Some dogs don’t
appreciate a good lie-in—or know the difference between workdays and weekends.
Young puppies and senior dogs can’t be expected it to hold it all night and are
legitimately excused, but adult dogs should know better. If your dog has taken
it upon himself to be your personal alarm clock, here are some tips:
Visit the vet. The first step is always to rule out a urinary tract infection or
other medical conditions that might be causing bladder discomfort.
Increase the workouts. It can’t be said often enough: a tired dog is a
well-behaved dog. This includes early morning manners. More time spent hiking
the trails, chasing a ball, and playing with friends at the park or doggie
daycare may well translate into a full night’s sleep.
Delay evening toilette. Make your dog’s last potty trip as late as you
can and if he gets an evening meal, serve it on the early side. If you’ll
pardon the mental image, it gives the food more time to travel through the
system. That way, you can be reasonably sure he isn’t desperate to go in the
Don’t feed first thing. If your dog knows that one of the first things
you attend to in the morning is his breakfast, you have provided powerful
motivation for him to get you out of bed. Don’t set this trap for yourself and
if you already have, change it.
Don’t reinforce the alarm-clock habit. When the pawing or whining begins, turn onto the
other side (provided, as per the previous tip, you’re fairly certain it isn’t a
potty emergency). Whatever you do, don’t reinforce your dog’s behavior by
acknowledging it with eye contact, soothing noises, a groan of exasperation, a
scratch on the head, or—worst of all—by getting up.