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I’m not a particularly morning person, not until I have my first cup of coffee at least, but my dog doesn’t seem to care if I’m moody or quiet.
The moment he sees me opening my eyes, he starts wagging his tail and his hyper affectionate personality comes through.
Sometimes this significant contrast between my morning self and my dog makes me wonder:
Why does my dog get excited when I wake up?
Dogs can be cuddly in the morning to get warm, or to show you their love and that they’ve missed you. They might be hyper because they’re hungry or they need to pee, but it could also be a sign of anxiety.
Let’s figure out why your dog is so excited to see you when you wake up and read a few tips on how to get them to be calmer in the morning!
Why Do Dogs Like To Cuddle In The Morning?
We all face our mornings differently, but as a dog parent, I must admit that there’s no better motivation to wake up than my energized little furball.
But I wonder what could be going through my dog’s head as he burrows under the blankets next to me, or as he jumps up and down full of positivity!
Let’s find out!
Reason 1: They’re Greeting You
The most obvious reason why your dog jumps into your bed early in the morning is that they want to be the first to greet you.
You will most likely get a few wet kisses, a social behavior, and a gesture often associated with love as Dr. Wailani Sung, DVM explains.
And you know that there’s nothing cuter than having your canine friend tell you “good morning” and “I love you” in their own tail-wagging way!
Reason 2: They’ve Missed You
If your dog is an early riser, then it’s safe to assume that they probably wait for you to wake up the moment they’re up. I’m also sure that the second they see you open your eyes they immediately try to show you how excited they are to finally see and interact with you.
Your dog can also act more clingy in the morning if you were away for most of the night and they’ve missed your company.
This could also be true for those of you who tend to wake up later in the day, either because you work during the night, or you’ve had a late weekend with your friends.
If you’ve trained your dog to sleep in their own bed, or in a crate then your dog may be even more hyper to see you in the morning, because they can finally have your love and attention all to them.
After all, I’m sure most dog parents can’t wait to see their little pooch the moment they wake up!
Reason 3: They Need Your Warmth
I’ve noticed that my dog tends to get more excited when I wake up during the colder months of the year.
He immediately borrows beneath the covers and stays as close as possible to me. I imagine this has something to do with the house temperature that can drop significantly during the night.
Similarly, your dog might be both happy to see you as well as the warm spot on your bed. If you have an electric blanket or sheet then you can imagine how amazing that sensation must be for your dog, especially if they’re a shorthaired breed.
While this search for your bed’s warmth is a behavior that signals their love and trust for you it’s also an instinctive behavior that your dog could be carrying from their puppyhood.
According to Scientific American “when puppies are huddling together to keep warm, they are reducing how much of their bodies (specifically surface area) are exposed to the colder open air, and so are reducing heat loss in two ways: via radiation and convection.”
I also want to mention that just like certain breeds can be more sensitive to cold, the same goes for senior dogs. And as your doggy gets older you might notice them searching for that early morning heat they can enjoy next to you!
Reason 4: They’re Showing Their Love
Your dog might be giving you morning cuddles as an act of pure puppy love, and it could be their way to strengthen their bonds with you.
I mean you can see the love by simply looking at your dog’s eyes. As humans, we bond emotionally through eye contact, and the research published by the journal Science has proved that “such gaze-mediated bonding also exists between us and our closest animal companions, dogs.”
A number of other studies have also shown that “when dogs and humans interact with each other in a positive way (for example cuddling) both partners exhibit a surge in oxytocin, a hormone which has been linked to positive emotional states.”
Most likely our dogs acquired this type of bonding and unspoken love language through the thousands of years of domestication and living together with us.
I also want to mention that the reason your dog might be so excited to see you when you wake up is your smell.
Scientists have found that your smell can actually spark activation in the “reward center” of your pooch’s brain and your dog will prioritize your smell over anything else. So, don’t be surprised to find them sniffing your bed early in the morning!
