When Will My Puppy Sleep Through The Night? It’s a great question, huh?
All that sleeplessness that contributes to the puppy blues (it certainly did for me), a difficulty in training your puppy (aka frustration), and sometimes it can feel like it inhibits your ability to bond with them too.
So it’s not a shock this is a common question for you too.
But, there is not a simple answer.
There are a few variables to consider, which we’ll discuss. But, when can I say that you can get the majority of your nights’ sleep?
When Will My Puppy Sleep Through The Night?
Puppy get’s 6-8hrs overnight around three months old.
However, practically, you can expect to get your proper sleep around the 4-month mark.
This is about the normal amount for an adult, but it does depend on a lot of factors, and one of those is what you consider ‘through the night’. In this instance, I’m giving you the number for 6-8hrs (as thats what the average adult tends to get per night). The only issue with this? Is that this may not be when you want it.
For example, if puppy goes into this big sleep before you do? You may lose a couple of hours either side.
This is why I say to expect to be getting back to normal around 4 months.
However, this recommendation obviously can vary, and it will depend on the following points – so check out below if you want to understand more on how to get your puppy to sleep through the night quicker!
You Must Be Toilet Training
I mean, you will sleep better if you don’t toilet train, but you’ll also wake up to a real mess – and trust me it’s easier to toilet train today, than tomorrow. So, make sure you’re doing that. It will mean that you get some sleepless nights, but overall it means that your training is heading in the right direction.
If you need help and guidance?
You Have To Set Up For Success
Your pup has to love their crate too – so making sure they’re comfortable and happy is definitely an important step in the road to successfully sleeping through the night. This one is pretty easy, the Den Wizard is my fave.
The Den Wizard….
When your puppy isn’t in their bed? Hide some treats in there.
Every time they’re out? They’ll come back and the first thing they’ll do is investigate that space.
Vary what you put in too, whether it’s a quick reward like a few cubes of cheese or chicken, or a longer reward like a kong, or a buffalo horn, or a yak cheese – or something in between. Like a dried trachea or rabbit ear!
These sort of things will make that crate become the most enticing spot in your home. This will ensure that this is where your puppy feels safe, secure, and so long as you follow the golden rules of crate training, then your puppy will feel safe and secure – because this is a happy place for them.
You Have To Structure Puppy’s Day & Balance Them Out.
Over exercise is going to great a miniature monster.
Overstimulation will foster a fiend.
Overfeeding will create a tyrant.
Whilst these are mild exaggerations, it’s true.
Every part of your pup’s day, contributed to how well they’ll sleep, and how well they’ll settle.
Getting a good balance of sleep, awake-time, playtime, socialization and stimulation is really important for your pup’s natural routine, and for their overnight rest. A puppy who is not getting these boxes ticked, is going to be cranky and less likely to settle overnight properly. Teaching your pup how to relax, to be calm and not go straight into devil mode is a tough one! But very worth it in the long run.
Steps For Helping Puppy Sleep
Step 1 – Don’t Let Puppy Get Overtired
When your pup goes from the docile realm of sleepy, they can venture into the unruly realm of overtiredness. Overtiredness is the enemy.
All rules go out of the window and settling them down once they reach this state can feel like you’re trying to tame a rabid wolverine, teeth, claws and sudden lack of understanding of polite society… (well, as much as your puppy ever had that!).
Step 2 – Teach Puppy How To Switch Off
This is really important. A lot of the time the phrase
“A Good Dog Is A Tired Dog”
Gets banded around, and whilst it is not untrue – you have to realise that truly tiring out a dog (or puppy) means tiring out their mind too.
The flip side of this, though, is the endurance monster, the puppy (or dog) that doesn’t understand how to switch off.
For some dogs, this comes naturally, for others, you get forced to teach it when they get spayed or neutered as they have to rest post-surgery.
But you don’t need to wait that long. You can create rest days in your schedule, where you don’t go out for a walk, where you focus on some brain games and calm relaxation time.
Teaching them how to switch off is so, so important.
Step 3 – Create A Calmness Routine
When I was young, there was always a routine around bedtime, there would be dinner, episode of EastEnders, then it would be bath, story and sleep time. Did your parents do similar?
The routine of this worked wonders – and the same goes for your puppy.
If you can do, say, bathroom trip, play, dinner, special treat/interactive thing (such as a snuffle mat!) and then sleep? This could work really well. You can even use what I call a “Bedtime biscuit” The only time my three get these specific biscuits? Is when it’s time to switch off. They’re nothing fancy, but they’re used as a part of a cue in order to predict calmness, downtime and sleep.
I will say, you want to choose carefully what interactive thing you choose, you want a thing that will bring energy levels down and encourage sleep, not hype them up and edge them into the realms of overtiredness and zoomies…
Creating this small, consistent routine can become a really valuable in helping puppy to understand what to expect, and help you to bring in the “When” of the ultimate question of when will my puppy sleep through the night.
Step 4 – Capture Calm Throughout The Day
Do an exercise throughout the day where you carry treats, 20 or more would work great, and make sure as pup does anything you like throughout the day? That you go “Good” (gentle tones are great here) and reward.
Things you might want to do this for?
✅ Laying down calmly
✅ Volunteering a sit at an appropriate time
✅ Opting to get a toy
✅ Letting you know they want to go to the bathroom
✅ Behaving nicely around strangers,
✅ Sitting or lying calmly while you chat at the park
Or anything else that you would like to see more of in the future.
Casual rewards like this can be great to encourage ‘passive’ behaviours or capture calmness.
You’re Looking To Take Out The “Spikes”, To Normalise.
Essentially, if you were to scale your dogs day on a happy to cranky scale, against time? There will naturally be peaks and troughs. What you really want to achieve, is to normalise things, to not make things too exciting, or too bad. To bring down the potential spikes in order to get more regular, consistent behaviour.
If you can achieve that? They’ll learn quicker, you’ll sleep better and overall have a much more enjoyable puppy and be much more relaxed in general.
This way, you’re creating a dog who knows when to relax, when you’re working, when to play, and then sometimes, you can meet in the middle — but more importantly right now? You’ll get to sleep quicker and with more consistency.
As with everything dog training, it’s a lot of little things that help you paint the picture of a good dog when you’re done. And if you need help painting that picture, taking those steps (and knowing when to take them and what order), then go sign up for Pupdates.
Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021’s worlds best pet blog!