the best descriptor I could come up with. I finally got up and came downstairs with him and he immediately laid down on his bed and was knocked out. Figures.

 

This morning, woke me up again. Eventually I got Ramses locked out of the bedroom, and there was whining. I turned on the light and TV so it'd be similar to what it's like when we leave him alone in the house. Lots of going up and down the stairs, waiting outside the door, etc. It was especially bad when he could hear me moving in bed. I peeked over the loft to see what he was doing, and he was standing at the bottom of the stairs, staring up. He saw me, so I decided this was a great time to blearily write all this out. Surprise! I'm down here with him and he's chilling in the bed, sleepy, not a care in the world.

 

It's like he's frustrated that I stay in bed or something, even with his immediate needs met. This was very sudden and very out of the ordinary. When I went back to bed, he'd go right back to sleep, too. I'm not happy about it. We all value our sleep, right? If anybody out there can suggest a solution or insight as to what is happening, I'd greatly appreciate it. And while I have you all here, what is your opinion on raised feeders? Good or bad for preventing bloat?

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I do agree with GeorgeofNE that dogs thrive on routines. I worked evenings/early nights most of my life keeping the same hours as you do. Every one of my dogs, including ones just off the track and farm, learned quickly to sleep till almost noon. You just have to have a constant, no matter where on the clock it is. Mine eat at around noon and midnight so Poodle can get his insulin.

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Okay, schedule. Cool. A couple additional questions: How do I stop this behavior he's exhibiting now in order to get him on a schedule? Any tips on easing into one when everything is wonky? And what do I do in terms of my partner's schedule being completely different from mine? Again, he often wakes up shortly before 5 am. GeorgeofNE, why wouldn't I like the answer? I have no problem adhering to a schedule and it certainly wasn't intentional that he doesn't have one. Hubcitypam, ahh that sounds nice. I have a feeling that I'll have to adjust to my partner's very unfortunate first shift schedule. It'd be easier than expecting him to sleep through one of us getting ready in the AM and waiting for the other for doggy things. That said, after doggy things are all taken care of, my going back to bed seems to frustrate him now.

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Guest chickenpotpie

I think its more than lack of schedule TBH. Our dogs KNOW when we're in the house, so his behavior in part is based on that too. I work at home, and Lucky KNOWS I'm home, but, she will also go into a whining session (or bark) if she's too lonely. She as of yet has not ventured down the stairs into my office, but we're working on that...she just has to be lonely enough!

 

The other thing is he may not be drained of the excess energy. How long of a walk does he go on and how many times a day? Is it possible to get him to a place where he can work of the excess? How about playtime, do either of you take time for that?

 

 

After I take her out for her walk in the a.m., I work until 2-3, then take her out for another neighborhood loop. A couple of days a week I run her into the ground because she needs it, otherwise she'd be crazy hyper. One day a week we take a hike...literally! :hehe She loves the woods so this gives her something to do than the same ol' stuff.

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I don't think you'll necessarily need to change your schedule, but just be sure your dog is on a schedule. You said your partner typically walks him before he leaves for work - great, that's one part down. If your partner walks him, feeds him, and then lets him out for a last potty chance before he leaves in the morning, then that's one part of the schedule. The other part of the schedule will be that after this happens, Ramses comes back to bed with you and sleeps with you (or near you, or wherever he wants to) until you get up at noon. If that's how you want the schedule to work, you can make it work that way. If all of his immediate needs are met (potty, food, potty), ignore him when he tries to get you out of bed. It'll probably get worse before it gets better (more barking, etc) but until he calms down and YOU'RE ready to get up, don't get up. You could also do it gradually with "alarm clock training" but I'm not sure how effective that one is - I hear good things about it, but it might not apply well here. Others have used it and if it could work, hopefully they'll chime in with directions :)

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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He lubs you!!!

