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You’ve probably heard stories from other puppy owners about their puppy’s boundless energy. Of course, the flip side to that boundless energy is that the puppy will usually pass out not long after he’s done running around and playing.
But not all puppies work like that. Some just seem to have zero interest in sleeping whatsoever. My Mini Poodle Baloo was one of those. He would just run around all day without EVER sitting or lying down…
Puppies have a lot of energy, but they also need a lot of sleep. It’s hard for your puppy to get the sleep he needs if he refuses to sleep during the day!
So, in this article we’ll look at what you can do if your puppy is not sleeping during the day.
How Much Should a Puppy Sleep Per Day?
Before we look at what you can do if your puppy doesn’t sleep during the day, let’s first look at how much sleep puppies even need.
How Much Sleep Does a Puppy Need?
The amount of sleep that your puppy needs does vary by age. Young puppies will need more sleep than older puppies, since they’re doing more growing.
Most very young puppies should be sleeping about 18 to 20 hours a day. If that seems like a lot, consider that puppies are just like human babies. Their bodies and minds are doing a lot of work developing, and it’s tiring work!
As your puppy gets older, he’ll need slightly less sleep. A 6-month old puppy will need about 16 to 18 hours of sleep. He’s still doing a lot of growing, but you can expect him to be a little more active.
What Happens If My Puppy Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep?
Have you ever seen a toddler throw a massive tantrum because they’re overtired? Well, if your puppy doesn’t get enough sleep, then he might start acting out.
Dogs do get cranky when tired, and puppies especially lose control of themselves if they’re feeling overtired.
If you think your puppy might be getting overtired, here are 10 overtired puppy symptoms and what to do about it.
Another thing that often happens if puppies don’t get enough sleep is biting. If that sounds familiar, here’s another article that shows you what to do about overtired puppy biting.
Why Is My Puppy Not Sleeping During the Day?
Puppies need a lot of sleep, which is why it might be confusing that your puppy just seems to zoom around the house instead of napping.
Here are a few reasons why your puppy can’t sleep during the day.
He Doesn’t Know How to Calm Down
Some puppies are really good and self-regulating. They know they feel tired, and put themselves to sleep as soon as they feel it.
Other puppies, however, are less good at doing this, like Baloo. It literally felt like they forgot the off-switch button on him…
If your puppy won’t sleep during the day, then it could very well be because he doesn’t recognize that he’s tired. That makes it hard for him to calm down!
So when do puppies calm down? Well, the answer depends, but with your help (I’ll show you how in a minute) your puppy will start learning to calm himself down.
He’s Overtired or Overstimulated
Overtired puppies can be confusing because they show a lot of the same signs as a puppy who’s under-stimulated. It seems backwards—if your puppy is overtired, why won’t he just sleep?
Well, puppies don’t always understand what they’re feeling. That’s why they need you around! It’s your job to help your puppy get what he needs.
Of course, it’s one thing to understand why your puppy is overtired. It’s another entirely to actually get your puppy to sleep.
For more help, check out “My Overtired Puppy Won’t Sleep – What Can I Do?”
He Has Separation Anxiety and Can’t Relax When He’s Away from You
It’s very common for puppies to get separation anxiety. If this is their first time away from their mama and littermates, then it might be hard for them to adjust to that change!
If you think your puppy might be experiencing separation anxiety, here are 9 signs and symptoms for separation anxiety in dogs.
I’ve experienced that with Baloo early on. He would cry on end if he couldn’t see me. And that was even true when he was in the crate in a different room with both doors still open…
Just like babies, at some point your puppy will start teething.
Your puppy’s teeth will start coming in when he’s 3 weeks old, and by 6 weeks all his teeth should have come in. Once your puppy reaches 12 weeks old, his baby teeth will begin falling out, and his adult teeth will be coming in.
During both of these teething stages, your puppy will probably feel pretty uncomfortable.
If your puppy is teething, make sure he has lots of safe things around to chew. This will keep him from gnawing on anything he shouldn’t, and will help him deal with his discomfort.
How Do I Get My Puppy to Sleep During the Day?
