Here`s another great article:
My puppy (now 6 mo) was never one to settle on her own. I could play, walk, train, and mentally stimulate her to no end, she still would never nap on her own. I had some success with crate naps when she was really little, but around 3.5 months she started whining and barking after 30 min – 1 hr in the crate. I tried to be consistent, but I couldn’t seem to get more than a 1 hr nap from her in the crate. She sleeps in a separate room at night and rarely has any issues in her crate when it’s time for bed, so I was confused and frustrated.
My partner is much less anxious than me when it comes to “raising our puppy the right way.” He convinced me to try letting her nap on her own by just ignoring her. Sure enough, after a few weeks of demand barking and whining at us, she started to settle on her own. I’ve been rewarding “settle” since she was 9 wks (based on Kikopup’a capturing calmness video) and I think that paid off. We also do the relaxation protocol almost daily before bed.
The last few weeks she’s been settling down for naps after walks (~20-30 min) for a good 2-4 hours! I’m so relieved!! I can actually sit down and watch something, get work done, etc. We do still crate her at night, and set an alarm for 7am in her room so she associates that with waking up (recommended by a post on here). I can’t remember the last time I heard her cry in her crate!!
Sharing in case this helps anyone. When adolescence really ramps up, we might have to enforce naps again, but we’ll see! Taking it day by day.
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