Poodles are one of the most popular breeds of dogs out there and work well for almost any family. They are usually very easy going and child-friendly, smart, slightly hyper, and very loyal. If you are considering adding a poodle to your family, you may have questions about caring for it.
Where, when, and how much should a poodle sleep? Poodle puppies will need 15 to 20 hours of sleep per day, while adolescent and adult poodles will sleep about 12 hours. Locations for sleep vary from home to home, but the important part is to give your poodle a consistent, safe, and comfortable place to sleep.
As with most dogs, when and how often a poodle sleeps largely depends on its size and age. Poodles come in three breed sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. Each size has different needs – and even ages differently than the next. So, to determine poodle sleeping needs, let’s check into it a bit more.
How Much Sleep Should Your Poodle Get?
As previously mentioned, the different sizes of poodles and ages require different amounts of sleep. You should expect your poodle’s sleep habits to change throughout their lifetime, and this should not be alarming. However, a general guide of what to expect from your pet’s sleep schedule is:
- Puppies – Poodle puppies from birth to the age of eight months can sleep anywhere from 15 to 20 hours a day. These sleeping habits should drop with age, with smaller puppies sleeping more than those that are closer to a year old. Around the time when you would purchase a puppy, eight to twelve weeks, you can expect them to be very active when awake and still sleep several hours per day.
- Adolescent and Adult Poodles – Starting around a year old, your poodle may sleep around 13 hours a day. Most poodles will adopt some form of sleep schedule at this point, usually mirroring their owners or family schedule. Dogs that are left alone are more prone to taking naps, or if your pet has been very active, they may nap for a few hours each day.
- Senior Poodles – Senior dogs will have an increase in sleep and napping times, going back to similar sleeping hours of puppies. The size of the poodle will determine when it is considered a senior. For example, a toy poodle is a senior at ten years, a miniature poodle is senior at eight to nine years, and a standard poodle is a senior at seven years. As your pet ages, you should allow them to nap as needed and take them on walks, but never overly push exercise.
Your Pet’s Sleep Schedule
Since smaller puppies sleep so much during the day, it can be challenging to get them on an effective sleep schedule. However, you should do your best to keep them awake around when you go to sleep so that they are ready for bed when you are. If your poodle puppy is napping in the late evenings, you may find yourself being kept up at night due to them being active while you are resting.
Most poodles will adapt to their owner’s sleep schedule, and this will happen naturally over time. Of course, providing your puppy with a safe, warm bed early on and starting good sleep habits early can help speed up this process. While clearly your puppy will need to nap early on, you want to help keep these naps earlier in the day and have them tired at bedtime.
Your adult dog will still nap at times, especially if they are left alone during the day. Dogs that are home alone during the day while their owners are at work, school, etc. will often nap from boredom. However, if you have an older dog, this should not affect their sleep at night.
Music can also help to relax your poodle while you’re away. This video has calming music I’m sure your poodle will enjoy:
Where Should Your Poodle Sleep?
A big part of your poodle’s sleep schedule is providing them with a safe place to sleep. Though the easiest way to give your poodle a safe place to sleep is to purchase them a bed from your local pet store, Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc. These beds come in a variety of sizes and styles to fit your pet’s needs.
However, many opt for crate training their pets, especially if they are away during the day. This can be a great option if you want to train your pet and avoid any mishaps while you are away. While some pet owners are very attached to their poodle and offer their pet the option of sleeping in their bed.
Choosing the Best Bed for Your Poodle
You want to choose a bed for your poodle that provides comfort, safety, and ensures a quality sleep for your pet. When choosing a bed, you want to look for the following features:
- The bed should fit your dog’s age, size, and breed. For example, a miniature poodle will need a much smaller bed than a standard poodle.
- Make sure the bed you choose can easily be washed and is easy to maintain.
- Choose a durable bed that is of high quality.
- Choose a good material, especially one that has extra fluff for better comfort.
