Recently I have found myself having many conversations with my clients about “nap time”. I hear things like:
  • my pup has no attention span
  • my pup doesn’t want to train
  • my pup won’t settle
  • my pup is always offering behavior
  • my pup always wants my attention
  • my pup is more reactive
  • my pup is a biting machine
  • my pup is guarding things

Taking a nap sets your pup up for success and can improve all the things listed above with proper rest and training. Dog owners sometimes take 2-4 classes each week for several different performance sports and/or activities. I can only imagine the amount of time needed to complete the homework necessary to be successful in that many classes and activities. This much training can create pups that are over- weight from all the treats given, over tired from lack of sleep and have an inability to perform reliably.

“Bravo” my 5 month old MAS pup, naps for 2 hrs in the morning and 2 hrs in the afternoon. Some of the signs that he may be ready for a nap include:
  • he is generally not settled,
  • a bit nippy,
  • more barky than usual,
  • cranky toward the adult dogs in the house,
  • pacing around the room,
  • ringing the bell to go outside even when he doesn’t need to go potty,
  • generally naughty,

I think most folks see the signs listed above and feel that their pup is “bored” and needs more activity. When you add more activity without proper rest, you can get an over stimulated, over trained and over aroused pup that won’t settle.

I strongly believe that nap time can have a positive effect on training, relationship building and over all behavior at any age. Imagine how much more focused and fun your pup will be after a nap.

Naps should be in a quiet place
Nap time should be uninterrupted and in a quiet environment. Just sleeping on the floor or on a dog bed is not the same as being able to “shut off the world”. Imagine you are napping on the couch with a movie on, you might doze in and out, hear parts of the movie and your house mates moving about but if you were to nap in your room with the door closed, your quality of sleep will improve with less noise and activity around you. It is the same for our pups. I generally recommend putting your pup in a room alone or in a covered crate.

Happy Napping ZzZzZz