I have a lot of puppy owners at the moment telling me that their puppies are waking them at 4am (it’s a very specific time, which got me thinking). It may well be that your puppies little bladder has woken them up, but it’s worth having a think about anything else that may have woken them. Does the milkman come around early?, is it the dawn chorus? or is it maybe because it’s getting lighter outside. If your puppy is disturbed it’s to be expected that they will then need the loo (what’s the first thing you do when you wake up ?).
If you would like to try and extend the time your puppy sleeps, think about covering their crate, (assuming they are crate trained and it isn’t too hot), with a sheet or towel, or closing curtains to make the room as dark as you can. If it’s noise that’s disturbing them you can think about playing something overnight (ask Alexa to play ‘calm my dog’), to dampen sudden noises from outside.
Of course, we don’t want to ignore our puppies if they do need the toilet, but try to make night-time toilet trips as unexciting as possible. Minimal interaction, talking and cuddles. Take them out and let them go to the loo then pop them back in their crate (all without turning the light on if you can!)If your puppy is regularly waking you overnight to be let out, they are probably squeaking or barking to wake you up? While it is great that they are letting you know, we can also potentially be encouraging them to ‘shout’ to be let out of their crate. If your young puppy regularly wakes for the toilet, at a certain time and starts barking, try setting an alarm for a few minutes earlier. They will quickly learn that someone will be along when they need them and they won’t feel the need to bark to let you know – it also means that you can slowly tweak the time they get up – moving the alarm by 10 mins every few nights, as they get older and can hold their bladder longer, and you will soon get to a reasonable human wake up time.