- Decide where you want to place the bed and ensure the one you choose is a good shape and size.
- If you plan to add a bed to a crate, you will want to find one that fits properly.
Best Bed Brands for Poodles
There are several dog bed brands out there that you can choose from, whether this is in person or online. You can always visit your local pet store to see beds in real life and better judge, which works for your pet. However, if you prefer, here are a few excellent beds for poodles on Amazon:
This bed is one of the first ones you will find when searching for the best dog beds for poodles. It is not only soft and comfortable, but it is also very safe. The bed is designed not to slip around when your pet is lying down, which is great for older dogs. Also, it has an ergonomic design and comes in a good size.
The bed is amazingly soft, yet still firm enough to provide quality sleep. It has an orthopedic design, ergonomic features, and is beyond comfortable for your pup. Even better, this bed has a removable and washable cover to keep it clean easily.
This bed is literally tailored to work for poodles and is perfect for your pup. It is the ideal size, material, and softness for the breed. You can even find this bed with a blanket, and a pillow included. Plus, these beds are easy to clean.
Should Your Pet Sleep with You?
Many who add a new puppy to their home allow it to sleep in their bed. This truly has some mixed reviews and mixed advice on if it is ok or not. Essentially, it is down to you as the pet owner, but I will discuss the positives and negatives of each.
First, sharing your bedroom with your poodle can actually improve your sleep, as noted in this New York Times article. This does not necessarily mean in your bed but in your room itself. However, letting your pet sleep in your bed is a great bonding experience, especially if you spend the days away from your dog.
The problem many have with this is because, in the past, experts highly advised against letting your dog sleep in the bed with you. In fact, most used to state that it would promote poor behavior in your dog and could even lead to illness. However, more recent studies have shown that a healthy dog can sleep with their owner with no issues.
If you do have a smaller puppy, you will want to practice safe sleeping methods with your pup. If you are a heavy sleeper or tend to move around a lot, you may want to avoid letting your poodle sleep with you. Also, you never want to put them under the blankets, especially puppies, because they can suffocate easily.
Poodles Are Great Indoor Pets
We will further discuss why your poodle should be kept indoors, but poodles are one of the best breeds for an indoor pet. They are hypoallergenic, which means most individuals who are allergic to dogs do not have a reaction to poodles. If you do want your pet to sleep with you, you should not have a reaction to your pet as long as they are healthy.
Crate Training Your Poodle and Sleep
While poodles are an excellent breed of dog, bringing any rambunctious puppy into your home can be challenging. However, one way that many are training their dogs from an early age is through using crates while they are away. this is a great way to create a well-mannered dog and protect your home from havoc while you are away.
Using crate training is excellent for those who have to work or attend school during the day and need to leave their pup alone for this time. Also, this is a great way to assist in housebreaking, obedience, and various other forms of training. Of course, this is a great place for your dog to sleep while you are away and stay safe.
Some do not agree with crate training because of the limited space, but these crates are not meant for continuous use and should be only used when needed. For many curious puppies, being in a crate when they cannot be monitored, can actually keep them safer. For some older dogs, the poodles use the crate as their own personal space, making them feel safer during storms when owners are away, or simply a place to relax.
If you do choose to crate train, you should pick a crate that has adequate size for your dog now and has room for growth. Many will place beds or bedding inside of the crate to keep it comfortable for their dog when in use. You should not pick an overly large crate, as your dog will begin using the crate for bathroom purposes, which goes against the training aspect.
If you would like to learn more about crate training your poodle, this article will help you learn everything you need to know. Everything from the exact step by step process to what size crate you will need to make your poodle comfortable.
Sleeping Basics of Crate Training
A few things to keep in mind if you do opt for this method and choose a crate for sleeping purposes are:
- NEVER use the crate for punishment, as this can make your dog associate with it negatively.
- Always give your dog an ample amount of running and playtime.
- Try to incorporate regular walks or exercise, especially if crate bound for several hours.
