Where Should A Puppy Sleep At Night?
If you are wondering where should a puppy sleep at night, then this puppy blog may help you decide.
"Imagine you spend your whole little life, all 8 weeks of it, with your mum on hand to comfort and protect you. You're surrounded by familiar smells and with your littermates there to snuggle into each night. They make you feel warm and safe.
Then one day you get taken away from everything you know, put into a noisy vibrating prison on wheels with unfamiliar people and smells and no family.
You arrive at what they tell you is your new home. It's a bit scary but they play with you and you have some fun.
Then a few hours later they say "goodnight" and shut the door, leaving you all alone in this new, dark, scary place. On your own for the first time ever in your life.
You cry. You cry and cry and yet nobody seems to hear you. You're upset and unsure and your mum is not there to comfort you and make you feel safe. Your littermates are nowhere to be found and those new people who seemed so nice have just abandoned you. Leaving you to cry and cry, until you can't cry anymore.
All you want is somebody to be near you. All you want is to not feel so scared. You look around hoping they will come back but they don't come back for hours and hours. You do sleep a little during this time, from exhaustion from all that crying, but it's short and not enough for a puppy and there is nothing restful about it.
The people think because you slept and because Shelia down the road said so, that this was the right thing to do. They don't know any better. It isn't their fault.
You were scared but they were told that leaving you alone was the right thing to do and so they do the same thing the next night and the night after that. Until you give up crying altogether. You give up because it never makes them come back. You have learnt that they don't listen or understand you. You learn that quicker and with more depth than the sits and downs they seem so proud of.
From day one, during the most formative time in your life, you have learnt that you cannot rely on your humans.
All you wanted was some comfort in this new scary place. All you wanted was that connection with them. All you wanted was to feel safe"
So what do we advise when we get asked where a puppy should sleep at night?
We advise keeping your puppy close, at least for the first week or two. That could mean the puppy sleeping in the bedroom with you (we advise using a crate) OR you sleeping in the living areas near to the puppy.
Why do we advise this?
1. When taken from their litter, puppies stress hormones are raised and take a few days to come back down to a more normal level and during that time it is important that we limit adding extra stress as much as possible.
2. It also helps the puppy bond and connect with us right from word go which will be useful further down the road.
3. It makes toilet training your puppy so much easier and quicker.
Does this mean that I have to sleep next to my puppy forever?
If you wish to always have your puppy in your bedroom that is okay but if not then after the first week or so you can gradually start increasing the distance away from your puppy - remembering to always stay at a distance your puppy is comfortable with.
Won't I be teaching my puppy to have separation anxiety?
It is true we need to teach the puppy to have independence, but that should be achieved from a place a security and safety. If we teach a puppy to sleep alone from a place of distress we are more likely to create separation issues than we are to solve them.
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