Most puppies come from a litter of several puppies, and even if they have been split from their mum for a while, they will still have been used to being with their littermates 24/7.
When your puppy comes into your home, she leaves everything she previously knew behind and enters a whole new world. And she’s still just a baby!
I was 13 when I went to stay in France with a French family for the first time. I spoke some of the language, and I was at least the same species. I was able to call home and talk to my mum, but it was still scary! For your puppy she’s in a new place, where she doesn’t speak much of the language, it’s a whole different species to her family, and she can’t go back to what’s familiar (call home). It’s a very scary new world for her, and she hasn’t yet developed the confidence or independence to sleep alone.
It’s your job to help her to feel more safe and secure and to grow into a happy, confident and independent young dog.
To do this, she must first feel secure, and safe and know that if she needs you, you’ll be there for her.
Where should my puppy sleep?
I strongly recommend bringing your puppy into the bedroom, and allowing her either to sleep with you in bed or in a box by your bed where you can easily reach her. If this isn’t at all possible (allergies or a large breed that you can’t carry up and downstairs, for example) then sleeping with your puppy in HER sleeping area is an option but let me just explain why I recommend this:
- Puppy knows you’re there and feels more secure
- Puppy sleeps better because she feels more secure (pups need a LOT of sleep!)
- You sleep better because your puppy sleeps better (you’re going to need your sleep too because puppies require lots of patience!)
- If puppy needs the toilet, she can easily let you know and you can take her out, saving her from soiling inside and speeding up the house training
- Coming back from a toilet visit, puppy should fall asleep quicker
If you’re avoiding the bedroom because of the risk of her toileting, there are plenty of floor coverings that can be used, or pop her into a crate or pen with a solid bottom on it.
But shouldn’t I start as I mean to go on?
Starting as you mean to go on is not all it’s cracked up to be. We plan for our kids to grow up and get a job and be independent, but we don’t expect them to be out earning their own meals at 5 years of age! Work your way up.
But what about when I no longer want my puppy to sleep in the bedroom?
Your puppy won’t always want to sleep with you just because she started off there. I had a puppy who would only fall asleep if she was touching me, and if you moved her once asleep, she would then wake up! As she grew, she preferred her own space and doesn’t like to be too close to anyone to go to sleep.
You can gradually move her out of the bedroom if you wish, but if you aren’t bothered, she will be so used to sleeping in the bedroom, that getting her to do so won’t be a challenge. Often, dogs that aren’t used to sleeping in the bedroom struggle to settle when they are allowed to come in with us for some reason.
If I tend to my puppy when she cries, won’t this teach her to cry for my attention?
Ideally, we aim to not let puppy feel the need to cry in this first place (which is why sleeping in the bedroom works so well).
If your puppy does cry, it’s because she needs something. If a baby cries because it’s hungry, do you feed it, or demand that it is quiet first so that it doesn’t learn to cry for food?
Your puppy may well learn that you respond when she needs you, but isn’t that a wonderful thing?! If all her needs are met at the time, she simply won’t have a need to cry. If she does need something, she knows she can turn to you and trust that you will keep her safe and provide for her. Something we all want to do for our dogs.
For further information you can contact me at [email protected], whatsapp 07518667575 or find me on social media (Instagram & Facebook) with the handle @lottiesdogs.