So, things aren’t going all smooth and quiet during your puppy’s first night at home. Learning how to stop a puppy from whining at night will become your top priority – it’s more like having a newborn baby.
Your puppy is experiencing a new, unfamiliar place, and is probably suffering from separation anxiety, especially if he was taken from his mother and siblings.
His only way to communicate his fear and loneliness is through whining. Here are a few tips to help you reduce and eventually eliminate the whining:
1: Use the Right Crate
To start with, you should use a small crate as your puppy’s sleeping quarters. Life Stages LS-1624 Single Door Folding Crate is a great option as it features a divider panel that allows you to adjust the size of the crate to suit your puppy.
You can place a blanket over the dog crate to make it seem cozier.
2: Place the Crate Next to Your Bed
Secondly, keep the crate in a draft-free area close to your bed. Animal experts believe that keeping your puppy close lets them feel as though they are part of your pack.
During the first night and throughout the first three weeks, if your pup cries, take him out of the crate, on a leash to the relieving area.
Once he relieves himself, put him right back into his crate and avoid giving him any treats or any playtime. After a few minutes, he should go back to sleep.
Under no circumstances should you take the puppy to bed with you. It will form a very undesirable habit that will be almost impossible to reverse.
3: Give a Stuffed Dog Toy
Experts also recommend giving your puppy a stuffed dog toy to snuggle with during the night. If possible, bring a plush dog toy with you to the breeder and get each of your puppy’s littermates scent on the toy.
When it is time to crate your puppy for the first night, he will snuggle with the toy and feel the scent of his littermates.
If you have no idea about the right plush toys for your puppy’s first night at home, we highly recommend the SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy.
Most puppies love this Snuggle Puppy Toy and it helps your pooch sleep better during his first night in his crate. Teething toys may also help if your puppy still struggles with upsurging new teeth.
4: Tire Out Your Puppy
Don’t allow your puppy to take a cozy nap on your lap right before bed. During the day, keep him up and active, romping with him to wear him out. If he is ready to lie down and sleep the minute you put him in the crate, then he will be too tired to put up a fuss in the middle of the night. If you don’t have time during the day, consider taking him to a boarding or daycare facility where he can play with other pets and tire out.
5: Limit Water and Food Before Bed
Cut off your puppy’s meals and water intake at least one hour before bedtime. Going to bed on a full stomach and bladder means that he will demand potty breaks more than twice in a night, which can distract your sleep.
Minimize those midnight cries for a potty time by limiting the number of after-dinner sips and snacks.
6: Use Music to Calm
As surprising as it may sound, playing soft music can actually calm and comfort your puppy during his first night at home. Harp enrichment/therapy for pets can relieve your puppy’s stress levels and make him relax and even fall asleep.
How to Stop a Puppy from Barking All Night
If you live in an apartment, a barking puppy can easily ruin your relationship with your neighbors. Stay out of trouble by teaching your pooch how to behave right from the start.
By shouting down your puppy whenever they bark, you’ll simply be rewarding the bad behavior. If your puppy begins those initial, exploratory barks, simply ignore them.
Once they learn that barking isn’t rewarded, they’ll become less interested in barking.
However, some dog breeds are born barkers. Recognize such behaviors and wait for gaps in the barking to distract them with a squeaky toy.
With a toy in the mouth, they’ll less likely bark. Reward them for carrying the toy around and playing with it. Within no time, your pooch will learn to pick up the toy as opposed to woofing.
Sometimes, even such training might fail to work. If that happens, you can opt for a safe and reliable anti-bark collar for puppies. These collars are designed to send a mild shock to your dog’s neck whenever he barks, causing him to shut down.
When Crying Continues…
If the worst happens and your new bundle of joy turns into pitiful yelps, whimpers, and wails, do a quick rundown of any possible distress he could be signaling.
A puppy can hold his bladder for about an hour longer than his age (measured in months). This means that a five-month-old pup can hold it for only six hours before he needs a bathroom break.
If the puppy has already relieved himself and still whines, perhaps he just needs a quick soothe for reassurance. A pat on the back and gentle words could suffice. At times, a shake by the scuff coupled with a firm “hush” could work.
So, there is no doubt you can make it through your puppy’s first night home. But remember, just like with newborn babies, consistency and patience is key. Pick a training plan and specific methods of discipline and follow it consistently for the best results.
Feeling Overwhelmed with New Puppy: Overcoming New Puppy Stress Syndrome
Bringing home a new puppy should be an exciting feeling for any first-time dog owner, so why do you feel so awful? It’s not unusual to feel frustration, annoyance, or regret after bringing home a new puppy.
It’s quite okay to ponder over whether or not your puppy is a good fit for your household, or if you should return him to the rescue or ask a friend or family member to re-home him.
The truth is, most first-time dog owners don’t fall in love with their pups right away. It takes a few weeks, sometimes even months, for the chaos to die down. Your new puppy will take time to adapt to your household and allow you to fall back to your comfortable routine again.
By the time your pup is a year old, they’ll likely be properly housetrained, and they’ll no longer be destructive. Over time, you probably won’t be able to imagine life without your furry friend.
But you don’t have to feel helpless whenever you face the new puppy stress syndrome. There are numerous things you can do to soothe the new puppy blues.
Puppy Problems Will Pass Over Time
Does your puppy bite your fingers or heel whenever you play? Is potty training taking forever? Does he chew on everything in your house, including your favorite shoes?
Most of these puppy issues can be annoying and frustrating, but the good news is that they don’t last forever. While most training methods might seem not to yield results as fast as you would wish, your puppy will eventually get the idea.
Remember, he is just a puppy – a baby. Your puppy does not misbehave to spite you. They simply have short attention spans and are experiencing everything for the first time.
The worst mistake you can make is to take action out of anger or frustration. Spanking, shouting, or angrily locking your puppy in a crate for a “time out,” can all trigger fear-based behavioral issues down the road.
Don’t expect too much, too soon from your puppy. When something doesn’t seem to work, take the time to re-examine your training approach, take a few steps back, and begin afresh. But if things totally fail to work out, it cam sometimes be advisable to safely and humanely rehome your puppy.
Get Help From A Professional
As a new puppy owner, you can read hundreds of puppy books and online materials to get ideas on how to best raise your new family member, but nothing beats the aspect of having customized, in-person help from a professional dog trainer.
Modern dog trainers apply behavioral science to pick up on pet communication issues and natural processes that could be triggering your puppy’s unpleasant behaviors.
They often use rewards to modify your pup’s good behaviors and actually help you learn to communicate with your puppy more effectively. They can also advice you about the right age to bring in your new puppy to alleviate some of these hassles.
Check with your local vet or get recommendations from close family members or friends with dogs to find trainers who use modern, reward-based training programs. You could also sign up for board-and-train and daycare-and-train programs to enhance success in your training efforts.
Dr. Belinda Hawks earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2006 and has been practicing veterinary medicine since then. Dr. Belinda currently works as a passionate rancher and mixed animal veterinarian in a rural town in South Carolina. When not practicing veterinary medicine or writing, she spends her free time with her lovely husband and three kids (2 boys and a lovely girl) in South Carolina.