How to wake up like a dog

I guess you’ve probably heard the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie” and you are right there wondering what this phrase means and how is it related to real-life dogs. To find the right answer, let’s take a look into how dogs sleep, their dreams, how long their sleep last, and sleep rhythms, then we can draw a conclusion on whether or not you should wake a sleeping dog.

But again, referring to the phrase, from the sound of it–if you wake up a sleeping dog won’t it just bite you for nuisance, lol?

How long should a dog sleep before you wake it up?

Well, you probably want to wake up a dog thinking that it’s oversleeping–getting more sleep than you think it should. Unlike us, dogs need much more sleep. On average, dogs should sleep for 14 to 16 hours per day. Despite the many hours’ sleep, dogs still have the same sleeping cycle as you. These sleeping cycles are REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and SWS (Short-wave Sleep). Studies have shown that it only takes 20 minutes for an average-sized dog to reach the REM cycle. It’s during the REM cycle when dogs dream heavily and you will notice paws running, twitching and yipping. You probably don’t want anyone interrupting your sleep at this point, and so does your dog.

Why would a dog sleep more than 16 hours?

Not all dogs need that much sleep, just older dogs. Younger dogs can stay away half a day or more. As dogs age, they become less active and lose a lot of energy which almost automatically sets their brain to sleep 16 hours a day, or more.

In addition, there are some health conditions which could cause any dog to sleep more than usual. Something else that could cause your dog to sleep more is the type of food you feed it on. I know most dog owners aren’t sure of what food they should give their dog so you may want to find out if the food you give your dog is the cause of its sleep disorder.

Also, some foods have little nutrients which don’t give your dog energy hence making him lazy and sleepy all the time. Yet still, other foods may deprive them of the needed sleep which may result in sleep disorders. So the bottom line is that you must be careful of what you feed your dog on if you want to help it keep a regular sleep pattern.

The science behind dog’s sleep

Many people wonder if dogs dream in their sleep. Some experiments taken a few years back proved that rats are dreamers, and from pure logic, dogs have larger brain capabilities, therefore they dream too, obviously. And most dog owners will tell you that they have watched their dogs in their sleep behave in a manner suggesting that dogs indeed do dream. Some might even go as far as telling you what their dogs dream of based on what the dog loves to do.

Like us, and other animals, dogs tend to dream more in their youth and old age. Researches indicate that dogs dream of common activities they enjoy doing during the day.

What are the risks of waking a sleeping dog?

Most dogs, especially the older ones may be startled at first, causing it to nip the hand which shook it. Startled sleeping dogs tend to be ruthlessly vengeful, even if the dog is known to be harmless and polite in normal occasions. When you wake up a sleeping dog, it’s adrenaline kicks up and it acts on it–and this may result in an impulsive action like the dog biting you. You really wouldn’t blame it too much of you understand this.

However, if you can’t help yourself just use a low and gentle voice to wake up the dog. Using a loud voice might wake your dog with intense anxiety making it somehow moody and putting it on the offensive. He might think something has gone wrong and get protective and the effects of this may be devastating.

Be Gentle

If you manage to wake your dog from a bad dream, you should show it some love to make it feel that everything is fine. A hug or a soothing touch may be reassuring. Basically, create a nice and safe environment. All this can show your dog all is well.

A Bad dream is normal

Bad dreams are normal–we all have nightmares at some point in our lives and live to tell; its not any different with any sleeping dog because it will overcome. I know it can be unbearable for most owners to watch their dog growl and moan in their sleep but if it happens to your dog, you must understand that it’s okay.

Previously, I had to consult a local vet and I was surprised when he told me that dreams can help your dog to work out their feelings and thoughts. Denying your dog sleep thinking that too much sleep is unusual may not help it resolve these internal issues. Waking it up can as well as deny it the much-needed rest.

So, should I “let sleeping dogs lie”

The saying means that you should ignore stuff that shouldn’t concern you to avoid landing into more trouble. When it comes to your dog, you may or may not let the sleeping dog lie. There are two sides to it; if waking your dog up will be of some help to it–go ahead. But if you just want to wake him up for the sake of it, you may earn a well-deserved.

Anyway, as much as you can, let the sleeping dog lie. If you can, buy it one of these fine dog beds.

