Puppy sleeping arrangements... help!(27 Posts)
DH and I have just adopted the most beautiful 10 week old cocker spaniel pup. His mum was rescued from a puppy farm and he was born in a foster home with seven brothers and sisters, mum and four resident doggies.
We've had him since Monday and he is getting on really well, bright, brave and eating well. He's getting to know out elderly cat and learning his toilet training and we are having lots of fun with him.
I just need some advice re over night arrangements for him. During the day he is with me in the kitchen, family room or garden, comes in the lounge for a kip on my lap in the evening next to the cat. He's not keen on me leaving the room but he has a play pen to keep him out of mischief and I am try a couple of minutes a few times a day with food to distract. He howls, cries like mad and scratches a lot but I try to go in when he's quiet and praise him afterwards.
At night I planned to have him in his large crate in our room while he settles, eventually moving him downstairs when ready. It's half bed half paper so room for any accidents. He's done pretty well the last few nights, probably 5-6 hours sleep but I am needing to settle him to sleep before closing the crate creeping into bed myself. I know it's early days and he is only a tiny baby but I'm worried I'm not doing the right thing with this.
I spoke with his foster mum this morning and she said I must put him in his crate over night, in a warm room, away from me and let him cry himself out or I'll never be able to leave him at all. She has four resuce dogs and has fostered many whelping bitches so I have no doubt she knows what she's doing but I'm so worried he'll get so distressed he'll hurt himself, specially knowing what he's like in the day. I know this is most likely my anxiety talking here but I'm determined to ensure he's happy to be left to sleep at night downstairs and for a couple of hours a few times a week when he is grown.
At 5 am this morning I was resolute that his bedtime crate was going in the dining room with him in it tonight. I was planning on leaving him 12-4am, coming down for a wee break then back in until 7am but now I'm really wavering as he just can't seem to settle at all unless his is touching some part of me, even my foot will do!
Previous puppy experience 20 yrs ago with my beloved JRT but he ended up in the bed as my partner at the time kept bringing him in if he disturbed us! DH will absolutely not have this and I'm not keen.
Any advice greatly received! Thanks
I have no advice but watched watching with interest as my 12 week pup is not in crate yet ( has her a month). Now in crate, door open and me on sofa beside her. We have had one nighttime accident as a result! Tried shutting door last week and she whined and barked. Currently crate training during the day.
Ah, he's adorable!
I can't offer any advice - we go against the rules and sleep with ours. We work in the day 4 days a week (walkers come for them twice a day so they only have 2 hours at a stretch on their own) and figure that only having an hour or so with them in the morning and a handful of hours with them at night is odd. By having them sleep with us we get more time with them (and also we've been able to be more proactive when they're sick). If one of us stayed at home during the day then perhaps we would have carried on having them sleep in the kitchen - which they did settle in to until one fireworks night I had to sit up with them until after midnight and the next night seemed doomed to repeat so I just brought them to bed!
Please don't let him cry it out. This can lead to separation issues in the future. He is a baby and needs to be with you right now.
Awww I know it's kind of not what you want to hear but I couldn't have a dog away from me at night, in a bed in the room if you absolutely cannot stand him on the bed, but they so desperately want to be with you.
Imagine coming away from your mum and siblings who have been with you every moment you have been alive and then being shut away by yourself, it must be terrifying.
I am sure if you leave him consistently eventually he will give up and learn not to cry, but it seems sad and lonely lesson and something I wouldn't do.
I'm sure lots of other people will say I am guilty of massive anthropomorphism and he just need to learn, but personally I think dogs 'need' a lot more from us than a couple of walks and a bit of food a day, they are a privilege to share your life with with and should be treated as such.
In my experience you do just have to leave him downstairs. My puppy spent the first couple of nights in bed with us! But a friend advised I was really making a rod for my own back so I put him downstairs.
He then slept down in the kitchen, but with the cage open, and puppy pads outside. I didn't get up in the night to let him out (am up early anyway) and after a very short time he was dry at night.
The kitchen table did get bit chewed (but its old anyway so was prepared for that).
He has always slept downstairs since then with no problem - still in his cage with the door open (we only close it occasionally - if we going in and out and want to leave the door open. Or if people with young children come round)
very very cute puppy by the way
Very cute puppy photo
Put him in crate when he has been playing and then been outside to wee/poo and is sleepy put him in crate to have sleep
Put a ticking clock (so sounds like heartbeat) near the crate and a t shirt, in his bed, that you have been wearing for several days so it really really stinks of you iyswim
Put a towel or blanket over the top, sides of the crate to make it like a den
IMHO and IME you are really making life hard for yourself but that is your choice
Agree that they absolutely must learn to be away from you - even if you think you'll never need it, you will, in emergencies if nothing else and then it's just more stress if they can't cope. You seem to have been given good advice.
As an aside, have you been told lovely pup is a Cocker, or a Cocker cross? I'm sure it won't matter to you and will be loved, but I think you need to prepare for more grooming bills than you would for a Cocker!
Btw I totally agree with others the crate should be downstairs
I'm with LilCamper on this one. At only ten weeks old he's still a tiny baby. He's just gone from living with his mum and siblings 24/7 to a completely strange place with strange people and no other dogs. It's a huge ask (and very unfair) to expect him to be comfortable sleeping on his own away from any source of comfort.
It's not making a rod for your own back to have him in with you (or for you to sleep downstairs with him) whilst he settles in. Dogs are very adaptable and once he's a bit older and more confident you can gradually move him to where you want to sleep long term.
