You may be too excited to sleep anyway, but having a new puppy in your home will undoubtedly interrupt your nightly snooze. Between the whining and the potty breaks, training a puppy to sleep is tough work! But here are some tips for how to get your puppy to sleep at night with your sanity intact…and maybe even catch some much needed zzz’s yourself!
The first week
The first week will surely be a little “ruff” for both of you. Puppy may be especially lonely if you took him away from mom and littermates directly into his new home. Though it will be tempting, try your best to resist the urge to let baby sleep in bed with you, especially for the first few nights!
Start good crate training habits right away by making a comfy den for your pup. This should include the following:
A washable bed or blanket, and some exciting chew toys. If your pup is bored or stressed, it will help to have something comforting to lay or chew on.
The right spot. Bringing the crate into your bedroom, at least in the beginning, may help to relax your pup. Being close to his new human will make him feel a little more comfortable.
A good exercise regimen. It helps if your pup is nice and tired before you put him into the crate for the night. So make sure to have a rousing play session or a long evening walk before tucking him in.
Something relaxing. If your pup seems a little anxious in the crate, I’ve found that putting an Adaptil® diffuser, which contains synthetic dog pheromones, by the crate can help take the edge off. I’ve also had success with a hot water bottle in the crate with the pup – it feels good to them to cuddle with something warm and soft, just like a littermate or mom!
Plenty of patience…and earplugs! There may be some crying the first few nights, but do not take the puppy out of the crate. Make sure he’s had a potty break, has something to chew on and then leave him be. Sometimes they just need to cry it out. Of course, if your pup was happily sleeping, but starts crying in the middle of the night, he may need an overnight potty break…so don’t ignore that one!
Remember, the first few nights will set the stage for the rest of your puppy’s life! So take this opportunity while he is behaviorally buoyant to get him into a sleepy-time routine. Once your pup is happily sleeping through the night and not having accidents in the home, you can give him a little more freedom!
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