Over the weekend, I was asked a question by a new Greyhound adopter about a serious incident at her house. They recently adopted their first Greyhound and they have an eight-year-old daughter. The girl went to give the dog a hug good night, but the dog was sleeping. She couldn’t tell, because his eyes were open. Yes, sometimes Greyhounds sleep with their eyes open and it’s hard to tell, especially for someone new to the breed and an individual dog if the dog is asleep or awake at times. I know their family is facing some tough choices and I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.

This is partly due to the fact that at one point, I was in her shoes. The difference was that I was the person bitten and the dog was our second Greyhound. Biting Greyhounds are not typical of the breed, but any dog can bite under the wrong circumstances. In our case, Hawk fell asleep while I was brushing him. He liked being brushed, but he had no experience being woken up by someone touching him. He woke up and went for me. Fortunately, I instinctively leaned back at just the right time and he bit my arm instead of my face. Mr. Taleteller would have driven him back to the adoption kennel that night, but we were three weeks into Hawk’s adoption and our other Greyhound adored him. I adored him. I knew that a Greyhound returned for biting was going to face a very tough road to adoption and we decided to try to work things out with him rather than sending him back.

How to wake up like a dogHowever, at that crossroads, in the very beginning when we had the issue of a sleeping giant in our house who woke up angry and unpredictable, I was very lucky to get some amazing advice that was so simple, practical and helpful, that I feel it would be wrong of me not to share it. Kathleen Gilley, of the famous Dancing Gilley Girls, came to our adoption group’s annual reunion picnic and was answering questions from the audience. We asked her about Hawk and his aggression when startled awake.

She explained that Greyhounds are a lot different from other dogs in that they don’t have to deal with being startled awake until they’re adopted into a home. On the track and in the kennels, they have their own space. There are things that wake them up long before anyone puts a hand on them.

How to wake up like a dog

Ninety Nine and Three Eighths

Her advice was to take some treats or some of his food, sit on the couch some distance away from where he was sleeping and toss them onto him while he was sleeping. It accomplishes several things at the same time. First, you are too far away for the dog to snap at you. Second, he wakes up and, what do you know, treats just fell out of the sky. Third, waking up begins to be a pleasant thing. A month into our little exercises and he woke up like a ray of sunshine. Now, we do this with all of our new dogs as a precaution, although we’ve never had another dog as challenging as he was.

I learned so many things from our experience with Hawk that molded me into a better dog owner. It all started with learning how to wake up a dog. If he were human, I suspect he’d have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. He just had an incredibly hard time interpreting the world, but he desperately wanted to be a part of our family and close to us. I have never been sorry that we took a chance on him and kept him here with us and I also know that a lot of families couldn’t have worked with him the way we were able to. Our lives were richer for having known him and I have always been grateful that we were in the right place at the right time to get that little gem of knowledge. In his honor, I’m passing it along today in case anybody else out there ever has a similar issue. Sometimes a simple solution is more valuable than you can ever imagine.

We just got a new dog (our first) and my husband keeps telling the kids not to touch her when she’s sleeping. It made me think of the expression “let sleeping dogs lie.” I know that expression’s not really about dogs, but is it true that you shouldn’t bother a dog when he/she’s sleeping?


Just like us they need to sleep and dogs sleep alot. It is not wise to wake up the dog. Let sleeping dogs lie is meant to keep from disturbing a dangerous situation

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Unless a dog has been taught from puppyhood that sudden disturbances during sleep are non-threatening (a very good idea!), she is likely to see this type of thing as frightening. Your best to verbally wake them up. Once she comes to she should be alright and look forward to being touched.

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It depends on the dogs personality, and the breed too. My father had a black lab when I was a child that would snap when you ate food near her, and bit me when I hugged her when she was napping one evening. My family has a Belgian malinois, and we have stepped on him accidentally while he was sleeping and he just grunts or moves away. You can hug him too, he just licks you, or tries to crawl onto your lap. Even the nicest dogs can snap or bite when startled. Sometimes it’s just a reflex. Waking them from a distance is a good idea if your not 100% certain how they will react.

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You don’t know what the dog is dreaming about and a sudden touch, especially a hard one could get a fright reaction upon sudden waking. My ex used to find it amusing to wake our young IW with a sudden shake. She never trusted him as she grew older.

