Hopefully your first day with your puppy has been full of precious moments. Their first night at home is usually very unpredictable, be as prepared as you can and have realistic expectations. Fingers crossed you all had a good night sleep the night before!

Many dog owners choose to use a crate for their pup’s young life (not everyone does). This is a valuable piece of equipment for both of you. The most important thing to know about the crate is that it is not a place of punishment, it is your new furry friend’s cosy den. Full of treats and toys.

It offers you the reassurance that you can leave them alone without any forbidden chewing, plus it’s ideal for enforced naps when young as well as encouraging toilet training.

Be sure to select a suitable size of crate for your puppy. Too big and it can encourage toilet accidents and reduce confidence during ‘alone time’. Too small and your pup could begin to feel anxious. As a general rule, your dog should be able to turn around inside and have room for their bowls and toys.

Your puppy’s bed also needs to fit in the crate. There are plenty of options available from fluffy matts to cosy raised beds. Pop into your local pet store for guidance on the best size crate and bed for your new arrival.

Benefits of crate training

You’re able to leave pup unattended knowing they’re safe

Allows your pup to grow confident with alone time

Encourages toilet training

Beneficial when ‘crate rest’ is required after surgery

INTRODUCING THE CRATE/DEN

  • Introduce the crate/den soon after your pup arrives home.
  • Ensure plenty of nourishing treats are hidden inside with the door open.
  • Let you puppy have the choice if he wants to stay in or come out to help build their confidence.
  • From then on introduce short periods with the door closed, we recommend feeding them their Butcher’s Nourishing Food in the crate to begin with.
  • Slowly build up the time from 2 mins and building 5 mins per day with the door closed.
  • Try it a few times a day and you should quickly see a calmer pup.

Think about where you want the crate to be in the house. Once decided it’s ideal for the crate to remain there, and not be moved around too much. Keeping the crate in one place will help your puppy to feel more comfortable and know where their safe place is. A good example is the kitchen or a corner in the living room, where your puppy will feel involved and not shut out.

Bedtime Routine

  1. It’s crucial to create a calm atmosphere, especially after such an exciting day. Try to create a calming atmosphere as bed time gets closer. Using a soothing voice and playing some dog calming music works wonders. You’ll be surprised!
  2. Take your puppy out for their final bedtime toilet break. Your first night will likely involve some accidents but it’s good to get into the routine of taking them out before bedtime.
  3. Make their bed ultra cosy. We suggest:
    • Covering the crate with a blanket or specific crate blanket.
    • Try a ticking clock and place on top of the crate or purchase a soft cuddly toy which has a heartbeat ticker inside to mimic their mother’s heartbeat.

These additions teamed with the mother’s scented blanket is hopefully a recipe for a successful night’s sleep once your puppy’s feeling settled.

Don’t forget to say sweet dreams to your puppy – they like it when you speak to them even if they do disobey at times!

TOP TIP: Allow 2 hours after feeding before bed time to avoid any accidents and always have fresh water available in their crate.

Where will you sleep?

You are by no means in the dog house if you choose to sleep on the floor next to your pup. The likelihood is that your puppy will wake in the night and need some reassurance that they aren’t on their own. A little stroke from you should soothe them back to their dreams.
Once your puppy is comfortable after a few nights, move back to your room at the earliest opportunity – for your sake and so that puppy doesn’t become too reliant on having their ‘hooman’ mum/dad sleeping next to them every night ready to soothe them.

If your pup needs the toilet in the night keep your voice calm and avoid any additional interaction other than your instructions, praise and comfort. Keep it quick, quiet and dark if possible. The last thing you want is to play hide and seek at 2am!

TOP TIP: A pet cam is a great way of keeping an eye on your puppy whilst you aren’t in the room, many have two way talk and night vision.

Success!

You both made it to the morning. Praise your puppy for their first night and go outside for the toilet as soon as possible.
Check over their bed for any accidents and refresh their water as a general daily routine.

If you’re reading this with heavy eyes then we’ll end with some good news.
As your puppy grows they develop more bladder control (yay!) and will begin to sleep through the night. Every dog develops at their own rate, be sure to keep calm and not show any frustrations towards your pup during the night.

WE’D LOVE YOU TO STAY IN TOUCH!

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