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Please help, my puppy won't sleep at night!

(47 Posts)
yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 09:35:02

I'm really hoping someone can give me some advice. We picked up our chocolate lab puppy on Sunday. She's nearly 8 weeks old. She's gorgeous and seems to be settling ok, apart from at night time.

She's got a crate set up in the kitchen and is still having accidents at night, so I put paper around it. The thing is, she just won't settle. She barks, crys and howls until all hours. Last night she woke at 2am and howled / barked until I relented and got up to her at 6am.

Our vet says that she will settle down and I mustn't go down to her while she's barking, as I'll only reinforce that behaviour, but she didn't quieten down at all last night and I was lying there awake getting more and more concerned about my neighbours.

I did manage to wait until she paused, just for a moment, before going in, but I don't think it was long enough for her to register the difference IYSWIM.

I'm at home with her most days as I work from home. She's having small successes with her house training but it's still very early days. Tbh I don't mind that, but I could really do with some sleep!

Has anyone got any tips or advice?

flier Wed 21-Oct-09 09:38:00

have you tried the old alarm clock and hot water bottle wrapped in a towel trick?

luckyblackcat Wed 21-Oct-09 09:45:31

I'm sorry but a 7 week old pup is imho a)too young to be away from it's litter (unless it is a GD) and b) too small to manage through the night without a wee break.

When my pup was 8 weeks she went for a final wee at 10pm, then I let her out at 2 am and then 6am. After a few days we started moving the times.

You need to keep your pup clean in the cage or it may just get used to peeing in there.

My pup is now 5months, hasn't had an accident in the house since she was 12 weeks old.

Everytime your pup pees/poos outside use a keyword (I use 'busy' like GD do) and give praise, never reprimand for accidents. Your pup will eventually learn to pee on cue, mine is already fairly reliably doing this - it is handy to get her to do so before traineing classes etc.

Having a pup is like having a baby, you will be getting less sleep for a bit. Your vet is correct, though, going into a crying or barking dog is like giving in to a toddler's tantrum.

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 09:45:46

No, haven't heard of that one?

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 09:48:45

I don't shut the door of the crate, because I don't yet expect her to go through the night. of course she'll need to go to the toilet, but she's currently going either on the paper or on the floor, not in her bed.

flier Wed 21-Oct-09 09:51:47

when we got our pup he first of all slept in the hallway outside our room. We gave him an alarm clock and hot water bottle as the heat and the tick tock is supposed to remind them of being snuggled up close with their litter. we then gradually moved him to the downstairs hall and then to "his" room in his crate.
and, having a pup is just like having a baby think how he must be feeling, away from his mother and litter.

I hope he soon settles sad

luckyblackcat Wed 21-Oct-09 09:52:11

but then you will have to train her to stop peeing on the paper and pee outside, surely much easier to take her out and teach her only to pee where appropriate?

I heartily reccomend 'the Perfect Puppy' by Gwen Bailey.

The hot water bottle and alarm clock are an old and very well known trick to simulate a maternal heartbeat.

flier Wed 21-Oct-09 09:52:39

ybr, thats good that she is at least coming out of her crate to pee.

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 09:53:22

Thanks flier, I'll try that tonight.

flier Wed 21-Oct-09 09:54:35

this has reminded me how our dog cried on the night sad it was terrible grin

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 09:59:48

luckyblackcat I'm sure you're only trying to be helpful, but your tone is a little bit harsh to me (that may because I haven't had very much sleep for the past few nights).

I took the recommendation from the breeder about when to pick her up. I've read up on crates and how to house train. Again, the breeder had her in a crate and trained her to come out to go to the toilet on the paper.

Aside from that I take her out every hour, when she wakes up from a nap and after she's eaten. I do tell her to 'be quick' and praise her loads when she gos outside.

I've been to the vets to get advice from the puppy club there, I'm just looking for anything else to help us both get through the nights.

flier Wed 21-Oct-09 10:00:52

just start moving the paper outside when you want her to start going outside, she'll soon get the message.

