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Client Question: Puppy Not Settling Down In Evening & Won’t Come Inside When Called

Puppy Not Settling Down In Evening & Won't Come Inside When Called

Charlotte Bryan

Published On Jan 09,2024

A question from a client regarding a puppy who is struggling to settle in the evenings and won’t come inside.


Hey Charlotte! Struggling with something with Maui at the moment and wondering if you’ve any advice.

When we first got her, we established a night time routine with Maui , that she comes inside around 6:30-7pm and settles on her mat for family time. Normally she is quite happy to just stay there and often will doze off. Maui has turned 5 months and the last couple of weeks we are finding that she sometimes doesn’t want to come inside. I don’t know if there’s anything in it, but it seems to have been fine when I’m at home but when I’m not it’s a real problem (I’ve been travelling a lot the last few weeks). Last night Courtney let her stay out for quite a while, because all Maui wanted to do was chase and eat beetles. But she wouldn’t stop and just ended up getting super hyped up until Courtney made her come inside at 8:15 – even then she still wouldn’t settle.

Is this a normal thing? She had a big day playing with other dogs yesterday and didn’t have her naps (and day naps have been hit and miss the last few weeks as well). We really enjoy having her just relaxing with us in front of the TV before bed, and not having that is stressing us out a bit!

My answer:

Hi Tom,

Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year. Sorry for the delay.

It seems like Maui’s behaviour might be influenced by a combination of factors including changes in routine, lack of daytime naps, increased activity, and possibly your absence due to traveling. Here are some suggestions to try:

Consistency in Routine: Try to get back to that consistent routine for Maui, it seems like it was working well, especially during evenings when you’re home. Consistency helps dogs feel secure and know what to expect before bed. I know I always talk about how we should not establish a routine as a general rule so our puppies grow up to be more adaptable but I think a mini-routine just before bedtime while be really helpful in settling Maui down. The blanket was a great idea.

Sufficient Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Ensure Maui is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation during the day. Engaging her in interactive games or longer walks can help tire her out and encourage her to settle in the evening.

Daytime Naps: Ensure Maui is still getting lots of naps throughout the day. Puppies need ample rest, and disrupted naps might contribute to evening restlessness or hyperactivity.

Supervised Outdoor Time: When Maui is outside, especially during the evening, try to keep her calm and prevent activities escalating into overly stimulating activities like chasing insects. I’d use a leash during that time. Even if you just let the leash drag on the ground. When it’s time to come inside, just pick up the leash and lead her in rather than trying to call her and have her ignore you.

Remember, transitions in behaviour during a puppy growth phases are very common so I don’t think it’s a permanent issue – she will settle more as she gets older if we using some of the above strategies to help.

Hope that helps,

Kind regards

Charlotte