 

When one of mine pulls this act, and I'm sure they're ok (not hungry, thirsty, doesn't need to potty), they get crated. You may have to listen to whining a few times, so get some soft earplugs before you try it. If partner is taking care of his needs before he's up, can he crate Ramses when he leaves so it becomes part of the routine? Eventually, the dog is likely to crate himself, and you'll just be able to leave the crate door open.

 

For your other question, I use raised feeders because they look more comfortable than bowls on the floor.

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Oh man, thanks for all the responses. I mean, there is definitely a schedule. It's just loose. It's always generally the same time. But if need be, I am definitely willing to try a very strict down to the minute type schedule.

 

chickenpotpie, he gets walked at 5 (when boyfriend is on first shift), at noon, at 4, sometime between 8 and 9, and lately at midnight, too, to see if I can drain more energy and the last potty. We play fetch during the day, too. It's so cute. I was amazed.

 

roo, I think I'll just have to ignore if this continues. It was startling that he got more aggressive with it. Not aggressive like I'm going to bite you, but definitely more forceful. More vigorous tail wagging, getting way more in my face, and the brand new growlbark (which has still only happened once). From what I could tell, the "schedule" we had was working just fine for him. All needs met.

 

Riverhound, aww I know. He's so funny and adorable. I'm just tired. We actually don't have a crate. So far, he's done spectacularly without one. Even leaving human meal time alone which required just a bit of training. About the feeders, I get that. Because of the potential severity of gastric torsion I've done some research on it and there are two definite schools of thought. 1) Deep chest! They need raised feeders because bloat! and 2) Do not ever use raised feeders ever because bloat! ... Ahh yes, do but don't. Got it. :rofl All anyone needs is a nonraised raised feeder, amirite?

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I agree with the others...he whines and barks at you because he's awake and knows you're there. On a normal week day, James stays home by himself until our dog walker comes around noon to take him out. I took a sick day Monday. I had high hopes of napping with James on the couch. Well, James had other ideas. Mom's home...let's play. He was up several times every hour whining at me to do stuff. I took him on an extra long afternoon walk in hopes of tiring him out. Nope. it was only 45 minutes later and he wanted to do more stuff. I'd say your boy just wants to interact with you. You're not as much fun to him when you're sleeping. :P

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My thought was he's a fast learner. He realized something that got you up the first time and now he may be using his new found ability to get you up because it worked a few times in a row. A schedule is important and that will help, but sometimes dogs inadvertently learn something and put it into practice.

 

I very recently had this happen with Rudy. I actually have a dog door so the biggest reason my dogs want me up is to feed them. Well one morning I slept in a bit and Rudy came to the side of my bed and whined and poked me with his nose. I woke up and commiserated with him that it was past breakfast time and I got up petting and cooing at him. Lo and behold, the next morning he came up whining and poking right about the time I normally get up. The next morning, it was 20 minutes earlier than I usually get up. I finally began to see what was going on here :lol The next morning he came up a full hour earlier than I get up and began whining. I laid there like a log and gave no reaction. He paced and whined a bit, and finally went and laid back down with a long-suffering sigh. After a couple mornings we were back to normal, no whining at me to get up.

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Dane does this with me too. And I know what you mean by "aggressive" I call it "bullying" as in "he's trying to bully me into getting what he wants." Usually he does this loud barky behavior about half an hour--an hour before dinnertime :lol Though occasionally he will not suffer the idea of me taking a nap. *Sigh* Though part of me wonders if his bed in the living room is more comfortable for him than the one in the bedroom. Need to get some foam to put underneath it for extra support maybe... But yes, he gets all bothered and noisy and all he wants to do is sleep in a different room! So very frustrating! :lol

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My dumb emotional issues about this are greatly assuaged. Especially now that I've gotten more sleep. :) You all have been so nice and helpful, thank you. When I fell back asleep, he was knocked out quite contentedly in the bedroom as well. Figures. I noticed he was about to start with the bullying so I immediately got on the firm "No!" It took only a couple of them and he went and laid back down. What a goofball. We'll see how he does tomorrow morning and if he's as responsive to the "No"s then. He ought to be, he's very good at recognizing when he's doing something wrong and stopping it.

