Puppy's first night

Posted by jlcaplan
Aug 26, 2010
Where should a puppy sleep on its first night in a new home? We have read (in the New Skeet monks' book) that it should sleep tethered to the foot of the masters' bed. But most pups (like our last) are not used to being on a leash and therefore resist this technique. Are there our techniques that have worked for you?
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Aug 26, 2010
Hi jlcaplan,

Isn't it exciting to wait for your puppy? I haven't got a puppy for the last 18 years myself. All the dogs we added since then came from shelters so they were already adult dogs.

No matter what you do, and no matter where you keep your puppy for the first night, be prepared that he/she will be whining a lot, just because it is a new and strange place for him and he will probably miss his siblings and mother.

I think it will be easier to have him sleep from the very beginning where you want him to sleep for the next 15 yrs! If you don't want him to sleep in your bedroom later, don't let him sleep there from the first night. If you want to crate train him, use the crate from Day 1.

However, even if you want him to be anywhere in the house, it will be easier to start with more confined places, especially areas that are easier to clean, such as in the kitchen, or in the utility room.

The first few nights are very important so don't feel too bad if he keeps whining through the night, as long as he has no health problems. Don't come to see him every time he whines thinking he wants to go pee. He will probably wet the floor during the night but it is OK. Letting him be used to be by himself during the night is more important if you want a good night sleep yourself

Someone with more puppy rearing experience will give you better advice.

Enjoy your puppy!
Posted by kjd
Aug 26, 2010

If you are getting the puppy from the mother's owners, give them a toy or blanket to keep in the box with the puppies and their mother for a few nights. Then, you can let him have that his first nights in your home. I've also heard of wrapping a warm hot-water bottle in a blanket for him to snuggle up to -- he has been sleeping in a pile of puppies up to now. A loudly ticking clock in a blanket to imitate the mother's heart beat is also suggested.

These are all suggestions made to calm the puppy in those first scary nights. You can use them or not, as you find appropriate. I think MaxHollyNoah's points are the most important.

My only puppy was over 30 years ago in an apartment that didn't allow animals, so I cannot remember what I did. I got my first crate 10 years later and have never been without one since. The dogs are comfortable in them (if open wire, they sometimes prefer a cover on the crate). My current dog often sleeps in them, as the door is always open. So I would strongly recommend using one. (It is NOT a cage, where the animal lives; it is a crate, the closest we can come to providing a den, where the animal feels safe.)

Enjoy puppyhood; it passes all too soon.

Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 27, 2010
hey there jlcaplan,

As its been said, its kind of up to each owner. I do strongly agree with getting puppies comfortable with the place they'll be sleeping for the rest of their life as soon as possible. If this is in your bedroom, its easy to confine puppies for the first little bit by putting them in a box (which is where my dog, Jackson, slept for his first couple weeks) and having that beside your bed, so they can smell you and know you're near. Jackson didn't whine very much with this technique, but that might have just been him.

Crating is a great idea, and you can throw towels over wire crates to block views of other interesting things in the room that might keep puppy up and making noise to get out instead of sleeping.

Obviously if puppy will be an outdoor dog I'd advise against putting a young dog straight outdoors overnight. If you've got a garage or sun room or porch, this could work, otherwise a laundry room or coat room, somewhere confined, is probably the best bet until vaccinations and thermoregulatory mechanisms in the pup are up to par to be outside.

If you've got the puppy on carpet and are worried about accidents you can always get puppy pads for him to sleep on. Depending on how old the pup is when you bring it home, you'll need to get up in the night at least once to let him outside to do his business.

I'm not so keen on tying him to the bed, puppies who don't sleep through the night could easily get tangled and hurt themselves this way. Or if it gets startled and tries to run or hide it could choke itself and again get hurt. I'd go with the box or crate option before tying a lead to something overnight.

Hope this helps!
Posted by jlcaplan
Aug 29, 2010
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to give me the benefit of your experience with puppies on their first night in a new home. We didn't sleep much on the first night, which seems to be par for the course, but things have gotten much easier since.