Keep your puppy in a crate close to you at night. That way they can see or sense you, but aren’t able to play or climb on you. You may need a night-light for a while.
You may also need to let them out for toileting, but you must put your puppy back straight away without fuss to keep them calm.
Many new puppy owners are confused about where they should put their puppy at night, but don’t worry if you are one of them. It’s a common situation to be in, but one that isn’t difficult to work out.
In this article,I’ll explain where you should put your puppy at night and a few things to avoid. The last thing you want is to be strung out and tired because your puppy has kept you up all night fussing or crying.
Some people really struggle to sleep through the night when they get a new puppy. Their new addition can be very unsettled, causing anxiety and more than a little frustration.
This unsettled behavior is normal for a young dog or puppy. They have been placed into a new environment and often wake up because they miss their mother.
Puppies are removed from their mother at a very young age and may struggle to adapt. They wake up constantly and whine or cry. They will also rise early in the morning and be ready to go, despite the fact they’ve kept you up all night.
There is a way through this, and it is easier than you think. Much of it does come down to where you put your puppy at night and being consistent in your approach. I’ll cover all that off for you, and throw in some other tips as well.
Get Your Puppy Used to a Crate At Night
Some people don’t like the idea of a crate, but your puppy will settle, and in turn, you will get a restful sleep.
Place the crate close to your bed in an area near you. Your puppy will smell you,sense you are sleeping, and will fall asleep as well. If they wake up, you are close enough to reach out to them to calm them down.
As your puppy gets used to sleeping in the crate, you can move them a little further from your bed each night. Your goal here is to move them away from the bed so you can sleep though the night.
You may even want to move your puppy out of your room completely. Doing it slowly and letting your puppy get used to sleeping in the crate will ensure success.
Don’t Put Your Puppy in Your Bed At Night
Taking your puppy to bed with you is likely to start a habit that the puppy will find very hard to break. If they cry at night, take themoutside on a leash or to their litter box. Allow them to do their business, then put them straight back in the crate without cuddles, playtime, or fuss.
Your puppy needs to learn that night time is for sleeping only. Even at this point, don’t take them into your bed just because there may be only a few hours left of the night. It will be much harder to teach them not to come to your bed, than to teach them the crate is a safe place to sleep.
A few ways to teach your puppy that the crate is a warm, comfortable place to sleep could be:
- Place a hot-water bottle in the crate.
- Use warm, thick blankets to keep your puppy comfortable.
- Place an old fashioned clicking clock in the crate to mimic their mother’s heartbeat.
- Add a cover to the crate to provide a more secure feeling.
Routine is as Important as Where you Put a Puppy
When we are talking about where you should put your puppy at night, we should also consider other factors in getting a stress free, relaxed night. This is because if you just consider where you put your puppy, and nothing beyond that, you will likely not have success in settling your puppy at night.
You must set up a schedule that is consistent. If your puppy knows what to expect and when, and it’s the same each night, they will be more settled. Now you have a two pronged approach. You know exactly where you should put your puppy, and they should be settled with a consistent routine.
Some routine suggestions include:
- Feeding schedule: Feed your puppy at the same time each day. Whether you’re feeding two or three times a day, make it the same times to create certainty to their activity.
- Potty break schedule: If you are home with your puppy throughout the day, take them out for regular toileting breaks. Your puppy is learning schedules all the time.
- Playtime schedule: Puppies don’t do well with protracted, long play sessions. They need short and frequent bursts. Plan their play times during the day and keep them consistent.
- Sleep schedule: If you place your puppy in their crate at the same two or three times during the day for sleeps, they will learn to do the same at night when you put them to bed. Your goal here is to teach your puppy that the crate means quiet, relaxed sleeps.
All of this, combined with selecting the right place to put your puppy at night, will give you better quality sleep. Your puppy will be trained to know bedtime is for sleeping, not feeding, playing, and going to the toilet.
More Tips on Where to Put Your Puppy at Night
I’ve already suggested that it’s best to put your puppy in a crate at night. This is to ensure repetition for them and ease for you.
It is also to give your new puppy their own safe space and to keep them contained. Further tips include:
- Ensure you begin crate training from day one. The sooner your puppy is settled in their grate, the sooner you can train them for sleeping.
- Expect disturbed nights to begin with. Don’t get angry or frustrated. It will become very clear to your puppy at night that they are away from their family.It’s only natural for any animal to whine for their mother at such a young age.
- Little by little is best. Take your time and take each success as it comes. Don’t feel like a failure because your puppy isn’t sleeping through or settling easily in the first week. You will feel wonderful when all of this training and consistency pays off with sleep for you.
- Choose a place to put your puppy and try not to change. Once you have found a quiet and warm place, make sure you don’t change it. Your puppy has been taken from their home to be with you, so let them settle in and get consistency. Moving them around will only confuse them even more.
Turn the Lights off for Your Puppy
Some people are unsure as to whether or not they should turn the lights off or have a night-light. Turn the lights off to keep your puppy’s sleep regulated.
Although dogs can’t see as well as cats at night, they do see much better than us. Consistently turning the lights out should signal to your puppy that it’s time to sleep and not play around. They should also sense you are quietening down and sleeping.
Just like people, some dogs are afraid of the dark. That may sound a little silly, but if you have your puppy crate trained during the day, but they turn out to be afraid of the dark, you are likely wasting your time because they will never settle at night.
If your puppy kicks off when you turn out the light, but is fine with the lights on, they may be exhibiting signs that they fear the dark.
It could also mean your puppy is suffering from separation anxiety. With the lights out, they may think they are alone and you have gone off somewhere without them. Test them by leaving the lights on and going out of the room. If they bark and whine, it may be separation anxiety.
If they don’t bark, but do when you turn out the lights, it’s likely fear of the dark.
Try a simple nightlight to give your puppy low level vision. You want just a small amount of light to keep them calm. Don’t light the room up.
The Lowdown on Where to Put Your Puppy at Night
Settling an upset puppy at night can be hard work, but if you remain consistent, calm, and train them for a crate, you will succeed. All puppies are different and you may need to tweak what you are doing, but keep going with the training. Once your puppy sleeps well, you will know you made the right decision on where to put them at night.
Writer: Craig Taylor