Nap times?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by brenda taulbee, May 1, 2009.

  1. brenda taulbee New Member

    Hello all,
    So I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this with their pup. Some of you know that my partner and I found an abandoned Lab X, Kenzii, who is almost a year old now (they grow so fast!). Since the day we brought her home she's been very reactive to strange things/noises/situations, but has been improving as she gets older. However, lately I'm figuring out that she's more prone to freak out sessions if she:

    1. Doesn't get enough exercise
    2. Gets too much exercise without a mid afternoon nap

    Anyone else's puppies have to be put to bed in the middle of the day? Like I said, she has been doing a lot better reacting positively to noises (we live in an apartment) and people being around, until she gets over tired. Then the hackles come up and stay up until she's slept it off. I knew toddlers needed naps, but I never would have guessed my adolescent dog still would :dogwacko:

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Dogs do need down times just as any other animal would, but not necessarily naps, just resting. One of the good things about crate training is that many dogs will go to their crate for a rest. There are two "down time" places that Mud has chosen in the house: her crate, and a corner in the living room. After jogs or a training session she typically will settle down in one of these places and rest a while.

    If she's crate-trained, perhaps crate her after wearing her out. If she's not crate-trained, then does she have a certain area of the house that she's prone to napping in? If so, maybe put a bed or throw of some kind and teach her to go to it on command. Have her go to it after wearing her out. If you're consistent with this, she should learn to go to her spot to relax whenever she's tired. Even if you don't teach this, maturity will settle in eventually and she'll teach herself to rest when necessary. But, teaching her to go to a "rest place" would help ease her mind(and yours). :)
  3. snooks Experienced Member

    exercised dogs are generally happier dogs and generally tireder dogs so theyy sleep more. dogs sleep more than we do anyway and i think a well rested dog would also be less prone to stress out just like a well rested human. :dogtongue2: i have a reactive dog and she does much better with more exercise but so does my non-reactive one.
  4. brenda taulbee New Member

    See, I had always heard that a well-exercised dog was a tired dog, and a tired dog was a less-stressed dog. That's where our problem lies, I think. My well-exercised pup gets too nervous to sleep.

    When she's just been for a good long run, hike or swim she comes home and goes straight to her bed in the living room, but once she's there every little creak of the house (sounds she never notices before her walk) get her super uptight. I feel like she doesn't actually get any rest, because her eyes may be closed but her ears are perked the whole time.

    I'm hoping this is something she'll mature out of, but I was wondering if anyone knew where the nervousness was coming from. Is it just my silly reactive dog being silly and reactive? Is there anything more specific I can do to ease her nerves so she can catch a quick nap? She always seems so much better behaved if she does actually manage to get some sleep.
  5. maven New Member

    My pup (a 9 month Vizsla) is much like this. He reminds me of a hyperactive child who gets so wound up that he just can't come back down. After hard exercise he'll start jumping and barking at us, whining loudly, running through the house, nipping at Pip (and sometimes us), become just completely out of control. If he gets to that point I have to confine him, and I'll usually sit down on the floor with him. I don't look at him or speak to him until he calms down and goes to sleep. When he wakes up he's back to his lovable self. But, it does seem to help him calm down and settle in if I stay close.
  6. snooks Experienced Member

    Every dog is different of course as are hormones and reactions to exercise and stimuli. I would never assume that a dog will mature out of anything because they usually don't without kind and calm guidance. A bitey puppy won't stop that unless we make it clear that bitey dogs don't get attention and praise like calm puppies do. If there is a reason ur dog is afraid or over stimulated it would be far better to investigate and correct than hoping it goes away.

    I suggest a vet check up because diseases like Addison’s and thyroid can cause this type of reaction. Then if all is ok I might investigate changing up my routine and see if I could determine what is causing all the reactivity. My sweet girl regressed when I moved to being very reactive to lights, shadows, and ticks in the walls and was miserable. Her terror of the wind was huge inside but outside she could be buffeted by a tempest and be at rest. She got worse every day. So I checked her at the vet and got to a behaviorist and with some desensitizing training and work she's no longer afraid. She wouldn't have gotten better on her own because she had no tools to work with to reframe things emotionally. but I did.

    it could be something very scary on a walk where her other behaviors mask the fear cues and she just sort of comes unglued when she gets home. maybe sleep makes her forget. so digging through the possibilities medical, nutritional, and behavioral is a more proactive and successful solution in my experience.

    good luck :dogblush:

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