It’s all about a well-planned routine for you and your puppy to get those extra sleeping hours during the weekend.
It takes three simple steps—from observing to creating a schedule and finally adjusting while being consistent with the plan.
Then, the puppy will follow a correct sleeping schedule without sleeping earlier than he should.
How Much Sleep Does a Puppy Need?
Sleep is vital for a canine’s growth, and a developing puppy sleeps as much as he wants.
Records show that the average hours of sleep for most puppies range from 18 to 20 hours. Quite a number compared to a grown dog sleeping for only 12 to 14 hours.
But that’s not always the case, as each puppy’s sleeping time depends on the following:
- Age and size
- Breed and genetics
- Energy level
- Current activity schedule
For example, senior dogs sometimes sleep up to 20 hours daily. On the other hand, dogs that are too active will probably sleep less than their counterparts.
The first few days of your puppy at your house will let you know what his sleeping preferences are.
Steps to Help Your Puppy Sleep Later
Having those extra sleeping hours for yourself is a need and want. So, to help fix your puppy’s sleeping habits, here are three steps you can follow.
Step 1: Observe and Keep Notes of Their Daily Activities
A good place to start is to note how your puppy begins their morning till they go to bed.
You might notice them sleeping more during the day, resulting in being more active at night.
This step is important in determining how you can better adjust and train your puppy’s routine. Below are three things to look out for in their day's activity:
1. Napping Times
Puppies can be unpredictable, from awake to playing to asleep as fast as lightning.
They even have a lapse—an interval between sleeping and awake—when they are still conscious for longer before finally snoozing.
So observe the time from when they are enthusiastic to drowsy to when they rest for a nap. Once the resting period begins, so does your opportunity to memorize their napping pattern.
2. What Exercises They Do
Your puppy can be a ball of energy, from running around to barking, chewing, and eventually bumping into the furniture.
You may not be a fan of the high activity level, but keeping a balanced exercise schedule is healthy for the puppy's development.
Eventually, having all that pent-up excitement released, their energy will drop. Once they’re done with playtime, mark down the times and what activities exhaust them the most.
This will be useful later when you want to get them to sleep by exercising them with a tiring activity. It will help your puppy transition from high energy to low energy before sleep.
3. When They Ask for Food
Tummies will growl if dinner is way too early before bedtime, making puppies more eager for food than sleep.
Take note when they’re hungry and in need of a potty break. You might need to adjust their meal times.
Step 2: Adjust and Establish a Good Routine
Now that you’ve got your puppy’s schedule recorded, you can start organizing a specific pattern for them to follow.
Keep in mind that discipline and training apply to both you and your growing canine.
You can shift the schedule depending on your time, but here’s a simple sample structure to use as a reference.
- Waking up
- Potty break
- Meal time
- Potty break
- 20 to 45 minutes of playtime or socializing
- 5 to 10 minutes of a training session
- 1 to 2 hours of nap time
Then, start again with a potty break at every waking hour. You can also divide the daily routine into five sessions, applying the structure listed above in each.
- Early morning session
- Late morning session
- Mid-day session
- Late-day session
- Evening session (preferably after dinner)
Training can take a long time for a puppy to fully grasp a routine, but consistency is key. Trying hard enough should get you the results you desire.
Step 3: Be Consistent and Never Stop Observing
Consistency with the routine will develop a disciplined puppy. If they grow up knowing to sleep more at night, they will patiently wait for you in the morning till you get up.
Remember that your puppy will never stop growing, meaning there will be tiny inevitable shifts to the schedule.
But as they grow in your care, you will have a much better understanding of your canine friend and their routine.
Tips for Establishing a Sleeping Routine for Your Puppy
Here are a few tips to consider and keep in mind about your puppy’s peaceful sleeping plan:
Tip #1: Limit the Nap Time
- Adjust naps to be shorter or earlier in the day before sleep time.
- Consider a cooldown activity before nap time.
Cooldown activities are calming exercises that help your puppy relax and let go of his stress. It adjusts his energy level from high—just after training or playing—to low level.
One example is going on a slow walk on a loose leash for 10–15 minutes.
Tip #2: Adopt An Exercising Schedule
- For peaceful nights, exercise your puppy a little before bedtime
- For a high-level energy puppy, try to drain his battery through a tiring activity
We highly encourage canine enrichment, as mental exercise is equally important as physical ones. Some good examples of mental exercise that would help achieve longer sleep include:
- Training games
- Puzzle toys
Tip #3: Create a Mealtime Schedule
- Slowly adjust breakfast and dinner to be an hour later, giving a tiny snack before bedtime.
- Six months old puppies should eat three meals per day.
- Above six months old, puppies can eat two meals per day.
Tip #4: Create a Routine for Potty Breaks
- Be sure to take your puppy out before you sleep so he doesn’t wake you up in the middle of the night
- Don’t wake a sleeping puppy; instead, wait for them to stir and wake up alone
- Quietly bring the puppy outside for a potty break, then return inside to rest
Paul has been creating content for the dog niche for many years. The information he shares comes his first hand experience growing up in dog lovers household and then owning multiple dog breeds of his own as an adult. Paul enjoys doing the hard research to collect, analyze and present our dogtemperament.com readers with the best answers to their questions.