This is a Premium feature
Puppy sleep advice!(26 Posts)
Good morning, our 7 week old puppy came home on Saturday. I appreciate and understand that he won't sleep through the night just yet, but I'd welcome some advice from experienced dog owners- this is our first!
We have a crate and a pen set up in the living room, and a puppy gate on the living room door. He has free run of the whole thing but, the pen is there if we need to leave him for more than a minute or two (to answer the door, cook, etc...) We also have a plastic crate.
The plan on Saturday night was to pop him in the plastic crate at bedtime and bring him up to our bedroom, then take him out in the night as needed. This failed as he point black refused to settle in the crate. However, in retrospect this could have been because my husband kept him downstairs with him while he was watching TV. Anyway, he ended up staying up most of the night with him as he cried wherever they put him.
Last night, I set up a camp bed in the living room. I made the whole room dark and calm, and after a 10pm (fruitless) toilet trip, I popped him in the pen. I was able to settle him by Shhhing and putting my hand on the outside of the bars. He cried for about 2-4 minutes. He probably woke every hour or so, but settled with the hand and shhhing. I took him out at 12, 2, 4, and then my daughter came at 6. He was clearly ready to start the day at 5.30 so I let him out of the pen for cuddles then. He may have weed at 12, definitely nothing at 2 and then wee and poo at 4 and 6. I did not speak or fuss him on our outside breaks apart from to tell him to Go Potty.
So my question is this. What do I do tonight? Obviously I'd prefer to be in my own bed! Do I try plan A again and bring him upstairs in the plastic crate and see if I can settle him in a dark, calm, bedroom? Or stick with what I did last night? Or something different. He gets very upset when we leave him (as in go to another room!) and as we will eventually have to leave him for short periods for work (9+ weeks minimum and I'm prepared for Doggy Daycare if he's not ready) I don't want to cause any kind of separation anxiety. Thank you for reading this epic post! Picture of our gorgeous boy to say thank you for any advice offered!
When you say plastic crate do you mean like a pet carrier that you use to take cats to the vet ? I’m not a user or even and advocate of cages for dogs but if you are going to use one you need to train the dog to go in and like it . Personally I’d either move the pen upstairs or get the dog a bed for the bedroom floor . He’s very cute btw .
Hi - I don't know if this helps but this is what we've done from 8 weeks (she's now 16 weeks and house trained)... see photo. She has all the small utility room with a crate inside left open. Utility room just has a pressure mounted stair gate over the entrance. She uses the crate for sleeps during the day and all night. When younger we had puppy pads just dotted around the utlity room, but she doesn't need those now.
We put her into her area at 10pm then got her up for wees at 5am. She's now good to 6.30am.
We ignored the crying and gave her a big teddy with a heart beat pulse in it and lots of our smelly tops clothes etc...which works well.
You will find on MN different schools of thought re: sleeping with pups or leaving be. That's your decision.
If you do the leaving pup route.....it is a good idea for a few weeks to set an alarm for say 2/3am and then take him out for a fuss-free wee, then back to bed. I'd actually forgotten that this is what we did for a couple of weeks....your mind gets blurred!
Floralnomad Yes, it's like a vet carrying case. It's huge though- we use it for our enormous cat. He could easily stand up, turn round etc... There is no room for the whole pen in our bedroom. I'm not planning on crating him long term, but lots of the advice I'd read suggested puppies liked an enclosed space, especially at night. Clearly he hasn't read the same books as me.
Tinkobell That's exactly my dilemma. Do I just leave him to cry in his perfectly safe pen and go down for toilet trips? Letting him cry seems mean while he's so little, but sleeping on a camp bed is not a long term solution. If I start, how do I stop?
I think I'm leaning towards trying to settle him in our room in the plastic crate and taking him out if he cries. Then as he gets older, I can switch out the crate for a bed... But saying that, I'd prefer him to sleep downstairs as the cats sleep upstairs and I don't want to disrupt them! I'm trying myself in knots.
I'm not an expert by any means but I would go with a crate in your room solution and pop your hand in to shush, ignore some crying so it's not every hour. Your night sounds exhausting and will soon start to take its toll
With my puppy we had a crate with open top so I would sleep with my hand in, I actually used puppy pad outside the crate, so lift put on pad, say toilet. If he weed/ pooped straight back to crate (lots of people dont agree with puppy pads but I just couldn't walk to the garden in the middle of the night I NEED my sleep ) If he didn't do anything back to crate and ignore!
