Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for any family, but there are a lot of issues that can occur. We have just got a new puppy ourselves, little Lyric, and could not be happier. As we are going through the process of welcoming a new puppy to the family, we’re going to answer a common question we’ve been asked over the years: How do I get my new puppy to sleep soundly?
Many of our customers, and people we have met in day-to-day life, sometimes have trouble with new puppies that spend their nights whining, barking, scratching and generally being restless. There are six things we have done with every new puppy we bring home to make sure they have an easy transition to life with our family that haven’t failed us yet.
- Put a hot water bottle in their bed. A puppy is used to being nestled in with its family when it goes to sleep, warm and cozy. So when it goes to a new home and is greeted by silence and a cold bed it is a big change and shock to the system. Putting a hot water bottle in their bed to warm it up and help keep them warm at night is a comforting touch for a new puppy, even during the summer months. We like to use traditional stoneware hot water bottles like this one: goo.gl/Irm7bR put inside a furry cover or ski sock as rubber ones can burst. You can find them on eBay or at antique shops for around £5-10 in most cases.
- Ask your breeder to rub a blanket over the mother for a few days before the puppy leaves. This transfers some of the mothers scent onto the blanket which is a reassuring presence for a puppy on the journey home, but also in their bed. Puppies can’t take a picture of their mother with them when they leave them, but their smell is just as good.
- If you are sleeping in the same room, make sure the puppy can see you from its bed. If the puppy doesn’t have any other dogs to be around this can be especially important as they will likely feel very lonely on their first few nights. They will look to you for comfort and confidence in this unfamiliar new home so making sure you are visible helps them settle in and relax. Over the first week or two you can move their bed further and further away from you as they grow more comfortable in their surroundings.
- Put a ticking clock in the bed. The ticking of the clock is reminiscent of their mothers heartbeat, the regular ticks similar to the regular beats of its mothers heart. You obviously don’t want the ticks to be too loud so you can always wrap the clock in a bit of old clothing to help dampen the sound to ensure the puppy gets a good nights sleep.
- Don’t get up to give the puppy attention in the night. Remember that the puppy is a baby, and is learning habits all the time. If you constantly get up and go to the puppy every time it calls for attention, by whining barking or scratching, you are telling it you will always be there. It will therefore be likely to keep on performing those actions and not settle down. As tempting as it is, don’t give in to the temptation and let it learn things will be alright.
- Show them their new bed with a treat. A puppy needs to get used to their new bed, but also need to associate it with good feelings. Many people, including friends of ours, would simply place their puppy on their resting place and simply say ‘bed’. This doesn’t make the bed a special or comfortable place for the puppy, and there is no current positive association with it. However, using a treat whilst introducing their bed, and sitting with them whilst they get used to it works wonders. It starts creating a positive link between the puppy and their bed, which is then only stronger and more positive by the other points listed.