Tag Archives: sleep

7 Pups Who Are Too Sleepy to Dog

A wise person once said, “Never wake a sleeping puppy.” We agree for a multitude of reasons, the most prominent being they’re just so stinking cute while in puppy dreamland. So adorable, in fact, that we rounded up seven pups who are too sleepy to dog.

This pup needs five more minutes.

This pup hasn’t quite nailed the art of “the puppy nap.”

Source: Imgur

This pup looks like he’s sleeping on a gray cloud of serenity.

This pup is drained from pretending to be a basket of fresh-baked muffins.

Source: FanPop

This pup is also pooped, but from pretending to be a basket of freshly picked flowers.

This pup is “dog tired” from her therapy session.

Source: dailymail

This pup wants cuddle-company.

Source: Tumblr

How to Crate Train a Puppy

The philosophy behind crate training your furry companion is to create a familiar and safe location where your dog will want to enter of her own will and enjoy relaxing and sleeping inside her very own comfy and cozy spot. Because dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping areas, they are then more likely to eliminate (do their potty business) once taken outside. Crate training also makes for an easier way to supervise the puppy and prevent full access to the home, which will result in much less opportunity for your new pal to get into any mischief. Added bonuses include a convenient carrier for traveling and a way to easily confine your dog if non-dog-friendly guests visit your home.

While crating can be beneficial in many ways, it is important to not over-use crate time or use it improperly. If a puppy is kept in a crate for more than a few hours at a time during the day, the puppy could learn that crate time is a punishment, which would ultimately be counterproductive during training. If you plan to crate train, it’s imperative that the dog is taken out to play and exercise every few hours. The crate is not a place to leave your pup for 8-10 hours while you leave for the day.

Here are 5 simple tips to successfully crate train your dog:

1. Meet and Greet
Be patient. Introducing your pet to her crate could take anywhere from a couple minutes to a few days. Make the crate as comfortable as possible by adding padding, blankets or pillows. The crate should be located in a highly trafficked area of the home, such as next to the couch in the family room or near the table in the kitchen, so your dog considers it a safe place, amongst her family. Start by ensuring that the door remains open and won’t accidentally close in your puppy’s face or lock behind her. Show your dog the crate with enthusiasm and make sure your voice is positive and happy. Decide on a specific command you will use consistently for telling your dog to go inside the crate. Make sure everyone in the family is on board with the command and use it 100% of the time when telling the dog to go inside. Place a treat at the entrance of the crate and gradually move the next few treats further and further back inside the crate until your dog has to go all the way to the back to get the treat. Never ever push or force her into the crate; always allow her to go in at her own pace. Once she is comfortable going all the way to the back of the crate to get her treat, feed her next meal while she is still in the crate. Ensuring the door is open, place her bowl of food at the very front of the crate. This will teach her that this is a safe, happy territory for her to eat and sleep.

2. Eat a Meal in Privacy
Once your dog is comfortable going in and out of the crate at her own will, place her bowl of food all the way in the back of the crate. If she still seems to be a bit reluctant or anxious, you may start with the food at the front of the crate and gradually move it to the back the way you did with the treats. Once she is able to finish an entire meal while inside the crate, begin closing the door. Let her sit inside the crate with the door closed for about 10 minutes after finishing her meal before opening the door. If she starts whining, you may be moving a little too fast. Be sure to use tons of positive reinforcement when opening the door to show your pup that her behavior is being rewarded.

3. Stay a While
After your dog is comfortable eating inside the crate, you are ready to condition her for longer stays. Start by getting her favorite food or treat, holding it in your hand and pointing to the crate while using your special command. Once she is inside, give the treat and close the door. Hang around the crate for a few minutes and then move away from the crate so that you are completely out of sight. Remain out of sight for about 10 minutes. When you return, let her see you but don’t let her out for another few minutes. Repeat this exercise until your dog is comfortable alone in the crate with the door closed for 30 minutes. At this point, you should be able to leave her alone in the crate for short periods of time and in the evenings to sleep.

4. Transition to Alone Time
Once your dog is comfortable staying in the crate for 30 minutes while you are out of sight, she is ready to be left alone in the crate while you leave the home. It is important to remember that you shouldn’t leave her alone for too long. A good rule of thumb is to gradually increase the length of intervals. Start with an hour long outing and gradually increase to a few hours at a time. To ease the transition, you should try putting your dog in the crate 10-20 minutes before you leave the house so that crate time doesn’t become associated with you leaving. Use your command word or phrase to put him in the crate and use lots of positive reinforcement. Make sure not to make the goodbye too long or emotional.

