Sleeping and Confinement

You just brought home your adorable puppy and you want to spend all your time with them. However, the most important aspect of puppy ownership is understanding and allowing our puppies the opportunity to rest and learn to be comfortable alone. In this unit we will visit the importance of sleep, crate training and confining your puppy.

Image by Helena Lopes

Sleeping Puppies

Would you believe it if I told you that your puppy requires 18-20 hours of sleep per day? Yup! As busy as they can be, in order for them to properly grow and develop they require a lot of sleep. A puppy who receives a healthy amount of sleep is less likely to develop unwanted behavioural issues.  This means you don't need to feel guilty for confining your puppy, they need the rest.

Sleep Guide

18-20 Hours

8-17 weeks

Young growing puppies require many small power naps throughout the day in order to ensure proper development. Naps can be 20 minutes or 3 hours depending on the puppy.

14-17 Hours

17-30 weeks

As your puppy grows their sleep schedule will change. They will take longer naps throughout the day, instead of multiple, quick power naps.

12-14 Hours

Adult

The amount of sleep your adult dog needs depends on the breed and their size, however on average adult dogs require 12-14 hours of sleep.

Puppy Schedule

This is a rough schedule and can vary depending on your dog's breed, genetics and individual temperament.

 6:00 AM - 6:45 AM

Wake Up

Take your puppy out of their crate and bring them outside for 5-15 minutes to potty and explore. If they quickly pee, wait them out for a poop, puppies almost always have to poop in the morning! Once they have relieved themselves you can bring them back indoors for supervised play time/training time. During training time your puppy should be receiving their kibble as rewards for good behaviour. Once social time is over, bring your puppy outside for a quick potty break.

6:50 AM - 8:00 AM

Playpen

This is your puppy's time to learn to entertain themselves. They can either play with a puppy safe toy you have chosen or they can take a nap. You can reinforce quiet calm behaviour by walking by and dropping a piece of kibble every now and then when they're behaving.

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Potty Break

This is just a quick potty break. Bring your puppy outdoors to relieve themselves.

8:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Crate Time

Time for some alone time in their crate.

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Lunch Time

Bring your puppy outside for 5-15 minutes to potty and explore. Once they have relieved themselves you can bring them back indoors for supervised play time/training time. During training time your puppy should be receiving their kibble as rewards for good behaviour. Once social time is over, bring your puppy outside for a quick potty break.

12:05 PM - 2:00 PM

Playpen

This is your puppy's time to learn to entertain themselves. They can either play with a puppy safe toy you have chosen or they can take a nap. You can reinforce quiet calm behaviour by walking by and dropping a piece of kibble every now and then when they're behaving.

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Potty Break

This is just a quick potty break. Bring your puppy outdoors to relieve themselves.

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Crate Time

Time for some alone time in their crate.

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Social Time

Bring your puppy outside for 5-15 minutes to potty and explore. Bring them back indoors for some social time. Social time includes training and rewarding good behaviours. Once your done social time, bring your puppy out for a quick potty break.

3:50 PM - 5:00 PM

Crate Time

Time for some alone time in their crate.

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Dinner time

Bring your puppy outside for 5-15 minutes to potty and explore.Once they have relieved themselves you can bring them back indoors for supervised play time/training time. During training time your puppy should be receiving their kibble as rewards for good behaviour. Once your done dinner time, bring your puppy out for a quick potty break.

6:05 PM - 7:30 PM

Playpen

This is your puppy's time to learn to entertain themselves. They can either play with a puppy safe toy you have chosen or they can take a nap. You can reinforce quiet calm behaviour by walking by and dropping a piece of kibble every now and then when they're behaving.

7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Last Hangout

Bring your puppy outside for 5-15 minutes to potty and explore. Once they have relieved themselves you can bring them back indoors for supervised time. It is important that we do relaxed activities only and not get the puppy all excited before going to bed. You can begin by playing for a few minutes, then just hangout quietly together.  Once your done relaxing together bring your puppy out for a quick potty break.

8:35 PM - 11:30 PM

Crate Time

Time for bed.

11:30 PM - 11:35 PM

Potty Break

Just a quick potty break. The moment they relieve themselves you can bring them back inside.

11:35 PM - 6:00 AM

Crate Time/Bed Time

Time for bed. Depending on your puppy, they may need to be let out once more during the night.

Training Dogs Online

"When puppies are tired they become impatient, mouthy, pushy and loud. Make life easier on yourself and learn to crate your puppy before they are exhausted."

Confinement

Crate Training

Crate training is the most important skill you can begin teaching your puppy. It can prevent behavioural issues, and separation anxiety as well speed up your training and help with house training. Remember that puppies scream, bark and cry in the beginning stages of crate training. Make sure you do not let them out if they are having a temper tantrum as this will teach them that this unwanted behaviour works! Do not feel defeated, crate training takes time. We recommend purchasing a noise maker to help give the puppy a constant sound to listen to, while also drowning out exterior noise as well.

Crate Exercises

For some puppies, it isn't enough to just assume they will get used to the crate without some help. Below are some exercises you can practice in very short sessions 1-2 minutes at time, multiple times during the day. This will help your puppy feel more comfortable with the crate.

In and Out

Have some fun with the in and out game and teach your puppy to go in the crate on command. Using a food lure, simply throw a piece of food inside the crate while making sure your puppy sees the reward. The moment they go inside say YES. Now invite them out the same way. Keep practicing until your puppy is racing inside the crate before you even have a chance to throw food inside.

Restrain Game

Take your puppy's favourite toy, show them you have it and wave it around to get their attention. As they run towards the toy throw it inside the crate. Before your puppy goes into the crate, shut the crate door. Use your voice and encourage them to get the toy. The moment your puppy attempts to get to the toy say YES and open the crate door allowing them to have the toy reward.

Position Changes

Once your puppy is comfortable with the in and out game, you can begin luring them in different positions when they go inside the crate. You can add some obedience if they already know and understand certain obedience commands, or you can simply lure them into a sit or a down position and reward them inside the crate for performing. Imagine the crate as a tiny training arena.

Rewarding Quiet

This exercise is for puppies who may bark or whine when confined. This should be practiced throughout the day creating and rewarding small moments of success. Place your puppy in the crate, close the door and begin to walk away. The moment they begin to look concerned, simply walk back towards the crate, wait for the puppy to settle and toss a food reward inside the crate. The goal is to build and reward positive associations before your puppy has the opportunity to protest with vocalizations.

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