We’ve said it before: the canine is nature’s alarm clock. We can switch off our iPhones, ignore our alarms, and close our curtains against the morning sun. When our dog decides to wake us, though, there’s no “snooze” button we can hope to hit. If you like to sleep-in, and your pooch doesn’t, this can pose a problem. However, if you’re immune to the pleas of your alarm, you can channel your pup’s AM pep into something useful. With a bit of practise, your dog can learn to rouse you from bed at the time of your choosing!
Teach your dog when they should (and shouldn’t) approach your bed
First thing’s first: your furry friend must grasp the boundaries of your bed. In other words, they need to know the morning is the only time in which they can approach your bed. The solution? Bring an alarm clock (or smartphone alarm) into play.
During a chosen training time, turn on your alarm clock and invite your dog to mount your bed. Once they’ve followed your command, reward them with treats and “God dog!”s. Within the same training session, practice keeping your pup away from the bed when the alarm isn’t ringing. Using a command like “Down” is an easy way to enforce the concept. Likewise, make it rain treats and praise when they remain off the bed.
After you’ve worked these two drills several times, your doggo will begin to make the right association. Before long, they’ll come to connect the sound of your alarm with the urge to leap onto your bed.
Wake up with a lick
If you’ve drilled the above exercises enough times, your dog will have learned to respond to your alarm clock. From now on, when you sleep through your alarm, you’ll be able to depend on a furry back-up. Of course, you might not revel at the prospect of a hyperactive canine wrestling you awake. If this sounds like you, put your worries to bed! You can train your pooch to wake you with a lick of their tongue.
When practicing the above drill, smear a portion of peanut butter over your arms or face. This will encourage your pup to lick you when they climb onto your bed. Eventually, they’ll program themselves to lick you awake whenever they hear the alarm – peanut butter or no. How many smartphones can promise you THAT, eh? Actually, you could probably find one in Japan…