Bringing home a new Labrador Retriever puppy can be a lot of fun.
Everyone wants to be their best friend and it may be a struggle to let the puppy actually have their feet on the ground for any length of time.
As the kids go to bed, the parents are left behind to deal with the puppy in the evening.
Your puppy will probably wake up quite a bit in the beginning as they get used to the new situation and what is going on around them, but when do Labrador Retrievers start to sleep through the night?
When Do Labrador Retrievers Sleep Through the Night?
Most Labs start sleeping through the night at four months old. A 4-month-old Lab should be able to sleep for between 6 to 8 hours at a time. Training your Labrador from a young age and encouraging them to self-soothe can help this happen even earlier, but all Lab puppies will reach this milestone at their own pace.
If you put in the work and help them get adjusted to their new home and ensure that they do not get too anxious, you will have a strong foundation to help them to sleep through the night sooner, without waking up as much.
Each dog is unique and may choose to sleep through the night earlier or later.
Setting up a good sleep schedule with your dog will be one of the best ways to help them get to sleep and stay that way for a long time.
Let’s take a look at when the Labrador Retriever puppy is going to start sleeping through the night and some of the steps that you can take to help them reach that milestone.
Labrador Retrievers’ Nightly Sleep Cycle
When you first bring the Labrador Retriever puppy home, they are not going to sleep through the night.
They are small and may feel lonely and scared being away from their mother.
They may need to eat or go outside a few times during the night as well.
You will need to give the dog some time to adjust before you assume that they can sleep through the night.
The good news is that they are not going to act this way forever.
At some point, they will stop whining and waking you up through the night and will be able to sleep just like everyone else.
For those new pet owners who are tired of getting up in the middle of the night though, you may wonder when this is going to happen.
For the Labrador Retriever, pet owners can expect that they are going to start sleeping through the night when they get to be about 4 months old.
At this time, they are mature enough to do well with sleeping through the night and are less likely to need to wake up to get attention or anything else as well.
The more of a foundation that you set for the puppy early on, the easier it is to get them to reach this milestone.
Each puppy is going to be different in how they respond to being in your home and some may need a bit longer in order to make it through the night.
Being patient and using some of the training methods that we will talk about in a bit can really help out with this as well.
How to Train a Labrador Retriever to Sleep Through the Night?
There are a few methods that you can use to help get this dog breed, and others, to start sleeping through the night so that you can get some sleep at night too.
Some of the most common methods include:
The Routine Method
The first method that we can look at is the routine method.
This is all about getting the puppy used to the new home and a good sleeping routine.
Some of the steps that you can use include:
- New bed: Make sure that the crate or bed for the puppy is in the right location. Put it somewhere that gives privacy and allows them to be comfortable. This one from Best Friends is both a Lab-favorite and (just as important), it’s machine washable!
- Good night: When it is time for bed, you need to spend a few moments with the puppy, stroking them and making sure that they get calmed down. Add this to your routine to help the puppy relax and get ready for bed.
- Good morning: When you get up in the morning, spend a few minutes again with the puppy. Stroke and pet them as a way to tell them hello. If the puppy gets used to the idea of you coming to see them in the morning, they are less likely to worry about spending the night alone.
- Exercise: Make sure that the dog is going to get plenty of exercise during the day. This is a dog that has a lot of energy attached to them. If they do not get enough exercise during the day, they may be too awake to make it through the night. A tired dog is not going to struggle with sleeping.
The Cold Shoulder
If you get the dog when they are a little bit older, the routine method may be too late to make much of a difference.
And for some dogs, it is just not going to work the way that you would like.
That is why there are other methods available that you are able to try.
One option that you may like is the cold shoulder method.
Some of the steps you can use to make this one work includes:
- Door open: Start by leaving the door open and have the dog sleep close to you. if they know that you are near, they may find that it is easier to be left alone. Spend a few minutes saying goodnight to them while in their bed, but don’t prolong it too much.
- Cold shoulder: After you say goodnight, it is time to ignore them. If they do try to wake you up, it is time to ignore them. The puppy is cute and they will try to use this against you as well. But it is better to ignore them for a bit so that they can adjust to sleeping on their own.
- Door ajar: After a few days of this, it is time to move to closing the door until it is just slightly open. This is going to be the next step to the puppy being more isolated in the evening. If they wake up and cry, your job is to ignore it.
- Door closed: Once the puppy is used to the door ajar part, then you can move to closing the door all the way. The puppy should be more comfortable with this change by this point.
- Remove the dog: If the puppy is still waking you each evening, it is time to calmly remove them from the room and continue with ignoring. If you give them attention, they will just learn that this behavior gives them what they want.
The Temptation Method
The cold shoulder method can be an efficient one to use to get the dog to sleep on their own, but it is not always the one that the pet owner likes.
It is hard to hear the dog whining and crying in the other room.
Another method that you can try is known as the temptation method. The steps to make this one work include:
- Toys: Spend a few minutes with the dog, playing with their toys in their bed. You are trying to make the bed a fun place, somewhere that they will want to spend their time in. You can leave the toys near the bed at night to make it more secure. This multi pack is guaranteed to keep them occupied night after night.
- Evening treat: Try leaving a treat in the bed at night. This can get the dog excited to head to bed and rewards them for going there at the end of the night.
- Morning treat: When you come downstairs and wake up in the morning, head over to the dog and give them another treat, but make sure that they get it while in bed. This helps them to have something to look forward to in the morning.
- Toilet: Make sure that the dog has a chance to go to the bathroom before they go to bed. If they really do need to go outside, they are going to wake you up each evening to get results.
- Food puzzles: Try giving them some food puzzles to keep them entertained and to show them how fun the bed can be.
Helping Your Labrador Retriever Puppy Sleep Through the Night
Each Labrador Retriever puppy is unique and you will need to learn what schedule is going to work the best for them.
You may have to try out a few methods to see if this is going to be the effective way to help the dog get to sleep and stay there as well.
With a bit of luck and the right sleep training program, you will be able to get your Lab to sleep through the night.