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  • Karen

First Night

Puppies are not necessarily born being able to spend time alone without getting worried about it. It’s a skill they need to learn, and this usually starts with overnight. You may have decided that your new puppy will sleep downstairs either in a crate or pen or often confirmed to one room like the kitchen. Night one finally arrives after all the excitement and your new pup is crying constantly. If you look at this from his point of view, this may be the first time he has been completely alone. Leaving him to cry as was the way in the old days, will only cause more distress. So, what can you do?

I like to recommend crates for puppies as they are useful for many things. You don’t have to shut the door, but a crate can become a portable bedroom where your pup feels safe. You can have it in any room with you and use for car travel Alternatively, you can use a nice comfy bed. Don’t spend a fortune on one as they often get chewed in the early days. I would start on night one with the crate/bed next to your bed. Have any items you may have brought from the breeder with the mothers smell on and perhaps a piece of your clothing.

Take your pup out to the toilet before bed then settle him down. If he wakes during the night, you may need to take him out for a wee. Keep this low key so they don’t associate waking with play time and then pop them back to bed. Offer some reassurance if they need it, maybe with a hand in their bed or a brief stroke and they will soon be happy settling a night. I like to offer my dogs a small treat and say ‘bedtime’, so they start to learn a routine associated with the word. Over the next few days/weeks gradually move their bed further away from you until they are happy sleeping in the room you choose. GOOD LUCK

The next blog will look at house training, see you then.

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