- Do offer your pup toys or safe treats while away, so they do not become overly bored in the crate.
- Allow your dog to enter their crate when desired; this often becomes their safe haven.
- Make sure to clean any bedding, toys, blankets, etc. regularly.
- If needed, buy a bigger crate as your poodle grows.
Can Poodles Sleep Outside?
If you are hoping to add a dog to your home but cannot keep them indoors, a poodle may not be the best choice for you. While poodles technically can be kept outdoors, they are not the best breed for this. In fact, keeping your poodle outdoors can be very risky as they can develop an illness or anxiety.
While poodles can be kept outside for some time, they should not be kept outside for the majority of their lives. If you truly want a poodle and must keep it outdoors, a standard poodle is your best choice. Miniature and toy poodles simply do not fare well outdoors at all and should be kept primarily indoors.
Why Poodles Should Live Inside
Many associate poodles with being wimpy dogs or a fickle breed. This is really not the case, and they are actually quite a tough dog. However, there are some key reasons genetically as to why they should not be kept outdoors and the risks that come with this.
Poodle Hair is Not Designed for Harsh Weather
Unlike other dogs, poodles have more of a hair-like coat instead of fur. The hair is dense, coarse, and curly, but not great at holding in heat. While swimming or exercising, many poodles can stay warm but not while remaining still.
The coat of hair is only effective when the poodle is in constant motion, which means they can become extremely cold when sitting still or sleeping outside. This is why many poodle owners put sweaters or other clothing items on their dogs when outside in cooler weather. If you live in an area with harsher winters or cold nights, outside is simply not an option for your pup.
Poodles Need A LOT of Attention
Poodles are extremely social pets and thrive on human interaction. While having multiple pets can help keep them occupied and less lonely, they still need a lot of care from their owners. While you can still care for an outdoor pet, it is proven that these dogs do not get as much interaction as their indoor counterparts.
If you have a poodle outdoors, you must make a diligent effort to give them affection, go on walks, play with them, etc. daily. If this is something you do not believe you can do because of other circumstances, it may not be time to purchase a new dog. When poodles are left alone for too long, they can become extremely anxious, act out, and even become depressed.
Risks of Poodles Living Outside
If you are still considering purchasing a poodle for outdoor living, you should consider the risks that this poses to your dog. Just some of the risks of having your poodle outdoor are;
Risks During Hot Weather:
- Dehydration – War weather requires your pup to take in more water than during cooler days. While you may make it a point to put more water in their bowl, it can still be difficult to monitor water intake. Also, if your dog forgets to drink regularly, they can get dehydrated, heat exhausted, or even have a heat stroke.
- Sunburn – This may seem odd, but poodles can actually get sunburn from extended sun exposure. While they do have hair, this may not be enough to protect your dog from extended sun exposure. This can also lead to dry, itchy, or flaky skin.
- Burned paws – Walking on hot surfaces can burn your dog’s paws.
- Heat exhaustion or heat stroke – While these have already been mentioned once, it is important to keep these risks in mind. When your dog is outdoors, it can encourage them to play to the point of exhaustion.
- Illness – Outdoor dogs are simply susceptible to more bacteria, parasites, and other diseases than those that are primarily kept indoors. Also, when an outdoor dog is thirsty, it can seek less than sanitary water sources, which also makes them more likely to get sick.
Risks During Cold Weather:
- Damaged paws – Just like hot weather, cold weather can also damage paws with extended exposure. Stepping on the frozen or very cold ground can be harmful to your dog.
- Cracked nose and skin – Dry or cracked skin is even more likely during the colder months. Cold weather can cause the dog’s nose to freeze and even crack, which can be very damaging.
- Hypothermia – Just like humans, dogs can experience hypothermia when subjected to cold weather for extended periods of time. If you are not providing your dog with proper heat and cold weather protection, they can even die from hypothermia.
