I hear this question ALOT, and unfortunately there are still people out there who recommend letting your puppy “cry it out”. Not only is this really hard on us (and our neighbours), but it can also be incredibly detrimental to our puppies.
So… what’s the solution I hear you ask? Well firstly, lets look at WHY our puppy is crying.
Your puppy has just left everything they have ever known. Their mother, siblings, familiar scents, smells and sounds. Today they were picked up by a virtual stranger and placed into a strange metal box. They then travelled for, in some cases, hours and landed in a very strange environment. At the breeders house, they will have been used to sleeping in a pile with their brothers and sisters. They will have enjoyed the warmth of their bodies, and may have even still been getting the occasional feed from mum – the mother sometimes continues to occasionally feed the pups between meals up to around 10 weeks of age.
Not only might your puppy be scared, but they might be too cold, too warm, hungry or need the toilet. It is important to ensure that all of your puppies needs are met to help them sleep well. For the first few nights your puppy is at their new home with you, it is important that you sleep within arms reach of your puppy. If they cry, comfort them – they are not crying to be bad, they are crying because they are scared.
Each time they wake up and start crying, wait a few moments to see whether they will settle back down, if not then go get them and offer them the chance to go to the toilet. Do not interact with your puppy whilst you are trying to encourage them to toilet, be patient and wait with them. Once they have been to the toilet, calmly reward and take them back to their bed, giving them something to chew. This can satisfy that hunger and help them settle back down.
Over the course of a week you will be able to gradually move your puppy further from you (or you further from your puppy if you are sleeping downstairs with them, rather than having them in your bedroom with you). As your puppies bladder gets bigger and stronger, they will need to get up less and less throughout the night.
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Good luck and enjoy spending time bonding with your puppy – the sleepless nights won’t last forever!