Puppies and Sleep

….Do they belong in the same sentence?


Puppies are the cutest creatures on this planet.  However, while getting a puppy a few things should be kept in mind.  One such thing is sleep.  Some pet owners believe that these two words puppies and sleep do not even belong in the same sentence.  Puppies, although, are heavy sleepers, initially at night they seem to create havoc.  Therefore, consequently disturb their owner’s night sleep as well.  Generally, the reason behind a puppy’s discomfort at night is the fact that they have been parted with their mothers.


Puppies are similar to babies.  In addition, like all babies, puppies will miss their mommies if taken away from them.  Especially in the very early stages of their development, puppies depend almost entirely on their mothers; they do not develop proper teeth and fur and have their eyes almost shut for the first six weeks.  In this early stage, they rely on their mothers for food and warmth.  In such a time, it seems almost cruel to take them away from their mothers. In addition, if this is done they will definitely miss them and need them and will whine at night when they cannot find them.


….A few tips are mentioned below to ensure yours and your puppy’s sound sleep at night:


Puppies have small bladders.  At the age of 9-14 weeks, they cannot hold it for too long. They will need you to take them out every two hours at night to relieve them.  In addition, while this might seem very inconvenient, and so it is, but the sooner you accept it the better.  Once you and your puppy get used to it you can increase the gap between two such outings by 15 minutes.


Usually at daytime when you take your puppy out for a potty break, you should allow a bit of fetching and playing the moment they relieve themselves as a reward (food and praise are acceptable rewards too).  However, please ensure that this reward comes AFTER they relieve themselves, especially at night.  You do NOT want them to give false alarms because they know they get to play and run around, especially in the middle of a work night.


Another common mistake puppy owners make regarding puppies and sleep is to allow them to sleep with you at night when they are first brought home; not only will this often make those nights difficult for you to sleep, but more importantly we feel that you would be paving the roadwork for separation anxiety (we will save that topic  for another day), if you let the puppy sleep with you.


Our New York Dog Training school recommends crate training the puppy as soon as you bring him or her home.   Crate training can assist greatly with many common puppy problems other than sleep.  Additionally, crate training can prove fruitful as it will build confidence in your puppy while giving them safety in a confined place.


Also, put the puppy’s crate or mat in a room OTHER than the one you are sleeping in and ensure a cozy temperature.


Tire him.  Make the evening hours the most active for him. Play games with him.  He should seek his bed himself by the end of the day.


Give them their meal  and all snacks almost three hours before bed, and take them to potty before sleep time.  Another good idea is to make it a habit to wake up yourself at night for their little outings.  Don’t let the puppy wake you up by with his whining.  You do not want them to think that their cries will break your sleep.


Following the above-mentioned tips will hopefully improve things for you.  And you just might be able to regain you night’s peace.

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