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The First Night With Your New Puppy


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Congratulations! You have finally made the big commitment and brought an adorable new puppy into your family. Bringing your new puppy home marks the start of a long and rewarding companionship, but puppy ownership is not always unproblematic the first night. Your puppy is used to the company of his mom, brothers and sisters, and moving into an unfamiliar home with his new human family will require some adjustment.

First, you must decide whether you want your puppy - and soon to be full-grown dog - to sleep in the bed with you or stay in a separate bed in the floor or crate. Some people believe that allowing a dog to sleep in the bed leads to behavioral problems, but the decision is a matter of personal preference. Either way, it is a decision that requires commitment. Dogs thrive on routine and consistency, and being fickle about the boundaries will only lead to confusion for your puppy. Remember, if your puppy has the opportunity to sleep in the bed with you once, he will likely try to do so every night.

There are steps you can take before bedtime to make for a better night's sleep. Remove the puppy's water and food bowls in advance, and have a good play session to wear him out before bedtime. And of course, always take your puppy outside to relieve himself right before turning in for the night.

If you intend to crate train your dog, the crate is an excellent place to establish his bed. Keeping the crate in the bedroom where you sleep may help eliminate or minimize your puppy's crying. Keeping your puppy confined to his crate at night should also help with house breaking too, as dogs tend to naturally avoid soiling their sleeping areas.

Many puppies whine the first night or so in their new homes, which can result in frustration for the new owner. Remember, your puppy's first night at home with you is also his first experience separated from his mother and littermates, and instincts will lead him to cry in effort to reunite with them. Your reaction to the puppy's crying will set the stage for his future behavior, so it is important to react appropriately to his cries. First, realize that your puppy may cry because he needs to use the bathroom. If he is quiet and then suddenly begins to cry, this may be the case. Young puppies in the two-month old age range need to use the bathroom about every three hours, so you will need to take your puppy out more than once during the night during the early months. Be sure to pick up your puppy and carry him outside to his spot so that he is not tempted to eliminate too soon in the house.

On the other hand, if the puppy has been outside recently and seems to be constantly crying for attention, it is important not to encourage this behavior. If he cries and you react by soothing and petting him, you can bet he will use crying as a tool to get your attention in the future. While it can be difficult to resist comforting your crying puppy, doing so will teach him that crying is not the trigger for attention. A firm “no" or “quiet" may help some puppies understand what you want them to do, but under no circumstances should you get angry and shout at the puppy.

From the first day you bring your new puppy home, a consistent routine should be established, and sleeping arrangements should be a part of the routine. Your puppy will soon be accustomed to his new home and bed, and will no longer cry during the night. Though the first few nights may be trying for a new puppy owner, establishing your expectations from the start will lead to a fulfilling relationship with your new best friend.

About the Author: Dean Burton is the owner of, a leading provider of purebred puppies for sale . For more information, please visit


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