As puppies turn 6 months old, they leave behind their puppyhood to enter the adolescent stage. This new and wonderful stage is filled with challenges that require some changes, but surely you and your puppy will get through it just fine.
Even if they are much grown now, 6-month-olds are still playful babies that need to eat, play, run and recharge batteries to repeat it all over again, however from now on their sleeping patterns might have some alterations.
How Much Do Puppies Sleep At 6 Months
Just like humans, as puppies get older they require less sleep, have the energy of a tornado, and will spend more hours awake, but they still need plenty of good naps and restful night’s sleep to keep that energy fully charged.
While younger puppies need between 18 and 20 hours of rest throughout the day, but at six months puppies dream away for about 16 hours a day. The exact amount of hours can vary depending on the size and breed of your pup, but an acceptable amount is between 15 and 18 hours scattered throughout the day.
Newborns need to sleep almost 90% of their day, which is the equivalent of 22 hours and pups older than a year will reduce their sleeping intake to 12-14 hours a day.
How Much Sleep Does A 6-Month-Old Puppy Need?
Our six-month-old fur friends spend their bundles of energy exploring the world, learning tricks and routines, and, of course, playing. While puppies at this stage will need to take fewer breaks and can stay awake for hours, experts seem to think the minimum rest a pup should have is of 15 hours a day. And yes, that includes lots of daytime naps!
If your puppy is not getting enough sleep, you will notice immediately because they might have lots of energy but will be very irritable, barking, and growling even at the smallest provocation. Yeah, just like a little kid.
Sleeping over 19 hours or fewer than 14 hours might be an excellent reason to review their diet, check their routines, or simply pay a visit to the vet just to prevent any further health conditions.
Sleeping Behaviours Of 6 Months Old Puppies
Dogs are guided by their instincts, however, some behaviors such as sleeping can be trained and modified during the first few months of their lives. That is why creating good sleeping habits for your dog is very important to maintain an optimal resting period.
By the sixth month, most puppies will spend almost 50% of their days sleeping, and the other 50 divided between playing, eating, exercising, and resting awake. By now you might observe some changes in their regular sleeping behaviors:
During Daytime: Even if they are not babies anymore, naps are vital for our puppies to recharge and process information. It is normal for them to take several naps along the day, lasting from anywhere between half an hour to 2 hours, depending on how tired your pup is! They can happen at any time, while they are playing, after eating, or whenever they get bored. At this stage, dogs’ brains are programmed to switch from active-mode to sleep-mode from one second to the next.
During Nighttime: At this stage, you may have noticed that your puppy is sleeping through the entire night without waking up. By this time dogs have full control of their bladders, and if we properly train them, they will no longer need to wake up to take a bathroom break, which younger pups need. Therefore, six-month puppies should able to sleep 8 to 10 hours without interruptions by now. If they are still not, keep reading to find out some techniques that might help!
6-Months-Old Puppy Sleep Pattern
The sleeping pattern in our doggies seems to be similar at all stages. It does not matter the amount of time or times they spend asleep; the pattern repeats itself with every snooze. In fact, it shares some similarities with our sleeping patterns.
- As your pup shuts their eyes, their breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate will slow down to help them enter into a light sleep.
- Ten minutes later, dogs will enter the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep cycle, typical in most mammals (including humans) and birds. During this sleeping period, the brain is as active as if our dog was awake, but their bodies are fully relaxed and “disconnected”. You might have noticed when your dog is at the REM cycle because some common twitching, barking and even running-like can happen.
- After that, each time the cycle ends, our doggies will slightly wake up for a couple of minutes before the entire thing repeats over and over. Experts believe each cycle lasts about 20 minutes and repeats itself 23 times throughout the night.
Fun fact: Research at Columbia University suggests that for an entire minute during REM sleep, our puppies can actually have dreams!
Why Do Puppies At 6 Months Sleep So Much?
