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Insist Your Puppy Sleeps

I see a lot of bitey, over aroused, crazed puppies. Over the top little fur bombs that act like sugared-up kids at Disneyland.

Puppies need to play and rampage and full on puppy. They need to stretch growing minds and muscles with three-dimensional, complex environments; they need to tug, and chase, and explore.

They do not need to do these things for long, though.

Depending on the puppy's age, and natural drives, an hour is about tops for a young puppy before they require a nap. And for high-drive puppies, or puppies in busy households, a nap may be hard to get.

High-drive dogs tend the suffer more from being overtired. I'll see Weimarener puppies so strung out that they cannot function, jumping and biting their parents, and getting more worked up with every moment. I've seen cattle dogs biting children, and chasing bikes, biting hard and drawing blood. My border collie, Matilda would become more and more spun up, frazzled, and disorganized. She would get into and onto everything and she had the shortest imaginable attention span. When I put her in her crate she complained and carried on, wanting to play and play and play some more, but once she began to nap she could sleep half the day away, showing just how tired she really was.

These aren't mean puppies, or out of control puppies. They're tired. They need a nap. And while many puppies can self-regulate, many of these high drive, busy puppies cannot. They go and go until they crash, and if disturbed, they wake up groggy and unable to regulate themselves, the cycle begins anew.

A tired puppy cannot learn. It actually affects the regulation of a brain chemical that facilitates learning. It's not that these puppies are stupid or 'don't get it', they honestly do not have the chemicals necessary in their brain to form the memories required to hold new information.

If you have a puppy, place their crate in a quiet part of the home. Ensure that the whole family understands that they are not to disturb the puppy when they are asleep. Use awake time for training, playing, outside time, eating and having adventures. Ensure that this time is spent doing a variety of physical and mental challenges appropriate fo your puppy's age.

And for anywhere from 18-20 hours, let your puppy sleep.

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