Reason 6: They Want Food
No matter how much your doggy loves you a growling stomach can get them to act extra hyper and lovable just to get you out of the bed on time for their breakfast.
According to Ryan Llera, DVM, “when your dog is used to eating at the same times each day, his body becomes conditioned to expect food at those times.”
If you’ve overslept, then you can expect that your dog may become extra clingy to let you know that they’re hungry.
In some cases, they might start chewing things they shouldn’t chew or even throw a tantrum, like this gorgeous Greyhound who really wants an early breakfast!
More so, if this method has worked for them before then you can be sure that your dog will act all excited every morning if that means they’ll get fed!
Reason 7: They Need To Pee
Since we’re in charge of fulfilling our dog’s basic needs, then it’s only natural that they’ll run to us if they need something. This is especially true when it comes to toilet time.
Most dog parents that I know live in apartments and their dogs can’t just run out and do their business in the yard. That’s why they have created a set routine that dictates when their dog can go to the toilet.
As you can imagine, your dog will most likely be more energetic in the morning because they really need to pee or poo after a long night of sleep.
Puppies and young dogs that have just learned to do their business outside might come across as hyper in the morning specifically for this reason.
Making sure your dog has been to the toilet shortly before going to bed can help them be less extra in the morning, especially if you tend to oversleep. But having a strict schedule for walks will definitely help your dog be calmer in the early hours of the day.
Reason 8: They’re Bored
Every dog has different energy levels, but these energy levels will also fluctuate during the day.
You can imagine that after a good night of sleep your dog will wake up with his batteries charged and they’ll expect you to provide them with all the fun activities.
Some dogs will wait patiently for you to wake up, while others might start the process on their own. For young puppies, it can be especially challenging to be patient and they can easily get bored.
Reason 9: They’re Jealous
Your dog might seem suddenly super excited when you wake up because they’re trying to get more of that attention that they’ve been missing from you lately.
Perhaps you adopted another pet, or the bed has been occupied by your new partner and this sudden change could easily make your dog jealous and clingy.
If your dog is not getting the same attention as they used to then they’ll do everything they can to win your heart back and that includes being the first one you see in the morning.
While you may be thinking that dogs can’t feel jealousy or express it, this is not entirely true.
Your dog might look for various ways to get your attention in the morning specifically because they feel jealous.
Your dog might start biting or nibbling the animal or person they feel jealous of, or they might become really needy with you like sleeping in your bed all of a sudden and even adopting pushy behavior.
According to Dr. Scarlett Magda, this comes in the form of a pet “inhibiting another person or animal from moving freely on a regular basis, or pushing their way into a situation, demanding the attention of their owner.”
You might notice your dog wagging their tail at you the moment you wake up, but if they see you pet the new cat that is sleeping next to you, then their mood may change.
You may notice them growl, or they may get between you and the cat.
Some behaviors that you perceive as protective could also stem from jealousy and that’s something you should try to unpack and see how you can relieve your dog’s stress.
Reason 10: They’re Anxious
In this day and age, most of us have experienced or at least we know what anxiety is, but this isn’t a human-only emotion.
In fact, JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM, states that “Dogs who have anxiety issues often develop clingy dog behaviors. Interestingly, dogs can also become clingy if they sense our stress or anxiety.”
If your dog has been excited to see you in the morning more than usual and they seek to be close to you and cuddle with you then they might be using, you as their own personal stress relief.
It’s also possible that your dog senses that you’re feeling unwell and by acting hyper they’re trying to make you feel better. This makes sense since according to Science petting and talking to your dog helps increase oxytocin levels (the love hormone) both in you and your pooch.
To help your doggy feel less anxious you need to look at what has changed in their day-to-day life. Major changes can increase your dog’s stress level and make them overly affectionate.
Perhaps your dog has certain triggers. “Some pets are sensitive to loud noises, such as thunder, fireworks or construction noises,” as Wailani Sung, DVM, explains.
