Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Help! What are we doing wrong getting our Lab puppy to go to sleep?

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Question by SweetiePie26: Help! What are we doing wrong getting our Lab puppy to go to sleep?
We have raised puppies before, so we are stumped as to what we are doing wrong with this pup’s crate training. We have been feeding her in her crate (good things happen in there!). She has a ticking clock and a soft music machine that plays lullabies and music all night long. We have also given her lots of snugly fleece blankets to burrow into and special toys that are for crate time only. We tried (and are trying) to make the crate a haven for her. She is in the center of the house where she isn’t alone during the day and at night moved her into the bedroom across the hall from the master (we couldn’t take the noise). This puppy cries all night long! She literally barks and whines for two or three hours – will sleep for an hour and do it again. The first couple of nights we got up and did our best to comfort her (distraction, snuggles etc), but after that we realized that she didn’t care. It was either in bed or on a lap or “screaming.” This also applies to playpen time – she wants us to be on the floor with her or holding her. She also is getting us up to go out 3 – 5 times a night. (She gets a sort of frenetic screech which means “take me out – NOW!” She does this at about 12:30 or 1:00 am, 2:30 or 3:30 am and 4:30 or 5:00 am.
—-My four questions are (in a nutshell)
1. How do we get puppy to go to sleep with a minimum of distress and barking?? (Even after a bathroom trip??)
2. How do we get her to be content on the floor and not wanting to be either held or have us on the floor with her?
3. How do we get her to be quiet when she is in her playpen next to the sofa and we are right there, but not touching her?
4. Does an 8 week old puppy need to go out every two hours all night long?
**We prefer crate training – so please don’t suggest that she sleep in bed with us. I don’t want a 70 lb + lab in bed with me for the next decade.**
** When I say “train” in her schedule below I mean that she is learning how to sit and how not to chew on people – not major obedience training.**
Our families last two dogs have also been labradors so we are very familiar with labby needs, but this little girl does not want to sleep unless she is being held. Here is our routine please, please, please help us to get her to sleep. We are so exhausted! Thank you from a very sleepy and worn-out person!
Puppy Sarah’s routine (abbreviated):
6:30 am – everyone up, out, play, breakfast, out again, basic training, out again
9:00 am – nap time (we wish – more like bark time)
10:30 am – out, snack, play, train, cuddle, etc –
12:00 pm – lunch, out, play, out
1:00 nap time (wishful thinking)
2:15 / 2:30 – out, snack, play, train, cuddle, etc –
4:15 snack
4:30 nap time (lol)
5:30 out, play, “helps” fix dinner, out
6:00 dinner, out, play “helps” clean kitchen up
7:30 out, family movie time (cuddles on the families laps)
8:30 -9:30 pause movie and take puppy out
10:00 – 10:30 “helps” get family ready for bed
10:30 bed time (ha ha ha ha)
12:30 am rise and shine
barks for 2 hours
2:30-3:30 sleep
3:30 barks for and hour or 2 or more.
5:30 am sleep

Thanks for answering!

Best answer:

Answer by Truth Hurts, Doesn’t It?
1. How do we get puppy to go to sleep with a minimum of distress and barking?? (Even after a bathroom trip??)
– it takes TIME. Ignore the barking that is not the “i have to go” stuff. PERIOD. You’re already doing more than enough to make her crate a haven for her…. She fusses because she KNOWS you’ll give in and come get her.

2. How do we get her to be content on the floor and not wanting to be either held or have us on the floor with her?
– Just don’t pick her up and ignore her attempts to get your attention. Again, she KNOWS you’ll give in so she’ll continue to do it. Simple.

3. How do we get her to be quiet when she is in her playpen next to the sofa and we are right there, but not touching her?
– Again, IGNORE her.

4. Does an 8 week old puppy need to go out every two hours all night long?
– Very possible. Rule of thumb in terms of physical ability to “hold it” is one hour per month of age.

The point of all this is – IGNORE the behavior you don’t want. LET her whine and bark and cry. She needs to learn that it won’t get her a thing, or she’ll continue doing it for her natural life span (may even develop OTHER behaviors to get your attention.) Take her out ONLY if she has to potty, then right back in. Let her learn to deal with life on her own.

Otherwise you’ll CREATE a clingy animal with no independence – this WILL ensure that she turns into an animal with separation anxiety issues.

If it’s “too noisy” try earplugs.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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