How to wake up like a dog

How to wake up like a dog

How to wake up like a dog

How to wake up like a dog

How to wake up like a dog

Morning Stretch Routine – Wake Up Like a Dog

How to wake up like a dogMorning Stretch Routine – Wake Up Like a Dog
Written by Connor Nellans

For a few years now I have made waking up with a light stretch routine part of my morning ritual. I will work myself through 5 or 6 stretches to get the blood flowing, become aware of my breath, and loosen up my joints to get the day started. I want to share my 5 favorite (and one bonus!) morning stretches so that you can implement some or all of them into your morning routine as well!

Downward Facing Dog

What do man’s best friend and yogis across the globe have in common? They love the down dog stretch! Anyone who has a canine friend or has been to any yoga class knows the move. Place your hands on the floor. Push your butt into the air while pushing your heels to the floor. Feel the stretch through the back of your legs and into your low back. Feel free to add in a few heel pedals to get a bit different range as you like!

How to wake up like a dog

Upward Facing Dog

Yet another favorite shared by furry and flexi friends everywhere, the upward facing dog. Pushing through the palms of your hands, have a proud, forward-facing chest while the tops of your feet meet the ground behind you creating a nice backbend. This may be a big stretch for some, so feel free to go to your thighs and forearms as needed.

How to wake up like a dog

Pigeon Stretch

And now for a stretch adopted from our feathery friends. For the pigeon stretch, start in a plank position from the hands and toes, bring your ankle up and as close to the opposite wrist as possible. Settle that leg onto the floor as you stay on your hands, go to your forearms, or for the freaky-flexi, put your arms all the way out in front of yourself and settle your chest to your leg.

How to wake up like a dog


Or as we affectionately know it, the bottom of the squat. Start with feet about hip-width, sit back and down as low as you can while maintaining an even balance between the balls of your feet and your heel. Keep that chest tall and knees out. For extra credit, place your elbows inside your knees and add slight outward pressure on your legs.

How to wake up like a dog

Supine Spinal Twist

I usually get a few satisfying pops from the low back with this one! Lay on your back, bring your knees to your chest, drop both knees to one side and hold that position. Repeat the same move in the opposite direction.

Bonus stretch for you crazy people out there who really want to jump-start your day!

How to wake up like a dog

Back Bridge

Get Your Wheel On! Laying on your back, bring your heels to your butt with flat feet, place your hands flat on the floor above your shoulders with your fingers pointing back at yourself. Push equally through your flat feet and palms to raise your body from the floor, creating a half-circle with your body and the floor. Take this one easy and be sure you are confident you can get into the proper position before attempting this stretch. Check out this post for more tips on this move! And this post for some advanced versions – some of which might be better for a warm-up than a morning routine.

How to wake up like a dog

Morning Stretch Routine to Try

The Flow: I usually spend 5-15 minutes incorporating one or all of these stretches in the morning. Don’t be married to one specific routine, instead, have some fun with it and mix and match as you see fit. You may even have a couple of your own favorite stretches to incorporate! That being said, here is an example of how I may flow through these movements on a given morning:

– Push into Down Dog, hold for 10-60 seconds
– Bring one ankle to my opposite wrist and settle into Pigeon pose, hold for 10-60 seconds
– Push back into plank and bring my other leg into the Pigeon pose, hold for 10-60 seconds
– Push into Down Dog, hold for 10-60 seconds
– Flip my feet so that the tops of my feet are down, push through the hands into a tall chest, hold Upward Dog for 10-60 seconds
– Come to a standing position, find a comfortable foot width and sit into Malasana, hold for 10-60 seconds, add in the outward leg pressure as you like
– Lay onto my back, bring knees together and drop them to the right for 10-60 seconds, switch sides once ready for Supine Twist
– Place feet and hands flat on the floor while laying on my back, press into Wheel and hold for 10-60 seconds.

*Try to breathe deep, even, and consistent through the nose while working through your routine.

Give this routine a try or think up your own! Start your day like a dog and enjoy your new-found mobility, relaxed mindset as you move into your day, and the breath awareness needed to have a clear mind throughout your day!

This tutorial is part of The Ultimate List Of Dog Trick Ideas which contains 99 other tricks like this!

