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5 week old puppy sleeping arrangements

(5 Posts)
closephine85 Thu 07-Dec-17 22:34:56

Our dog has 5 week old puppies and for the last week sleeping has turned into a bit of a nightmare. They are in a whelping pen in our downstairs hallway but have learnt how to get out by hauling themselves up over the piece of wood supposedly enclosing them and then falling onto the floor in the hallway. Not ideal. We have a door we can shut to keep them in, but then mum can’t get in and out. We have been leaving it open so that she can get out and have a break when she wants. She’s only little and can only just jump over the piece of wood herself so making it higher isn’t really an option. In the daytime it’s not so bad, we let them roam about in the hall and lounge but at night I don’t want them roaming the hallway. I’ve lost all perspective on this... should I shut mum in with them at night? But then she’s stuck and can’t have a break. Should they be sleeping all night anyway? They seem very awake and active! Does anyone have any suggestions? They just cry and cry until they get out but then once out and have had enough cry and cry again because they’re on the wrong side to where their bed is. Somehow our DS is managing to sleep through the noise but me and DH are suffering!

Lucisky Thu 07-Dec-17 23:12:22

Could you use a higher piece of wood the puppies can't get over and then put a stool on the inside of the pen and a box on the outside, so the mother can jump up on the stool to jump out onto the box, and vice versa? Puppies would not be able to negotiate this. Not knowing how big the pen is, this may not be feasible of course. Why can't the mother be shut in with them at night? I would have thought at five weeks they would need nursing during the night. I think I would be getting a bedtime routine for the bitch and pups, shutting the door and turning the light out when you go to bed.(and leaving them to it!)

CornflakeHomunculus Fri 08-Dec-17 01:19:09

Ideally you do need a solution whereby she can access them as and when she wants but can also take a break when she needs it.

How easily are the puppies escaping? If they're only just scrambling over then you could try padding the top of the wooden barrier (using something like a pool noodle slit lengthways so it can be pushed down onto the wood if you see what I mean) so it's still low enough for your bitch to get over but slightly too hard for the puppies to negotiate.

If there's nothing you can come up with that your bitch could navigate but the pups can't then the other option is sleeping close by so you can let your bitch in and out of the pen as she wants.

If you're not already a member I would highly recommend joining the Puppy Culture FB group, there's tons of excellent information and advice to be had on there. It's also really worth watching Puppy Culture itself, it's amazing and would still be hugely useful even at this stage. You might struggle to get the DVD in enough time for it to be worth it but you can buy it then stream it from the PC site.

How much is your bitch still feeding them (not just in terms of how long they're spending nursing but how much milk they're actually getting) and how much are you feeding them? If she's feeding less then it could be they're waking up hungry if they're not getting enough food during the day.

Also check the room temperature at puppy level. If it's dropped a bit chilly that could also be causing them to be unsettled at night.

closephine85 Sat 09-Dec-17 07:19:30

Thanks both, for the last 2 nights we have ended up shutting Mum in and they have all actually been a lot more settled (including Mum as she likes to be enclosed, so perhaps giving her free reign downstairs was unsettling her too). We also changed the food we were trying to wean them on. The first brand we tried they were just not interested in and barely eating any, but since changing yesterday they have started gobbling it down so hopefully Mum will now be able to have a bit more of a rest from feeding too.

I’ll check out the Facebook page mentioned and the pool noodle idea is potentially a good one too. Mum is a Daxie cross so only has little legs!

CornflakeHomunculus Sat 09-Dec-17 14:14:27

Do try and come up with a solution that means she can choose whether or not to be with the puppies. Remember that by now their (very sharp) baby teeth will be well on their way to being through and so nursing them will be getting increasingly painful for her. It's natural for the bitch to start cutting down how much she's feeding them and she needs to be given the option to do that. Also make sure you're keeping their little claws nice and short so they're not hurting the bitch whilst they're feeding.

This site has a breakdown of the different developmental stages of puppies and gives a list of the most basic things which should be done during each which might be helpful for you.

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