In this post I will be going over how to cope with your first night with a new dog! Whether your new dog is a puppy or older dog the first night is normally difficult.
What to expect
To put it briefly – a sleepless night! It’s very unlikely that your new dog will sleep peacefully through the night on their first night. Whether they need the toilet, whine or just can’t settle expect to be awake more than asleep. I’ve recently got a 5-month-old puppy and the first night she was crying until 4am! But it was worth the sleepless night because she now sleeps through the night peacefully without a fuss.
What to do if they are whining
If your dog is whining, barking or just making a fuss the best thing to do is ignore them. Despite the fact that this is very difficult it’s a must! Because if you pay attention to and stroke them when they are making a fuss, they will learn that being noisy equals attention.
What to do if they need the toilet
There isn’t really any way of knowing if your dog actually needs the toilet or if they’re just making a fuss. So, I find the best thing to do is wait until they stop crying and making a fuss then go to them, take them outside for the toilet and then put then straight back to bed. This way you can minimize chances of accidents whilst teaching them that being noisy doesn’t get them attention.
What to do to help them settle
If you have a young puppy the best thing you can do to help the settle is to get a blanket or toy with their mothers scent on it. But there are also a couple of other things you can do! You can get a toy that mimics the heartbeat of another dog which can help the to relax as it will sound similar to their mum. You can also get dog safe hot water bottles which are great for mimicking the warmth of their mother especially in the winter.
This is harder for older dogs but the best thing to do is to make them their own space where they can feel safe. I personally use a crate with a cover and a nice comfy bed! If they have previously lived or slept with other dogs, you could also get a blanket or toy with that scent on it to help them settle.
Finally, I know it can be really hard to ignore your new dog or puppy but if you do you will reap the benefits very quickly. With a dog that sleeps happily on their own overnight. Training your dog to be happy and settle on their own is really important even if you intend for them to sleep with you. This is just encase a situation or emergency arises where the dog is safer, for example, in a crate on its own than out and about.