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 10:01:15

Thanks flier - that's all I need really! Someone to tell me that they've been there!
It is horrible hearing her howl, of course I want to go down to her. She doesn't even like being alone in the daytime. But I need to make rules that she'll learn to stick by.

luckyblackcat Wed 21-Oct-09 10:13:18

Yes maybe I am being a little harsh, I think many people that get puppies do not educate themselves enough beforehand - not saying that you are one.

It is completely unrealistic to expect a puppy to not cry, tis only wednesday the dog has only been away from litter since Sunday.

Puppies are hard work, end of.

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 10:15:19

I know that, so how can I help her feel more settled? Of course she misses her family.

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 10:59:02


amazonianwoman Wed 21-Oct-09 11:01:11

I'm no expert - we've only had our puppy for almost 2 weeks - but this is what we did from day 1: blanket over the crate to make it feel more cosy, fleece blanket that I'd slept with for a few nights in the crate on top of the vetbed, another blanket that had his mother's scent on it (that's been washed now), a ticking clock right next to the crate, a snugglesafe heatpad under the fleece blanket. So it's very snuggly smile and he hasn't cried!

I take him out around midnight for a final wee, then he's shut in his crate (no paper/pads) and he's fine until 6am - hasn't needed to get up for another toilet break in the night (he's not a big drinker though, does have plenty of access to water)

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 11:04:27

Wow, that sounds great amazonianwoman. I think the clock is sounding like a good idea, and I have a blanket I can put over the crate.
She doesn't have a vetbed, just a fleece blanket covered with a towel. Her crate is infront of a radiator so do you think she'd still benefit from the heatpad?

ShinyAndNew Wed 21-Oct-09 11:05:50

THe alarm clock mentioned earlier is good. As is leaving a radio playing.

She is still a baby and is missing her mum and siblings. Don't forget she has never been alone before.

I think Luckycat is so concerned because 7 weeks is extremely young. There can be a lot of problems associated with taking a puppy away from it's mother too early. AFAIK the 'minimum' age is 8 weeks, but vets/decent breeders usually like to wait untill 12 weeks.

You need to make sure that she is eating sufficent amounts. If she isn't you may need to bottle feed her four hourly like a baby. Have you had her to the vets yet? I'd get them to monitor her weight gain to ensure she is getting enough food.

Back to the crying in the night. Give it time. It sounds like <hopefully> you have only had her a few days? It can take weeks for puppies to settle in properly.

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 11:09:47

Hi ShinyAndNew, yes, she's been to the vets. He's said she's very healthy, although she was off her food yesterday but he gave me some medicine and different food and she ate well again last night and this morning.

You're right, I've only had her since Sunday. I'm very conscious that she's not been alone before, but also that the information I've read has said not to give in to her when she's making noise in the night.

I just hope I'm doing the best thing for her tbh.

LittleRedCar Wed 21-Oct-09 11:09:57

Minimum age is not 8 weeks. The Kennel Club themselves recommend 7 - 8 weeks as the right age.

yellowbrickroad Wed 21-Oct-09 11:16:58

Thanks LittleRedCar. Was getting a bit worried

amazonianwoman Wed 21-Oct-09 11:18:08

Ours was 7.5 weeks <prepares for flaming>

Vet was happy for him to leave at that age, so was v experienced breeder. I wouldn't be happy to leave it til 12 weeks, missing out on too much important socialisation time, esp as we have kids.

I definitely rate the heatpad - it stays warm all night long. And I get to use it on my dodgy lower back when I'm sitting at the laptop during the day grin

LittleRedCar Wed 21-Oct-09 11:20:05

It is hard at first, yellow, but they will start to sleep through. Some pups do it faster than others. If you're really worried you can put the crate in your room, but you may not get a lot more sleep, tbh grin

LittleRedCar Wed 21-Oct-09 11:23:31

Yup, me and all the other experienced dog owners/behaviourists/rescue workers on this thread who all said

get a behaviourists opinion before you put the dog to sleep

how barking is that?

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