Training a dog to sleep through the night with their owner will not only be beneficial to the owner, but will ensure a calmer, more relaxed dog as well. Knowing your dogs' habits and careful observation of your dog is key to this process. Make sure your dog is on a schedule, is well fed at appropriate times, and receives plenty of exercise. Anxiety can sometimes play a role in the dog not sleeping through the night, so eliminating as many distractions as possible is an important step if the dog suffers from anxiety.
Observe your dog for a week, including his eating, sleeping and exercise patterns. Write all of the findings in the notebook with times of each. Also observe their behaviour as bedtime approaches for anxiety issues.
Build a comfortable sleeping space for your dog. Use a crate, or dog bed, and provide plenty of blankets to ensure your dog has a soft warm place for rest.
Set a schedule for the dog. Younger dogs require more caloric intake, while older dogs only need as much food as necessary for their daily activity. Set their feeding times to be at spaced throughout the day, with the last one falling at least four to six hours before bedtime.
Exercise the dog at least 40 minutes per day. This can include walks, running, and general play. Some dogs require more exercise than others due to their playful nature, so adjust accordingly. Exercise after the last meal of the day is the most important time as dogs are very energetic after a meal.
Set a specific bedtime for both the dog and owner. Follow the same routine each night, as dogs dislike anything out of the ordinary, and can become anxious if their routine is interrupted. Use this routine for one to two weeks, and the dog should sleep peacefully through the night.
- If the dog suffers from anxiety, crates work well because of the closed space. A natural supplement can also be used for dogs who still seem to fight bedtime, and those that have some anxiety or hyperactivity issues.
- Do not scold the dog for not keeping with the routine. Patience and perseverance are key to a comfortable night's rest with the dog and owner.