Reason 11: You’re Encouraging This Behavior
Finally, it’s important to understand that more than one truth can exist at the same time, and your dog could be excited to see you when you wake up because they want to greet you, and because they love you but also because they may be anxious or jealous.
It’s also possible that you are partly responsible for this behavior by unconsciously encouraging your dog to be energetic and hyper in the morning.
This usually happens if you give them exactly what they want the moment you wake up. By giving them that extra attention or running out of bed to feed them you’re rewarding this behavior.
Why Is My Dog Affectionate In The Morning All Of A Sudden?
Some dogs are naturally more affectionate and cuddlier and they can’t wait to see their owner wake up so they can spend their whole day with them. But sudden changes in your dog’s behavior can be a sign of separation anxiety.
According to Debra Horwitz, DVM, “separation anxiety describes dogs that usually are overly attached or dependent on family members.”
She also adds that “Most dogs with separation anxiety try to remain close to their owners, follow them from room to room, and rarely spend time outdoors alone.”
If your dog is being clingy in the morning, then they might be aware that you’ll soon begin to prepare to leave for work and so they feel anxious.
I also want to mention that if your doggy has just recently started cuddling with you in the morning, then this could also be a symptom of a health issue, especially if your dog has been feeling unwell.
According to AKC Pet Insurance, “when dogs are in pain or don’t feel well, they tend to display behavioral changes, such as decreased activity or lethargy. Some sick dogs that are normally social may start to withdraw.”
Your doggy might seem sleepy, and cuddly more than usual specifically because they’re not feeling well and it’s important to take them to the vet for a checkup.
Should You Be Cuddling With Your Dog In The Morning?
I think it’s almost impossible to resist morning cuddles with your dog, and according to AKC, 45% of owners welcome their dog in their bed.
In fact, the practice of allowing pets and dogs to sleep in the same bed or bedroom isn’t a modern phenomenon but certain cultures have always considered co-sleeping with animals as beneficial.
Sleeping and waking up to your dog’s kind gaze is a great way to strengthen your bond and companionship. But I also understand how important sleep is and sharing your bed with a dog can also have a negative effect on some people.
AKC reports that “previous studies have shown that owners sharing a bed with their pet report greater sleep disturbances than people whose pets did not sleep in their bed.”
They also add that “One factor that may explain this difference is that dogs are polyphasic sleepers and average three sleep/wake cycles per nighttime hour, whereas humans are monophasic sleepers (one period of sleep over a 24-hour cycle). Dogs also stay alert for sounds, even when sleeping, which may make them lighter sleepers than their humans.”
If you’re a light sleeper or suffer from insomnia you need to consider whether your dog should have access to your bedroom, since they can disrupt your sleep, especially in the early hours.
By letting your dog cuddle with you in bed you could also be reinforcing this behavior and your dog might get the impression that waking you up in the morning is something you approve of.
Overall, I think this is a decision only you can make. Sure if you cuddle your dog in the morning you may create a morning routine in which your dog is excited to see you, but if that’s something that you and your dog enjoy I don’t see any harm in it!
How To Get Your Dog To Be Calmer In The Morning?
Being greeted by your furry friend first thing in the morning is a blessing, but it’s not always easy to match your dog’s energy.
If you want to help your canine friend to behave in a calmer manner, then you need to consider when this hyper reaction first started, especially if it’s a recent change.
Once you know the reason you can work on changing your dog’s behavior. So, let’s take a look at a few of your options.
Alter Their Feeding Schedule
If your dog gets all hyper when you wake up, then there’s a possibility that they’re actually more excited about the first meal of the day.
Of course, this doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t love you, but they’re a living organism that needs sustenance and it just so happens that you are their favorite food provider.
For those of you who have expressive dogs, you may notice that once you’re out of bed your dog will run towards their plate or they’ll point at the cupboard you keep their canned or dry food.
The best way to keep your dog less excited about their breakfast is to set an eating schedule that suits both of you.
You can move their last meal of the day somewhere closer to your bedtime, so your dog isn’t too hungry by the time you’re both up.
