Snickers used to sleep until 6 am ever since we got him however since the time change in October he has been getting up at 5 am. I thought he just needed some time to adjust but this seems a bit extreme. Yesterday, he was at daycare all day came home exhausted and was raring to go at 5 again! Any thoughts from this wise group? Will this go on until we change the clocks next Spring??

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  • It's funny you posted this today, because there's another new discussion today about whether dogs can tell time. In some ways, the answer to both questions is the same.
    Snickers "internal clock" is being directed by the light in the room; the amount of morning light at 5 a.m. now is the same amount he experienced at 6 a.m. before the clocks were set back.
    I'm not sure what you can do about this; ideally, a dog will follow your cues as to time to get up, time to eat, etc. rather than the sun's cues. For example, if a dog learns that his day starts when you get out of bed, regardless of what time that might be, then the sunlight, time changes, etc. won't matter. I think this takes time, and it probably takes longer for a puppy to adjust than it does for an adult dog.
  • How old is Snickers? My 10 month old is the early riser, generally around 7. If I take her out really late, I can generally tell her to go back to sleep for a while in the AM. Sometimes though,she needs to go out and then we can all sleep in for a bit. When the clocks changed it took her a week or 2 to adjust.
    • He is just a little over 6 mths old. He is crated at night so when I say "wake up I mean barking starts, we get him, take him out he dies what he needs to do and then willingly goes back in the crate but not 15 min later he is barking and wants to get out and play. When thus was happening at 6 am this wasn't a big deal but 5 am is starting to try my husbands nerves ( he is the one that takes him out in the am.

      Regarding the sunlight, we cover his crate at night with a blanket ( he loves the den feel) so I am not sure how he can tell the light difference!
      • I'm assuming that some part of the crate is still uncovered...the door on the front, perhaps. So Snickers can easily see the amount of light that's in the room. Even through a blanket, the degree of light is still visible. I know it's not much help, but it may at least explain why it's happening.
        When he starts barking 15 minutes after first going out and wants to play, what do you normally do?
        • We try to ignore him and go back up to our room but honestly it is difficult, we never get back to sleep and just lay there listen while he barks and whines then get up around 6.
          • Phoebe used to bark when crated--she went in great, as you said, but we knew the barking would start and it always did but only in the morning once I needed to recrate her after she pottied. Our trainer suggested that we give her a small treat--we use pumpkin treats from circle of life pets--as soon as she heads back into the crate. The trainer thought Phoebe might be hungry and anticipating breakfast once we first let her out. It works like a charm for us and she will stay calm and quiet for more than an hour once recrated with that small treat to satisfy her.
            • That is a great idea! Guess who is getting one of his peanut butter treats tomorrow at 5 am!
        • That's a training issue; with training, Snickers will learn that barking doesn't get him the results he wants. I think a lot of this will resolve itself as he gets older and his training progresses. But I know it's hard to deal with it now.
      • Some of you may think this is crazy BUT here goes! After you let him out to do his business in the morning I would bet you any money that if you bring him into bed with you he will go back to sleep until you get up.
  • Robyn...Peri did this up until a month ago. She will be 8 months in a week. She would bark earlier and earlier each morning to get out of her crate. She wouldn't even need the potty - just attention. We kept ignoring her and telling her quiet. I know it is easier said than done, but it works. We work constantly on training and we are finally hitting that mark where she listens to us. For the past month, she may wake up before we do (I hear her do her audible yawn), but she lays there until we wake up at 6am and come let her out of her crate. I can even walk around the house for 5-10 minutes before letting her out. She knows I mean business now. Try to stay on the path of training/repetition. Snickers will get it - these doods are smart!
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