dog waking up his owner

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Is your dog waking up too early, leaving you feeling groggy and sleep-deprived? In this article, we’ll explore some possible causes of early rising in dogs, discuss how to establish a routine, share some training techniques, and help you determine when it’s time to seek professional help.

Possible Causes of Early Rising


One possible reason for your dog waking up too early is hunger. Just like us, dogs need to eat regularly to maintain their energy levels. If your dog isn’t getting enough food or is going too long between meals, they may wake up early in search of food.

Lack of Exercise

Dogs need regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. A lack of exercise can lead to restless nights and early mornings for your dog.

Needing to Go Potty

If your dog needs to go potty, they might wake up early to avoid having an accident inside the house. Make sure you’re taking them out for bathroom breaks before bedtime to help prevent this issue.

Old Age

As dogs age, their sleep patterns may change. Older dogs might have trouble sleeping through the night, which can lead to early morning wake-ups.

Medical Issues

In some cases, early rising might be a symptom of an underlying medical issue. If you suspect this could be the case, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Establishing a Routine

Feeding Schedule

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule can help regulate your dog’s internal clock. Feed your dog at the same times each day, with the last meal occurring a few hours before bedtime.

Exercise Routine

A regular exercise routine can help tire out your dog, making it easier for them to sleep through the night. Schedule daily walks or play sessions to ensure they’re getting the physical activity they need.

Sleeping Environment

Create a comfortable and consistent sleeping environment for your dog. This might include a cozy bed, a dark and quiet room, and a consistent bedtime routine.

small dog watching sleeping man in bed

Training Techniques

Ignore the Behavior

When your dog wakes up early, try to ignore the behavior instead of immediately attending to them. This will help teach them that waking up early doesn’t result in attention or rewards.

Reward Desired Behavior

When your dog stays quiet and sleeps until an acceptable wake-up time, reward them with praise, treats, or a favorite toy. This will help reinforce the desired behavior.

Gradual Wake-Up Time Adjustment

Gradually adjust your dog’s wake-up time by setting your alarm a few minutes later each day. Over time, your dog should start to adjust to the new schedule.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried the techniques mentioned above and your dog is still waking up too early, it may be time to consult with a professional. A veterinarian can rule out any medical issues, while a dog trainer or behaviorist can provide personalized advice and training strategies tailored to your dog’s needs.


Dealing with a dog that wakes up too early can be challenging for both you and your furry friend. By identifying possible causes, establishing a consistent routine, and implementing appropriate training techniques, you can help improve your dog’s sleep habits and ensure better rest for both of you. Remember, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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