How to Train Your Dog to Sleep through the Night
After a long days work, the last thing you need is a dog to disturb your night sleep. Dogs are very sensitive and always alert for any slight discomfort or disturbance. So it is important to ensure that their needs are well taken care of so that if your dog is still whining and barking in the middle of the night you know it is out of sheer malice.
- Get a comfortable Dog Bed
Dogs have different sleeping styles, some love to stretch out others like to cuddle and snuggle for a good sleep. Buy a bed that allows your dog to enjoy its favorite sleeping position. It should also be soft and warm enough for your dog’s comfort.
- Feed him/her Well
Ensure that your dog is well fed, not overfed or underfed, it should also be hydrated. This can be achieved by having measured, well balanced and spaced out meal times. Avoid giving your dog snacks and treats all the time. Dogs should be fed and have a drink a few hours before bedtime.
- Empty Bowels
Your dog should take a leak shortly before bedtime; this will help you avoid being woken up by your dog for bathroom visits.
If all these conditions have been satisfied and your dog is not sick or nursing an injury, then here are the tips to help your dog to comfortably sleep through the night.
- Exercise your dog during the day
Dogs are naturally active animals; they need to do both physical and mental exercise so that by bed time they are exhausted. You can either take them for a night walk or have it play with you in the house as well as its toys a few hours before bed time. If you allow your dog to play and be active immediately before bed time you might not be able to stop and it is not easy to get your dog to sleep.
- Create a Comfortable Bed Time Environment
Just like babies fall instantly asleep when they are sung to lullabies, dogs too need a comforting environment to induce sleep. You can play soft music, dim the lights and keep very still so that you do not interrupt its sleep. This may not work at first but if you make it a routine, your dog will automatically know that it is time to sleep.
- Crate Train Your Dog
A dog should be reassured of safety, if they are able to find comfort on a certain spot it will be easy for it to sleep. Crate training will take time so you need to be patient, put treats in the crate and use positive words when referring to it. You can reward the dog for obeying you, this way it will easily adopt to sleeping in the crate.
- Set Ground Rules
Routine and consistency are the guiding rules in animal training. Let your dog know that when you have said ‘lay down’ it should obey you. You do not need to shout but firmly communicate to the dog and it will understand. If you are trying to get your dog out of your bed, do it gradually because it may suffer separation anxiety.
Make sure that you do not relapse at this stage because the small efforts and progress you will have made will all go into waste. The dog may whine but you need to ignore it. If it persists you can place a piece of your cloth with your smell on the bed so it feels your presence. You can reach out and pat the dog, just to reassure it that you are still around. Most importantly stick to the routine that you have set out for it and soon enough your dog will be able to sleep all through the night.
- Be Patient
Any form of training needs a lot of dedication and time before it can fully stick. If your dog is new in your home it is normal for it to feel lonely and want to whine. You will need to create a bond and build its trust for you. This way it can feel safe in your home and thus comfortably sleep through the night.
All the other tips as highlighted above do not work instantly, some dogs may need a little more time before they can fully adopt.
A good night sleep is equal to a healthy dog. It is not healthy for a dog to keep whining and backing when it is supposed to be sleeping, it is also annoying. Just try to apply those tips and within no time, the two of you will enjoying a good night sleep all night long.