There is a house, a napping house, where everyone is sleeping. And in that house there is a bed, a cozy bed, in the napping house, where everyone is sleeping. – Audrey & Don Wood
I loved reading this book to my children, just reading it made me feel nappy all over! It was silly and fun like all of their books, but with so much truth and comfort at the same time.
We are busy these days, all humans, and so busy sometimes that we forget about the importance of napping, and appropriate sleep for better health. And with us not getting what we need in the way of sleeping we sometimes forget about the napping needs of our dogs.
We need it, our dogs need it, because sleep is a SUPER POWER.
One of the most ginormous mistakes I see with owners of working breed puppies is ‘the need to keep them ON to wear them out’. Au contraire mon frère, working breed puppies have more balance and more calm when they have had the sleep they need. Fact.
SLEEP – Puppies, you might be surprised to know, need about sixteen to eighteen hours of sleep in a twenty four hour cycle. This is for mental, physical, emotional, and social development. If you don’t have a good environment for restful sleeping and napping, you should start to create one, it is seriously beneficial for everyone.
Calm music, shades drawn, calming scents, and all electronics off, including your phones. And if you have a busy household, and lots of deliveries from UPS or FedEX, then put a sign up, “Napping House with Dozing Dog and Dreaming Child – please do not knock or ring the bell”
Protect nap and sleep time, because it is that beneficial, that necessary.
And if sleep at night was disruptive, a napping time during the day is even more important.
AWAKE – When a puppy is not sleeping they need appropriate engagement both mentally and physically with their people. A puppy, when awake needs appropriate social interactions with people and other puppies in a managed environment.
And because we know all puppies are teething and have an irritated mouth, lots and lots of appropriate chew items on the floor, like raw bones, bully sticks, trachea, duck feet, shoulder tendons, etc. Please don’t get me started on the lameness of nylon bones, pressed raw hide, chemically dipped pig ears, or dental chews! Appropriate items for better health.
A puppy who is developing has a lot of growing to do, so exercise should always be appropriate and not too concussive. All puppies want to move, run, jump, and kick up their little puppy feet, and it is good for coordination, confidence, physical strength, the fun of it, and it might just feel good. Just remember though, no jumping off of things, or out of things, no running next to a bike, or trail running together while developing new bones and muscle. Concussive anything is not a puppies friend.
Teach teach teach. Mental exercise is the place where all good things happen. You cannot teach enough. Make your sessions short and productive, but peppered between napping times. Education is freedom, education is where all good things happen, education creates a working relationship.
Nap, awake, nap, awake, nap awake, and then a long nights sleep. We are all better off if we take this time and create this time for our puppies.
Adolescent and adult dogs will require more work time, more on time, but never give up napping, never give up on down time or rest time. If a dogs awake hours are spent working, with mental and physical engagement, a little or a lot, their needs to be the restorative time, which is found in rest.
And according to Doc Paskowitz, health is the presence of a Superior State of Well Being – a vigor, a vitality, which must be worked at for each and every day of your life. His five pillars upon which health is based: diet, exercise, REST, recreation, and attitudes of mind. Our dogs already know this, we need to catch up with their knowledge and instincts.
So, to the napping house we go!