It is completely normal for puppies to sleep 18-20 hours per day. Why do puppies sleep so much? Because just like for human babies, sleep is essential to the development of their brain, nervous system, muscles, their immune system, and their healthy growth. Also, puppies grow quite rapidly, so they need to sleep a lot during growth spurts. My high school boyfriend was six feet, four inches tall. His mother told me that when he was in Middle School, he grew eight inches in one summer. She said he SLEPT that WHOLE summer – getting up only to shower, eat, and go back to bed. So I think puppies definitely sleep a lot for the same reason human kids do!
This doesn’t mean that puppies don’t have any energy – we all know puppies can be super energetic. But I’m sure you’ve witnessed a puppy running around and playing like crazy one minute, then the next minute he falls fast asleep. Human toddlers do that as well, don’t they? They’ll play till they drop.
When they’re awake, puppies do burn lots of energy. That, together with their physical growth and development, experiencing new places and people, puppy training and learning how to get along in their new home – it’s all very exciting and stimulating for puppies. So yep – they do need lots and lots of sleep.
Provide your puppy with a place to sleep. Provide either a doggy bed or a crate in a quiet part of your house where your puppy can sleep. Whenever he looks sleepy, gently place him in his bed or crate. He’ll eventually learn that this is where he should sleep. You can find a nice selection of puppy beds on Amazon here, and a selection of puppy crates here (more about proper crate training below).
Keep a schedule for your puppy. Try to plan your puppy’s day so he gets some nap time after he’s been active. You might have some playtime, along with a walk in the morning. Then let him sleep (he’ll sleep anywhere from 30 minutes to as long as a couple of hours), then more playtime/another walk in the afternoon followed by a nap, for example.
You can get more help with making a schedule for your puppy by reading my article, Making a Schedule for Your Puppy – Consistency is Key. Also, Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan, has a complete, free tutorial called, “8-Week Old Puppy Schedule – Ultimate Guide to Training Your New Puppy.” You can access it HERE.
Notice when he seems overtired. Allowing your puppy to become exhausted or overstimulated can lead to bad behavior, plus it’s just not good for him. If he seems drowsy, take him to his bed or crate and help him get settled down. Remember that children have tons of energy and will want to go and go with puppies, so you might want to put time limits in place for their playtime with the puppy.
Don’t Disturb the Puppy. Try not to disturb your puppy when he’s sleeping. And I know it’s hard to resist, but don’t get into the habit of snuggling with him and letting him fall asleep in your arms or on your lap. You don’t want him to become dependent on you to fall asleep. Also remember to teach your children not to disturb the puppy while he’s sleeping.
Make sure you keep an eye on your puppy when he’s sleeping, because he’ll have to go potty within minutes of waking up.
Helping Your Puppy Sleep at Night
If your puppy cries at night, please refer to my article, How to Stop a Puppy from Crying. The article addresses puppies crying at night, in their crate, and when they’re left alone. It also includes a thorough video.
Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan, has a terrific, free tutorial on crate training a new puppy. You can access it for HERE.
How to Train a Puppy
Are you having puppy training problems? My #1 recommendation for puppy training is Doggy Dan’s puppy training program. It’s inexpensive, and super effective. Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan, has created the ultimate puppy training program called Puppy Coach to solve any puppy training issue:
Biting, Crying, Chewing, Jumping Up, Potty Training, Barking, Separation Anxiety, Socialization, Crate Training, Command Training, Leash Training, Recall, and more…
Congratulations on getting a new puppy! With the right training and care, puppies can live a long, happy life and provide so much fun, comfort and love for us! Please feel free to comment below with any questions, and also please tell me what breed of puppy you have and their name. I’d love to hear all about your little sweetie! Debra
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For More About Puppy Training, CLICK HERE.