- Dehydration – While dogs do not need as much water during the cooler months, they still need an adequate amount. The problem is, water bowls will freeze, and the dog is not able to drink properly. If not checked regularly, your dog’s water may not be drinkable, and you may not notice until its too late.
Standard Poodles as Outside Dogs
As mentioned, standard poodles are about the only type that can be kept outdoors. We will further discuss what is needed to ensure that your dog stays as safe as possible. However, miniature and toy breeds are simply not meant to stay outside.
The smaller breeds do not have enough fat to keep them warm and are on the daintier side than the standard poodles are. Smaller dogs, in general, have a harder time adapting to environmental changes and can be more susceptible to the weather while standard poodles have a little more durability and body fat for weather protection.
If you do want to purchase a poodle to keep outdoors, a standard poodle is truly the best option for you. While you should still be diligent to give your dog the best care possible and keep them as safe as possible while outdoors, standard poodles are the only real option.
Alternative Options to Outdoor Sleeping
If you must keep your dog outdoors for an extended period of time or even only at night, you should consider other alternatives. If this is your own personal preference, you have more leeway on where to keep your pet and their sleeping options. However, if your landlord does not allow indoor pets, you may be more limited on their sleeping options.
For those who are seeking alternatives to outdoor living for your pet, some options are:
- Crate train your pet – We have already discussed crate training and how to do this properly. If you simply have a rambunctious pup or you do not want it to have complete access to your home while you are away or sleeping, crate training is a great option. You can always block off an area of your home for your dog to sleep at night or stay during harsher weather.
- Use the garage – If you do not want your poodle in the main living area of your home, you can create an area for them in your garage. This is usually a warmer area and is safe from the elements that they will experience outdoors. You will still need to let them out for restroom breaks, exercise, and play regularly but they can sleep more safely in the garage area.
- Buy your dog a kennel – If you want to ensure that your pet is sleeping in the proper area and is protected from the elements, you will want to purchase a kennel. Having a kennel available is a safer way for them to sleep, eat, and rest during the day or night. They can always be let out of the kennel during the day for breaks and to exercise.
How to Safely Keep Your Poodle Outdoors?
By this point, you should know the risks involved with keeping your poodle outdoors for extended periods of time and allowing them to sleep outside. However, if you are still going to do this, you should do your best to lower these risks and keep your pet as safe as possible. If you do have a poodle that you need to keep outdoors, there are some things you can do to lower the risks and give your pup the most fulfilling life possible.
Some of the things you can do to keep your poodle safe outdoors are:
- Fence in your yard – Poodles are not a breed that tends to try to escape or run away, but they will wander off if allowed. It is highly not recommended to chain up your dog, but you should limit the area they can go through fencing. As mentioned, a kennel is a great way to keep them in one place as well, as long as they are given an adequate amount of time to run each day.
- Provide adequate shade and shelter – Your poodle needs an adequate amount of shade and shelter, especially during warm and cold months. Provide your dog with some form of a doghouse, but you want something that is well-built, insulated, and large enough for them to rest in. You should also add additional insulation during cold months through a comfy bed, blankets, or other materials. Planting trees in your yard can also provide additional shade for your dog during cold months.
- Always give your dog food and water – You will want to ensure that your pet always has an adequate amount of food and water daily. You should always supply additional food and water during the warmer months when it is more needed. Put proper food and water dish near your dog’s home, in a shady area where they can easily access it.
- Always take time to play with your poodle – As mentioned, poodles are very social dogs and need regular human interaction. While they may not be able to sleep indoors, you may bring them inside occasionally for attention and love. Also, make it a point to take your dog on a walk, play fetch, or simply give them some extra love every day.
- Pay attention to behavior changes – Make it a point to note any changes in your pet’s health and emotional behavior. You should watch for changes in appetite, behavior, or health and do your best to access these changes to find their core cause. If you do notice a health concern, you should take your poodle to the vet as soon as possible for care.