If your Golden Retriever won’t sleep at night you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why they won’t do it and what you can do to get it to fall asleep more easily.
So, why won’t my Golden Retriever sleep at night? Possible reasons are that there is an issue with its diet, it’s not getting enough exercise, illness, a problem with its sleeping environment, separation anxiety or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
Your Golden Retriever might not sleep at night for many reasons and it could be due to a combination of them. But, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the main reason. There are also a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever won’t sleep at night
Below are some common reasons why Golden Retrievers don’t sleep at night and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours does not.
The cause might be that there is an issue with its diet. It could be eating too late, eating too much, not enough, things that it should not be or it might not be getting the right nutrients in its diet.
It would be more likely to be due to a problem with its diet if it suddenly started staying awake at night at around the same time that its diet changed and if it does it when it eats certain foods.
It would help to ask your vet about your Golden Retriever’s diet when you see them next. You can also look here to see what you should be feeding your Golden Retriever. It would also help to make sure that no one else is feeding it things that they shouldn’t be.
Not enough exercise
Golden Retrievers are meant to get daily exercise. When they do not get enough, it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be part of the reason why yours doesn’t sleep at night. This would be more likely if it tends to do it when it has not been able to get exercise.
It is generally recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy adults.
Illness or injury
The reason why it has been doing it might also be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as vomiting or limping. If it does seem like it could be ill or injured the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Its sleeping environment is not ideal
It might be the case that it struggles to sleep in the room that it normally has to sleep in. This would be more likely if the room is bright at night, hot or there is not an area for your Golden Retriever to go to sleep.
It might be the case that your Golden Retriever does not like it when it is left alone and being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if your Golden Retriever is able to sleep when it can sleep in the same room as you or if it starts showing signs of anxiety when you are leaving.
It might be worth following the tips given in this book on Amazon about dealing with dog separation anxiety.
Rewarding the behavior
The cause could be that you have trained it to be alert at night by giving it things it wants when it does not go to sleep. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it does not go to sleep, it will encourage it to do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead of giving it things such as extra attention when it stays awake, try to reward it in the mornings when it sleeps well and to follow the other tips mentioned below.
Stress or anxiety
It could be the case that something has been causing your Golden Retriever to become stressed. This would be more likely if it has been showing other signs of being stressed such as pacing, crying or hiding. I have written more about why your Golden Retriever might be anxious and what you can do about it in this post.
How to get it to sleep at night
Below are some options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to sleep at night. Making use of a combination of them will likely work best.
Ensure that its diet is right
It would help to make sure that your Golden Retriever is eating the right foods. You can look here to see what you should and shouldn’t be feeding it. If you are unsure it would also help to consult with a vet on whether or not its diet might be causing it issues.
Take it to a vet
If your Golden Retriever has been showing signs of illness or injury or it has been struggling to sleep for a long time, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out the possibility of illness or injury and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Golden Retriever.
Ensure that its sleeping environment is ideal
It would also help to make sure that the room it sleeps in is cool, not too bright and that there is an area for it to sleep in comfortably.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that it is able to get daily exercise. If it is a healthy adult, it is normally recommended to give it an hour of exercise per day.
Reduce its separation anxiety
It would also help to train it to be less anxious when you are leaving and when you are not with it.
To do this you could do as follows:
- Make it seem like you are about to leave by doing something such as picking up your keys
- Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
- Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by picking up the keys and putting your hand on the door handle
- Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
- Actually open the door and go outside for a few moments then come back and reward your Golden Retriever
- Repeat the above, each time staying outside for slightly longer
You could do a similar thing in the evening where you get it used to you going to your room at night by building up to it and rewarding your Golden Retriever when it does not show signs of being anxious.