Back when I brought home my first puppy I thought something might be wrong with her. I was expecting an endless ball of energy. Keeping me on my toes all hours of the day and night. Once I came to see her sleeping patterns were normal I was well equipped to deal with my next puppy, my American Bully Chester.
How much do American Bully puppies sleep? On average a young American Bully puppy will sleep between 18-20 hours a day. Active time for your puppy will be around 4-6 hours throughout the day including eating, drinking, playing and potty time. This ratio of active vs. sleep is completely natural.
My American Bully is my second puppy in my adult life. This time around I knew what to expect when it came to sleep. Even with that knowledge available I still knew the importance of proper sleep routines. The work needed to optimize my American Bully’s rest and routine was the added effort required.
In this post I will cover a few essential tips and tricks you should use with your American Bully puppy. These techniques have been a huge part of ensuring my dog is well rested, able to sleep on a routine, and when to recognize overtired behaviors. Let’s dig in!
The Importance Of American Bully Puppies Getting Sleep
Getting the proper amount of quality sleep and rest is vital for a puppy. Sleep is important for a variety of reasons particularly when it comes to your puppy’s growth, learning ability and behavior. Just like us humans, sleep is important for recovery, cognitive function, and our general mood.
A growing puppy needs exercise to burn off energy when they are awake. Moderate amounts of exercise during their waking hours will help them develop the muscle, bone structure, and mobility skills needed. Recovery from this exercise is just as important, if not more so.
Growing American Bully puppies need time for their bodies to recover from exercise and the huge amount of growth they experience in the first few months. Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can hinder muscle growth, joints, bone structure, and overall mobility.
Sleep is also an important part of your American Bully’s memory. A recent study has shown that dogs that are getting good quality sleep on a regular basis have a higher retention rate when it comes to their memory. When it comes to training your American Bully puppy this is crucial as repeating commands will be much more easily remembered after quality sleep.
Behavioral problems can develop with overtired puppies. When your American Bully is getting overtired or not getting enough sleep bad behaviors will arise. Things like nipping and biting, barking, over excited behavior, and following you around everywhere you go.
Puppies that are overtired and begin acting out are in need of some sleep. Recognizing these behaviors can assist in establishing some routines and techniques to avoid problems. I see these signs with my American Bully puppy when he is getting overtired and overstimulated and needs some sleep. That’s why it’s important to help your American Bully puppy get the sleep they need.
How To Help Your American Bully Puppy Sleep – Daytime
Dogs are creatures of habit and rely on routines and familiar patterns. This is especially true with young American Bully puppies. Before my boy Chester learned how to sit, stay, or leave it, he learned routines, and responded very well. Potty training for example was primarily about routine, and sleeping is no different.
These are just a few techniques I used to ensure my American Bully puppy was getting enough sleep throughout the day.
Set A Schedule And Stay Consistent
As mentioned puppies respond well to routines. My American Bully puppy followed a very simple and consistent schedule. This ensured he was getting enough rest throughout the day. Nap time was always scheduled after walks, playtime, and training sessions.
Each morning after walking my American Bully puppy and going through a 5-10 minute training session I would put him down for a nap. Later in the afternoon I would get him out for a potty break, some fun playtime, and then back down again for a nap. Before dinner, and later in the evening I would follow a similar routine.
This pattern of active time followed by sleep time gave my American Bully puppy a chance to get the most out of his active awake times, and easily rest and recover during sleep time. WIthout fail this cycle, when kept consistent, will keep your puppy from getting into too much mischief and avoid problem behaviors.
Show Your American Bully Puppy Where To Sleep
Showing your American Bully puppy where to sleep will further solidify your routines and provide them with a familiar area to wind down and rest. It is always my recommendation that you use a crate with your puppy, but even if you choose not to crate train, a designated area for sleep will be needed.
My American Bully uses a nice comfortable crate. A large enough space for him to stand up and turn around, but not big enough that he has space to go potty in a corner. Along with a soft comfortable bed. Whenever it is time for a nap I would lead my puppy to his crate and have him settle in for some rest. Before long he was putting himself to bed.
It’s always heartwarming and cute to have your American Bully puppy sleep next to you on the couch, or on your lap, but it is important to show them a designated sleep spot. Sleeping next to you too often can develop a dependency on you being present in order for them to sleep. Make the majority of nap time in their crate or designated sleep spot.
The crate I use is something I swear by and recommend to everyone. This iCrate from MidWest Homes is one of the best crates on the market. Easy to assemble, transport, and fold away when needed. It has an adjustable panel as well that you can use as your American Bully puppy grows.
Leave Your American Bully Undisturbed When Sleeping
The space that you designate for your American Bully puppy to sleep should be free of distractions, sounds, and other things that might disturb them. Areas that are dimly lit, quiet, and free from things that might wake your puppy are the ideal places for nap time.
My American Bully sleeps next to my bed in his crate. My bedroom is dark and quiet during the day and excellent for nap time. This space provides my puppy with an area where he will not be disturbed and can get a quality rest during the day.
