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Ever watched the classic movie – Lady and the Tramp?
Remember the scene where they bring the puppy home and she sneaks in their bedroom?
She’s barking all night because she doesn’t want to sleep alone? Cuteness!!! But only when it‘s on the big screen. Not for living it in real life. No way!
Imagine a dog that doesn’t sleep all night? It’s not letting you sleep either.
So let’s focus on how you can get your dog to sleep through the night for his peace and your own.
Getting Your Puppy to Sleep all Night – Tips and Tricks
Just like having a newborn baby in the house, a new puppy can frustrate you when isn’t sleeping night after night. We’ve all heard stories of babies keeping parents awake all night, luckily a new puppy is usually easy to teach it to sleep all night.
Fortunately, most dogs begin a cycle of being active during the day and preferring to sleep at night from birth and living with their mothers. In the beginning, just like babies, they may not hold their bladders until they get a little older.
What can you do that first night home?
One of the best hints I can give you is to pick up your puppy in the morning. This will give you and your puppy some time to adjust being without its mom and siblings.
This will be an exciting day for you and your puppy, which will help to tire him or her out that night.
If your breeder doesn’t have a blanket with mom and your dog’s siblings on it, bring a blanket with you when you pick up the newest member of the family and ask the breeder to rub the blanket on mom and the siblings.
Letting your new puppy cuddle up with this blanket will help him or her to settle in that night. Having the mom and sibling scents on the blanket will help to keep your dog calm and relaxed.
Begin potty training the first night home.
It is not likely your new puppy will hold it all night. Most puppies dislike sleeping where they have soiled their beds. So those first few weeks your puppy may need to make a trip outside to go potty.
If your puppy cries at night, take him or her out for a walk or allow your puppy to relieve itself on a pee pad.
When it’s done, put him or her back into her crate. Those middle of the night potty breaks are not playtime.
Most puppies can sleep through the night by 3-4 months.
Helpful tips for helping your puppy sleep at night.
Keeping your puppy active during the day is essential to a good nights sleep. Help him or her to get plenty of exercise. A tired puppy at night is a good puppy.
About 30 minutes before bedtime help your puppy learn to calm down. I use this time to brush my dog‘s coats, brush their teeth, pet and talk softly to your pet. Avoid tug-a-war games, or roughhousing, this will only hype your dog up and make it harder to settle him or her down.
While a crate is best for the beginning stages of puppy training, most dogs will do just as well with a hooded pet bed, or teepee bed where they can feel secure. Including a blanket with mom and siblings scents and a nice blanket will make your puppy feel comfortable.
In my puppies beds, I always include a bone for chewing and a toy if the puppy wakes up before I do. Chewing is very calming to a new puppy, especially when teething!
In the beginning, I always keep my puppies crates beside mine so they can hear me sleeping and I can hear them when they fuss to go outside.
As they get older, they’re allowed more freedom and a larger area.
You’ll want to make sure your puppy has peed and pooped.
Creating a feeding schedule at this age will help to house train your puppy and control his or her pee and poops.
Creating your puppy‘s feeding schedule
Until your puppy reaches 14 to 18 weeks, you’ll want to create a meal schedule for your puppy.
These schedules should preferably be at the same time every day. Until they are 14 weeks of age, a new puppy should eat similar to our schedules, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You can adapt the following schedule to your schedule, but this is what I do with all of my dogs.
The first meal should be about 7:00 a.m., noon for lunch and 5:00 p.m. for dinner.
Feeding them at 5:00 will allow your puppy enough time to poop one last time before bedtime.
Unless your veterinarian suggests otherwise, I stick to this routine until between 14 and 18 weeks, at which time their feeding schedule should change to two meals a day.
If your puppy wants to play at dinner time, try feeding him inside his or her crate. This will help to settle them down and help them focus on dinnertime, which will help with his or her eliminating before bedtime.
In the beginning, you’ll want to take your puppy out to eliminate about every 1 1/2 hours. Offer your puppy water about 15 minutes before taking him or her out.
As your puppy gets older, it will make it longer between needing to eliminate.
Here‘s a good example of a puppies schedule:
6:30 a.m. – Wake Up, outside or pee pad to go potty.
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast, outside for a walk, morning playtime
9:00 a.m. – Naptime
10:00 a.m. – Playtime, time to bond, walking
12:00 p.m. -Lunchtime, outside to the potty or pee pad.
2:00 p.m. – Naptime
5:00 p.m. – Dinner time, outside to go potty or pee pad.
7:00 p.m. – Playtime
8:30 p.m. – Bedtime routine (hair brushing, teeth brushing, etc)
9:00 p.m. – Bedtime
Problems and Solutions for helping your puppy
# 1 – Check for Changes
You know how it is – you sleep like a log when you are in your own bed, with the same setting, and following a particular schedule. It’s the same with dogs!
They like things to be the same way, in a similar order, night after night.
If your puppy is having difficulty, the first thing to do is to check for any change in their bed or bedtime routine.
Sometimes, it can be something as small as changing the position of their bedding or moving their bed. Think of any change that could have brought on the sleepless nights.
# 2 – Prepare the Bed
When putting your puppy to sleep, make sure that his or her bed is comfortable. Use soft bedding he or she finds comforting. If you can, use a blanket that has the moms and siblings scents on them.
Try using a snuggle puppy which has a heartbeat similar to mom‘s, which can soothe a young puppy.
Sometimes placing a small clock with a rhythmic beat under the blanket gets them to sleep faster.
Always stay with the same routine at bedtime or where they are sleeping every night. Puppies like consistency at night.
# 3 – Exercising is Important
Plenty of playtimes walks, and exercise will help tire out your dog before bedtime. Being tired will help your puppy to sleep better.
If the dog sleeps in the evening, then he will not be sleepy at night. Helping to provide plenty of exercises helps your dog to go off into a deep, undisturbed sleep.
During the puppy stage I always used a puppy play pen to allow them room to play and to control where they went potty.
# 4 – Feeding Hours
It is essential you plan your dog’s feeding schedule well. When a dog eats its meals, they get a sudden bout of energy.
Never feed a dog late in the evening.
When your puppy is energetic, it’s hard to sleep. Make sure you feed him at least 2-3 hours before his bedtime so that the food is easily digested.
# 5 – Potty Training a Dog
Potty training your dog helps with other training. Until a dog is older, he or she may need to relieve itself at night. The way around this is to work out a schedule for yourself.
Once the dog has become older, take it out before bed so it is comfortable when it goes to sleep.
Is your puppy sleeping in the daytime and not at night? The best solution is to exercise and play with him or her more in the afternoon and before bedtime helping to tire your puppy out.
# 6 – How Do I know my Dog needs to go out
Every dog is different and has a different way of communicating to its owner it needs to go potty. Some will whine and cry to go out. Some may pace back and forth. Some may stand at the door.
One of my dog’s whines at the door she needs to go out. Another one of my dogs runs back and forth between me and the door.
Until I learn their signals, in the beginning, I always take them outside. I‘d rather take them out too much than miss a signal they may have needed to go.
# 7 – My Puppy whines when it’s not near me
Puppies love companionship just as much as we do. Give your puppy one of your old shirts, or t-shirts.
Having your scent near them in their crate can be just as soothing as having their mom and siblings scents.
With these tips and tricks on getting your dog to sleep for the whole night, I hope you‘ll be better prepared to handle the situation at hand. Don’t worry too much about it.
Just be patient and encouraging. With time you and your new puppy will have developed a strong bond.
Congratulations on your new addition.