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Pepper has gotten into an annoying habit this past week or so. Ever since we got her, we’ve had her sleeping in the crate in our living room, and she’s always slept through the night (with the exception of potty breaks) and waited patiently for me in the morning. Now, however, she’s gotten into the habit of barking at 5 am for no apparent reason. And it’s not one little woof either, it’s continued for over an hour. We’ve never once given in, we make her wait until I was ready to get up anyway, and yet she keeps doing it.

There’s no need for the barking. She doesn’t have a desperate need to go to the bathroom (because she doesn’t rush for the door when we eventually DO let her out) and she’s not hungry or thirsty, and no one is outside.

Here’s the odd thing, when she hears me get out of bed, she immediately stops barking, and patiently waits for me to come downstairs to let her out. As an experiment, I waited upstairs half an hour today before going downstairs. Not a peep, as long as she heard me moving.

So, any ideas?
 

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Sounds like that's just her normal wake up time and she wants some company.It might help if you could crate her in your bedroom so she knows you're near.
 

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I agree with Dogma. The pup wants to know if you are there, perhaps. Sleeping in the same room might do just the thing to convince her she doesn't have to holler out, "hey, is anyone there?"
 

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Sounds like that's just her normal wake up time and she wants some company.It might help if you could crate her in your bedroom so she knows you're near.
I agree with Dogma. The pup wants to know if you are there, perhaps. Sleeping in the same room might do just the thing to convince her she doesn't have to holler out, "hey, is anyone there?"
I’d love to have the crate in our room, but unfortunately it’s not an option. The room really isn’t big enough. Plus, our cats sleep in there. The cats aren’t Pepper’s biggest fans yet, and our bedroom is their safe haven.
 

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I’d love to have the crate in our room, but unfortunately it’s not an option. The room really isn’t big enough. Plus, our cats sleep in there. The cats aren’t Pepper’s biggest fans yet, and our bedroom is their safe haven.
Our big boy never did learn how to play nice with our cat. He slept in the crate in our room so our cat could have the freedom to roam the house. The other option is to sleep out with the pup for a few weeks. I did with the gal dog.
 

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She's a smart one, isn't she!? Judging by what you said, this is all very recent, right? Maybe she's having a difficult time adjusting, it's all new to her. Be patient. If I were you I wouldn't leave her alone though.
 

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She's a smart one, isn't she!? Judging by what you said, this is all very recent, right? Maybe she's having a difficult time adjusting, it's all new to her. Be patient. If I were you I wouldn't leave her alone though.
She’s only alone at night when she’s sleeping. I have an atypical schedule, so there are only three days a week when my husband and I are working at the same time, and she’s in doggie daycare for all three.

Here’s the thing though, we’ve had her since July, and the problem JUST started. She’s not a little baby anymore, she’s 6.5 months. She never had a problem waiting for us before. It popped up out of nowhere.
 

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She’s only alone at night when she’s sleeping. I have an atypical schedule, so there are only three days a week when my husband and I are working at the same time, and she’s in doggie daycare for all three.

Here’s the thing though, we’ve had her since July, and the problem JUST started. She’s not a little baby anymore, she’s 6.5 months. She never had a problem waiting for us before. It popped up out of nowhere.
I understand. I don't think it is separation anxiety, judging by what you said, but it can be related to other anxiety issues though. She's still a puppy and her personality is being shaped by her experiences. Did anything unusual happened in the daycare?

If there's a problem, the sooner you work on it, the better. Lots of anxiety issues can escalate quickly.
 

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Is there a reason the cage is not in your room. Knowing you are near might be all she needs.
The primary reason is space. We have a king sized bed, and with our other furniture, there simply isn’t room for a GSD-sized cage. And she does have to be in the cage if we’re not able to supervise. She gets destructive.
 
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