This is a truly heartwarming trick used by dog trainers when teaching a dog to respond to the alarm clock and wake a deaf person in a morning. You can teach your dog to do this too although it will take time and patience it is great fun and very rewarding.

  1. Have a friend hold your dog on the floor by your bed and set an alarm for a few seconds away, then show your dog that you have a treat for him and get into bed.
  2. When the alarm sounds encourage your dog to jump onto the bed and have your friend release him.
  3. Hide the treat under the blankets or quilt and when your dog tries to encourage release of the treat simply reinforce and reward this attempt, this is what will become the scrabble which will wake you.
  4. Progress to asking your dog to wait by the bed then encouraging him to jump on you at the sound of the alarm clock, reward when he jumps up then reward again when he attempts to scrabble you for a second treat.
  5. Now simply increase the time between settling into the bed and the alarm clock going off at the same time as keeping the confidence of your dog high with lots of encouragement and reward.

Top tip; this trick can be difficult to teach because your dog may lack confidence to respond to the sound and/or jump on the bed. Remember this is fun and keep everything easy with lots of encouragement. It takes professional dog trainers months to teach this trick well so don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your dog.

Dog trainers love this trick because it’s a great experience to be woken by a keen and loving canine rather than the electronic sound of an alarm clock.

There are many reasons why your dog could wake up screaming. It could be an injury it picked up while playing, a bite from another dog, pests, seizures, an exciting dream or a horrifying nightmare. I’m writing this because, I, too have noted this behavior with my dog and went out to seek answers. If you’re reading this, I guess you’ve noted the same with your dog and you’re probably seeking answers as I was when my dog woke up screaming.

In my case, the dog woke up screaming during the night. It was lying right next to me and I was observing it while sleeping then it suddenly woke up screaming. It’s scaring and perplexing because you don’t know what to expect—it could be anything the matter with your dog.

When this happens, the first thing that comes to mind would probably be that someone or something attacked your dog. That’s a sensible presumption, but not if your dog was sound asleep only to wake up screaming.

Why would a dog wake up screaming?

There are various reasons as to why your dog may wake up screaming at night or in the day. It could be a bad dream, a disorder or an injury. Whatever the case, you are probably wondering what you’d do to help a dog with this condition.


Several studies have proved that dogs have the same sleep and dream patterns as we do. It pretty much means that they also experience nightmares as we do. It’s not surprising that they have nightmares—if you’ve watched dogs sleeps, closely, then I guess you’ve noted some sounds and movements likely to imply that they are dreaming some uncomfortable dreams at times. S/he might be dreaming about protecting you from some threat or bad memories from a traumatic past. This is more common in dogs that have been abandoned, abused or rescued. So, the next time your dog wakes up screaming, it’s probably cursing the horrifying character in its nightmare.


Dogs can experience seizures in their sleep which can make them bark or cry wildly in pain when they wake up. Seizures are abnormal and somewhat difficult to control if your dog suffers them. The major causes of seizures are metabolic disorders, epilepsy, and neoplastic growth. Whatever the cause, you should visit the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Physical injuries may also ruin a dog’s sleep. It could be an accident that happened during the day while you were away or someone hit it so when never it wakes up from its sleep it wakes up to the pain hence the scream. Yelling and scream might be a way of telling you that he’s not okay. For this, the initial course of action should be to check the pet for physical injuries; if any, take a trip to the vet.


Pets are insects that live on a plant or an animal. Pests depend on their hosts for all their basic needs. If you don’t wash your dog often, it could have pests. Most dog pests feed on the dog’s blood. To access the blood, they have to bite through the skin and this can be awfully painful. So if your dog wakes up screaming and scratching some part of its body, it’s probably a pest. You can check it out or plan a trip to the vet.

How can I help my pet? (Viable Immediate Solutions)

An urgent trip to the vet

If your furry friend is suddenly acting all weird and screaming in their sleep, the best immediate action to take would be a visit to the vet for some check-out. The vet has the skills and experience to quickly diagnose what the issue could be and prescribe the most appropriate treatment. Don’t take too long, the pup’s health could be deteriorating fast.

If your pet is experiencing a seizure the best thing to do is let the seizure die down before you wake it up, let the sleeping dog lie. This is because a dog that is startled out of a seizure is more likely to react negatively to your advances.

