Hi I'm new to this forum - and to raising a puppy! I have an eight week old medium mongrel, she is really cute. The problem is I have had her for two nights and the first night she cried so much (I have her crate, which she likes in the bedroom) I brought her onto the bed and cuddled her, she stayed there all night - I know massive mistake - because the second night she wanted the same. Should I just bite the bullet and put her crate in the kitchen and try and live through the noise???? She follows me everywhere and wants to be either at my feet or on my knee. HELP !!
Keep her crate in the bedroom - dogs are simply not capable of dealing with being shut off from the rest of the group. This, therefore, is a great punishment but not a good tool for encouraging your puppy to calmly sleep through the night. 8 weeks is very young to successfully remain crated throughout the night. Make sure to allow your puppy to eliminate before bedtime and then withhold all food and water. At first you may need to take her out in the middle of the night but as she gains bladder control you can slowly eliminate this.
Young puppies are used to sleeping in a pile with all their siblings. Sleeping alone is a new and stressful experience for them. You can help ease her transition by making sure her crate is warm, soft and comfortable. Fill a hot-water bottle, wrap it in a teeshirt or sweatshirt that smells like you, and put that in her crate with her. Old-fashioned alarm clocks that make a ticking noise are also useful because they emulate the sound of a heartbeat, which can be soothing to a puppy.
Provide her an appropriate chew toy. Chewing is an excellent and important stress reliever for dogs and puppies alike. Nylabones are great because they are more or less indestructable. As she begins to teeth, you can freeze a washcloth and give that to her - the cool cloth will be soothing on her sore gums. Try to stay away from rawhides, as those can deteriorate and get stuck in a dog's throat. Although bully sticks and Kongs are great at other times, they may cause her to need to go out in the middle of the night, so try to stick with non-consumable chewtoys until she is housetrained and making it all the way through the night.
Invest in a box of earplugs. Ignore the crying. Yup, you might have to suffer through a sleepless night but dogs are VERY quick at determining which behaviors bring rewards and which are fruitless. If crying doesn't achieve anything, she will quickly give it up and try a different tactic.
During the day, keep your dog tethered to you or near you, or use an X-pen to give her a small play area where you can keep an eye on her, which you're probably doing anyway for housetraining purposes. Provide her with appropriate chew toys.
Check out Paul Owens' book "The Puppy Whisperer" for some great tips on raising your new puppy!
Sandyq,initially to overcome this noise problem you must ignore it, to go down and scold the puppy would be counterproductive. The action of answering the pups cries, serves only to reinforce the crying why you go back to bed.
Irrespective of whether your appearance is positive or negative, the fact that you appeared at all in response to the cries will have reinforced this crying behavior.
If crying and screaming never elicits a response, then the pup will learn that this method of communication doesn't’ work.
What never works is waiting whilst the puppy makes and more noise, then finally becoming exasperated you go to the puppy. All that would teach the little horror was being especially persistent really works!
Having said that as mentioned earlier, you cannot allow the puppy to become so distressed that it harms itself either physically or physiologically
Punishment does NOT teach your dog to be quiet, any more than it would a baby crying. Punishment or anger will stress him more, and could create behavior problems or affect your future relationship with your pet.
You can help your puppy accept the separation more quickly, by carefully introducing him the area you want the pup to sleep and then carefully feed favorite treats in this area. If you are using a crate or playpen then you can leave a stuffed bone or kong in the crate, when you go up to bed.
If your puppy starts barking, howling or whining in the middle of the night, there's a good chance he needs to go potty, so you should take him out for a quick potty trip as outlined above, even if it isn't his scheduled time to go. Although we don't want Fido to get into the habit of thinking he can wake you up as often and as early as he likes by barking and crying, we need to play it safe, so he should get a chance to relieve himself any time he gets noisy. You should not ignore his crying if it occurs spontaneously in the middle of the night, since you run the risk of forcing him to go potty in his crate and starting him on the path to habitually soiling his crate. This will mess up your housebreaking program and make a lot more work for you in the long run, so get up and get his little butt out for a potty trip.