Sleeping is just as important as feeding, training, and exercise in a puppy’s life. Our six-month-old fur friends are still in growing up and during all these snoozes their amazing bodies are working miracles for their healthy growth and development:
- They Are Recharging Batteries: Even if at this stage they seem to have the energy of a tornado, doesn’t mean they don’t need to “paws” and rest to re-energize. While sleeping their nervous system slows down and relaxes, improving their mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
- They Are Processing Information: Much like humans do, especially children, our little balls of fur replay their experiences, activities, and teachings of the day while sleeping; they do this to sort out which information they want to keep and which one they want to ditch. This activity helps to train their memory and learn more efficiently. They need to remember all those new tricks, obedience training, and new friends they made!
- They Are Growing: Doggies are not done growing until they are over a year old. For the first year of its life, your puppy’s body will take advantage of their food nutrients and resting time to build healthy bones, tone up those muscles, develop a proper nervous system and strengthen their immune system.
How To Make a 6-Month-Old Puppy Sleep Through The Night?
Sleeping through the night by this stage of your puppy’s life should be a piece of cake, however, your doggie’s internal clock might suffer some alterations, and they might get a little rebellious, just like any other teenager, so keeping a strict routine is a must during this time to assure a good right rest. Here are a couple of recommendations:
Schedules: Sticking to a bedtime and waking up routine will help your puppy create some pleasant sleeping habits. Try to get them to bed and wake them up at the same hour (or as close as it can get) every single day so pups understand when it is expected for them to sleep or be active.
Set The Mood For a Good Snooze: Creating a special place as peaceful as it can be where your fur friend can rest will give them the confidence to relax as soon as you put them in there. It can be a dog bed, a crate, or even a doghouse filled with their favorite toys, blankets, or any other thing that makes it feel cozy for them. If you haven’t trained them to sleep in one place, don’t worry because they are still young enough to learn.
Pawfully Tired: Believe it or not, this is the ultimate sleep formula. A good walk or 10 minutes of playing with your dog will drain all that excess energy bottled up and get them tired enough to drift off in the sweetest of dreams. This might also be a splendid time for your puppy to have a potty break just to make sure nothing will interrupt their sleep in the middle of the night.
Remember that just like us, puppies are going through a lot of changes, and sometimes adjusting to new routines and schedules can be tough; so just be patient and very constant. That is the key to success.
6-Month-Old Puppy Sleep Aid
Need a magic position? If exercise and a calm environment did not work out at all, you can try playing some dog relaxation music (most music platforms have curated playlists for our pups) while you are setting him down and give your pup a nice massage. This will strengthen your bond and lower down their blood pressure to allow him or her to relax.
Some high-quality essential oils can be used in a diffusor to help them enter into a Zen mode; chamomile and lavender essential oils are safe for dogs!
How Much Exercise Does A 6-Month-Old Puppy Need?
Exercise at this stage should be a combination of playtime, training, and walks. The U.K. Kennel Club suggests that a dog should get 5 minutes of exercise per month since birth, so a 6-month-old one should get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to keep in good health. However, this is just a minimum of time per puppy; feel free to take them on longer walks and play for longer hours with them. Surely they will appreciate it.
What To Expect From A 6 months Old Puppy?
You might notice that your puppy has a new dose of vibrant energy and confidence, physical changes are slowing down and our puppy’s behavior changes a bit as he is about to become a teenager. Your pup might show off some recent attitudes, a defined personality, and like most adolescents, they might break the rules a little and challenge you. Don’t worry, it is just a normal phase and consistency, firm rules and schedules will get you through.
How Far Can You Walk A 6-Month-Old Puppy?
The correct answer relies on the size and breed of your puppy. Smaller dogs need shorter distances, but some large dogs do not resist long distances either. In general, by six months, most puppies can tolerate half an hour walks or quick jogs.
Do Puppies Calm Down At 6 Months?
Hmm… your puppy will begin to settle, but that might happen after the six-month mark. Puppies at six months are gaining a fresh sense of confidence, curiosity, strength, and independence that will bring loads of energy bombs that require a lot of playtimes, mental stimulation, and exercise.