Set yourself up to win!
From the second you get your puppy home make sure that you start leaving them in a crate, a pen, or a room, alone for very short periods of time. Doing so from a young age in very short bursts will mean that your puppy grows accustomed to it and then you can increase the time away.
Golden Rule No.3 is very important and establishing yourself as the pack leader makes all the difference even at this young age. In the wild the puppies are left behind in the den (with other wolves or dogs) whilst the adults go hunting. There is nothing strange for puppies in this sense, but if you give your puppy the message that they are the pack leader then they will think that it is their puppy (You) that is lost outside the den and that will stress them.
Puppy crying or whining during the day:
If your puppy is crying during the day and stressing then it is likely that it is separation anxiety. Go to separation anxiety in the dog problems section, this will show you exactly what to do.
Make certain that your puppy does not have too large an area to patrol. If your puppy has too big a room to look after then they are more likely to become nervous and scared. Try putting them in a smaller room and you will find they are much more comfortable.
Puppy crying or whining during the night:
If your puppy is crying during the night then there is very little that you can do. It is almost certain that your puppy is a little nervous and wants to know if you are around. However any response given to your little puppies crying will simply reinforce it.
You are far better off holding out and she will stop herself. Often there will be an increase in the volume just before the puppy is going to stop, almost like one last attempt. At that point, hold out, and ignore her because she is about to stop!
Make sure that you put your puppy to bed in a calm manner. Play the last set of games long before bed time and make sure that your puppy is resting calm and submissive before putting her to bed. The last thing that you want is an energetic, excited bouncing puppy being put away in a crate for the night!
If you are using a crate then make sure that everything is quiet before closing the door on them. When the door is shut you can sit by the crate but not make eye contact, do not speak and don’t touch the puppy or the crate. Often this will help to calm the puppy. When they are relaxed, slowly and quietly leave the room.
As with crying during the day, make sure that the room you are leaving your puppy in is not to large. Puppies feel safer in small rooms such as a bathroom.
Toileting during the night:
It is best to keep the toilet training going overnight, this way they learn not to go in their crates! Here are a few tips
- Put your puppy on the lead so that she can’t run off and start playing!
- Say nothing, as this will keep your puppies energy low and help her fall back to sleep.
- Then say, “Go toilets” or the appropriate word, followed by the usual toileting procedure.
- Give your puppy a tiny treat or just a pat for going to the toilet.
- Return your puppy to the crate or room.
- Without a word slip out and be gone.
If you do it calmly and quietly your puppy should hardly be awake, falling straight back to sleep.
Always make sure that you take your puppy out to the toilet last thing at night and first thing in the morning.
If your puppy is drinking huge amounts of water just before bed then try to encourage this earlier in the day so she is re-hydrated and doesn’t need to. If you are really struggling with her weeing at night you can look to remove the water last thing at night and return it first thing in the morning so long as she is not in extreme heat.