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Waking up early and anxious/playful


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Hi everyone, 

We adopted our lovely grey Skelly a little over 2 months ago. She was especially anxious (even the kennels we got her from told us she was going to be a tough one) but we really loved her and are trying to give her the best home possible. She's come leaps and bounds in the last 2 months and is a completely different dog from when we first got her. She is full of affection and cuddles and growing more confident each day.

One thing that we are still struggling with is her morning wake up, she continues to wake up very excited and full of energy around 5am. Starts whining for our attention, jumping up at the door and chewing up our books. We have tried the alarm trick and tried increasing the time increments to a little bit later each day. She was at 6:30am wake up calls which was fantastic but every few weeks she reverts back to waking up at 5am and we have to start the entire process over again. Any suggestions on how we can get a little bit more sleep? 

She doesn't seem to be needing the bathroom urgently in the morning or really hungry so I don't think that's what is waking her up. She just seems to wake up a bit needy for attention and affection. 

Our current schedule looks like this: 

Bathroom: 5am right now but ideally 6:30am 

Breakfast: 8am 

Walk: 9am 

Bathroom: 3pm 

Dinner: 7pm 

Walk: 8pm 

Snack: 9pm

Bathroom: 10:30pm 

Edited by SkellysPet
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It sounds as if she's in your room, which is great - best way for you all to bond - but I wonder if there is some external cue that is waking her up? Dawn light through thin curtains, milk float going past, boiler kicking in, whatever? If there is and it's beyond your capacity to change, I'd be inclined to just reassuringly say "it's okay Skelly, settle back down!"

Does she know "bed" or "settle" as a command yet? If not, start teaching her in the daytime, with the aid of treats. Can be useful when visitors come, too; as she's a nervous girl she would probably find it helpful to know that there is somewhere which is hers, and a safe haven, when strangers are around.

If you can't identify an external cue, I personally would get up in silence, take her out for a quick loo break, and then still in silence settle her back down.  Maybe give her a treat, if you think that will help. Then - go back to bed yourself, and steel your heart to just ignore any whining. If she escalates to jumping around/ chewing stuff, say "uh-uh" sternly and settle her back down.

It may take a few days, and quite a few goes, but eventually she will get the message that 5.30 is too early to get you up for anything except an emergency!

 

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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EXERCISE 

EXERCISE

EXERCISE

it sounds like that pup needs to run. A tired dog is a good dog. 

Bike ride or maybe jogging in the morning. I hope you are a morning person!😎

I did have a demanding foster who bit her way out of 2 other homes. When she was verbally naughty in her crate I used a plant spray. She learned not only to sleep the night and not bark but to sleep to a respectable 7am. 

Edited by cleptogrey
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How old is Skelly? Greyhounds usually calm down from 4 years old.

And what level of protein is in the food you feeding her? Retired greyhounds only need about 20% protein in their diets otherwise it can cause hyperactivity and health problems later on.

 

 

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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On 8/18/2020 at 10:51 AM, DocsDoctor said:

It sounds as if she's in your room, which is great - best way for you all to bond - but I wonder if there is some external cue that is waking her up? Dawn light through thin curtains, milk float going past, boiler kicking in, whatever? If there is and it's beyond your capacity to change, I'd be inclined to just reassuringly say "it's okay Skelly, settle back down!"

Does she know "bed" or "settle" as a command yet? If not, start teaching her in the daytime, with the aid of treats. Can be useful when visitors come, too; as she's a nervous girl she would probably find it helpful to know that there is somewhere which is hers, and a safe haven, when strangers are around.

If you can't identify an external cue, I personally would get up in silence, take her out for a quick loo break, and then still in silence settle her back down.  Maybe give her a treat, if you think that will help. Then - go back to bed yourself, and steel your heart to just ignore any whining. If she escalates to jumping around/ chewing stuff, say "uh-uh" sternly and settle her back down.

It may take a few days, and quite a few goes, but eventually she will get the message that 5.30 is too early to get you up for anything except an emergency!

 

Thanks for your answer! I haven't been able to identify an external cue but I've been waking up silently taking her out at 5am and letting her do her business. Then getting back to bed and just ignoring her until my alarm goes off at 6:30am. I've also made sure she has her chew toys near her so that she can get some of her energy out on them. I think it has slightly improved over the last 3 days. She doesn't seem to be as persistent with her whining when I go back to bed but still have a way to go I think! 

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9 hours ago, cleptogrey said:

EXERCISE 

EXERCISE

EXERCISE

it sounds like that pup needs to run. A tired dog is a good dog. 

Bike ride or maybe jogging in the morning. I hope you are a morning person!😎

I did have a demanding foster who bit her way out of 2 other homes. When she was verbally naughty in her crate I used a plant spray. She learned not only to sleep the night and not bark but to sleep to a respectable 7am. 

Thanks for sharing! She goes on two walks a day (around 45 minutes each). We were told that greyhounds only need two 20 minute walks a day and I was worried I was already pushing her too far. Do you think it would be alright to take her on a run? 

I'm definitely not a morning person but for Skelly I am willing to make that sacrifice :)

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1 hour ago, HeyRunDog said:

How old is Skelly? Greyhounds usually calm down from 4 years old.

And what level of protein is in the food you feeding her? Retired greyhounds only need about 20% protein in their diets otherwise it can cause hyperactivity and health problems later on.

 

 

This is really interesting! Skelly turned 5 in early August but I hadn't thought of protein intake. I think she is definitely getting more than 20% protein at the moment. She was being fussy with her food around a week and a half ago so we added a little dollop of yogurt and a spoon of tinned tuna to her dry kibble as recommended by the kennels to get her to eat. Now that I think about it this aligns with her waking up at 5am again. I am going to adjust her food and hopefully it will show some results - thanks! 

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5 hours ago, SkellysPet said:

Thanks for sharing! She goes on two walks a day (around 45 minutes each). We were told that greyhounds only need two 20 minute walks a day and I was worried I was already pushing her too far. Do you think it would be alright to take her on a run? 

I'm definitely not a morning person but for Skelly I am willing to make that sacrifice :)

go for it- see if there is a change in behavior. 2/ 20 min  walks have never cut it for any of my dogs over the last 45 years. Only when Felix was old and feeble did a 20 min walk work but he still caught toys when thrown in the yard even though walking was a challenge! if you can get a run in or bike ride early you may reset behavior since your pups can get the willies out. as to eating books etc that's nervous anxious behavior. once they are TIRED it should subside. also try some marrow bones or something else healthy to chew on. as to level of protein it's a combo of protein and fat to keep their coats/muscles in shape. one neutered muscle tone always subsides. it's the coat that you watch. if the food is working then stick with it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions! I am super pleased to share that our lovely Skelly is letting me sleep to 6:30am now and hasn't made a single noise during the night for the past few days. So very proud of her!

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:yayThat's greyt news - well done Skelly!  Thanks for the update.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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