Getting enough quality sleep can affect behavior
I receive many training inquiries from people who are very concerned about their puppy’s nipping and biting. Or their adult dogs who are excessively chewing on inappropriate things. Another common thing that leaves owners feeling frustrated is their puppy or dog’s inability to calm themselves down. Even if their dog has had plenty of exercise and activity. And of course these behaviors usually require some training to modify. But many times, I will discover their dog or puppy is not getting nearly enough sleep. And the owners are seeing the results of that in their pup’s behavior. When looking at dog behavior, hyperactivity, frequent bouts of whining or crying, an inability to relax on their own, excessive nippiness, low tolerance to stress and even aggressive behavior can all be the result of sleep deprivation or sleep deficiency.
Sleep’s effect on the brain and body
Proper sleep helps your dog’s brain work properly. While the body sleeps, the brain is forming new pathways to help with learning and memory creation. Healthy amounts of sleep help enhance learning and problem-solving skills, improves attention and the ability to make good decisions. Sleep deficiency actually alters activity in some parts of the brain. In humans, sleep deficiency has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior. Puppies who are sleep deprived may have problems getting along with others. They tend to have difficulty problem solving or lack resiliency with changes in their environment. They may get frustrated easily, have exaggerated mood swings, or lack motivation.
Animals need more sleep early in life, when they’re growing and developing. For example, human newborns may sleep more than 16 hours a day. And preschool-aged children need to take naps during the day. Sleep is important for your dog or puppy’s overall health, the regulation of hormones as well as the ability to ward off infection. Even kidney and heart issues can develop from long term sleep deficiency.
Achieving optimal amounts of quality sleep is important for the mental, physical and emotional health of your dogs and puppies.
So how much sleep does your dog or puppy actually need?
Puppies up to 9 months need 18-20 hours
Adult Dogs need 12-14 hours and adult large dog breeds can sleep up to 18 hours
Senior Dogs need 12 – 14 hours with more rest throughout the day
If your puppy or dog has been experiencing sleep deficiency and once you create a good sleep schedule, you will see the amazing results proper sleep gives your pup within a week. Many people can’t believe the positive changes they see in there puppy after a week of good sleep. Anecdotally, when a dog or puppy visits us for one of our board and train programs and they start getting the proper amount of sleep every day, the results are wonderful to see. We start to see dogs that are able to regulate their emotional states more easily. And make better decisions on their own with less management from us.
And remember quality is just as important as quantity here. Having quiet spaces where they can properly experience all stages of sleep is an important ingredient in the good sleep health formula!
If you have more questions about this important topic, head over to our contact page and get in touch!