All new puppy owners have been there before; one night it’s a perfect sleep, and another one, your pup is up all night, and you are left wondering, “Why can’t my puppy sleep through the night?”
Having sleepless nights worrying about your puppy is no fun.
Growing pups can be alerted and thrown off their sleep cycle for a plethora of reasons, which we will discuss later.
To be successful in stopping sleep regression, we must know how much sleep a puppy should be getting so we can properly identify and address the issue.
Whether your puppy is 3 months old or even 10 months old, stick around, and today, we will figure out why your pup has regressed and what you can do to help your puppy sleep through the night!
Puppy sleep regression at 3 months.
At three months, it is the best time to set good habits and stay on top of sleep regression to minimize the issues it may cause you in the future.
So, getting down to it, puppies at 3 months need a lot of sleep. We are talking your puppy is asleep for the greater part of the day, 15- 22 hours, to be precise.
However, if you look closely, your dog will give you signs that will allow you to pinpoint the issue.
In this stage of a puppy’s development, we can narrow it down to a couple of things.
Your puppy is going through a growth spurt.
When puppies grow, they are hungrier, their vital functions are accelerated, and they might have more energy.
Your puppy could be getting up due to having to go potty more often, or having pressure on their little bones might be uncomfortable and cause them to wake up upset and want to be comforted.
Dogs, like humans, also get growing pains that can cause them to wake up at night.
Dogs also experience fear and anxiety.
As puppies with new emotions and a brand-new perspective of the world, they can be frightened by many things and feel a broad range of emotions they still do not know how to interpret.
Dogs are extremely intelligent and emotional animals; they may feel pressure to adapt to a new environment and fit into the pack.
A fear period can cause your dog to be too afraid to fall asleep. When your dog is in a noisy environment, it gets defensive.
Dogs are very territorial and will do anything to keep their pack safe.
Your dog may be going through a fear period caused by environmental sounds at night, maybe a construction site next door or a noisy upstairs neighbor.
How do we successfully establish good habits at 3 months old?
At 3 months old most of the causes for sleep regression can be traced back to being in a state of stress.
Rectifying sleep regression becomes easy once you know this, as you will see a massive improvement just by making sure your dog feels safe.
Crate train your puppy.
Dogs are denning animals by nature.
They feel safe in a den or enclosed space. Note that improper crate training can lead to your puppy feeling more isolated.
Create a good routine.
To ensure your puppy’s sleep, keeping him on a schedule is essential. It will give your dog a sense of what “normal” is, and it will eventually train it to stick to that routine.
Wake up early! And if you live in a noisy environment, turn on some white noise or puppy sleep music to drown out the noise that may be putting your pup through a fear period.
Puppy sleep regression at 4 months
It can be fun and stressful going through month four with a puppy.
At this stage, puppies sleep 11-18 hours and should start being more inquisitive during the day.
If you are wondering why your puppy is still having trouble sleeping at this stage, it is perfectly normal, and there are several reasons for it to display this behavior, all of which are pretty common.
Understanding why your dog acts a certain way at night will be crucial to aid in his sleep regression and identify whether your puppy may be developing bad habits.
What would cause regression at 4-months old?
At 4 months old, your pup will begin to grow very rapidly. This could lead to discomfort from the growing pains.
At the four months stage, your puppy can also fall into a fear period.
Puppies start developing more intelligence around this stage which explains why they would be more aware.
Not to mention, at this point, your puppy’s bladder is still tiny, which can cause “accidents” if left unattended for too long.
Having a routine becomes even more relevant in the coming months.
Puppy sleep regression at 5 months
Puppies may start to grow their adult teeth in this stage and grow the most.
A healthy puppy should be sleeping about 11-18 hours per day.
Generating excitement through play for your pup during the day can prove to be very helpful, as it will make it feel tired when bedtime comes around.
Monitor your pup a few hours before bed to ensure it does not fall asleep.
What will make your pup uneasy at night at 5 months?
Month 5 is where a puppy does the most growing, which can lead to discomfort and, in some cases, even pain.
The key here is not coddling the puppy too much but nailing down a routine, keeping an eye out, and making sure your puppy does not fall asleep close to bedtime.
It is crucial to make sure its bladder is emptied before bed, and this plays a massive role in your puppies’ sleep at this stage.
Month 5 is an excellent opportunity to bond with your puppy, as this stage will be uncomfortable for it.
Nailing down a routine and comforting your puppy is more critical than ever at this stage.
Puppy sleep regression at 6 months.
At six months old, we need to start analyzing our puppy’s patterns and making sure they align with successful patterns. (Patterns that will lead to a full night of sleep).
At 6 months, your pup will start to sleep a bit more, roughly 14 to 18 hours. And some breeds may even start to go through puppy adolescence.
Much like human adolescence, puppies may want to rebel in order to get their owners’ attention, but remaining patient here will be the key to success.
As an adolescent, your puppy will start to display new interests and behaviors, some of which won’t be positive.
It is essential to pay attention and address these behaviors as soon as they occur.
Dogs look for gratification from their owner, and quite frankly, just about anything else, so be aware of how you react to unwanted behavior, as you could be reinforcing it.
