Just like a baby, a puppy is a big responsibility—it's up to you to mold your pup into a lovable dog with excellent manners. You'll have to conquer potty training and sacrifice sleep. Allowing your furry friend to sleep in the bedroom at night might make things easier—your pup won't feel lonely in the new environment and you'll hear when he starts fussing and needs to go potty. With some effective tactics you can teach your puppy proper sleeping habits, and before you know it sleepless nights will be a thing of the past.
Create a cozy bed for your pet companion at the foot or side of your bed in the bedroom. Ideally, put the bed inside a crate, because dogs are den animals and like having a safe haven where they can rest. Get rid of any blankets or other possible comfy resting places on the floor. Put one of your unwashed T-shirts or a blanket that belonged to his litter mates in your puppy's bed so the familiar scent can help him relax.
Allow your puppy to gradually acclimate to his bed. Keep the door of the crate open and allow him to sniff and explore. Put dog treats in and around the crate to motivate him to go near it and inside it. If your puppy takes a nap during the day, pick him up and place him on the bed while he snoozes. Close the crate, and when he wakes up immediately let him out. During the day, place a dog toy on his bed and start closing the door while your dog plays with the toy. Gradually lengthen the time you leave the door closed and eventually your puppy will get used to it.
Stick to a regular schedule. Feed your puppy no fewer than three hours before bedtime, walk him right before bedtime so he can go potty and allow him to run and play so he tires himself out and is ready to sleep. When you get back, put your pet companion on his bed and close the door to the crate so he can sleep.
Ignore your puppy if he whines or barks immediately after you put him in bed—don't talk to him, don't look at him and don't open the crate to pet him. If you pay attention to him, you teach him that his noisy behavior is effective and he'll keep making noise each time he wants attention.
Set your alarm so you can wake up to take your puppy to go potty several times throughout the night. While your puppy is groggy and sleepy, take him outside and have him go potty. Stick to business—don't play with him, don't talk too much and don't feed him treats. Immediately afterward, go back inside and put him back in bed.
Supervise your puppy so you can catch him misbehaving. When you catch him jumping or lounging on your bed, pick him up, say no and put him on his own bed. Praise him when he seems content. With consistency, this teaches him that your bed is off-limits to him and that his bed is where he's allowed to rest.
Items You Will Need
- T-shirt or blanket from litter mates
- Dog treats
- Dog toys
- Alarm clock
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.