Now that we know the reasons why your puppy may be having trouble sleeping, let’s get into how you can help him!
Establish a Good Daily Routine
One of the best things you can do for your puppy is get him on a solid schedule. Setting up a routine for your puppy will help reduce anxiety and uncertainty.
A good routine will also help you keep your sanity!
It may take a while for both of you to get used to your routine. But once you do, you’ll be surprised by how much easier it is to get your puppy to go to sleep during the day.
To help you get started, I created a free puppy schedule planner. This printable planner allows you to set up a good daily routine that fits both of your needs.
Crate Train Him
Many people consider crate training to be cruel, but don’t fall into that trap! Crates are only cruel if you use them as punishments.
But if you make crates positive and relaxing places for your puppy, he’ll love going in there. Crate training can take a lot of work, but it’s well worth it.
You may also want to combine this tip with the last one and come up with a good crate training schedule for a puppy.
Teach Him to Relax
It might seem weird, but some puppies really do need to be trained to relax. One of the best ways to do this is to use positive reinforcement.
What is positive reinforcement dog training? In essence, it’s rewarding behavior that you like and ignoring behavior that you don’t like.
So if you’re trying to teach your dog to relax, when he lies down quietly somewhere, reward him for that! If he’s jumping all over you and crying and yapping, that’s behavior you should walk away from and ignore.
This video explains the concept pretty well:
Make Inside an Action-Free Zone
If your dog isn’t sleeping because he’s overtired, it could be because there’s too much going on around him.
If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is remove all that stimulus. You may want to keep your dog in one very quiet part of the house, too.
This is what I did with Baloo as a puppy and it helped a lot. I completely stopped playing any rough games inside. While we were at home, we only did calm activities, like the find it game. Or we would just cuddle up on the couch.
More active games like tug of war or fetch were only played outside. This will help your puppy associate calm behavior and naps with being at home. And then he’s allowed to make use of all his energy once you step outside.
With your dog in his action-free zone, he should have an easier time settling down for his daytime naps.
Here’s how the find it game works:
Should I Force My Puppy to Nap?
Some puppy owners may feel that their puppies don’t need to nap because they are zooming around all over the place.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth! A lot of the time, zoomies are caused by being overtired.
If your puppy can’t regulate his own naps, then there’s nothing wrong with forcing him to nap. These enforced naps should be part of your puppy’s daily routine. They’ll make sure that your puppy is getting the 18 to 20 hours of sleep a day that he needs!
How Do You Calm an Overtired Puppy?
Getting an overtired puppy to settle down enough to nap is no easy feat! Your puppy is so amped-up that he just can’t relax.
If your overtired puppy won’t sleep, don’t worry. There are ways you can help him.
The best thing to do is set up a schedule, as well as to crate train him. Take his toys away and ignore any bad behavior. It may take some time, but your puppy will eventually realize that he’s tired and will fall asleep!
Don’t forget to download my free puppy schedule planner to set up a good daily routine.
How Do You Get a Puppy to Sleep Through the Night?
Depending on how old your puppy is, you should expect to take at least one or two bathroom breaks during the night. A puppy’s bladder is very small, and it doesn’t take much to fill it up!
As a rule of thumb, your puppy can hold his bladder for the number of hours equal to his age in months plus one. So a four-month old puppy could hold his bladder for about 5 hours maximum.
But bathroom breaks aren’t the only issue. Some puppies just have a hard time sleeping through the night.
For some tips and tricks to help your puppy, check out “Can a 10-Week Old Puppy Sleep Through the Night?”
Knowing that your puppy needs a lot of sleep to grow and develop properly is one thing. But if your puppy is struggling to sleep during the day, that can be really frustrating for both of you! Puppies who don’t sleep enough tend to act out, which is never fun.
But that’s exactly why your puppy needs you! Your job is to make sure that your puppy is always getting what he needs to stay happy and healthy.
So set up a good routine, crate train your puppy so he has somewhere quiet to nap, and use positive reinforcement to teach him to relax. With time and consistency, you’ll find that your puppy is able to nap perfectly well during the day.