Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dreaming of Sugarplums?

Let's face it, if you have kids, they are going to wake you up early on Christmas morning. But we have some suggestions for helping your dog to leave you in  "heavenly peace" (unless of course, he is a brand new Christmas puppy!).

Make sure your dog is healthy.
Before teaching your dog to wait until your alarm has gone off, make sure there aren't any legitimate reasons why he's waking you early. For example, urinary tract infections or digestive upset can affect elimination habits.

Burn the Midnight Oil.
We believe "A tired dog is a happy dog" and you will too! Evening exercise will help your dog expend most of the energy that he will use to wake you up the next morning. It will also literally make him happier by releasing endorphins and enhancing his sense of well-being.

Keep Calm.
The less stimulation that exists to wake your dog, the less likely he is to wake you. Try using a white noise machine or playing some soft classical music. If your dog is crated, cover the crate with a sheet or blanket to reduce visual stimulation and changes in light.

Condition.
If none of the solutions above seem to work for you, you may be able to train your dog to sleep in. Here's how:

1. Set your alarm 15-20 minutes earlier than your dog typically wakes you up.
2. After a week set your alarm five minutes later and continue to do this each week until you reach your desired wake-up time.
3. Don't get up before the alarm goes off. This will condition your dog to the sound of the alarm as his cue to wake (you) up.

It might take you a few weeks to learn what works for your dog, but these simple tips work. 

Best of luck keeping your kids tucked into their beds!

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