Your puppy crying at night can be heartbreaking and it can also keep everyone in the house awake! Even if you had a great time cuddling your new little Bichon puppy all day, and you romped together all afternoon, the first night will probably be difficult for both of you!
So the challenge is to find a way to minimize the stress and turmoil of your puppy’s first night away from his siblings and Mom.
This article will cover:
- A puppy’s point of view
- Where should your puppy sleep?
- How to outfit your puppy’s sleeping area
- When the crying begins…
A Puppy’s Point of View
Everything is new and strange to your new puppy. Yesterday she was happily playing with siblings and cuddling up to Mom. And today she is separated from them and now has a new family, of people.
During the day your puppy was distracted by all the new things to sniff and explore, the new people and new activities. But, as night time nears, your new Bichon puppy is likely to miss her old home, Mom and her siblings–her pack.
A dog is primarily a pack animal. As such, he does everything with his pack. They hunt together, eat together, defend the den together and sleep together.
So, from your puppy’s point of view, after a day of activity together with his pack, it’s time to bed down together. Leaving your new puppy in a room by himself, far away from other family members, may not work too well for him. And if that’s the case, he’ll probably let you know.
Bichon Frises are very people oriented, and your new puppy will just assume that you all need to be together at bed time. And many Bichon owners want their puppies close to them, as well.
So how can you make this work, so that everyone is happy with the arrangements?
Where Should Your Puppy Sleep?
There are different schools of thought on where a new puppy should sleep. Some trainers feel that a puppy should sleep in the kitchen or a comfortable basement room, somewhere away from the family.
Others feel that a puppy should sleep near the family, his pack. I tend to agree with this approach, as it is more natural for a dog to sleep with his pack.
A Puppy in Your Bedroom
Having your puppy sleep in your bedroom helps you to bond with each other. Your puppy will feel safe and secure with his pack leaders close by.
And, in addition, many dog owners feel safer with their dog in their bedroom because, in the unlikely case of a home invasion, their dog will be the first to sound the alarm.
Your puppy does not have to sleep with you in your bed. She can sleep in a crate which will become her permanent bed or den.
And you don’t have to be worried about your dog’s interfering with your lovemaking. Dogs are indifferent to the sexual activities of their owners.
How to Outfit Your Puppy’s Sleeping Area
For the first few nights, you might just have your puppy sleep next to your bed in a cardboard box. That way, you can touch your puppy once in awhile if she becomes restless and upset.
After things settle down, your puppy should have her own crate for sleeping. The door should be closed.
This is not being mean. It’s just to insure that your new pup doesn’t decide in the middle of the night that it is time to play. If left to roam, she may just do that. Or she may wake you up, to let you know that she is bored and wants to play.
Your puppy needs to understand that bedtime is bedtime.
Your Puppy’s Night Time Den
The first step toward getting a good night’s sleep, is making sure that your puppy is feeling safe and secure.
If you are using a metal crate for sleeping, place a large towel or blanket over it, to make the crate feel more cozy and den-like.
You’ll want to include some items that will help your puppy settle down and stay asleep.
Make Your Puppy Comfortable
You don’t have to have everything listed below, but you will need some of these things for your puppy’s bedtime:
- Security item – Ask the breeder to place a small item (piece of cloth, towel, wash cloth) in with your puppy’s pack for a few days. This is to get the scent of Mom and your puppy’s siblings. Smelling the familiar scent of his former pack will be comforting to your new puppy. This item does not have to be very big. It just needs to smell like your puppy’s old family.
- Snuggle Puppy – This is the greatest invention! I love it! It’s a plush puppy toy that has a pulsating heartbeat and a heat source that give your puppy the impression that he’s not alone. This could be your new best friend. If your puppy feels safe and secure, she is more likely to sleep through the night. This is available at Amazon. I’d suggest having this before you bring your new puppy home. However, in an emergency you can get one from Amazon Prime quickly.
- Hot water bottle – If you don’t have a Snuggle Puppy, you can use a hot water bottle to get some warmth in your puppy’s bed. A cover will help you regulate the temperature, so it is not too hot. You can just use hot tap water. Don’t heat the water on the stove.
- Clock – An old fashioned wind-up clock can simulate the heartbeat of your puppy’s Mom. Two things to keep in mind when choosing a clock. Make sure it doesn’t have parts that your puppy can chew off and swallow easily. And make sure the clock ticks. Many of the newer wind-up clocks are silent. You can wrap the clock in a soft blanket like a baby receiving blanket to be extra sure that your puppy doesn’t chew on it.
- Something soft – A nice soft blanket to curl up is a great addition. Dogs like soft fleece or lambskin. And a dog blanket often becomes a favorite, just like a baby’s favorite blanket.
When the Crying Begins
Being separated from your dog’s Mom and siblings is probably the most traumatic day of his life. If you were in his position, alone at night for the first time in your life, you would probably cry too.
So it is important that you prepare yourself for the inevitable. Your puppy is probably going to bark, whine or cry the first night or two.
How you handle this will make a difference in how things go, going forward.
Puppy’s Bedtime Routine
Puppies are like babies. They need a routine to help them get ready for bed.
Your first night together will go better if you follow a few simple guidelines:
- About an hour before bedtime, play with your puppy to tire her out. A tired puppy is more likely to sleep.
- Then, help your puppy wind down and get more relaxed.
- Right before bedtime, take your puppy outside to relieve herself. This will be part of house breaking, but it also will help your dog keep her crate clean. And if she doesn’t have to pee, she will be quiet longer.
- Wear sweats to bed – this is so that, when your puppy needs to go outside, you can do it quickly and easily. Puppies do need to potty every 3-4 hours.
What to Do with Puppy Crying at Night
Your puppy probably will cry at night, at least for the first night or two. This is perfectly normal. There is nothing wrong with your puppy. He just feels vulnerable and alone.
Here are some tips to help you get through that time, and help you avoid problems in the future:
- If you have your puppy in a box next to the bed, you can simply touch her gently to let her know that you are there.
- Don’t speak to your puppy to tell her that “it’s all right” or try to comfort her. She doesn’t understand words, and she will interpret this to mean that you are praising him and that crying, whining or barking is OK.
- On the other hand, do not scold or yell at your new little puppy. That will make him feel that his new friend and pack leader isn’t happy with him. Raising your voice will just make your puppy more anxious and scared. Your puppy can feel your moods and will pick up on them.
- If your puppy seems restless and it is 3-4 hours past bedtime, she probably needs to go outside and doesn’t want to soil her crate. This is natural for a dog, and she won’t want to go potty in her crate. But, if she can’t get out of it to potty, she will not have a choice. You need to take her outside to pee, and then she should settle down.
- When you take your puppy outside, handle this very matter-of-factly. No playing or excessive affection. Get the job done, praise him quickly and put him right back into his crate. You want to keep this low key, so it doesn’t become a night time play activity that your puppy will look forward to.
- FIRST thing in the morning – Take your puppy out to pee, before you pee. You have much better bladder control than your new little puppy.
Where Will Puppy Sleep?
Even if you plan to have your Bichon Frise puppy sleep in another room, it is best to have her sleep in your room for a few nights.
When the pack sleeps together, they bond and become closer. And your new puppy will be more likely to protect and defend you, as well.