No matter how adorable your Springer Spaniel is, there’s a great chance you’ve experienced sleeping difficulties at some point down the road. While this sort of sleep behavior is common in puppies— just like with human babies— it can still be annoying, especially if it becomes a habit. If your grown Springer Spaniel isn’t sleeping, there probably is some action you can take, and none of it is overly expensive or time-consuming.
Here are four tips for helping your Springer Spaniel sleep longer and better:
- Ensure his bed is comfortable.
- Put the bed in a low-traffic area.
- Tire your pup out a bit before bedtime.
- Maintain a schedule for everyone’s benefit.
Adhering to these steps should help your Springer Spaniel sleep better and (hopefully) through the night, allowing you to get some much-needed shut-eye as well.
1. Ensure His Bed Is Comfortable
So we’re not here to debate sleeping on the floor vs. sleeping in the human’s bed, but if you’re opposed to the second camp, your dog needs a comfy spot. Sleeping on a hard floor isn’t any more conducive to restful sleep for your dog than it would be for you.
Something like the Furhaven Pet Bed for Dogs (available on Amazon.com) offers a soft, dog-specific spot for your spaniel to lay his head at night. Two great features are the firm sides that allow some support as your pup lies against it and the zippered, removable cover that allows for easy cleaning.
It’s also essential that the dog’s bed stays in the same spot as a movable one can make your dog feel less secure. Since dogs are creatures of habit, finding their bed in different locations from night to night or even during the day can be discomforting and lead to distress.
A stressed dog won’t sleep as well as a relaxed animal, no matter how soft the bed is.
You may also want to experiment with the softness of your dog’s bed. A recent German study found that the older a dog was, the more it preferred softer beds, leading to better sleep even into old age.
Therefore, even if your Springer Spaniel isn’t old, he may prefer a softer bed than what you’re giving him, so try a few options in your quest for better sleep for your pet.
2. Put the Bed in a Low-Traffic Area
What does “a good spot” mean? Well, several things.
First, you shouldn’t put your dog’s bed next to a heating vent or on a heated floor. Dogs can easily overheat, and while they have a cooling mechanism (that panting they do), they don’t sweat the way we do. Placing your dog’s bed in a hot spot means he may spend the night uncomfortable at the least.
Dogs also need quiet locations due to their extremely developed sense of hearing. Your Springer Spaniel is already an alert and borderline hyper little fella anyway.
So if his bed is in a high-traffic area, he almost certainly won’t sleep well! When he dozes off, someone coming in the kitchen, opening and closing cabinet doors, and rooting around in the junk drawer will jolt him back awake.
Put that soft dog bed in an out-of-the-way spot so your dog can get some good, uninterrupted sleep.
3. Tire Your Pup out a Bit Before Bedtime
Sometimes, your dog won’t sleep because he’s not tired. Even if he needs sleep, he may be too spazzed out to sleep if he hasn’t burned off some energy. Plus, every dog needs regular exercise.
Take your dog for a walk before bed, or play fetch or tug-of-war with him. Check out my Recommended Toys page and you’ll find a ball launcher, floating fetch toy or rope from Amazon.com. Just get him going so he can expend some energy before bed. A tired dog will sleep, so the more exertion you can urge him on to, the better. Within reason, of course, since an overtired dog can forget commands, be grumpy, or engage in other undesirable behavior.
Consider also mentally challenging your Springer Spaniel before bed. A tired brain is still tired, and if you can get your dog to work on a puzzle or two before bedtime, you may not need to take him outside.
HoundGames makes a Dog Puzzle Toys set (available on Amazon.com) where you can hide treats, requiring the dog to figure things out independently. He’ll exercise his brain and get a treat, so everybody wins.
If that’s not your jam, check out something like Brain Games for Dogs (available on Amazon.com), a book with all sorts of suggestions for different brain-stimulating activities for your dog— everything from hide-and-seek to teaching tricks.
Getting your Springer Spaniel physically or mentally tired is a reliable way to ensure he gets a good night’s sleep, which means you, in turn, will, too.
4. Maintain a Schedule for Everyone’s Benefit
I mentioned earlier that dogs are creatures of habit. If you have a crated dog, you may have already seen this in action as they might have started, on their own, to head crate-ward when it’s bedtime.
If your dog already does that, great, but routine applies to more than just nighttime. Every dog does better all-around when they have a daily schedule. A routine can cut down on your dog’s stress levels, which will, in turn, help him sleep better.
When he’s getting regular exercise as part of that routine, that will help, too, as per number three above. And you and your dog will learn from each other when the best times are for him to eat and drink before dinner so that a potty break won’t be urgently requested at 3:45 every morning.
A routine will help with all of that, and result in improved sleep patterns.
Barring an underlying medical issue, getting your springer spaniel to sleep through the night shouldn’t be too difficult, especially once he’s grown out of puppyhood.
- Give him a comfy bed.
- Put the bed somewhere quiet, and don’t move it around throughout the house.
- Keep him exercising.
- Stay on a schedule, as routine helps dogs flourish.