One of the the biggest issues I encountered with my puppy was that I was loosing so much sleep that I was becoming a zombie. I never thought that getting a puppy would affect my sleep so much but it did. I still remember the feeling at 2:00 AM in the morning to dog cry putting on my clothes and going outside while it was snowing (actually it still happens from time to time but nothing like before). I still remember the talks I gave to my dog about the dangers of me not sleeping enough, loosing the job and the house and therefore we would have to move outside.
The problem actually was that she was left home alone for 8 hours while I was working and her being Jack Russel. She was sleeping all the time and when I got home she was full of energy and ready for action while I was exhausted from work.
Here are couple of things that didnt help to get back into my normal sleeping habits and co-exists together with my dog.
First thing I read from internet was that I should give her enough exercise so that she would get tired. In theory yes.. but after nights sleep and extra 8 hours during the day that was just impossible. She would have required another 8 hours of running but theres only 24 hours in a day. Going for a 1 hour hike with her after work didnt do anything to her energy levels.
Feeding her late at night was the second thing I tried. Well that didnt work very well either, she then needed to go out after few hours and therefore waking me up again.
Here are couple of things that helped me to get back into my normal sleeping habits and co-exists together with my dog.
From the second night I bought the puppy home she has slept in a crate. Well she didnt sleep in the crate for few days but after these days I realized that the crate is excellent thing. Without the crate the dog started to guard the house and bark at every noise. Also she got up in the middle of night and started playing etc. So I definitely recommend crating the dog from the start, really difficult to do later.
Taking her out only for a second after she wakes me up
When she wakes up in the middle of the night, I go to her, take her from her crate and take her out only for split second where she can pee. After that we go quickly back to the house and she goes to sleep. This assures her that its still sleep time and not playtime.
Taking her to office with me
Since from the beginning I realized that the problem was her high energy levels because she sleeps all day I started taking her to office with me during the day. Taking the dog to the office deserves its own topic but all in all, it worked well. She was active during the day and didnt sleep that much and after we got home, she was tired!
Taking her out before sleep time
One thing for sure is that you need to take the dog out for a quick pee before bed. Nothing really complicated here.
Tire her brain
It is hard to tire the dog physically, specially a puppy. The dog will get much more tired when you stimulate her mentally. That means practising her commands, having her do quests(find the ball, bring me the rope).
Its very important to work out optimal feeding schedule and stick to it. For example my dog eats twice a day. At 7:00 AM and again at 5:00 PM. Therefore her outgoing needs are more predictable and maintainable. I know almost always when she need to go and usually its not during the night (hopefully).
Ignoring her and telling her go back to sleep
When i’m sure that the dog doesn’t need to go outside I have sometimes told her just to go back to sleep when she has woken me up in the middle of the night. This sometimes works, sometimes not.
Putting on music during the day
This method might seem little bit harsh but actually its not. Remember you need to be able to co-exists together with your dog and both be happy. That’s the most important part.
Putting on some good rock’n’roll from speakers in the morning before going to work might work wonders. Not too loud of course. The idea behind this is that the dog is not able to sleep while listening to music.
These methods above have helped me to gain back my sleep and live happily together with my dog.