There are so many things to take into consideration when training your new puppy and being able to train him/her to understand that night he/she has to settle quickly and with the minimum of fuss and to go to sleep along with the rest of the household is something that needs to be established very early on to avoid sleepless nights.
You can never under estimate the excitement that getting a new puppy brings. That cute bundle of fluff with the big brown eyes and butter would not melt expression. Ok, stop right there! This adorable puppy is going to grow into a dog and the behaviour you may find acceptable and able to over look now, is not so easily tolerated when he/she is no longer a puppy.
Your puppy needs to have set boundaries from day one and the hard work you put in from the beginning of training will soon pay off and a good night sleep will be had by all.
Firstly and most importantly, you must be consistent. It is not fair on your puppy otherwise he/she can become easily confused and you will never achieve anything.
When you first get your new puppy he/she is going to be totally over awed by the new surroundings in which he/she finds them self. It is very important that you allow him/her to adapt in their own time. He/she will have been used to the company of litter brothers/sisters and to suddenly be taken out of an environment where the sounds and smells are comforting and familiar to one which is very alien can be a bit of a shock.
It is very useful if, when you collect your new puppy that you are able to bring a blanket or similar from his/her bed so that you can put this in your puppies new bed. This will be at least one familiar smell which he/she will find comforting. If this is not possible use something that has your scent on instead and place it in your puppies’ bed. It is surprising how quickly he/she will become used to how you smell!
As difficult as the first few sleepless nights may prove to be, it is so important that you start as you mean to go on and tough love is required here.
Place your puppies’ bed in a room where you can shut him/her in, or better still use a crate. The last thing to make sure of before you put your puppy to bed is that he/she has been to the toilet. Once this has been done, place him/her in the bed and say the word bed in a gentle but firm tone. Then leave your puppy.
What comes next is going to involve time; effort and patience on your part, along with a firm resolve not to give in to those big brown eyes! Yes your puppy is going to whinge and whine. He/she has been abandoned as far as he/she knows and does not at this stage feel safe or secure in the strange surroundings.
Go to your puppy, pick him/her up by the scruff of the neck, shake him/her gently and say the word no firmly. Place your puppy back into the bed and repeat the word bed. You are not being cruel by shaking your puppy in this way; you are in fact mimicking what a bitch does to her pups to tell them off. Once he/she is back in the bed leave the again. You will find that you have to repeat this action a number of times before your puppy has an understanding of what is required of him/her but it will soon sink in.
You must also take into account that your puppy may have soiled itself or bedding and is trying to make you aware of that rather than that he/she is feeling lonely. If that is the case it is a quick clean up with minimum fuss and straight back to bed. You have to be prepared for the odd accident.
One golden rule and you break it at your peril. Never ever take your puppy to your bedroom at night no matter how sorry you feel for him/her. Trust me, you will never sleep alone again!