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  • Brendan Knijf & Gemma Johnston

Does Your Puppy Cry At Night?

It is normal to expect your puppy to cry at night for the first few weeks in their new home until they settle into the new home and family environment.

Why does a puppy cry at night?

It is from the stress of changing everything familiar to place that everything is unfamiliar. Simply in other terms: we see that we have this new puppy and are giving them a loving, safe, enjoyable, and fulfilling new home.

Where the puppy sees it as that they have been ripped away from their mother and siblings in an environment that is familiar and safe and placed into an unfamiliar place without the comfort of their mother and siblings.

Important key points to remember:

  • The puppy is very young and will take time to adjust to home and family environment.

  • Some puppies can work themselves into a heightened level of stress that will need attention and won't settle; this needs to be correctly identified and discussed with your trainer on the best approach.

  • You will have periods of lack of sleep and times the puppy settles straightaway.

  • Give structured opportunities for the puppy to go to the toilet.

  • Each and every puppy learns and deals with these changes to a new home and family environment in different way and may take no time or longer to settle into their new home.

However, there are things as the owners we can do to help the puppy in settling into the home environment.

Things to do to:

  • Keep the puppy sleeping area close by to you for the first few weeks; even if they are going to be an outside dog (We can adjust them to sleeping elsewhere later on). This helps with you having the ability to attend to their needs immediately

  • Have the puppy in a crate or contained pen that is of right size to create a safe place and not too big to be used for toilet (see toilet training blog).

  • Cover the pen/crate at night with blankets or towels (leave a small air gap for air exchange) – this helps to make them feel safer & blocks any sensory stimuli exciting them at sleep time

  • Make sure to allow adequate opportunities for toilet breaks (see toilet training blog).

  • Place a tired puppy in the same place for it to rest and build up familiarity with sleeping area at night & during the day.

  • If puppy is crying for the point of crying and wants out for attention; you may mark it with a NO and then hit the edge of the crate or pen so they know it is not the time to be crying & it’s a negative thing to do so.

  • Do fun and fulfilling activities to tire the puppy before bed time that will help it sleep and remove energy before being segregated from the family.

Things not to do:

  • Continually check on the puppy when it cries; as you are teaching the puppy whenever it wants attention or out to cry and you will show up

  • Ignore the cry and not giving the opportunity for when the puppy needs to go to the toilet.

  • Remove the puppy from sleeping enclosure/area and place with you to comfort and sleep.

  • Let the puppy out and play with the puppy in the middle of the night.

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