Jump to content

Waking Earlier And Earlier

Recommended Posts


We've had Harry for almost 4 weeks now and he's making great progress with us. We have trouble getting him to go out on walks and use the garden but made a breakthrough last weekend when myself and my partner were having breakfast in the garden and he followed us out of his own accord! It was something we'd been hoping he would do and he's much better in the garden now, although still jittery and won't come out if it's noisy in the park behind our house.


He doesn't enjoy walks and we really have to nudge him out of the house most days, but we stick to the same route (a few quiet streets nearby) and he has some days better than others. He isn't particularly treat-motivated when he's stressed so we just do lots of verbal reassurance when we walk him. Luckily, he never freezes so we don't have that problem. He tends to just pull in the direction he thinks will take him home!


It's early days though so not too worried yet and hopefully his confidence will build.


One problem we're having recently is that he is crying to wake us up earlier and earlier. Last night he woke us at 3am. We took him in the garden but after 15 mins he didn't do anything so we took him back in. He then woke us at 5.30am, I took him out again and he did a fairly small pee.


As I was up, I then took him on his walk about 6.15am. He usually goes about 6.30 or 7am.


We take him out for walks twice a day at around 7am and 8pm. He goes out in the garden in between those times and at about 11pm. The last garden visit of the night, he just pees as he always does a poo on his walks.


I'm just wondering why he is waking us earlier. Up until last week, it was usually about 6.30am which I can cope with!


We don't want to ignore him while we're still house training him but if he's testing us we don't want to give in.


We live in a small house and he sleeps downstairs. We keep our bedroom door open so he can hear us. After we take him out in the morning I'd be happy to bring him upstairs with us for an hour or so before we get up but we don't want him to sleep in our room all night.


We haven't taught him the stairs yet because we didn't want to throw another new experience at him while he's still getting used to everything else!


Any advice on how to make him rise at a more acceptable time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first inclination is that he doesn't want/need to go out for a pee. He is probably lonely, which is pretty common among Greyhounds who have never spent a day/night alone until they go to a Forever Home as an only dog, and wants to sleep in your bedroom.


Is there a reason you don't want him in your room? Sleeping in your room doesn't mean you have to let him on your bed. He just needs one of his beds to curl up on and he'll probably be happy.


Stairs: There are lots and lots of posts about teaching stairs. I understand not wanting to toss too many things at him at once, but it's time, and it can be done fairly easily and quickly. Here's a good post about teaching stairs with different suggestions.




And remember, he is the dog and you are the hoooman. :-) Even if he protests and doesn't want to learn stairs, he needs to so have confidence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to both of you. This is why I love this site.


Our landlord asked us not to let him upstairs when we first asked his permission to have a dog. I actually think it would be ok as long as we didn't let him roam around upstairs when we're not there, but the other half isn't too keen.


I think the next step, excuse the pun, is definitely teaching him the stairs. I've been putting it off to be honest as he can get quite stressed in the garden or on his walks so I want him to relax the rest of the time. You're right though, if we're confident with him it will help!


He needs to learn anyway as we plan to take him to stay at my in laws' occasionally, where there are lots of stairs!


I'll have a good read through that other thread and report on progress!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lonely and/or bored. And, let's face it, his clever plan is working! He whines and you reward him with getting up and keeping him company while he does nothing in the yard for 15 minutes!


If a dog has to pee, he'll go pretty much immediately. Don't give him more than 5 minutes. If he doesn't go, then back in the house. Don't speak to him except for, "Let's go tinkle" (or whatever term you use), do not give him a treat, do not reward him in any way. After a few nights of that, he'll realize it's not going to work.


Can I ask why your landlord doesn't want him upstairs? Is it hardwood floors or something? Because he's far less likely to get up to mischief or cause damage from boredom or whatnot if he IS upstairs with you. Perhaps the landlord didn't really think it through.


Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you sleep with him for a night and see if that helps?


I would not do this because it isn't what you want. It could backfire and confuse him. Don't reinforce a practice that won't work for you or is against house rules. You could end up with a habit of him wanting YOU downstairs, instead of him upstairs, which could be more difficult to break.


Greyhounds need lots of love and gentleness. They also need to know that mom and dad will take care of him/her and, just like a child, need to know the rules, so to speak, so they feel secure. Part of feeling secure is not being alone but being with their humans. And while they don't sit around planning how to manipulate their humans -- after all, they are just dogs, no matter how special -- they remember that mom did *this* yesterday and maybe she'll do it again today, and I'll let her know I want it again by crying or whining.

Edited by Feisty49
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once again, thanks all. The advice is much appreciated!


The funny thing is, we have wooden floors downstairs, albeit with lots of rugs, and upstairs is carpeted so he can probably do less damage up there than he can down here. We've now decided to let him up there when he's with us and we'll keep the bedroom doors closed when we're not home. That seems like a happy medium.


As a result, we just did his first training session on the stairs. They're quite steep so we didn't anticipate an easy ride but he did really well.


That thread about stairs came in handy (thanks Feisty49). I got behind him, the other half led with the lead and some treats. I alternated his feet on each step and we slowly made our way up. I carried his weight when moving his feet but it was satisfying to feel him take his own weight as he steadied himself in between steps.


We put his second bed in our room along with his food bowl containing some special treats and some water. When we got up, we gave him loads of praise and then let him have a wander about. In the meantime I needed a lie down to rest my back!


We stayed up there for about half an hour before going down. That was much harder because the stairs are steep, but carpeted thankfully, and he kept planting his bum on each step and digging his front claws in. We got there though and he came down the last two steps himself. Lots of praise and more treats.


He keeps sniffing at the bottom of the stairs now. We're going to try again in the morning!


Apologies for the essay! Just wanted to ask, has anyone tried Adaptil plug-ins or collars? We got a plug-in before he arrived and it's just ran out. Considering getting a collar to help him on his walks but the reviews I've read have been mixed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Lillypad

I hope everything works out of you. The suggestions above are excellent ones. However, if you are still having difficulties with him realizing just what bed "time" means, can you crate train him. This method was very helpful for me in the early days. Todate, my girl is not made to sleep in the crate she often chooses to, she has an option the crate or bed, her choice. But I will say that when we have a time change and she is not adapting, I will close the door at night until she gets the idea of the adjustment. I realize some hounds are not fond of the crate, I am just mentioning this as a possible option. If you think this method might help you can search the internet for crate training tutorials. This link may be helpful http://www.clickertraining.com/to-crate-or-not-to-crate

Edited by Lillypad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did seriously consider getting a crate as we both have family members who use them with their dogs and they work really well. The main reason we didn't is because our house is quite small and a decent sized crate would have taken over our living room. I do think it would be useful but I'm hoping we can get by without one now.


I think hunger could be a factor. Will start giving him a treat before bedtime and see if that helps. Have also ordered him a fleece until the weather gets warmer. I let him out in the garden at 5am this morning with his coat on and he did go to the toilet. When he came in, he went straight back to bed before I could take his coat off so I left it on and he slept for another couple of hours! Then he made his way upstairs to our room at 7am and had somehow taken it off, haha.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...