 

As much as I hate that people's sleep gets disturbed, I'm glad I'm not the only one this has happened to. What shocked me the most was how much the "bullying" if you will escalated because it used to simply be well-timed nose pokes and bed rubbing.

 

For good measure, here's my guy, if I can figure how how to upload pictures.

 

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Maybe I missed it but you didn't say how long you walked him. Ramses looks young and if he is energetic when he wakes up after the bulk of his night sleep, he may need a solid one hour walk at minimum to get him mellowed out again. Don't feel too bad, mine needs close to two hours of exercise in the morning to be at his best. Most dogs want nothing more when they wake up than to eat and then walk, pee, poo, and sniff their brains out.

 

Considering Ramses came to you in July, now is the time when he is likely falling deeply in love with you and gaining confidence in himself. He wants you to get up and go for an adventure with him.

 

Many greys cannot thrive without a regular schedule. Some have a preferred schedule and may resist conforming to yours. And some are more flexible. The one constant that makes them all workable is adequate exercise. I have never seen a Grey disturb their owner after a long walk,

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My solution, be it ever so humble........when he's pestering you to get up in the morning, go on downstairs with him.

He'll sleep on his bed, you can sleep on the couch. He's happy, you're asleep, no problem.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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Guest psdirector

Hutch gets me up early and Tibbs just follows along - but if I take them down to the family room, they settle down immediately on their beds. I bring my blanket and pillow ( and phone for an alarm clock) and I get to go right back to sleep. If I stay in bed, Hutch will push his wet nose into my face and then whine - I can deal with that - but then he'll start throwing toys around and jumping after them with his 84 lb body and the noise is way more than I can take. So we all sleep downstairs, when my alarm goes off I feed them breakfast and it's all good.

 

Tibbs will do that bullying, barking thing within an hour before dinner. I've learned that if I sit quietly and cover my face with my hands, he goes and lays down. He's so quiet the rest of the time, it's weird. Sometimes it helps when I let the boys out to burn off some energy. The other 23 hours of the day he's an angel.

 

Both boys hate it when they know I'm home and not spending time with them. That will really get Hutch's whining machine going!

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Guest Waterdog66

Just be patient; It is going to take some time for everyone to get settled into a routine that will work for everyone.

 

Consistency in the routine is great for helping the new hound acclimate. (As others have said) The good news is that for many greys, humans are somewhat interchangeable. A Walk at a certain time is a Walk and it does not matter too much which human does the walk.

We have had Audrey for almost 5 months now and she has adapted quite well to the routine. She politely wakes us up now (No more Rooing at 4a) at the correct time and seems to just know when it is too early and will go back to sleep until its time for her morning walk.

Hopefully you and your hound can find a similar balance of expectation and schedule :)

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Aw, what a lovely boy! Emmie started out as a very quiet, docile girl. When she first came home from the track (she wasn't fostered first - went from the track to the adoption agency to us) everything was new to her and she got exhausted very easily. After a couple of months the cheeky personality came out and over time as her endurance has built she's also become a lot more high energy. She went through a phase of doing the whole barking to wake us up thing as well. Your description sounds exactly the way she behaved. It helps that we have a regular schedule during the week. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I walk her in the morning, and my husband walks her Tuesday and Thursday (before he takes her to daycare). He walks her Monday and Wednesday nights, and I walk her Tuesdays and Thursdays. We alternate Fridays! On the weekend we like to sleep in, and although this may not be a solution for you we let her onto the foot of the bed and she will sleep there until we get up (or if it's a nice day she'll sleep out on the veranda in the sun). I do make sure she has good long walks on the weekend to tire her out! I agree with the others - sort out a schedule and stick to it and he will pick up your cues.

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