Prefer to watch instead of reading? Check out the video below and suscribe to our channel:
You often hear how important sufficient activity and challenge is for dogs, but a good amount of rest is just as important. An adult dog needs an average of 14 to 18 hours of sleep or rest, a puppy even more.
What does rest do?
Rest ensures that the dog's body can recover, but also that experiences that the dog has gained can be processed. This applies not only to young and old dogs, but also to adult animals. Especially the active types. They often have an extra need to process what they have done. If your dog has had a day with many impressions, you will notice that he gets tired much faster than he normally does. So give him a good rest! And vice versa, it is also important to give your dog enough rest before you do anything intensive with him.
For whom is rest extra important?
Puppies and young dogs
Puppies often need up to 20 hours of rest and sleep per day. This way they have time to process impressions. Are they not getting enough rest? They can then become overstimulated, which can manifest itself in hyperactive and uncontrolled behaviour (just like small children). They are usually very tired after 15 to 30 minutes of playing and exploring.
Older animals generally need more sleep than younger animals. Their bodies are of course somewhat worn out and therefore they need more time to recover. Of course, it is important to also adapt activities to their older body, so that it is not put under too much strain. However, keep on exercising your dog, this naturally keeps his body fit.
Sometimes you are dealing with a dog that receives a lot of mental challenge, trains a lot and still remains restless or overactive. Active dogs that cannot find rest on their own can sometimes be overstimulated. These dogs have an extra need for rest and regularity. If they can’t take that rest themselves you have to help them with this.
Give clear signals to your dog. This way he knows what is expected of him and that also gives extra mental rest. In addition, provide clear resting moments and places, for example in his crate.
Active dogs need to get rid of their energy just a little more than other dogs. Not only exercise, but especially mental stimulation. So make sure that you know that your dog has enough challenge in addition to his walks, so that he does not show overactive behaviour out of boredom. For example, exercising or playing games with your dog is a great way to let him use his brain. This is also a good way to improve your bond with your dog and teach him patience. Afterwards he can rest satisfied. This is extra important for working breeds, as they do not only need a lot of exercise, they also and especially need to be challenged. But here too, your dog must also rest sufficiently to prevent overstimulation.
How do you create rest?
To find rest easily, it is important to offer:
- A low-stimulus environment
- A quiet environment
- A safe environment
- Don't plan too many activities in one day (or not too many days in a row)
- Regularly have a resting day, on which your dog is not exposed to many stimuli.
Puppies and very active dogs sometimes need a little help to find their rest. Even dogs that may not seem tired need time to rest, so help them with this. A crate can be an excellent tool for this (of course, after learning this properly).
You can also teach your dog to lie down in a specific place, or use a mat that you can take with you to a different location. In such a case, use lots of rewards and start learning in a quiet environment. Then you can practice in other and more crowded places.
How do you ensure a good balance between action and rest?