Recognize The Signs Of An Overtired American Bully Puppy
Signs of an overtired puppy are cues for you to begin a naptime routine. American Bully puppies have a lot of energy when they are awake, but when they become overtired they can become problematic.
My American Bully had the habit of nipping and biting more, as well as zooming around my home when he became over tired. This primarily happened when I would have guests over and he was over stimulated and passed due for his nap.
When this behavior began to surface I knew it was time to calm him down and get him ready for a nap. Lowering the excited behavior by removing any stimulating toys, activities, and treats was the first step. Next was to calmly lead him to his sleeping area and settle him in for a nap. There was the occasional protest, but these were short lived and within minutes he would be snoring away.
Signs of an overtired puppy include:
- Excessive nipping and biting
- Getting the zoomies
- Bad manners (jumping up, getting into mischief, etc..)
- Wide crazy eyes
- Excessive barking
- Following you around at your heels everywhere
- Excessive panting and licking
How To Help Your American Bully Puppy Sleep – Night Time
Helping your American Bully puppy sleep at night is very similar to during the day with a few variations. In the end it comes down to a set of routines, familiarities, and calm environments. These are some of the techniques I use every night to ensure my American Bully puppy (and myself) have the best sleep possible.
Create A Bedtime Routine For Your American Bully Puppy
Creating a bedtime routine for your American Bully puppy will ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep. Just like the routines we set up in the daytime, bedtime routines need to remain consistent.
The bedtime routine I have set up for my American Bully puppy starts about 2 hours before we go to bed. I make sure he has had a chance to have a last drink of water and that he has been fed and then removed his water and food dish. This keeps late night potty breaks to a minimum, if at all.
Around 30-45 minutes before it is bedtime I take my American Bully out for his last walk of the day. This gives him a chance to go potty one last time, and burn off any remnants of puppy energy he might still have in the tank. An empty bladder and energy level has him primed for sleep.
Once it is bedtime I invite my puppy into his crate and calmly get him settled in for the night. I avoid any sort of excited behavior prior to this and establish a nice and chill household for him to unwind.
Make Your Puppy’s Sleeping Area Comfy And Inviting
Putting your American Bully puppy to bed is much easier when their sleeping area is super comfy and cozy. The designated sleeping area for your puppy should have a nice soft and supportive dog bed, enough space to move around a little, and a decent room temperature so they are not too hot or cold.
It only took a week of crate training my American Bully before he began putting himself to bed if I was slightly behind schedule. He loves his comfy crate and knows he can go to this space for a good sleep and be undisturbed for the rest of the night.
Keep The Sleeping Area Primed For Sleep
I make it a habit to not watch T.V. or play with my phone in bed. My American Bully puppy sleeps right next to me in his crate and I want to make sure loud sounds, bright flashing lights, and other disturbing sights and sounds are not present.
Whether your American Bully puppy sleeps in your room in a designated spot, or in a separate room, it should be quiet and dark enough for sleep. Keep distractions out of their sleeping area altogether to prime them for a good sleep each night.
Remain Vigilant And Prepare For Protest
There will be days where your puppy just doesn’t want to go to bed. The expectation of playtime might still be high late into the evening and escorting them to the sleeping area will spark a protest.
To this you must remain vigilant and not give in to their mini protests. My American Bully cried and whined a few times in his first couple weeks at home. He was not ready for bedtime and would protest with vigor. I knew he was not in distress and ignored this behavior. After a few minutes he would settle and be sound asleep.
Remain strong against the protesting puppy at bedtime. Ignoring the behavior is your best option. Interactions both positive and negative only escalate the excitement level, and reinforces to your puppy that protests equal attention.
There were only a couple weeks of occasional protests with my puppy, and since then he doesn’t even bother anymore. He knows his protests fall on deaf ears. Besides the occasional dramatic sigh, Chester now goes to bed without a fuss and falls asleep peacefully in no time.
Expect Mid-Night Interruptions And Prepare Accordingly
Puppies have small bladders and very little control over them in the early days. Middle of the night interruptions for potty breaks can, and will be a thing in the first couple months. Even the best laid routines of evening walks, and removing food and drinking bowls can’t prevent the occasional late night potty break.
Expect this to be a thing for the first little while and prepare. Calmly take your puppy out to their potty spot, allow them to do their business, and return them back to their crate. Avoid any kind of excited behavior. Calm and gentle praise for doing their business, and calm and quiet returns to their sleeping area.
American Bully puppies need good quality sleep during the day and at night. Preparing your dog’s environment, routines, and your expectations is important in having a healthy, well behaved puppy.
For the sake of your dog’s health, cognitive ability, and behavior, these techniques should be used to promote good sleeping habits. Not only will they help your dog get the rest and recovery they need, but also help you get the rest and recovery you need.
Owning a new American Bully puppy can be tiring. Those 6 hours that they are awake can seem like forever some days. Routines, familiar places, and proactive approaches to their sleep will make life much easier for you and your puppy.