Sleepless in Seattle - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Sleepless in Seattle

Could really use some advice with my 3mo GSD.
Background: We've had him for 3 weeks now. We are crate training in a full, adult sized wire crate, with a divider. Sam doesn't seem to have any problems being in the crate. He goes in willingly. No barking, no crying, no messes so far. The crate is uncovered, in the bedroom with us. There is a blanket in the crate, along with several soft toys and some chews.

What we do right now: we are on a regular routine. Feeding at 8. No water after 9. Last potty break at 10. Bedtime immediately after. Sam is walked for 1 hr 3xday. He is played with all day long. I allow short naps through the day, in the crate, for up to 2 hrs. He has frequent, short training sessions, about 10-15 mins between playtime. No health concerns, according to the vet. Regular, spunky puppy, all day long.

The problem: Sam hardly sleeps at night. He will go down with us around 10, lays down, sleeps for about an hour or two. Then, it becomes Rumble in the Bronx. Sam rolls this way, and that way. He paws at and kicks the walls of the crate. No vocalizations, just extreme restlessness. He will go to one side of the crate, slump (bang) against the wall until he hits the floor. Then he will sit there for a few mins before repeating the whole process again on the other side of the crate. He rolls on his back and kicks at the back wall with all 4 paws. In short, he is making an extreme racket in the bedroom all night long.

Although he doesnt cry, he sometimes pants heavily. I've been attributing this to stress, possibly. We like to sleep in a cool room, around 55-65 degrees, so I doubt he is too hot. He is a long hair, double coated, and the crate is placed farthest from the open windows, so I also don't think he is too cold. I do get up at least twice to let him out for potty breaks, just to make sure his restlessness isn't due to full plumbing. We do not ramp him up before bedtime.

The question: WHY WON'T SAM SLEEP!!?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 10:36 AM
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It seems like you are doing a lot right. The only thing I can think of is that maybe your pup is over tired? I don't know the exact number but I think pups around 3 months should be getting 12+ hours of sleep.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply. Would a case of overtiredness last all night long? And repeat every night? I took him to the dog park TWICE yesterday, hoping to break the cycle. No dice.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockinSammieB View Post
Thank you for your reply. Would a case of overtiredness last all night long? And repeat every night? I took him to the dog park TWICE yesterday, hoping to break the cycle. No dice.
That’s where I am unsure. Holding out all night seems excessive. But I know when my 10 week old is over tired (or my human kids) they turn into restless terrors. It could be a cycle of not enough sleep that is self perpetuating.

Does he settle in his crate to nap during the day? And in those day time crating events, is he alone in the room?

I'm sure other members have good guesses for the cause of this issue. I'm by no means sure of my guess.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, he is alone during daytime naps, and seems to sleep fine. However, since I am not in the room, I'm not sure if he is restless at all. Something needs to change, I just don't know what, exactly.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 12:02 PM
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To me, it looks like you're doing all the right things...keeping a somewhat strict schedule.

My dog eats first thing in the morning, usually around 6:45am and at 5:30p on the dot every day. So to me, 8 seems a little late for a meal, especially since you're taking him to bed just after 10pm, 2 hours later.

Another thing, the vet told me it takes about 2 hours for a pup to pee from the moment it drinks. So at 9, you're taking the water away may be a little late. I was taking the water away around 8pm at that age. As he got older, that time got later. But again, that's just me and my dog.

So what I would do is feed him earlier...maybe 6pm, wait 2 hours, play a little with him at 8pm, enough to tire him, let him drink some water before 9pm and then everything else the same.

Also, this is another possible reason...you've only had your pup for 3 weeks. The environment and atmosphere is still a little unfamiliar to him. Maybe it's still getting used to you and your schedule. Give it a little more time. Just stick to the schedule.

These are my observations...I don't know if they will help in getting your dog to sleep at nights or not, but good luck. And please keep us updated.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Sam is walked for 1 hr 3xday. He is played with all day long. I allow short naps through the day, in the crate, for up to 2 hrs. He has frequent, short training sessions, about 10-15 mins between playtime.
The statement above about exercise seems WAY too rigorous for a 12wk old puppy! Puppies exert themselves in short bursts. They need lots of sleep! Walking a puppy for an hour 3 times a day is not only not needed, it's not good for them, particularly if it's on man-made surfaces!

I'm not sure what you meant exactly about allowing short naps, but if it means you're waking him up, please stop! Puppies need a lot of sleep. He should be allowed to sleep as much as he wants to!

My puppy slept for several hours at that age, everyday. If you feed earlier, as others suggested, you'll likely see a HUGE burst of energy from your puppy around 9 or 10 pm. The nightly zoomies LOL! It's almost as if they NEED to burn off that energy before settling in for the night, and it's perfectly normal.

So, as someone else suggested, feed and water a bit earlier, have a good play session before bed, and I bet you'll get more rest! Good luck, and congratulations on the new puppy!

ETA: pictures please! We love pictures!

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

Tim

Last edited by tim_s_adams; 10-23-2019 at 04:50 PM.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 04:53 PM
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If you think he can make it through the night, maybe it's time to move the crate out of your bedroom? Some dogs are restless. We have a crate in the bedroom and the downstairs family room. We kind of liked the idea of bringing him to bed with us in the crate, but I know the body slams you are talking about and we made the decision this week to leave him downstairs. I am also an early riser, so it is easier not having to get him up with me in the bedroom when he goes crazy happy when he first comes out and wakes up my GF.

In terms of the exercise being too much, I doubt it's the cause, you may just have a restless dog that re positions himself constantly. A three month old pup will tell you when they had enough exercise.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 04:58 PM
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To me, it sounds like he actually isn’t getting enough downtime. He’s getting too much exercise and stimulation. He needs to learn to be able to turn it off, but he never will if you give him this much exercise! I agree with Tim. It sounds like maybe you wake your puppy up from naps. Don’t do that, if you are. I would slow way down on the amount of exercise he’s getting or he might hurt himself. At the very least, you’re creating an athlete in a 12 week old pup! I didn’t even start walking my boy until he was closer to 14 weeks; he simply didn’t need it. And now he doesn’t get regular walks because it’s unsafe for me to walk him in my neighborhood.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frisco19 View Post
A three month old pup will tell you when they had enough exercise.
This hasn’t been at all true in my experience. All of my dogs have kept pushing themselves nonstop until I forced them to chill out, then they crash. They can’t self regulate, just like a toddler can’t.
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