How do I get my dog to stop barking in the morning?
Our charming rockaway wolf is about 9 months old and is turning out to be a great alarm clock. He is up at 5:55 am every morning trying to nose us out of bed. If nudging and blanket yanking and elbow nibbling and face licking don't work, he starts barking. It doesn't matter how late his last walk was, he is up and he wants us to get up.
When I do take him out he doesn't seem to have to pee urgently -- he waits until we get three blocks away to the park and then sometimes longer yet.
It seems like the same bark that he uses with dogs in the park that won't play with him. It's his "hey guys! Guys! Get up and play with me!" bark.
We can tell him to get down, which lasts a few minutes, but he will not just let us go back to sleep. I really need him not to wake the neighbors up. I know they rise much later than us and I'd be pretty annoyed if I was hearing him hours before I had to wake.
Any suggestions for reigning this in?
PS. I read through http://pets.stackexchange.com/questions/3103/how-do-i-stop-my-shiba-puppy-from-screaming-at-the-top-of-his-lungs-everyday-at?rq=1 but that seems to be a different issue.
I agree with jeffaudio that only playing with him when he's not barking is a good idea. Additionally, have you tried annoying him (hey, it might take well over an hour) until he stops barking? Then immediately when he's done barking for a few minutes, start playing with him?
@Jeremy "annoying" or "ignoring"? I'm wary of ignoring him, b/c I don't want him to get used to barking. But also at that hour I'm really worried about disturbing my neighbors. They're very nice people.
Ignoring -- sorry. Ignoring doesn't get him used to it. Saying "shush" and trying to get him to step gets him used to it. It rewards the behavior. Any type of attention is good to your dog, he doesn't care if you're berating him. I'd suggest apologizing to your neighbors preemptively, saying that you're trying to train the dog, and that if they could endure non-stop barking for a few days that'd be good.
FWIW, what finally worked was ignoring him. And time. Getting up before him didn't help (and we couldn't sustain it for long), but we did just get up and ignore him.
Three years later, he is still pretty assertive about telling us when he thinks it is time to get up, but he's not nearly as annoying about it.