Puppy sleep regression at 7 months.
Month seven is the development phase of puppy adolescence
In month seven, your pup will be sleeping 14-18 hours and should be at almost full-grown size.
This means that you won’t have to worry about growing pains as much. This stage will be more about dealing with an adolescent puppy.
Here are a few things to consider for the development of your pup.
What should you keep in mind for month 7?
Outgrowing its crate:
Even though you may feel as if your puppy has not outgrown its crate yet, your pup may have decided differently.
Dogs are denning animals by nature, but they also have sharp survival instincts, so they won’t stay in a place that they have “outgrown.”
What does “outgrowing” mean to a puppy? When a puppy outgrows its crate, it could be the way of your puppy telling you that it has grown up, and it’s ready to leave behind that part in its development.
Try different sizes of crates and see which one your puppy feels the most comfortable in.
A dysregulation in your pup’s hormones could cause it not only to rebel but make it more protective and territorial, which is another form of a fear period.
Try comforting your puppy and putting on some white noise or relaxing music to ease your puppy’s anxiety to treat fear periods.
Puppy sleep regression at 8 months
At 8 months, boredom will start to play a big role in why your puppy can’t sleep, and it will continually look for things it can entertain itself with.
However, we can quickly address this behavior by keeping these 2 things in consideration.
Symptoms of boredom will vary individually from dog to dog, but some common signs are: digging in the backyard, acting restlessly, sleep regression, and in some cases, even excessive barking.
It’s important that when you see your pup’s behavior begin to change, invite it to play with its favorite toy or give it some other kind of stimuli.
Month eight will also be when most puppies will begin to grow their adult teeth.
Teething will cause your puppy discomfort, which would also cause sleep regression.
If you notice your puppy getting up at night, drooling, or whining incessantly, it may be caused by teething, and the best way to address this is to make sure you give your puppy a variety of teething toys!
Teething toys will not only comfort your pup and keep them from being bored, but it will also help them manage some of the pain that comes with growing their adult teeth.
Puppy sleep regression at 9 months
Month nine is when a puppy sees the most development in its intelligence.
At this stage, a puppy will sleep 14-18 hours every day, and when it is not asleep, it is important you set good habits.
So how can we continue to set good habits for our dog?
Dogs live in packs, so they will strive to be like their owner.
Because of this, you can set an example for your dog by simply doing the action that you want your puppy to do. Whether eating or even sleeping, your puppy will try to imitate your behavior.
What this means is that you can set examples such as going to bed at the same time, or eating at a regular hour.
You may find that your puppy eats when you eat, and rests next to you when you sit down to watch TV or just relax on the couch.
It is essential to set a routine with your pup, as it will learn to know what to expect from the day, and it is very impactful if it is going through a fear period as it will ease the uncertainty which causes the fear period in the first place.
But most important of all is to analyze behavior and make your own conclusions. At the end of the day, all dogs are different, and not everything will work the same.
Puppy sleep regression at 10 months
The biggest enemy you will face in month ten is boredom.
Most puppies will be their most active at this stage, and boredom will be inevitable. They will begin to cause all sorts of mischief if they aren’t kept entertained.
How do we address episodes of boredom?
Learn the triggers of boredom:
A multitude of things can cause boredom; maybe it’s the next-door cat, or kids playing outside, your pup will show signs of boredom, and you must be prepared to treat them even before it is bored.
Learn the best way to address boredom:
The best way to address boredom is before it even starts. Offer your puppy its favorite squeaky toy or teething toy and give them the attention they need.
Knowing what causes sleep regression is only half the battle… Knowing what to do in each case will win you the fight.
In summary, what are the main causes of sleep regression?
- Fear Periods, these can be addressed with some soothing music during sleep.
- Small bladder, try to set a routine for your dog, in which going potty at night is not necessary.
- Not feeling safe in their environment: Try Crate Training your puppy and sleep close to him/her.
- Not being sleepy at night, for this, it’s simple don’t let your pup fall asleep within two hours of bedtime!
- Growing Pains, these will need a bit more of a delicate touch. There is really not much that can be done except being close to your puppy, so when it does have pains, it feels comforted by you, or maybe your scent.
- Teething, this is easily addressed with teething sticks or toys; however, make sure you are not feeding your puppy treats at night, as it may see that as positive reinforcement for waking you up.
At this stage, it’s more of a guessing game, but knowing these 3 things might just save you the sleepless nights.
- Puppy Adolescence, your puppy may be going through some changes in its hormones and how it sees the world. Take this time to form a strong bond with your puppy.
- Boredom, as puppies mature, they will start liking different things and stop liking some others, so keep your puppy entertained by giving him a variety of toys to choose from.
- Not having a set routine: If your puppy is always peeing at different hours and eating at different times, it will never learn that nighttime is for sleep, so you must set an example for your pup and also make sure that it has a regular schedule.
It is important to keep these considerations in mind next time your puppy has a sleepless night.
Understanding your dog’s behavior will be the most important thing to address sleep regression. All of these considerations should help you understand your furry friend a little better and make sleep a little easier!