5. Good Night, Sleep Tight
Night crating is the last step in your training. Start by moving the crate next to your bed in your bedroom, especially if the dog is a puppy and in the process of potty training. That way, she’ll know you’re close by, but you’ll also hear her whine in the middle of the night if she needs to be taken outside. As time goes on, it is okay to move the crate further away from your bed.

A Special Note on Whining:
Whining can mean one of two things, either your dog needs to be taken outside to go to the bathroom or she is testing you. Similar to a young toddler who will cry until they get what they want, a puppy can be smart and learn quickly how to manipulate her owner. If you find out your puppy doesn’t have to go and is whining for attention, it’s imperative that you not give in. Once the whining begins, ask the dog if she needs to go potty, with the phrase you would normally use when taking her outside. Middle of the night trips outside must be used for potty. If the dog doesn’t go, put her immediately back inside the crate so as not to allow the dog to associate the trip out of the crate with playtime. As painful as it may be to listen to ongoing whining, put on headphones or try to block out the noise. By ignoring it, the dog will quickly come to understand whining doesn’t mean attention. No matter how frustrating, never bang on the crate or yell at the dog. Simply ignore. If the whining lasts longer than a few minutes, you may need to go back to earlier steps in crate training.

Remember: Patience, consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful crate training!

Puppy’s First Night Home: Tips for a Better Bedtime

Your puppy is officially home! It’s an exciting day full of cuddles, playtime and adorable photo opportunities. And now…it’s time to go to bed.

You may be surprised to hear the welcome home party continue into the night. Shortly after putting puppy in his crate or bed, your little party animal doesn’t want to go to sleep, but rather makes his presence known with sounds of whining or even crying.  While the noise can sound heartbreaking, don’t panic. Consistent whining, howling or crying throughout your puppy’s first few nights at home is extremely common and to be expected. Puppy is experiencing separation anxiety from his biological family, which while upsetting, is a completely normal part of adjusting to his new home.

It helps to understand that these distressed sounds are a natural evolutionary expression. In the wild, a puppy separated from his family may get attacked or killed by predators. So, to discourage his mother from leaving him, the puppy cries to ensure survival.

thumbnail-surviving-first-nightSince night one in a brand new environment is a big transition for puppy (rest assured, he will get more and more comfortable in the coming days and weeks), it’s your job as his new parent to make him feel secure. To that end, do not put him in a room further away from you to drown out the noise – this could contribute further to the puppy’s anxiety and potentially cause behavioral problems at a later date. Instead, bring his crate or bed into your bedroom or just outside the door so he feels less isolated. You’ll also have the added benefit of being able to check on him regularly. Some sensitive new parents may be tempted to bring puppy into their own bed- but unless you want to make this a habit*, it’s important to resist the urge and keep puppy in his own sleeping space.  There is a difference between creating a sense of security and coddling.

Once creating a secure environment for puppy, it’s best to try and ignore puppy’s whines and cries as much as possible. Take a hot shower, turn on the TV, or play a game to try and take your mind off the noise. In these early nights, distractions are key to not only keeping yourself sane and patient, but also setting a healthy foundation and schedule for puppy. Plus, if puppy gets too much attention (or worse, is rewarded with food or treats) while exhibiting this behavior, he will quickly learn that barking or crying is the way to get what he wants.

If whining or crying seems excessive, it’s okay to gently take puppy by the scruff (back) of the neck and firmly say in a low tone without any frustration “NO. Go to sleep.” If repeated several times at night for many consecutive nights, he will learn to obey in the coming weeks.

Once you get through the night, pat yourself on the back….and then quickly take puppy outside for his much needed and well-deserved morning walk and bathroom break!

Remember to put yourself in puppy’s “paws” and have sympathy for how he must be feeling his first night in a new place. It’s most important for puppy to know that he’s loved and cared for – with this reassurance, he’ll attach to you, learn to trust you and become a loyal and affectionate dog.

It’s also important to embrace the hard first few days as all part of the exciting new adventure of raising a new puppy as your own. Before you know it, your puppy will be grown and you’ll long for the days of puppyhood – sleepless nights and all!

*PS places no judgement on families who want their dogs to sleep with them in the same bed. We recognize there are many benefits including but not limited to free snuggle sessions, extra warmth and emotional comfort.