Owning a German Shepherd that wakes you up early can be a frustrating experience and one that you’d probably like to avoid. This post will help you to figure out why it’s happening and what to do about it.

So, why does your German Shepherd wake up so early? There are a number of possible reasons but the most likely one is that it has associated a certain time in the morning with getting food. Other possible reasons include wanting attention, needing to pee, being naturally active and possibly medical reasons such as pain.  

And how do you get your German Shepherd to wake up later? The two most effective methods would be to make sure that it gets to wee just before going to bed and to gradually get it used to waking up and getting food at slightly later times in the morning. Other options include giving it lots of exercises, ruling out medical problems, and giving it something to chew on.

It can actually be quite difficult, at times, to figure out the root cause of why your German Shepherd might be getting up so early. The best way to get your German Shepherd to wake up earlier will depend on the cause of why it is getting up early.

Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Gets Up Early

There are a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be regularly getting up early that I will outline below.

It has associated waking up at a certain time with getting food

The most common reason why your German Shepherd wakes you up early is that it has realized that it will normally get food at a certain time in the morning. This means that if you regularly give your German Shepherd breakfast at 6 am then it’s going to cause your German Shepherd to expect to get food at 6 am. This will cause it to wake up at this time and to get excited at this time.

It needs to pee

Another probable cause of your German Shepherd getting up early is that it has gotten into the habit of peeing at a certain time. If this is the case then it will regularly wake up earlier since it needs to pee.

German Shepherds are very active

Something to remember is that German Shepherds were bred to be very active. This means that they will require a lot more exercise to fulfill their daily requirements. So, they are going to be more naturally inclined to wake up with a lot of energy.

Rule out medical reasons

In some cases, the reason why your German Shepherd is getting up early could be due to medical issues. This can be somewhat hard to recognize so if you’re unsure then the best thing for you to do would be to take it to the vet. If this is the case then there are likely to be other symptoms accompanying waking up early such as a reduced appetite.

It wants attention

Instead of associating mornings with food it could be that it associates mornings with attention. If you don’t spend much time with your German Shepherd after the mornings then this is more likely to be the case. To rectify this you’ll need to find more opportunities to spend time with it.

Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you

It’s young

If your German Shepherd is still a puppy then you shouldn’t be worrying too much since it’s normal for German Shepherd puppies to be loud at times that might not suit you. If it persists for more than a few months then that would be something to be more concerned about.

It’s old

It could also be because your German Shepherd is getting older. As they get older their ability to control their bladder will deteriorate so it’s normal for them to start to need to get up earlier.

How To Stop Your German Shepherd Getting Up Early

The right way to stop your German Shepherd from getting up early will depend on the reason why your German Shepherd is getting up early but there are a number of things that you can do.

You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get even more tips on how you can train your GSD.

Give it lots of exercise

Since German Shepherds require a lot of exercise if you are not allowing your German Shepherd to get it then it will be more hyperactive during the day.

This means that if you don’t want your German Shepherd to be waking you up early in the morning then it would be worthwhile to be giving it lots of exercise.

Additionally, it could be a good idea to give some exercise just before going to bed to tire it out a bit. Although, this can sometimes backfire and cause the German Shepherd to be filled with adrenaline just before you want to go to bed causing it to make it harder for you to go to sleep.

You might find that walking your German Shepherd doesn’t wear it out enough so you will need to find ways to make it more tiring. You could do so by walking it faster, walking it further, walking in a hilly area or you could make it wear a weight vest that weighs less than 10% of its body-weight.

You could also walk it with other dogs. By doing so you will wear it out faster since it will use up its energy by playing with the other dogs. 

Another option would be to teach it to play fetch. It will wear it out quickly since it will have your German Shepherd do a lot of sprinting without much rest inbetween

Reduce disturbances

Another thing that you can do is to reduce the number of things that might provoke a reaction out of your German Shepherd where it sleeps. This means that you should reduce the number of things that it can create noise with and to make the room darker to keep it sleepy for longer. Although, you might want to keep a quiet toy for it to play within the room so that it can quietly play with that when it gets hyper.

Gradually get up later

If your German Shepherd is regularly getting up at the same time then it’s probably used to getting things such as food and attention at that time. If you want to get your German Shepherd to wake up later then your best bet is to gradually get it used to waking up slightly later each day. You can do this in 5-minute chunks where you get up 5 minutes later each morning and feed it 5 minutes later as well and just repeat until you get to the time that you want to get up.

If you have to get up earlier during the week then this becomes more difficult. Here you could get it used to waking up at the time you want it to during the week and then to just quickly give it what it wants at that time on the weekend and then go back to bed.

Let it go to the bathroom later

It could just be that your German Shepherd is getting up early because it needs to pee in the mornings. The best option for you here is to try to give it water a bit earlier in the evenings and to let it pee just before going to bed. This way hopefully it won’t need to pee as much in the morning.


When your German Shepherd gets up early it will likely be trying to get your attention if you ignore it for a while then eventually it will stop trying to get your attention in the mornings.

GIve it time

If your German Shepherd is still young then it will likely just need some time before it stops feeling the need to get up so early. This is actually a good time to start building it up towards waking up at the time that you want it to so that there isn’t any trouble later on.

Consider crate training

While your puppy is still young you might want to consider doing crate training. This can help your puppy to feel more secure and to make it less likely to cause trouble in the mornings.

Give it something to chew on

One other option you could do is to give is a toy that it likes when it wakes you up that will keep it busy so that you can go back to bed.


When you’re trying to train your German Shepherd to get up later there are some things that you should keep in mind.

If it’s a puppy

If you have a puppy then it’s normal for it to be getting up at weird times. The main thing for you to do here is to be patient.

If it’s old

If your German Shepherd is getting older then trying to stop it from needing to pee in the mornings will be more difficult the best thing for you to do is to make sure that it gets to pee before going to bed.

If it’s sick

If your German Shepherd is sick then take it to the vet to find out what is wrong and then after that the best option for you is to give it time to get better.

Use an animal behaviorist

If you have been trying to get your German Shepherd to go to get up later for a long time but nothing has been working then the best option for you would be to seek help from an animal behaviorist who will better know what to do.

Related Questions

Why does my German Shepherd nibble me? German Shepherds will begin to get to know their surroundings with their nose, tongue and mouth before they are even able to open their eyes. This means that it’s in their nature to nibble on your hands. It will be necessary for you to stop it while they’re young so that they don’t continue to do it when they’re older. You can read more here

This post contains affiliate links. Germanshepherdsowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price you pay and we are very grateful for any support.

Most Recommended For German Shepherds

Best German Shepherd Training Program

Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient German Shepherd, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now. You can get the first month free using This link

Best Fresh Dog Food

Our favorite: Ollie Pets- it's good because it tailors the food to your German Shepherd's specific needs Get 50% off your first order with this link.

Best German Shepherd Guide

Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook (on Amazon) - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.


Pin It