Why Does My Golden Retriever Wake Up So Early?


Owning a Golden Retriever that wakes you up early can be a frustrating experience and one that you’d probably like to avoid. This post will help you to figure out why it’s happening and what to do about it.

So, why does your Golden Retriever wake up so early? There are a number of possible reasons but the most likely one is that it has associated a certain time in the morning with getting food. Other possible reasons include wanting attention, needing to pee, being naturally active and possibly medical reasons such as pain.  

And how do you get your Golden Retriever to wake up later? The two most effective methods would be to make sure that it gets to wee just before going to bed and to gradually get it used to waking up and getting food at slightly later times in the morning. Other options include giving it lots of exercises, ruling out medical problems, and giving it something to chew on.

It can actually be quite difficult, at times, to figure out the root cause of why your Golden Retriever might be getting up so early. The best way to get your Golden Retriever to wake up earlier will depend on the cause of why it is getting up early.

Reasons Why Your Golden Retriever Gets Up Early

There are a number of reasons that your Golden Retriever might be regularly getting up early that I will outline below.

It has associated waking up at a certain time with getting food

The most common reason that your Golden Retriever wakes you up early is that it has realized that it will normally get food at a certain time in the morning. This means that if you regularly give your Golden Retriever breakfast at 6 am then it’s going to cause your Golden Retriever to expect to get food at 6 am. This will cause it to wake up at this time and to get excited at this time.

It needs to pee

Another probable cause of your Golden Retriever getting up early is that it has gotten into the habit of peeing at a certain time. If this is the case then it will regularly wake up earlier since it needs to pee.

Golden Retrievers are very active

Something to remember is that Golden Retrievers were bred to be very active. This means that they will require a lot more exercise to fulfill their daily requirements. So, they are going to be more naturally inclined to wake up with a lot of energy.

Rule out medical reasons

In some cases, the reason that your Golden Retriever is getting up early could be due to medical issues. This can be somewhat hard to recognize so if you’re unsure then the best thing for you to do would be to take it to the vet. If this is the case then there are likely to be other symptoms accompanying waking up early such as a reduced appetite.

It wants attention

Instead of associating mornings with food it could be that it associates mornings with attention. If you don’t spend much time with your Golden Retriever after the mornings then this is more likely to be the case. To rectify this you’ll need to find more opportunities to spend time with it.

It’s Young

If your Golden Retriever is still a puppy then you shouldn’t be worrying too much since it’s normal for Golden Retriever puppies to be loud at times that might not suit you. If it persists for more than a few months then that would be something to be more concerned about.

It’s Old

It could also be because your Golden Retriever is getting older. As they get older their ability to control their bladder will deteriorate so it’s normal for them to start to need to get up earlier.

How To Stop Your Golden Retriever Getting Up Early

The right way to stop your Golden Retriever from getting up early will depend on the reason that your Golden Retriever is getting up early but there are a number of things that you can do.

Give it lots of exercise

Since Golden Retrievers require a lot of exercise if you are not allowing your Golden Retriever to get it then it will be more hyperactive during the day.

This means that if you don’t want your Golden Retriever to be waking you up early in the morning then it would be worthwhile to be giving it lots of exercise.

Additionally, it could be a good idea to give some exercise just before going to bed to tire it out a bit. Although, this can sometimes backfire and cause the Golden Retriever to be filled with adrenaline just before you want to go to bed causing it to make it harder for you to go to sleep.

You might find that walking your Golden Retriever doesn’t wear it out enough so you will need to find ways to make it more tiring. You could do so by walking it faster, walking it further, walking in a hilly area or you could make it wear a weight vest that weighs less than 10% of its bodyweight.

You could also walk your Golden Retriever with other dogs. By doing so you will wear it out faster since it will use up its energy by playing with the other dogs.

Another option would be to teach it to play fetch. It will wear it out quickly since it will have your Golden Retriever do a lot of sprinting without much rest in between. 

Reduce disturbances

Another thing that you can do is to reduce the number of things that might provoke a reaction out of your Golden Retriever where it sleeps. This means that you should reduce the number of things that it can create a noise with and to make the room darker to keep it sleepy for longer. Although, you might want to keep a quiet toy for it to play with in the room so that it can quietly play with that when it gets hyper.

Gradually get up later

If your Golden Retriever is regularly getting up at the same time then it’s probably used to getting things such as food and attention at that time. If you want to get your Golden Retriever to wake up later then your best bet is to gradually get it used to waking up slightly later each day. You can do this in 5-minute chunks where you get up 5 minutes later each morning and feed it 5 minutes later as well and just repeat until you get to the time that you want to get up.

If you have to get up earlier during the week then this becomes more difficult. Here you could get it used to waking up at the time you want it to during the week and then to just quickly give it what it wants at that time on the weekend and then go back to bed.

Let it go to the bathroom later

It could just be that your Golden Retriever is getting up early because it needs to pee in the mornings. The best option for you here is to try to give it water a bit earlier in the evenings and to let it pee just before going to bed. This way hopefully it won’t need to pee as much in the morning.

Ignore

When your Golden Retriever gets up early it will likely be trying to get your attention if you ignore it for a while then eventually it will stop trying to get your attention in the mornings.

GIve it time

If your Golden Retriever is still young then it will likely just need some time before it stops feeling the need to get up so early. This is actually a good time to start building it up towards waking up at the time that you want it to so that there isn’t any trouble later on.

Consider crate training

While your puppy is still young you might want to consider doing crate training. This can help your puppy to feel more secure and to make it less likely to cause trouble in the mornings.

Give it something to chew on

One other option you could do is to give is a toy that it likes when it wakes you up that will keep it busy so that you can go back to bed.

Considerations

When you’re trying to train your Golden Retriever to get up later there are some things that you should keep in mind.

If it’s a puppy

If you have a puppy then it’s normal for it to be getting up at weird times. The main thing for you to do here is to be patient.

If it’s old

If your Golden Retriever is getting older then trying to stop it from needing to pee in the mornings will be more difficult the best thing for you to do is to make sure that it gets to pee before going to bed.

If it’s sick

If your Golden Retriever is sick then take it to the vet to find out what is wrong and then after that the best option for you is to give it time to get better.

Use an animal behaviorist

If you have been trying to get your Golden Retriever to go to get up later for a long time but nothing has been working then the best option for you would be to seek help from an animal behaviorist who will better know what to do.

Related Questions

Why does my Golden Retriever nibble me? Golden Retrievers will begin to get to know their surroundings with their nose, tongue and mouth before they are even able to open their eyes. This means that it’s in their nature to nibble on your hands. It will be necessary for you to stop it while they’re young so that they don’t continue to do it when they’re older.

If you would like learn everything that you need to know about how to have a happy, healthy and well-behaved Golden Retriever, take a look at this Golden Retriever ebook.

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