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Thread: Barking for Attention - Early Early Morning!

  1. #1

    Default Barking for Attention - Early Early Morning!

    We have a 3.5yr old English Springer Spaniel who sleeps in our back room (blocked off by rest of the house by child gate).
    He is a very sooky dog and likes a lot of attention.
    Barks and whinges from about 4am to be let inside the main part of the house and for us to get up and give him attention, and need some advice on how to stop this.
    We have 2 young children who are sometimes woken (it's surprising what they'll sleep through), and a very grumpy mummy who is exhausted from early wake up calls!!

    Any thoughts on how to stop this behaviour without giving into him and letting him in the house?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    Continue to ignore him.

    If you've ever given into the dog at some point then he knows he's had success with this method. He also knows he has to escalate it to a certain level and above to reach his goal.

    I suggest ignoring the dog at least three morning/wk and three afternoons/wk for at least 20 minutes even if he has been quiet. So don't rush out to greet the dog first up in the morning or when returning home from being out. And when you do greet him make it very low key, he has to have calmed down to get your attention.

    Make sure the dog has a good "den" out in the back room, nice and warm and secure to snuggle into. Remember that dogs are pack animals and sleeping with the pack is in their DNA. But many dogs sleep well away from their humans successfully because their owners have not made themselves the centre of the dogs universe.

    Does he spend periods of time throughout the day away from the family even when you are home? My dogs don't get greeted of a morning until the kids have been fed and are ready for school, then I'll go out and greet them and feed them. Sometimes I'll let them in the house and sometimes especially if they've got dirty feet they won't be let in until I've dropped the kids at school, done the shopping then I come home put the shopping away and let them in. So they have no pattern and the door certainly doesn't get opened if they are all standing by the door ready to jump thru the minute it's opened, I'll wait until they have all settled. My coming and going means nothing to them and any attention seeking behaviour never results in them getting me.

    Does he have anything to occupy his time when he wakes up early.
    Last edited by MAC; 07-18-2011 at 07:59 AM.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the reply Mac
    My hubby is a real softie with him and so yes he has given in to him on numerous occasions which is where the problem is stemming from... time to get tough!!!

    He sleeps on the couch in the back room with his pet mattress on top, so he is nice and snug and he knows that is where he sleeps as he has his mattress with him.

    He is an inside dog, so he is always inside (unless we're out). We need to try to put him outside a bit though during the day as you suggest to leave him to his own devices, and stop following us around the house. Thanks for the tip about leaving him when we get home etc. We currently let him inside straight away after getting home, so will try that as well.

    He doesn't have anything to occupy himself in the morning when he wakes. What would you suggest?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    My dog is quite happy to sleep until I'm ready to get up.

    I ignore her early morning requests to be let out to chase magpies. However - if it's a cat outside my window - I let the dog out then.

    My neighbour shut his dog out all alone for about 10 minutes this morning 6:50am - a bit too early for me - it was freezing and she barked her head off continuously which sucked. Nearly rang his mobile.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    I fully agree with MAC, but sometimes you have the dog, who is just awake early.
    We have trained all our dogs the same way, but Katy our baby newf always wakes at 6am and wants to be out. She is also an inside dog. We have ignored her from her early days, but we can still hear her. We solved our sleepless problem by just dealing with the fact that she gets up at 6am, she is just an early riser.
    So if I want a sleep in, I just give her a bone in the morning at 6 am (and all the others), go back to bed and she is quiet for another two- three hours. Not a training solution, but just my way of giving in after over a year of definitely ignoring for about two hours every morning. At least I did not have neighbours or kids to annoy. Just me and hubby, who sleeps through any noise
    Last edited by newfsie; 07-18-2011 at 10:21 PM.
    Pets are forever

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    lol newfsie, sometimes the quick fix is the best fix though.

    My dogs are like hyas and will happily stay in their bedroom until I get up and let them out, and it doesnt matter what time I get up they will wont make a peep until they hear their breakfast dishes being grabbed.

  7. #7


    Continue ignoring the dog.. never give in to his whining. If you keep ignoring while he bark he will soon realize that barking will not let him enter the house. Provide toys that could keep him entertained on his sleeping area.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    Someone, has taught your dog that whinning = attention. Wonder who?
    husbands can be such sabateurs sometimes. I have one myself. Used to worry about our inconsistencies with our dog. Now at 2yrs, i dont, the dog looks to me for leadership and obeys me. My husband, well.... pretty much ingnores him, much less pack ranking according to Bernie lol

    I think NOT greeting you dog when you get back in for say 10 mins, then go out when its quiet, and NOT before its quiet. You need to 'catch' the behaviour you want to re-inforce. ie. not making a noise. Then reward it with a huge welcome indoors for being such a good dog.

    Option 2.
    Get up early.
    Dawn really is the most excellent time of the day. My dog has taught me that.
    Just me, my dog, on a mountain watching the sun come up. Priceless!

  9. #9


    Just continue to ignore never give in to his barking. If you will provide attention he will think that he can get what he wanted by doing that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    perhaps he is getting up early because he doesn't need much sleep. I find that if I haven't taken my husky girl for a walk the night before she is up early and annoying me ASAP. But if she has gotten a good run the night before she comes in when she hears my alarm and just waits patiently for her morning walk.

    Springers do have a bit of energy so maybe try taking him for a really long run / walk then take him home, feed him then put him to bed. I find this is a great wind down from the day and my girl loves it.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." - Edward Hoagland

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