Happy Halloween everyone!
We need help with Stella's whining/crying. Since we brought her home at 8weeks old we have set our alarms for 5:30am every morning. Now at 8 months old Stella has been whining and crying the moment out alarm goes off in the morning. This has been happening for about 4-5 months. Our dog trainer suggested we let her cry and eventually she will stop. Yeah, no - that didn't work. She would cry for 45+ mins before we finally had to get up and start getting ready for work. Then he suggested we get up and go about our business without acknowledging her or taking her out of her crate. So, we now just get up and start breakfast, coffee, etc. She stops crying the moment she sees us and will not make another peep despite still being in her crate. When she whines we have tried telling her "no", making a diversion (noise, etc) and using an e-collar. We actually used the e-collar when she was barking in the morning and that stopped within 2 days. But for the whining it has not made a difference, so we stopped. It isn't fair to shock her if she doesn't know how to fix it. Stella sleeps in her crate in the living room. We do not give her any bed or blankets because she is chews them. I have heard placing a sheet over the crate to give it a den feel, but she pulls the sheet inside the crate with her. So, that doesn't work. Unfortunately, her crate is too big for our bedroom. I definitely feel it is seperation anxiety because if we do not come out within a few mins of the alarm going off she will start scratching the bottom of her crate. I am not sure if this is just a phase or something that will last forever. She is going through a defiant stage right now - challenging us on everything, but we are trying to stand our ground and be strong.
We thought that if we ignored her that she would get the idea that the whining isn't getting her any benefit - but she still continues. I would love for her to be able to sleep in a bed out of the crate, but she isn't ready for that quite yet. Hopefully by 12 months we can explore that option. She does like her crate - she goes in without any issue and we can place her in there randomly without making a peep.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Oh, and we increased her exercise. We will heel her (without a leash) down to the open field and play fetch for about 30-45 minutes followed by a 1 or 2 mile walk. We also tried putting her in doggy day care hoping it would wear her out enough that she wouldn't cry in the morning, but that didn't make a difference either.
I think she is too young for an ecollar and I would not use it for whining. You are going to have to wait her out. She has associated the alarm with you getting up. Do not know many who would not. Persistence will pay off. As texasbelle said Get some earplugs.