Patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) exhibit a morning surge in ventricular arrhythmias, but the underlying cause remains unknown. The aim of this study was to determine if heart rate dynamics, autonomic input (assessed by heart rate variability (HRV)) and nonlinear dynamics as well as their abnormal time-of-day-dependent oscillations in a newly developed arrhythmogenic canine heart failure model are associated with a morning surge in ventricular arrhythmias. CHF was induced in dogs by aortic insufficiency & aortic constriction, and assessed by echocardiography. Holter monitoring was performed to study time-of-day-dependent variation in ventricular arrhythmias (PVCs, VT), traditional HRV measures, and nonlinear dynamics (including detrended fluctuations analysis α1 and α2 (DFAα1 & DFAα2), correlation dimension (CD), and Shannon entropy (SE)) at baseline, as well as 240 days (240d) and 720 days (720d) following CHF induction. LV fractional shortening was decreased at both 240d and 720d. Both PVCs and VT increased with CHF duration and showed a morning rise (2.5-fold & 1.8-fold increase at 6 AM-noon vs midnight-6 AM) during CHF. The morning rise in HR at baseline was significantly attenuated by 52% with development of CHF (at both 240d & 720d). Morning rise in the ratio of low frequency to high frequency (LF/HF) HRV at baseline was markedly attenuated with CHF. DFAα1, DFAα2, CD and SE all decreased with CHF by 31, 17, 34 and 7%, respectively. Time-of-day-dependent variations in LF/HF, CD, DFA α1 and SE, observed at baseline, were lost during CHF. Thus in this new arrhythmogenic canine CHF model, attenuated morning HR rise, blunted autonomic oscillation, decreased cardiac chaos and complexity of heart rate, as well as aberrant time-of-day-dependent variations in many of these parameters were associated with a morning surge of ventricular arrhythmias. © 2014 Zhu et al.