It can be one of the most frustrating and upsetting times when you are lying in bed and hear that little whimper. Ever wondered how to ease the transition and stop the crying? In this article I will show you how.
Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel or thick blanket and put it at one end of the bed. This simulates the warmth of another dog. Put a ticking clock in the room with your puppy to simulate the heart beat of another dog; your puppy is used to sleeping with its brothers and sisters. A stuffed animal can be of great comfort to your puppy; a little larger than them is usually a good fit (make sure it does not have any plastic parts for your puppy to chew on).
Dog appeasing pheromone can be purchased from your vet and comes in two forms. A plug in (in the same way an air freshener works) or a spray that can be applied to bedding. It releases a synthetic analogue of a pheromone that is secreted by bitches during whelping. It has been proven to relax dogs and puppies and should allow for a more peaceful night sleep. It has also been demonstrated that it can reduce fear and even improve house training acquisition.
Exercise / Toilet / Chill out time / Comfort
Make sure your puppy is worn out before you leave it for the night. A short walk before bed or some intensive training/play time are essential. Once you have worn your puppy out the best thing to do is to take him or her out to the bathroom see house training so you know if they cry they do not need to be let out. After they have peed and pooped, take your puppy to its bed and say ‘bed’, gently stroke and relax your puppy until he/she falls asleep. Make sure your puppy has water available, some paper down in case they need to go and a nice comfortable bed. Also be aware of the temperature; too hot or too cold and your puppy won’t sleep well.
What to do when your puppy cries at night
When you leave your puppy for the night try not to make too much of a fuss. After the relaxation session your puppy should be settled and you can simply leave the room without encouraging your puppy to come to the door. This is the trickiest part for any new puppy owner. When the puppy cries or barks throughout the night you must not go down to the puppy. Given you have followed the previous advice you can rest assured you have covered all of your puppies needs. It can be a difficult first few nights but by going down to check on the puppy you can accidentally reinforce the barking. This can mean your puppy learns I bark and Mum or Dad come running down i.e. I get attention. It makes little difference if you go down to comfort or chastise the puppy as at this stage any attention is good attention. If you have already been going to your puppy when it cries, then the same rules apply but the results will take slightly longer to see. Fear not, young puppies are extremely quick learners. This puppy training method will pay you back ten fold and being consistent will enable your puppy to cope with being left alone during the day and help prevent other attention seeking behaviours whilst you are busy around the house.
TOP TIP – tell your neighbours you are expecting to get a puppy but you have a training schedule already worked out to minimise any noise during the night. You can even organise when you pick your puppy up so that it is at a weekend in order to ensure you are not disturbing any neighbours that are due to have an early start.