If you can’t bear seeing your pup in this state, the best thing to do is call out its name gently until it wakes up. When your pet is finally awake, you can play some quiet music to soothe it back to sleep. If you think your pet is sick or injured, you should visit the vet immediately.


It’s amazing what regular exercise can do in dogs. Ideally, exercise brings to dogs the same health benefits it brings to us. It’ll help your dog build confidence, release anxiety, raise levels of happiness and stay fit, just to mention a few.

A high-quality dog bed

If your dog is experiencing some pain that’s causing it to scream, the least you can do is get it one of these amazing orthopedic dog beds. These beds are designed to not only to keep them safe and warm but also to align their spines and aid recovery. Besides, it’s only healthy that your dog has a great place to sleep to avoid a myriad of infections which could aggravate the condition. On this site, we have reviewed hundreds of dog beds categorizing them into best dog beds overall, best for every dog size, best for every dog breed and best for certain conditions.

Below are some options that would effectively soothe a dog that wakes up screaming and aid its recovery:

To see more options based on the dog’s breed, please head over to our dog bed reviews section and you won’t miss a perfect fit.


There’s no easy way of telling what the issue could be if your dog wakes up screaming. It could be anything. I hope that this piece will help you understand what the problem could be and give you some working solution. Feel free to get in touch with us if you need more info.


Want a gift for your dog? Why not treat him/her to one of these awesome Dog Products?

This is the only kind of screaming your dog should be doing; a joyful scream

5 things to do when your dog wakes up too early.

How to wake up like a dog

Those last few minutes of sleep before the alarm goes off are a treasured sanctuary where we hide in dreams before the reality of the world intrudes. Few dog owners appreciate it when their dog wakes up too early, robbing them of those golden moments. But some dogs seem to have an uncanny knack for anticipating the alarm by 15 or 20 minutes, and manage to routinely do just that.

Of course, puppy owners expect to be awakened by their baby dogs – or they should. It’s unreasonable to think a young puppy can make it through the night without a potty break. Crated or otherwise appropriately confined, even an eight-week-old puppy will normally cry when his bowels and bladder need emptying, rather than soil his own bed. When this happens you must get up and take your pup out to poop and pee, and then immediately return him to his crate so he doesn’t learn to wake you up for a wee-hours play or cuddle session.

Adult dogs, however, barring a health problem, should wait for you to get up rather than pushing back your wake-up time in eager anticipation of breakfast, or other morning activities. If your grown-up dog has made it his mission to make sure you’re never late for work (or breakfast) by waking you up every morning before your alarm does, try this:

1) Rule out medical conditions.

Make sure your dog doesn’t have a legitimate reason for getting up early. If he has a urinary tract infection or digestive upset, or some other medical issue that affects his elimination habits or otherwise makes him uncomfortable, he may have to go out 30 minutes before you normally get up to let him out.

2) If your dog wakes up too early, tire him out the night before.

A tired dog is a well-behaved happy dog, and a late sleeper. Exercise uses up much of the energy that he presently can’t wait to wake you up with – and also releases endorphins, which regulate mood, producing a feeling of well-being. Tiredness promotes sleeping in, and endorphins help reduce anxieties that may play a role in his early-bird activities.

3) Feed him earlier/ better; make “last call” later.

Increase the time between your dog’s last meal and his last bathroom opportunity to minimize the chance that he’s waking you up because he really has to go. It only takes a few “I really have to go” mornings to set an early-riser routine, especially when rising is reinforced with, “Well, we’re up now, no point in going back to bed . . . here’s your breakfast!” Don’t forget that high-quality diets are more digestible, which reduces fecal output, which reduces early-morning urgency.

4) Reduce stimuli in the bedroom.

The less there is to awaken your dog, the less likely he is to awaken you. Close the drapes. Turn off the television. Turn on a white noise machine or soft classical music. Cover his crate. He is crated, isn’t he? If not, restricting his movement is a simple way of preventing him from pouncing on you at 5:30 am. If he doesn’t crate well, perhaps you can use a baby gate to keep him in the bathroom off your bedroom.

5) If your dog wakes up too early, train him to sleep in.

