Did any of you get a new puppy recently?
Most of my regular readers already know this, but if you just got a new puppy, I highly recommend you buy a crate/kennel and began having him sleep in the crate from night one.
You could have the crate next to your bed the first couple of nights so your puppy can see you and hopefully cry less. This is a way to give the puppy a little comfort during the adjustment period away from mom but without coddling him too much.
I recommend you use a kennel for your puppy
Some people never use a kennel (I’m using kennel/crate interchangeably) and they somehow manage. I don’t know how they do it. I always use a crate for puppies to help with:
- potty training
- keeping the puppy out of trouble (and keeping her safe)
- giving the puppy a safe, quiet place
If you put your puppy in a crate the first night, he’s less likely to have accidents. He’s not able to chew things he shouldn’t, and it helps him learn a routine of relaxing at night.
I don’t think it matters what kind of crate you want to use. I happen to have a wire, fold-up crate. I like it because it takes up less space and travels easily. I just throw a sheet over it to make it more dark and cozy. It also has a removable tray that’s easy to clean and you can get a divider to make the crate smaller while your puppy is still little.
Keeping the crate in your room vs. another room
Think about where you’ll want your future adult dog to sleep.
If you’ll likely want him in your room, then might as well set up your puppy’s crate in your room now. If you want your future adult dog to sleep in the living room, then think about moving your puppy’s crate to the living room after the first couple of nights. I still recommend you have the crate in your bedroom the first few nights to help him adjust to being away from mom and littermates.
I also recommend you get up once in the middle of the night (every 4 hours or so) to let your puppy out for a potty break, at least for the first two weeks or so.
Don’t let your puppy sleep in your bed
I don’t recommend letting your puppy sleep in your bed. There’s nothing wrong with allowing your dog to sleep with you, I just recommend you wait until he’s at least 6 months old and fully potty trained. And you should be the one who decides where your dog sleeps. If you don’t want him in the bed (I don’t allow mine in the bed; he’s disgusting), that’s fine too.
What if the puppy won’t stop crying in his kennel?
If you think your puppy has to go potty, take him out for a quick break (carry him outside and set him in the grass). Don’t play with him or give attention. Just a quick, serious potty break and then back in the kennel. If he doesn’t go potty, put him back in the kennel and take him out again in 3 hours or so.
Some puppies will cry nonstop in their kennels, especially the first couple of nights. As hard as it is, I recommend you ignore your puppy’s crying. Just have the crate by you so he can see you and he will adjust within a few nights or maybe a few weeks for some.
Making your puppy more comfortable
The first night or two, your puppy will be feeling anxious without his mom and siblings. If possible, place a towel or stuffed animal in the crate that has the scent of his mom and littermates on it. I got this great idea from the blog Puppy in Training, but I know you might not have this option since you’ve likely already picked your puppy up.
One product you can try is a stuffed toy that mimics the sound of a mother dog’s heartbeat. I haven’t tried this. Have any of you?Another thing you can try is to give him a t-shirt or pillowcase of yours that has your scent on it. Or maybe an old stuffed animal of yours or another family member.
Or, you could go so far as to sleep on the floor next to the crate the first night or two or possibly your adult dog (Ace!) would be so kind as to spend a few nights sleeping next to the puppy’s crate.
Other tips to help your puppy sleep:
- Keep him awake all late afternoon and evening so he’s tired when you go to bed
- Play with your puppy in the evening to tire him out
- Put away his food bowl and water bowl at least 2 hours before bed
OK, time to hear from you!
What would you add to this list?
Let me know in the comments!