Create a “puppy bedroom” Choose a warm and comfortable sleeping space for your puppy with a bed and/or a blanket. It can also be beneficial to place something that smells of you like an old t-shirt in their bed to provide additional comfort.
The transition throughout this period can be a long process and may take time for your dog to stop crying and become quieter and therefore will need a lot of your patience. If there is still whining when left alone, start to time the duration of the time they are crying, then you can monitor and note how long they take to quiet down. Keeping track of progress is beneficial to see if things are improving over time.
Preparing for bedtime:
1) Give them dinner early, ideally 3 hours before bedtime, this will help them not to need the loo overnight. Limit food and water, do not give them any an hour before bedtime. Going to bed with a full stomach and bladder means you’ll likely be taking your pup out more than once during the night to let them out.
2) If you are early to bed and late to rise, you’ll have to make at least one midnight trip to keep them from going to the bathroom inside, but as your puppy gets older and gets used to the toilet training this will become less frequent.
3) Provide active play and a walk is possible, 2 hours before bedtime – this will help tire them out. Make sure your puppy is getting lots of physical and mental exercise, especially if your puppy is a particularly active breed and as your puppy gets older.
4) Try not to be too excitable to help calm them down. Wait until they are naturally sleepy before leaving them, puppies sleep a lot so this should be easy.
What NOT to do: -If your puppy cries, wait to see if they settle down before going straight to see them. If you go to see them every time they cry, they will learn that their crying will achieve this.
-Start as you mean to go on, if you want them to sleep in a separate room then avoid letting them sleep in your room at all…they don’t know what they have never had.
-Never use your puppy’s bed as a punishment, this could create stress at bedtime. If your puppy seems extremely stressed, they may not like their crate, being alone and away from you, the room, or a room separate from you. You could provide a puppy pen or area near your bed/bedroom. This can make your puppy feel more comfortable and less stressed as they are closer to you throughout this adjustment process. However, if your dog is sleeping in the same room as you, the transition to being a quiet pup that doesn’t bark when left alone can be a longer one. You will have to work on this and be patient. If your puppy cries, wait to see if he settles instead of coming to pet him. Otherwise your puppy could learn the wrong lesson that crying will get him cuddles! If you want them to sleep in separate rooms then avoid letting them sleep in your room, otherwise they will ask for it again.