Eventually he would wake couple of times for genuine toilet, then it got less and less and he lasted until 5/6 get up time.
I did not use puppy pads in the day.
Now at 5 months he is fully toilet trained and sleeps downstairs, it's kind of happened naturally as downstairs is much cooler on the tiles, as previously he slept in a dog bed by my bed/ or on my bed!
Here's him in his bedside crate as a baby
Don't leave him to cry _ up to you if you want him upstairs or downstairs. If you don't want a big dog upstairs make the decision now.
You may find a couple more nights downstairs with you is all he needs. I have never spent more than a week sleeping in the dogs room. I prefer to keep my dogs downstairs or up by invite only so do not let puppies upstairs at all.
I would not set an alarm to wake him up ( I have never done this lazy owner) you will be surprised some dogs can sleep through -well 11.00-5.00 quite early on and if you are waking him up you will never know this!
OP - the pup is 7 weeks, that is young. I'm trying hard to not come across critical here, but can't help feeling that pup ought to have stayed with mum at least a week longer ...ideally a couple more weeks. Given pups young age, actually you've got to be mum and replace what that youngster ought to be getting. I'd say lots of physical contact and cuddles. So given the you age, prob best to have them close first week or two. Maybe bunk downstairs leaving cat free run upstairs.
Get some Moldex earplugs off Amazon just to numb absolutely every snort and wimper.
By week 8/9, if it were me I'd get back upstairs leaving pup with a smelly top and do a mid night check for quick reassurance and wees. It is a hard time but you do quickly get through it and restore you're sanity.
Fair point re night checks @Valla.....i didn't need to, but they're all different.
Presumably not had first vaccinations or worming yet? I'd give the vet a quick ring and check about lawn and cat contact .....although I'm guessing the cat is probably a bit disgusted and staying well away....mine did!!
That is a VERY young pup. Poor baby needs to be close to you. I have a giant breed which means she can't come upstairs. (Joint damage.) I slept by the crate until she was settled at night.
Please don't leave him to cry.
Personally I don't think there is a right or wrong way. If you want them upstairs then do so otherwise leave them downstairs.
I invested in a baby monitor so I could watch and listen without being in the same room. I know for a fact mine could not hold it all night and needed the toilet so I used to set an alarm and take him out. When he cried I used to take him outside then back in the crate, no fuss, no talking etc so he soon got it that night was for sleeping or toileting.
Everyone has their own way of doing things so you just have to find which one works for you.
Tinkobell I know it’s early and it’s sooner than we were originally told too. However, this was on advice from the vet (a vet I trust as my other pets are with the same practice) as mum had no milk left at 5 weeks and was getting unwell. The other 3 puppies that left at the same time all seem to be ok- it’s just ours that is so upset at night!
Leaving him to cry doesn’t sit right with me, so I’m going to stay downstairs at least for the next few nights and take it from there. Cats are staying away from puppy (and they ‘go’ in the woods opposite our house rather than the garden) so vet wasn’t concerned about them mixing. He’s had some jabs already and gets the next lot on Friday.
Thank you all for your advice xx
Oh good luck. As Bitey said there's no right wrong. I'm decidedly old school but at 7 weeks that pup would ordinarily be with the litter still. Make sure in this heat, the pup is well hydrated and if necessary I'd even syringe a little into the mouth. When they're in the litter at 7 weeks, whilst weaned, they are still grabbing mum for the odd glug!
7 weeks is very very young and pup should ideally still be with it's mum and litter mates. I understand there are extenuating circumstances here though.
But with such a young animal (he's just a baby) I would be having him in my bedroom so I could keep an eye on things. Take him to the toilet regularly (you'll be shattered, he'll need to go every couple of hours in the night and every 20-30 minutes in the day). I wouldn't expect him to sleep through the night for at least another 6-7 weeks if not longer. Ours only slept through at 15 weeks and even then he still needs to go in the night occasionally.
I think at 7 weeks he's far too young to expect him to sleep on his own.
