A new puppy can be very similar to having a young baby in the house, which is why they need to be treated accordingly. We need to teach them how to use the toilet, socialising and very importantly, there sleeping schedule and where they will be sleeping. If you do not teach your puppy how to sleep through the night, they may cry or bark which can end up disturbing your sleep.
This can be a very troublesome task that may take some time to complete properly. Here are some tips to ensure that both you and your puppy get a full night’s sleep with no interruptions.
- Establish a sleeping place:
When bringing home a new puppy, it is important to establish their very own sleeping place which can come in the form of a kennel or a crate. This area should be big enough for them to stretch out in and manoeuvre around. The sleeping area should be lined with newspaper in case of any accidents as well as a dog bed/pillow in a separate raised area so the puppy is not sleeping in its own waste.
- Let your dog find his place:
Once you’ve chosen where your puppy will sleep and what in, it is time for you to train them where and when to go there at their own free will. Never pick up your dog and place them there as they will perceive this as a negative, instead, lead it there with treats so they connect bedtime with a positive thing.
Their sleeping place should also be very appealing to them with warm blankets, soft and comfortable bedding, and located somewhere they like. It can also be a good idea to allow them to take their favourite toy for comfort or leaving the radio on for a couple of hours at low volume to help them sleep. Don’t ever use their bed as a form of punishment as they can become stressed at bed time due to them thinking they are being punished.
- Don’t let your dog sleep on your bed straight away:
It may be hard at first to not have your puppy sleep at the foot of your bed, however it is both your best interests to associate bedtime with their kennel or crate. Later on you can slowly allow them to sleep on your bed. If they cry or bark, it is important to ignore this behaviour as if you pander to them it can reinforce them to think that they can call upon you whenever they want.
- Create boundaries:
Never allow your dog to enter your bedroom or your bed on their own without being invited to do so. You have to create strict rules that show that you are the boss – wake up on your own terms; let your puppy wait for you before their day starts; and ignore their cries and barks.
- Food and water:
To allow your puppy to fully digest their food and have time for the toilet, they should be fed their last meal for the day about 3 hours before bed time. If they are fed any closer to bed time, it is very likely thy will need to go to the toilet during the night. This is the same with drinking water – encourage them to have a drink a couple of hours before bedtime.
- Toilet time:
The last thing that you and your pup should do before going to bed is taking them to the toilet. Give them ample opportunity to go to the toilet so they don’t wake up during the night and can get a full sleep as well as teaching them that this will be their last chance to go to the toilet before bed time. If you keep the same routine every time before bed, they will associate this with their toilet time and begin to have a routine.
Puppies can be very energetic and excited at random times throughout the day. If they are very energetic just before bedtime, it may be a lot more difficult in getting them to settle down and sleep. Therefore, it is very important to tire them out in the hours before bedtime in the form of walks, play time or games. It is also important to make your games calmer the closer you are to bedtime as it will be an easier transition for them to sleep.
The most important thing to remember is that training your puppy takes time. Any changes in their sleeping arrangements will take a while for them to get used to. Plenty of exercise and establishing a routine is a sure way of both you and your puppy having a good night’s sleep.