If your Labrador is restless at night, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common causes and what you can do about them.
So, why is my Labrador restless at night? Possible reasons are that there is an issue with its diet, it’s not getting enough exercise, there is a problem with its sleeping environment, separation anxiety or you might have reinforced the behavior by rewarding it.
There are many possible reasons why it has been being restless at night and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Labrador is restless at night
Below are a number of common reasons why Labradors can be restless at night and what would make them more likely to be the main reason why yours is restless at night.
A problem with its diet
The reason might be that there is an issue with its diet. It could be the case that it is eating things that it should not be, it is eating too much, not enough or that it is being fed too late at night. An issue with its diet would be more likely if it has started being restless at night since a change in its diet or if it does it more when it is fed certain foods.
It would help to make sure that you have been feeding it correctly by talking to your vet about its diet. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding it. It would also help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing.
Not enough exercise
Labradors are supposed to get daily exercise. When Labradors do not get enough exercise, it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be a part of the reason why yours is being restless at night. This would be more likely if it tends to be more restless when it is not able to get exercise. Generally, it is advised for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.
There is a problem with its sleeping environment
It might also be the case that a problem with its sleeping environment has been causing it to struggle to fall asleep. This would be more likely if the room it sleeps in is too hot, bright or if there is not an area for it to lie down comfortably.
It would help to make sure that the room it sleeps in is cool, not too bright and that there is an area where it can lie down.
It might also be the case that your Labrador has been doing it due to having some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if your Labrador is restless at night when it cannot sleep in the same room as you and if it starts being anxious when you are going to bed.
You have inadvertently rewarded it
It could also be the case that you have encouraged it to behave that way by giving it things that it wants when it does it.
Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it starts being restless unless it is necessary and to wait for it to calm down before giving it attention.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your Labrador is restless at night.
When it started doing it
If your Labrador was not always restless at night, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as a change in its diet, a change in its sleeping environment, having to go to sleep at different times or getting less exercise.
When it does it more
It would also help to consider what is different when it gets restless at night.
If you notice that it is not always hyper at night then it could be that:
- It is less hyper when it gets more exercise
- It is less hyper when it is fed earlier in the evening
- It’s less hyper when you have given it more attention during the day
How old it is
It would also help to consider the age of your Labrador.
If it is still a puppy then it would be more likely that it is restless at night because it needs to pee more often. It would be likely that it will calm down as it gets older.
What to do about your Labrador being restless at night
Below are some things you can do about your Labrador being restless at night.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that Labradors get daily exercise when they are healthy adults. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day.
Deal with its separation anxiety
If it does seem to have some separation anxiety it would help to take measures to reduce it.
To do this you could do as follows:
- Make it seem like you are about to go to bed by walking to your room
- Reward your Labrador for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
- Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by putting your hand on the door handle
- Reward your Labrador for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
- Actually open the door and go into your room for a few moments then come back and reward your Labrador
- Repeat the above, leaving it for slightly longer
Ensure that it is getting the right diet
It would also help to ensure that your Labrador is getting the right diet. You can do this by talking to your vet about its diet and by looking here to see what it should and should not be eating.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been encouraging it to be energetic at night by giving it rewards when it does it. Instead of giving it things that it wants when it is hyper at night it would help to reward it when it is calm and to wait for it to be calm before rewarding if possible.
Consider crate training
Crate training involves training your Labrador to learn to be comfortable inside of a crate designed for dogs.
If you crate train your Labrador in the right way it will give it an area where it can feel safe. This should help to reduce how anxious it becomes at night and to help it fall asleep more easily.
Take it for a checkup
If your Labrador has started being hyper at night suddenly or it has been behaving unusually in other ways as well, it would help to take it to the vet for a checkup. By doing so you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador and to rule out the possibility of illness or injury.
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