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Early waking

Discussion in 'Dog Training: Principle and Practice' started by Rina, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Rina

    Rina Registered Users

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    Aug 5, 2018
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    My 10 month old Labrador Tilly wakes and yelps for attention at about 6.00 every morning whatever time I put her to bed, currently about 10 pm. Till recently I waited till nearer midnight but it made no difference. She had woken st the same time since she arrived aged 3 mths. Sometimes she rushes out to wee but often it’s just me she wants. How can I get her to wait quietly? The neighbours can hear her so I can’t leave her yelping.
     
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  2. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Hi @Rina you are rewarding and therefore reinforcing her early waking, and her vocalisation. Set the alarm for. 5.45 before she awakes and you wake her up. Overtime set the alarm later and later. In doing so you shift her internal clock. It will take a bit of time. Please don't expect to reset her behaviour too quickly, otherwise you will not be successful.
     
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  3. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    I forget to emphasize that you should ensure she hears your alarm ring. In time you will classically condition her to the cue that the alarm means she can get up and explore the day.
     
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  4. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    Unfortunately there are not any easy answers to this, because you have inadvertently trained her to yelp at 6am(!). She does this, and she gets what she wants - which is attention from you. Your attention reinforces the barking and means that it's only going to happen again the next day.

    The best thing, in these scenarios, is really to let her make noise until she gives up. This might take a while because there is now a history of her making noise and getting reinforced for it - so it may get worse, before it stops. And it may take a few days of totally ignoring it, before it works.

    It might be possible to put a note through the neighbour's door and explain that you are working on this, and it shouldn't go on for longer than a week. To keep windows closed to try to keep the noise in. And then just to put her on Ignore... :)
     
  5. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    You may need to 'reinforce' your neighbours for co-operating :). Wine, flowers, chocolates... or all three! Whatever it takes. Another approach is the pre-emptive strike. Wake her up at 5:30, take her out for a pee, and put her back to bed. (you should be able to push this forwards by five minutes a day until you get to a time that feels more civilised to you. You may still need the wine and chocolates - but won't feel so bad about ignoring her. And at least you'll know that she doesn't need to pee!
     

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