With regards to leaving him alone it sounds like you're moving too quickly if he's distressed. There shouldn't be any barking/howling/crying/scratching. Have a look in the 'Files' section of the FB group 'Dog Training Advice and Support', there's an excellent guide to crate training in there. Although it's specifically for crates it's relevant however you're leaving your pup, whether that's in a play pen or just loose in a room.
What a cute puppy!
I've only had an older dog but had her on with us to start with and then moved her to a crate downstairs when she was much more used to us and crate trained. It's fine and we definitely didn't create a rod or any of that rubbish.
Same as having a baby, dd slept with us til about 10 months, then slept happily in her room. Life isn't black and white, go at your dog's pace I say.
Very good post from Trionic. I am totally in agreement that such a young needs to be close to his people to feel secure, as any young mammal would.
I have rescue dogs who can sleep where they wish. They do start off in our room but take themselves off to cooler spots during the night. Just because a dog starts in your room, it doesn't mean that they'll never be secure enough to leave it. They will! The dog will grow up and feel completely at home and able to move around without you. Puppyhood is short, please make it happy and secure for your dog.
IME and IMHO puppies do not need to be cuddled or held to go to sleep
They will run around playing then just fall asleep wherever they are
When they have been playing, take them outside to spend then when they are playing again and sleepy just put them in crate they will then sleep in there
Ok it is cute to cuddle them to sleep the same as a new baby would you all cuddle a baby to sleep every day???
Ps my dog now takes herself off to her crate at night
I did cuddle dd to sleep yes! Then rocked her, then put her down awake when she was a few months older.
If you eventually want him downstairs I would put the crate down now and then sleep down with him and try to creep away when he is asleep , mine didn't have a crate but we had a large pen when he was first home (16 weeks from Battersea a stray and not house trained) and this is the method I used - took about a week to get him used to going to bed on his own and a few nights when he would start up in the night and I'd come down and sit by the pen for a while . Once housetrained we had him out of the pen but shut in a room and then he went free range at about a year but most nights chooses to sleep downstairs .
Here is the file from the Facebook group:
Here is how I do it with my pups at 8 weeks old:
Day 1. before bedtime pup has had supper, been out to the toilet a few times, a play session, cuddle, another play session and toilet again and rinse and repeat until the puppy can no longer keep his eyes open. Then we are carried up to the bedroom and placed in a nice warm cosy crate. I sit there with the door open stroking a puppy that is dropping of to sleep and as soon as they are in the land of nod I shut the door, put the light out and grab some sleep myself.
At some point before the sun comes up, puppy is going to wake needing the toilet. I put on my slippers and dressing gown, pick puppy out of crate, go downstairs and outside where pup is guaranteed to pee as soon as those feet hit the grass. Then scoop up puppy and back to bed, helping him to settle down before getting back into bed myself and grabbing some more sleep before the inevitable early morning alarm call.
Day 2 is pretty much a repeat of day 1. The evening must be spent entertaining the puppy so that come bedtime we are ready to sleep.
and so it goes on and puppy fall into a routine of falling asleep when he goes in the crate and waking briefly for a wee and then going back to sleep again.
I have done this with every single puppy and every single rescue dog for the last 40 years and it has never failed.
Leaving a puppy to cry in a crate or downstairs alone is teaching the puppy to associate the crate and night time with being distressed.
You can't have in your bedroom for now, and then move him downstairs later, it will just destress him more.
My puppy went into a crate with a hot water bottle, a tshirts that smelt of me and one of the toys that smelt of her mum and pack.
Don't go down and disturb him at 4am, leave til 6am and then get up with him.
This is how all my dogs have been house trained (they are allowed on the beds and sofas once toilet trained, and no longer crated, and we've never had any issues.
Dogs aren't babies, they like routine and having "their" space. So pick one spot to put his crate permanently and leave it there.
Course she can move the dog later! I did when I got my dog at 14 months. She slept with us for a few weeks whilst I worked on crate training her and building a bond. When she was happy in her crate we moved her downstairs no problem at all, and now she happily takes herself there at bed time. Staying with your dog downstairs for a while is an option too.
Some people are very black and white about dogs and where they sleep, same as babies. In my experience of both having one knows your room for a bit doesn't mean they'll be there forever but it did help them settle in the short term. Do what feels right for you!
Trionic has linked to a great support group.
I completely disagree that a pup should just be left to cry. They don't settle. They just learn that they can cry and no one comes. They can relapse and have further spells of separation anxiety.
Our pup is nearly 16 weeks. I spent three weeks sleeping in the same room as her. When she was tired and ready to sleep I would put her in the crate and talk to her or just sit near until she fell asleep.
She now sleeps 11-7 alone. She doesn't cry at night and crawls into the crate when she's tired!
Daytime however isn't so good. She won't go in the crate if she's not tired and has separation anxiety. We are working on her being used to me wandering in and out of the room or not always interacting with her when I am in the room.
She's a giant breed so big but still a baby. She has been taken from all she knows. We are her world. She relies on us for everything. I figure if it takes her a few weeks to feel safe without us and trust we won't just disappear then that's what we are going to have to do.
Disclaimer. She's my first dog. I'm truly no expert!
The main question really is where do you want him to sleep as an adult dog?
downstairs in dining room or upstairs in your bedroom or somewhere else???
This is the guide to crate training I mentioned before. As I said the same methodology applies however and wherever you're leaving your pup.
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