If these management solutions alone don’t work, you may be able to train him to sleep later. If your normal wake up time is 6:30 am and he consistently wakes you at 6:15, for one week set your alarm for 6:05. For the second week, set it for 6:10. Do not get up before the alarm goes off (unless you’re pretty sure he has an urgency problem)! This will condition him to the sound of the alarm as his cue to wake up.

Each week set the alarm forward five more minutes, until you’re at your desired wake-up time. It might take you a few weeks to get there, but it’s gloriously simple, and it works. Unless you have young children who starting running through the house at 5:00 am, or garbage trucks start rumbling and banging down your street every morning at 5:30 – in which case all bets are off!

How to wake up like a dog

Your morning routine ruins your dog’s day, every single day – but it doesn’t have to.

I had a eureka moment last week while I drove home from training a young puppy. As usual, I had a podcast on – one of my favorites, Animal Training Academy. The most recent episode from Kirstin Anderson covered a wide range of topics. Ryan Cartlidge (the host) and Kirstin mostly spoke about training marine animals for research on sound disturbances.

But nestled in the midst of the podcast was this ingenious tidbit of dog training advice. Here’s a quick video of me putting it in action — but read on below to get all the details!

Does your dog struggle with your work schedule or have separation anxiety? Sign up for our Left Alone course now!

Your Morning Routine Ruins Your Dog’s Day

How to wake up like a dog

Your morning routine doesn’t have to ruin your dog’s day.

Think about it, Kirstin urged. You get up. You walk your dog. You feed him and then it’s all downhill from there. Your poor dog watches as you get ready for work and head out for 8+ hours. If he’s lucky, a dog walker comes by. But it’s a long, lonely day every day.

So what was the eureka moment?

Kirstin suggested flipping your routine upside down to create a dog-friendly morning routine. Here’s a breakdown of an average morning routine (the one we’re going to fix):

  1. Get up. Spend some time cuddling, checking your phone, and then it’s go time.
  2. Walk Fluffy. This is the highlight of Fluffy’s morning, I almost guarantee it.
  3. Feed Fluffy while you eat breakfast. Another big highlight, I’m sure.
  4. Get ready for work. Kirstin pointed to a few studies that highlight a dog’s stress levels while left alone. The stress hormones in your dog’s body are probably pumping by now.
  5. Go to work. Your dog hangs out all day. If you’re lucky, he sleeps. Kirstin highlighted studies that found dog’s stress levels did not correlate with whether or not they paced, vocalized, or got destructive while left alone. So don’t think that Fluffy’s sleepiness means she’s calm, cool, and collected.

Can you see how this might be a problem? Your generic, boring, normal morning routine ruins your dog’s day.

It might even be contributing to Fluffy’s separation anxiety. If your dog is struggling with separation anxiety, please schedule a call or text me to talk about separation anxiety. I take on clients from anywhere in the world.

All the good stuff is in the beginning. This order of operations makes it easy for your dog to dread your departure.

Don’t let your morning routine start off at the high point and then get worse and worse and worse for Fluffy. Save the good stuff for the end. As you’ll see, my dog is basically begging me to leave by the end of my morning routine. The best part of his morning comes after I leave! Perfect!

Does your dog struggle with your work schedule or have separation anxiety? Sign up for our Left Alone course now!

It’s Easy to Have a Dog-Friendly Morning Routine

As a student of Stoic philosophy, I love morning routines. As soon as I heard this podcast, my mind started racing. Was my morning routine setting Barley up for failure?

No. It wasn’t. Because I already do what Kirstin suggests.

Let’s flip your current morning routine. Put Fluffy’s favorite things at the very end of your morning routine. If at all possible, put them after you’ve already left for work!

This means that you’ll get up, get ready for work, and then walk Fluffy. When you get home from the walk, you’ll feed Fluffy – but you’ll leave while Fluffy is still eating. This little change alone will help make Fluffy excited for you to leave. Simply modifying the order of your morning routine will work wonders for Fluffy.

If your dog is struggling with separation anxiety, I can help! We have an entire self-study course dedicated to fixing your dog’s separation anxiety.

Try It: A Dog-Friendly Morning Routine

Want a morning routine for your dog? Try mine. It’s helped curb my dog’s concern about being left alone, keeps him busy, and wears him out while I’m at work.

