A happy pug has begun puppy sleep training

Top Tips for Puppy Sleep Training


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Are you awake all hours of the night with your new baby? We’re speaking of course about your adorable new puppy. Puppy sleep training may help your little one and of course you get some much needed shut-eye.

The benefits of a well-trained pup go far beyond a happy sleeping schedule, too. Once your puppy gets the groove, they will feel safer and become naturally more well-behaved. Then you can spend more time bonding and having fun. This is, after all, the whole purpose of having a best bud in the first place.

Without further ado, here are six top tips for puppy sleep training

6 puppy sleep training tips

Puppy sleep training takes time and dedication. You might even say it’s a bit like having a new human baby. Sure, you don’t need to change diapers but you might find yourself letting pup out for toilet breaks instead.

And there’s bound to be a bit of crying, especially when puppy first comes home and still doesn’t know why they’re not with mummy dog. Helping your pup through these growing pains will help you form a lifelong bond. These steps can help you achieve this:

  • Allocate a puppy den
  • Establish a routine
  • Give your puppy ample exercise
  • Ignore whining during puppy sleep training
  • Ensure they have access to basic comforts
  • Have a pet insurance plan

Now that you’ve got the breakdown, here’s how it works:

Kiwi pet owner begins puppy sleep training

1. Should your puppy sleep on your bed?

First things first is deciding where puppy will sleep. Will you let them sleep on your bed, or perhaps in their own bed in your room? Or is crate training your puppy more in line with your goals?

Regardless of which choice you opt for, we recommend watching Lady and the Tramp before puppy comes home. This Disney classic gives a pretty good idea of how puppies can foil our so-called plans by tugging on heartstrings. So, buckle up and flex those perseverance mental muscles.

Deciding on where your puppy sleeps:

  • In your bed. If you’re not allergic to dogs and don’t mind fur, then sleeping with your dog in your bed has its perks. While most are health benefits there’s of course the creature comfort of a bestie by your side, too. And for puppy, having you near will help them settle in quicker.
  • In your room. If you’re less keen on sharing your bed, having pup share your room is still an option. A comfy floor space means they’re close enough to feel safe and your pillow won’t have hairballs. PS: For allergy sufferers, it’s good to know some dogs are less allergenic than others. Breeds like the Maltese dog don’t shed because they have hair rather than fur, causing fewer allergies.
  • Crate training. Crate training a puppy comes with many benefits and drawbacks. For one, it gives pup a safe, quiet space (den) to call their own. For those who like travelling with pup, this is especially important to start early on.

Ideally, puppies shouldn’t sleep outside because they can end up too hot or cold. Being one of NZ’s stolen dogs is also a rising risk for puppies sleeping outside. This has increased since the pandemic pushed up puppy prices, jogging a black market into existence.

2. Establish a puppy sleep training bedtime routine

Most creatures thrive on having some sort of basic routine and puppies are no exception. A basic routine gives your puppy a sense of control because they know what to expect and have it come to fruition.

You can do this by setting up the following:

  • Have a set bedtime.
  • Establish a playtime schedule during the day so your puppy is properly wound down by bedtime.
  • Have a set mealtime (at least three hours before bedtime/water approximately one hour before bedtime).
  • Keep things hushed and calm at bedtime.

This second last point will help reduce the frequency of midnight peeing and pooping, no doubt making for a well-rested puppy and a better rested, happier you too. Read our tips for toilet training your puppy to get it right from the start.

Puppy sleep training has worked for this pooch

3. Burn up puppy zoomies through playtime

If you and your pet baby ran marathons, chances are they’d beat you at it. Never underestimate the energy stores of young animals and kids. But they both need guidance. This is where having a routine playtime for dogs and cats can go a long way to happy healthy pets.

Take note that puppies grow super fast, so their physical exercise shouldn’t be too long or strenuous. Get the right balance without taxing their bones and joints. Read about the best puppy games to play plus tips on when and how. And if you’re looking for flow sports for pooch, read about exercising dogs without walking.

Exercise and training will both use your puppy’s mental and physical energy. At the end of the day, they’ll be calmer and more ready to sleep. Try out these four puppy training tips to use up puppy’s energy and build their skills.

4. Expect some whining during puppy sleep training

While some strike it lucky, it’s wise to expect whining during puppy sleep training. And yes, it will be hard to resist giving in to the cute baby cries, but you’re in for the long haul.

Whether it’s whining, howling, or barking, the last thing you want to do is react by shouting at your puppy. Also avoid telling them off or scolding them in any way. They’ve been removed from mummy dog and their litter mates and are dealing with new sites and smells.

Essentially, they’re doing what’s natural and in no way is that wrong.

That said, your best strategy is not to heap on the cuddles either. Ignore puppy’s pleas for attention and instead wait until puppy stops crying then praise or cuddle them to reward them for good behaviour. Positive reinforcement dog training has been proven to get good results.

For more great tips, read how to stop my puppy from crying.

give your pooch creature comforts for puppy sleep training

5. Give your puppy creature comforts

Humans and dogs are both creatures of comfort. To help your puppy get some quality shut-eye, get them a cosy bed, blanket or toy. If they’re not by your side at night, try letting them have one of your worn items of clothing. Their strong smell receptors will take this as a sign of security and help build your bond.

Read our article on dog jackets where we also share some great dog bed comforts. Another option to help puppy sleep training succeed is a pet pheromone diffuser. Have it going when you first bring pup home to help replicate the pheromone feeling of mummy dog.

6. Get free dog insurance

Technically pet insurance will help you, not puppy, sleep better 😊 Although it doesn’t form part of your puppy sleep training activities it certainly gives you peace of mind. If anything happens to your puppy, they can see a vet right away and you won’t be thinking about your bank balance.

Dog insurance helps cover the medical costs for the known and the unknown trouble your puppy gets into. Whether he or she needs stitches, medicine or even surgery, having a plan means being able to access quality medical care at the right time.

Did you know you’ll receive one or more months of pet insurance absolutely free when you sign up with PD Insurance online? Why wait for accidents, illnesses or any other medical mishap to happen; click below to get started now.

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