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Since you welcomed that cute little ball of Beagle fluff into your home, life has flown by. Beagles are known to be even-tempered, gentle, and intelligent. Your Beagle certainly lives up to all of those expectations. However, he doesn’t half seem to have a strange sleeping pattern. You put him to bed at night but you can hear him roaming and playing around from upstairs. Then he’ll spend half the day sleeping. So, when you do want to give him attention, he’s tired, and when he wants attention you’re getting your much-needed shut-eye.
You want him awake and lively when the kids are around and you want him on the same body clock as everyone else in the house. Training him to sleep at night will also be good for his health. Dogs, like humans, need a long and undisrupted sleep.
Training a Beagle to sleep at night is definitely achievable. They are smart dogs so they should respond to training swiftly. The first thing you’ll need to do is look at his routine. You need to ensure he has a consistent routine with plenty of exercise and attention. You’ll then need to take a number of steps to encourage him to sleep in the evening.
If he’s a puppy, he should need lots of sleep for growing. You could see results in just a week or two. If he’s older and had strange sleeping habits throughout his life then you may need up to 6 weeks to get him into a consistent routine. Succeed with this training and you won’t have to worry about coming downstairs to see he’s been up all night causing havoc on your furniture.
Before training can begin you will need to gather a few things. You may need to get him a comfy new bed. If he’s a puppy he will need a crate to sleep in to start with.
You’ll also need to set aside some time each day for playing and exercising. You’ll also need some treats and his favorite food to motivate him throughout. Some food puzzles will also be needed for one of the methods.
Apart from that you just need patience and a positive attitude. Once you have all that, you’re ready to go!
The Puppy Bed Time Method
A toy to chew on
Some young Beagle dogs are up at night because they are teething. This can cause serious discomfort. So, give him a chewable toy to sink his teeth into in the evenings. Leave one in his bed and he’ll have something to help him drift off and keep the pain at bay.
Crate close by
Keep the crate relatively close to you to start with. Those first few weeks can be the hardest as Beagle puppies develop a close connection with their owners. So, let him sleep in just the next room or two to start with until he’s settled.
Increase the distance
As the weeks go by, you can sleep further and further away from him. His confidence will quickly grow and any separation anxiety that’s keeping him up will quickly subside.
Beagle puppies have lots of energy. Energy that may be keeping them up at night. Leaving a food puzzle for him in the evening is a good way to tire him out. It will take time and effort to get to the food in the middle. By the time he has gotten there he’ll be in serious need of a sleep.
Give him encouragement and praise whenever you see him in his bed in the evening. Also, make sure you give him lots of praise when you catch him in his bed in the morning. If he associates being in bed at night with attention from his owner then he’ll be more likely to stay put.
The Routine Method
Make sure you take him out for a decent walk each day. Beagles have lots of energy so they need a good run around. You can make his current walk longer or you can throw a ball for him as you walk around. With enough exercise his body will force him into sleeping at the end of a long day.
It’s important he gets his meals at the same time each day. If you can set a consistent routine then he will be able to relax in-between meals. It’s all about bringing his body clock in line with yours.
Make sure you take him out to the toilet first thing in the morning and before he goes to bed. Some dogs don’t sleep because they need the toilet. If he knows he’ll get to go outside first thing in the morning he’ll be more able to relax and sleep in between.
Make sure you spend a few minutes each day giving him attention. This play time will not only help tire him out but it will also satisfy any attention-seeking behavior. Simply playing tug of war for 10 minutes should do the trick.
Good morning & good night
Make sure you say "hello" to him each morning and before you go to bed. If he can’t sleep because he has separation anxiety then this should remedy the problem. If he knows you’ll be there to greet him in the morning he’ll be able to relax. Some dogs simply need reassurance.
The Environment Method
Make sure his bed is in a secluded spot. Dogs need privacy so try and position his bed in a spot where he has some walls around him. Three walls would be ideal. If the space feels like it’s truly his he’ll find it easier to relax and sleep.
He may not be sleeping because he doesn’t like his bed. Go out and get him a new one. Make sure it’s big and comfy. The more blankets the better.
Leave a treat out
When it’s approaching bed time, place a treat on his bed. This is the ideal way to lure him into bed in the first place. Beagles, like most dogs, have a weak spot for anything tasty. If a treat is always there he’ll start to look forward to going to bed in the evening.
Spend a couple of minutes before you go to sleep calmly stroking him in his bed. This will help relax and settle him. You don’t want to get him animated so keep it calm and controlled.
Never punish him
If you shout at him when you catch him up at night you’ll only scare him. If he’s terrified he’ll find it even harder to sleep. You must remain calm at all times through out training.
By James Barra
Published: 12/20/2017, edited: 01/08/2021