Or you can invest in a high-quality automatic dog feeder that will take the feeding responsibility of you.
The Wopet Automatic Pet Feeder that you can check on Amazon can let you schedule up to 4 automated feedings and it also lets you control the food portions, so your little pooch doesn’t overeat.
The only issue is that your dog might end up being more excited to hear the sound of falling kibble in the morning.
Consider Changing Their Diet
According to Dr. Rebecca Remillard, dogs are opportunistic scavengers, and they’ll eat everything if given the opportunity.
That’s why it’s important to choose the right diet for your dog, that will help them feel full while not overeating.
Dr. Remillard also suggests that not all dogs are built the same, and they may have different feeding needs, but it’s important to find food that’s high in fiber to manage their appetite.
The best way to determine how much daily fiber your dog needs to consume is by getting in touch with your vet or a veterinary nutritionist.
By making sure your dog is getting the right diet you may notice a natural drop in their energy levels during the morning because they’re not hungry anymore and you’ll most likely have those few extra minutes to snooze before your dog starts asking you for other things.
Exercise Is Key
It’s possible that your dog is being extra hyper in the morning because they’ve had their rest and now they’re full of energy.
Unlike you, your dog is ready to seize the day and they’ll act all excited because they want you to take them for their morning walk.
This walk will satisfy their basic toilet needs, but it will also help them release some of that energy they’ve been building up during their night rest. It’s also important that your dog gets plenty of exercises, so they don’t get easily bored.
If you want to win a few minutes of extra sleep and to keep your dog calm during the early mornings, you should take them for late-night walks before you head to bed.
Exercise is especially important for puppies that can get the case of the “zoomies” several times a day. Your dog’s physical activity needs will also depend on whether they’re a high-energy like a Border Collie or they’re a low-energy breed like a Bulldog.
To get some extra sleep or alone time in the morning you can also keep a few toys out for your dog to enjoy when they wake up, but you need to remember that you can’t avoid your dog’s walking needs for too long, no matter how late your night was.
Stop Rewarding This Behavior
You can’t stop a dog from expressing their needs completely and why would you? But you can manage some destructive and unwanted behaviors simply by not rewarding them.
The best way to teach your dog to be less hyper in the mornings is to wait for them to calm down before feeding them or giving them the attention, they’ve been waiting for.
During this training, avoid any form of violence and shouting and make sure you only use positive reinforcement, simple commands, and try to deliver the treats at the right time.
As Stephanie Gibeault, CPDT, explains, “if you take too long to deliver the treat, your dog can become confused about what exactly he’s being rewarded for.”
She also adds that “if you’re training a stationary position like “sit,” your dog should get his reward while he is sitting.”
By repeating the same routine every morning, not giving in to your dog’s tantrums, and rewarding them when they’re calm you’ll have the results that you want.
Get A Dog Door
Clearly getting a dog door isn’t an option for everyone, but if you have a safe yard then it’s a great option for prolonging your calm morning.
This way your dog can actually have a bit more independence when it comes to peeing and pooping.
Even in terms of self-entertainment having free access to the backyard of your house can help a bored dog have fun without necessarily waking you up.
Whether you need a dog door for a Great Dane or a Chihuahua, there are lots of options that can work for you, your sleep, and your dog.
If you’re afraid your other pets will escape through the dog door, you can check out the PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor on Amazon which has a selective entry and will only let your dog in and out as long as they wear the SmartKey on their collar.
There’s nothing purer than a dog’s love especially if it comes in the form of morning cuddles.
However, while I do love being woken up by my dog’s excited kisses or having him snuggle against my side as I’m trying to motivate myself to wake up, this hyper ball of fluffy energy can be too much.
It’s also not always easy to understand where that excitement comes from, but as dog parents, it’s our job to figure out what our canine friends are trying to tell us, even if we haven’t had our morning coffee yet.
Now tell us, is your dog excited to see you when you wake up, or are you the hyper one?