  1. Wake up with your alarm.
  2. Go to the bathroom and do your business. Get ready for work, packing up your food.
  3. When you’re 100% ready for work, call your dog.
  4. Go for your morning walk.
  5. Put your dog in the bathroom or another small room.
  6. Hide treats all over the house. I pull out two frozen Kong’s, a pig’s ear, some baby carrots, a few treats from the latest BarkBox, and Barley’s breakfast. I split his morning kibble into two or three puzzle toys (that link has 23 of my favorites). While Barley waits in the bathroom, I hide all of these goodies around our 700 square foot apartment. I make sure that they’re all on the ground and that there’s absolutely nothing available on the counters or in the trash that Barley could enjoy. He really enjoys eating things off of counters – this routine of hiding things actually started as a way to break him of that habit.
    • This takes me 3-5 minutes. That’s less time than it takes to clean up the trash if he gets into it, so it’s worth it.
  7. Let your dog outafter the apartment is basically a personalized candy shop for your dog. He’s probably so excited for the daily “hunt” that he’ll barely notice when you leave.
  8. If you crate your dog, just use lots of puzzle toys and other chewies.
  9. If your dog won’t eat while he’s alone, reach out. I can help troubleshoot!

How to wake up like a dog

A variety of treats and dental bones

How to wake up like a dog

In a bag! A super-easy puzzle toy for your dog.

My “backwards” morning routine ends with the best parts of the day. Barley doesn’t even acknowledge me most mornings as he dashes off to start finding his goodies. It’s perfect.

How to wake up like a dog

Kayla is from Ashland, Wisconsin but lives in Missoula Montana. She holds a degree in biology from Colorado College and has spent years working in zoos, animal shelters, as a private dog trainer, and with working detection K9s. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. She shares her life with her border collie Barley.

Dog Behavior Modification Techniques for Urinating in the House

When little Eddie wakes up early in the morning, he may disturb your sleep and try to get you up along with him. If your pup has turned into an “alarm clock dog,” reset his timing by training him to sleep later. With changes to his daily routine and a comfy resting spot of his own, your pup should wake along with you, allowing you to sleep later in the morning.

Step 1

Exercise your pup for at least a half-hour each day, recommends Dr. Marty Becker of the Vetstreet website. Ideally, exercise him an hour or two before bedtime with some interactive outdoor play or a brisk walk. This tires him out so that he’ll sleep longer in the morning.

Step 2

Change your dog’s feeding schedule by moving his dinner and breakfast times later by an hour. Adjust the feeding times slowly, in 10- to 15-minute increments every couple of days, until you reach an hour’s difference. This will encourage him to wake up later, especially if he’s motivated by food. Further discourage Eddie’s early rising by not feeding him immediately after you wake; instead wait at least a half-hour after getting up to fill his dish.

Step 3

Take your pup out right before bedtime to potty on a leash, observing him to ensure that he truly does eliminate. Some dogs are awoken early because of the need to go to the bathroom, which a before-bedtime potty break should put a stop to.

Step 4

Crate your pup with you in your room, but don’t allow him on your bed. Sometimes your tossing and turning may wake up Eddie early in the morning.

Step 5

Darken the room in which your dog sleeps with thick, light-blocking curtains and cover his crate with a towel or blanket. This prevents him from being woken early by the light of the sun. Use a white-noise machine to block out any neighborhood sounds that could also wake him early, recommends an article on the Whole Dog Journal website.

Step 6

Ignore your pup’s attempts to wake you in the morning. If you react to your pooch in any way, it only reinforces the behavior, teaching him that by bothering you, he’ll awaken you and you’ll interact with him. By ignoring him, he’ll soon understand that waking early to engage you won’t elicit the response he wants, so he’ll be more apt to sleep later and rise only when you do.


Puppies younger than eight months of age can wait only as many hours as their age in months, plus one, between potty breaks, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If little Eddie wakes you early in the morning to “go,” don’t ignore him.

Your pup suddenly waking up early and bothering you to go potty in the morning could indicate that he has a urinary tract infection or other medical issue. Visit the vet to rule out such a problem.

Set up an automatic, timed feeder for your pooch to dispense his portion of food in the morning if necessary. This is a hedge against a food-motivated pooch attempting to wake you early for his breakfast.

Provide your pup with a nice, comfy bed in his crate, which gives him a pleasant spot to rest so that he’ll be more apt to sleep later.