There is one thing that continues to go on at our house, and that is dogs getting up early and wanting out around 3:30 in the morning. With four dogs, the biggest problem is figuring out the instigator. My husband and I both have differing opinions and experiences on the subject, but the blame game continues in both camps.
My husband believes that Flattery is the instigator of it all. In his favor is the fact that Flattery is very highly food motivated and she has a strong association between going outside and getting food. The difficulties we’ve gone through in housebreaking her could fill a novel and I don’t kid myself that it will be a lifelong struggle we face with her. In any event, Mr. Taleteller believes that Flattery wakes up, wants to be fed and starts pacing to get Morgan and Küster up and going, which leads to my husband getting up and taking them all out to go potty, feeding them and then going back to sleep on the couch for several hours.
Normally, I hear Morgan or Küster start fussing before I notice anything from Flattery. Sometimes it happens after I get up to use the bathroom, so I feel like I know some of what’s going on there. The fact is, my husband was never good at enforcing that Küster sleep through the night when he was a puppy. He’d get up with him through the night for far longer that a tiny puppy bladder required. Morgan and Küster both know that the fastest way to get Mr. Taleteller’s attention is to do exactly what they do, which is whine and bark until he gets up. Flattery running around doesn’t do anything to help the situation, either. There’s also the fact that Morgan is just as food motivated as Flattery is.
Another funny thing in the whole situation is that the girls never wake me up to go out in the wee hours of the morning when my husband and Küster are away for training. Morgan and Flattery might fuss about half an hour before my alarm goes off, but they will wait until I get up if I tell them to knock it off and go to sleep. Somehow, my husband is at the root of this problem, and I think it goes back to the issue of food. They don’t hound me for food the way they do with my husband.
One thing that is certain is that Bunny is not the root of the problem. If she had her way, she’d sleep until late in the morning, especially when I’m also in bed sleeping in. She will get up and go outside for a powder room break in the early hours because she’s called to do so, but she’s never the one who asks to go out in the middle of the night. If it were up to her, it would just be the two of us sleeping in blissful abandon.
I’m not sure if there will ever be an end to the problem, unless we can determine for sure who the culprit is. Even the Pet Cube hasn’t offered a definite answer. I suppose we’ll just play the blame game indefinitely, or maybe a surprise answer will reveal the true culprit. Most likely, it’s a group effort that the dogs have worked out to their advantage. It’s never a good feeling to know that you’ve been outwitted by your dogs, but I think we are.