Where Should My New Puppy Sleep?

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.

where should my new puppy sleep

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.

Order a crate on Amazon here.

Fold up wire dog crate

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?Puppy heartbeat toyAnother 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.

Of course, put some chew toys like a bully stick or Kong in the crate too.

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!

23 thoughts on “Where Should My New Puppy Sleep?”

  1. Our plan was for Bella to sleep on a dog pillow next to our bed. Shep had slept with me for the last three or four years of his life, my way of thanking him for being the best friend a girl could have.
    On Bella’s first night with me alone (the future husband had been with us for the first two nights), she went to her pillow and, as soon as I tucked myself in, she jumped up on the bed. I took her off and told her no, then crawled back in. She jumped up. I repeated, trying to teach her “off.” After four tries I was so tired, I gave up.
    She has slept with us every night since. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

  2. None of us ever slept in crates at night. Katie and I were in dogs beds on the floor next to Mom’s bed with a bell on our collars so she would wake if we got up. She always wanted a dog to sleep in her bed, and that happened with Bailie. The intention was to have her sleep in the kennel…the breeder said she had already been sleeping in a kennel at night, but when she started crying the first night, Mom was so tired and then she just said forget it and hauled Bailie into bed. That was that. Everyone has to do what works the best for them, but no matter what you need a crate for when you are not home, for quiet time, etc.

  3. Rodrigo and Sydney were crated trained as puppies. I put a t-shirt of mine in with them at night for comfort. Scout and Zoey slept in a playpen area and that worked great for them. Blue was also crate trained and did very well.

    The only thing I would add is to set an alarm for a couple times during the night. Little puppies need to go potty and this was a great way to get the training started right away and not depend on puppy pads too much.

    Congrats on the future dog and I wish you the best in choosing your next pup.

  4. It’s funny, I just had this conversation with my sister because she has a new puppy. I really wanted Haley’s crate in our bedroom to have her to close to us but our bedroom is on the far side of the house where she needed to go outside and potty. I didn’t want to carry her to the door because I wanted her to learn the way but it was just too far of a distance to expect her not to have an accident while walking a far distance to the door. So, I decided to keep her crate in the kitchen at first, closer to the back door.

  5. Thanks for the shout out! Those are some great tips. We crate train all of our puppies. I slept on the floor with my first pup, Linus. He sleeps in the bed now, but some morning I’ll wake up and he’ll be in his crate sleeping.

    By the way, when are you getting a puppy? The year we got Linus it rained for two weeks straight which made potty training not too fun. Linus refused to go outside when it was raining. Hopefully this El Nino lets up for you while you get your pup through potty training.

  6. Omg, omg, omg, puppy fever. I attempted to crate train her, and I did use it often during the day for potty-training, but my fiance is a huge softy and simply would not have it any other way – she HAD to sleep with us. She earned her stay by hopping to her puppy pad when she had to go -we were very lucky.

    It seems to me that every puppy seems really sad on the first day. Not sure if it’s us projecting our worried feelings onto them, but they seem to perk up and become more confident in their new environment within a few days.

    I hope Ace gets along with his new baby brother or sister!

  7. I prefer the plastic crates – but for similar reason. Puppies can have dark and cozy space to rest (many of them like using the sides and back to get comfy) and they can’t really see out. They are also very easy to clean.

    Last winter when I was doing the puppy thing, I set the crate up at first in the living room, which was much closer to the door & I slept on the couch nearby. That way I could hear the pup & get him out quickly. I was nearby, but he couldn’t “see” me to whine and cry. It worked well for the first week or so until he was sleeping through night (6+ hours) without need for potty. I also learned the difference between the cry that means “I am sad and lonely” (which typically fades & pup falls asleep) vs. “I need to potty” (which typically becomes more urgent & can sound different).

    Want to add that I am a STRONG advocate for crating from day 1 and using it. Your puppy will get used to it very quickly even if the first few days of puppy crying is heartbreaking. They will go from whimpering to associating the crate with peaceful, rest time VERY quickly.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’ve thought about that option too, just having the crate in the living room and sleeping on the couch for a few nights. That way at least my husband can get a good night’s sleep.

  8. Our pup slept in his crate in the living room for the first 6 or so months. The first two nights the crate was in the bedroom. As Kimberley already mentioned, I also put an alarm during the night, initially every 3 hours, increasing by 15 mins if he hadn’t woken up before. I think it really helped with the potty training (not to mention predictable sleep) and having a rather high-strung and vocal pup it also helped to be in control of this (instead of having a screaming pup demanding to be let out). I do admit to taking him into the bed after the second night-time potty break. No way would he go back to sleep alone but plenty happy to snuggle with me and my partner for another lazy hour. And he does sleep on our bed now.
    I would also suggest collecting the pup early in the day so he has time to get used to all the new smells in his new home and so he has already had a good nap in the crate (for an hour or two in the afternoon).

  9. We bought two crates: One stays upstairs, the other is in the master suite next to my side of the bed. The dog sleeps upstairs because she settles better up there, but originally we had hoped to have her in the downstairs crate.

    When she first came home, a trainer suggested we leave talk radio on for her when we were gone. It really has helped calm her. So she has listened to a lot of public radio in her life!

  10. I couldn’t agree more with using a crate. When introduced properly they’re not only a safe & comfy place for pups, but somewhere they’ll choose to go when they get tired.

  11. Had to laugh about this article, baby sitting my daughters baby mastiff. I was sleeping on the floor with her(she had a crate) little stinker would tip toe around me poop on the same rug and com back to the same place she was sleeping before?? Who had the brains here 🙂

  12. We have 2 dogs both potty trained & 13mos old. ( pointer mix & Lab mix). They both get along & likes to play to each other. Recently they both been picking the floor( plastic mat) & now its ripped & almost 1/4 of kennel has no plastic mat but just the wire .The kennel is large size for both of them & they can move around freely. We tried to cover with rug, blanket, towel but it still ended up getting torn apart.
    We are guilty we allow them to sleep in bed with us. One day, my husband left & I stayed behind in bedroom both dogs were inside kennel. After 15mins they startedflighting, whining & started picking/ ripping whats left in the plastic mat of kennel. How can we fix this problem & we are worried that when we leave the house & they could be nuissance to neighbors once they started creating alot of noise/ crying etc. We left both of them outside their kennel in the living room for few hours and when we came back they were both laying down on floor & couch and nothing was rip or damage.
    We want them to behave when we leave them inside kennel. Pls help. Thank you!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      What do they do if you don’t give them any towels, mats, trays, etc. in the crate? Just the wire?

  13. Anita Susana Barrows

    My Cardigan Corgi pup Trystan was sleeping through the night (til 6 a.m.) in his crate near my bed from the time I adopted him (July 1, 15 weeks old) til a few nights ago, when he started waking between 4:30 and 5 a.m. and crying. I sleep with my two Golden Retrievers, and after taking Trystan out of the crate, taking him for a short walk, and putting him back in there, he started crying his heart out and only stopped when I took him into the bed with me and the two Goldens. He rested in the bed (I didnt fall back asleep, though the Goldens did) until I was ready to get up. Is it all over now, his sleeping til six in his crate without a peep? I wasn’t quite ready to start waking so early, and I don’t really trust him to sleep all night yet in the bed. I think it’s sweet to have him in the bed for that last hour, but I do wish he would sleep a little longer while it’s still dark….Please advise!!!

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