Hi everyone! i have 2 labs (barnie and rockie, 7 and 3, yellow and chocolate) and they have this extremely annoying habit of waking me up at about 5am every morning to eat!
If i ignore them, they annoy me until i get up...if i put them outside the bedroom door and close it, they paw at it and whine, if i put them outside, they bark!
any ideas about how to get my labs to eat breakfast when i do?!?
what is the longest you have just let them whine and ignored them (or put them out to pee, then bring them back in and go back to bed/ignore them)?
how long has this been an issue? When do you feed them (once a day? twice a day? what time?)
It sounds like they have established the routine. To break it you will have to be consistant and strong. It means ignoring them. Completely (expect if you think they need to pee, quietly put them outside then back in). It will get worse before it gets better as for whatever period of time this has worked for them. It means you won't get more sleep for the first few weeks but withing a few weeks, month, they should catch on.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
i'm embarassed to say it's been going on a VERY long time. i feed them in the morning and in the evening every day (twice a day)
so you're saying...let them out when they wake me at 5am...then wait for them to finish....let them back in. then just grit my teeth and wait until 8am when i'm ready?
will it be easier to "ween" them? push it to 5:30am, then 6am and so on?
Personally (and i'm no pro) I don't think weaning will help.
Put them outside to pee IF you think they need to go (to avoid starting a new bad behavior!) but if you are sure they can wait, I would just ignore.
Because this is their habit, they always get fed at 5:30, they will put up a fuss. For years now they bark, then get fed. You need to establish that they are fed when YOU want.
Another way to do it, is not feed them right when you wake up. So even if you are up at 5:30 with them, don't feed. Establish a new feeding time.
BUT before you feed them, make sure they are not barking. They have to behave in order for you to get their bowls ready and put them down. They are NOT the ones deciding when they eat, you are.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
ugh i was afraid of this! i'm going to have to start drugging myself! thanks for the advise, i'll let you know how it goes.
tanya is right on - extuniguishing a bad behaviour is MUCh harder then not letting it get going in the first place as the dogs KNOW deep down if they carry on enough you'll cave and do what they want ... so they'll escalate til you cna't bear it IF you give in then - they'll be even more determined to MAKE you do things their way...
so pick the night you are going to start - time it so hopefully you can not be at your best the next few days and wear earplugs, have an extra pillow to put over your head - whatever you need to truly ignore them or at least so they think you are ignoring them.
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller
I just wanted to say welcome!!
Welcome to the forum !
Welcome and please let us know how it goes.