Good luck. I found the early weeks very hard work. But it pays off! Hoping for sleeping through and toilet trained soon! Get carrots in the freezer for teething and invest in a kong.
Why did you take the pup at 7 weeks? The earliest a pup should leave its mother is 8 weeks. Its worrying a breeder would let the dog go at 7 weeks. I got my pup at 8 weeks, but not wish I had waited until 9/10 weeks after reading online about puppy development. However, we were/are lucky with our puppy, who is not just over 12 weeks. Her first night she slept in her crate and did not cry at all. We were expecting her to keep us up all night. I woke once in the night to take her out for a wee and she was happy to go back in. One trick I did, was held some of the other puppies in her litter before we left the breeders and used my shirt as her sleeping aid at night. She had it with her in the crate, so it was a familiar scent, along with one soft toy. I also covered the top and front of the crate with a towel, leaving the back open, but its facing a wall, but felt with the back open it allows for some more air to go through. All pups are different though, so some may have more difficulties settling. Another trick I heard is a heating pad. But as its warm weather now, that might not be helpful.
Is the pup microchipped?
I would be highly suspicious that the breeder was unscrupulous and just wanted the cash.
I also think you will struggle with daycare for a dog so young. Puppies can't be walked at that age and no daycare will take one that isn't up to date on jabs, worm and flea treatments.
mamabear12 as I said previously, my own vet, who was also the vet of the mum, advised us to take the puppy at 7 weeks. Unfortunately mum dog had no milk left at 5 weeks and was becoming unwell- the vet felt 7 weeks was the best balance for puppy health v mum health. When we originally picked our puppy from the litter, we were told 9-12 weeks for collection. I would not have taken him if it wasn’t recommended by a vet who I absolutely trust.
wolfiefan I know the breeder personally and have done for many years. This is the only litter they’ve ever had and they don’t plan another! All the puppies are microchipped and had their first lot of injections and worming etc. It’s one of the reasons we have this particular dog- I know the home environment very well. I haven’t met the puppies Dad, but I have seen a photo and I’ve met his owner- they go to a sister church to mine.
We had a better night last night. I slept in with him again and he got me up for the toilet at 12, 2, 3.30 and up for the day at 5.45. However he was very settled and didn’t cry at any other time. Tonight I plan to move my camp bed closer to the door. He’s in a glorious mood this morning! Toilet training is going well too- during the day he takes himself outside if the door is open, or he paws at the door if it’s closed. We’ve had no accidents at all,but obviously he isn’t being left alone so his cues are easy to spot.
Bless him. That all sounds very positive. Good luck with him.
That sounds good.
What are you planning on doing when you have to go to work? Puppies need taking to the toilet every 20/30 minutes when they're very small and I don't think you'll find a daycare to take such a young dog. He might have his jabs but puppies are a lot of work, especially when you have to mind other dogs as well.
adaline for the next 9 weeks we are completely sorted. There are only 3 times where we can’t be at home and our puppy is going to our good friends house to be with his sister from the same litter. She will be coming to us on similar occasions! After that, we have various plans. I am self employed and my husband works from home. On the (very rare) occasion that we both need to be out all day, I’d ask my parents first, then I’d try a local doggy daycare. I can’t see any time where this could be an issue until October looking ahead at the diary. Hopefully he’ll be happy to be left for short periods by then- usually I’m out for a maximum of 4 hours.
That's good, sounds like you're well-prepared which is really nice to see we got laughed at for organising daycare but it's vital for us as we both work. It means he meets new people and new dogs and we don't have to worry about him being on his own. It also means if we need to work late or go early for whatever reason, we know the dog is well-cared for!
Good luck with him!
Little update: I slept downstairs for 2 nights and he got up 4 times. DH did the next night and he only got up twice. Last night we set up the camp bed, but once he’d settled we went upstairs and left him! We set alarms for 1 and 4 to take him out and he was asleep both times when we went down, so we woke him. He settled again within 2 minutes and was still sleeping when DD came down at 6. I think tonight we’ll push back the toilet visits to 1.30 and 4.30 and see how that goes. He is also much happier being left in the living room while DH works in the dining room. He’s 8 weeks today and a gorgeous, happy little pup - I’m so grateful for all of your advice.
Please login first.