Have you ever wondered why dogs spend half their day sleeping and a big chunk of their waking time just napping and loafing?
Studies have shown that dogs don’t spend too much time in the deep sleep phase, but rather shorter bursts, that’s why they need more sleeping hours compared to humans.
This shows that those little naps during the day are very important for dogs to rest and stay in shape.
If you’ve chosen crate training, then you might be wondering, should your puppy nap in his crate, or is spending the night in the crate enough?
Your puppy should definitely nap in the crate, being already associated with sleeping and relaxing the crate represents a safe and intimate den, where he can make the most of the nap to restore his energy and be ready for more activities.
Why should your puppy nap in his crate?
Of course, when we say your puppy should nap in the crate we mean puppies that are crate trained, you can’t have a crate just for naps and at night your puppy sleeps elsewhere.
If you’ve done a good job crate training then your dog will automatically go to his crate to relax because it’s already associated with that, and it helps on many levels.
- The puppy has one specific place where he sleeps and naps so the comfort that is associated with the crate helps your puppy sleep or nap better and more relaxed.
- Everyone around the house knows where the puppy naps so it’s convenient for everyone.
- Everyone knows that the puppy is up for a nap once he goes in his crate so nobody bothers him.
- Your puppy sleeping in his crate is a good sign that he’s accepted the crate as his den and that crate training is done properly with all its benefits.
How to make a puppy nap in his crate?
We can now agree that the puppy taking naps in the crate is just convenient for everyone, but what to do if he doesn’t?
How can you make the puppy nap in his crate and it’s not uncommon for puppies to just lay down whenever they are.
You first need to make sure the crate is as comfortable as it can be, and placed in the perfect spot where it’s cool enough on the hot days and warm in cold weather.
Then you just want to lure him in with a nice comfy bed and maybe even some treats.
You can sense when your puppy is ready for a nap when he’s just loafing doing nothing and just looking at the world pass by, and that’s when you can use some treats to lure him into the crate.
Puppies can be conditioned to do a lot of things and sleeping in a specific spot is one of those things.
Can a puppy nap outside of the crate?
Of course, your puppy can nap outside of his crate, either your dog sleeps at night in the crate or not, if he doesn’t feel like taking a nap in it it’s totally fine.
Taking naps in the crate is just more comfortable for the puppy and convenient for the family but it’s no obligation.
Most dogs tend to nap whenever they are and get too lazy to even move to the crate so it’s not very uncommon even for perfectly crate trained puppies.
If you can lure your puppy into his crate it would be great but if you can’t just let him enjoy his nap.
Should all the puppy’s naps be in the crate?
Again there is no obligation for a puppy to nap in the crate, at night it’s a different story if you choose to crate train, but for naps, it’s just a matter of convenience.
Puppies do take a lot of naps all throughout the day and spend another large portion of their wake time just doing nothing, so they’ll probably take a nap or two outside the crate.
If you notice that your puppy is ready for a nap and can lure him to his crate it would be better, but if he’s already taking his nap there is no point in bothering him just to be in the crate.
Should the crate placement for naps be different than sleep?
Usually, the crate is placed either in the bedroom or the living room, for those who have it placed in the living room there is no need to change its placement.
If the crate is installed in the bedroom at night, then it should be moved to the living area during the day.
During the day the puppy should be around the family and not alone in the bedroom, and it’s more convenient for him to take naps in it if he wants instead of going all the way to the bedroom.
When taking a nap or just laying around puppies like to be close to their owners, not locked up alone in a separate room.
We usually recommend having two crates, one in the bedroom and another in the living area, it’s more practical although you can move it from room to room.
Should you close the crate when the puppy naps?
There is no need to close the crate when the puppy is napping, usually, naps are short and frequent, so you can’t keep and could be over crating your puppy.
During the day the puppy should have the possibility to go in and out of his crate, sometimes they need to change their sleeping spot or just want a quick little tour in the crate.
There is no point in closing the crate unless you have to leave your dog alone, in which case you need to make sure your dog has had plenty of exercise before it’s time to go into the crate.
Is it normal for a puppy to constantly change his sleeping spot?
You might have noticed that your puppy is constantly changing his spot when taking a nap, and they can wake up move 2 or 3 feet then nap again.
This is totally normal behavior especially for young puppies, it’s very similar to what you do when you just flip the pillow.
Sometimes dogs are looking for a more comfortable spot, maybe one that’s cooler, or calmer, although it doesn’t make sense to us, as long as the puppy is comfortable it’s ok.
- If possible your puppy should nap in his crate, it’s more convenient and reinforces the crate training.
- Your puppy can nap outside of his crate, they nap too many times in quick bursts anyway.
- It’s ok for the puppy not to take all his naps in the crate.
- The crate should be placed in the living area for naps.
- The crate should not be closed when the puppy is taking a nap.
- It is normal for puppies to change spots constantly when taking a nap.