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"co-sleeping" with puppy at night

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

We are planning to get our first family dog.  My girls are now 4yo and 7yo.  We'll probably get a puppy about 3 months old.

 

Question: What do you do when puppy whines and cries at night?  I know very little about dogs, so I am learning (never had one as an adult).  My AP style parenting kicks in and says care for the dog if it's crying, but I know I'd be encouraging them to cry and expect me at night.

 

So... Do you crate your puppy at night?  Sleep with your puppy next to you in your bed?  Or on his bed on the floor?  Expect him to wake you if he needs to potty overnight (which I expect he will 2x a night or so)?  Or set an alarm?  Do dogs tend to wake up at night like infants do (and roam around if not crated)?

 

Sorry if these questions seem silly... I just don't know what to expect :)

post #2 of 6
Hi, sorry if you've already covered this but first I'd read up a lot on puppies and a) make sure you want one, and b) know what breed or kind of dog that will fit with your family. I've seen lots of people think they want a puppy but then are surprised and upset when all their things are chewed on and there is pee all over the floor.

I think you're in the right head space when you have expectations like you said- comparing them to an infant. If you have a dog that is not potty trained then you will have to help him or her with that.

Lots of people recommend crate training. I've never done that personally. I have put a puppy in its own space with a bed (and with paper down that they could potty on), in a gated non-carpeted area. With a ticking clock for bacground noise. With clothes that smelled like me. The same night I had to move the pup to a bed next to the sofa. . . with a hand touching the puppy. . .Then I moved the dog to my bed and we both finally got sleep.

There's plenty to say about the right way to do things- how to start off with not allowing what you wouldn't allow of an adult dog, about not allowing dominant behaviors. So read and ask and learn the right way. But you're right that this should be tempered with your AP instincts and your knowledge of your own particular puppy.

Sorry, I haven't posted in this area before but I wanted to help if I could.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Much appreciated salr :)  I am absorbing like a sponge... I've been reading for about 4 months now, watching YouTube training videos and talking to friends (one family who trains seeing-eye dogs in particular).

 

We want an Australian shepherd because we have a large yard (1.5 acres) with three hens now, and plan for 2-3 sheep in the next 6 months to a year.  We want to have a dog that understands her job (protecting our animals) and can behave well indoors (and yes, I do believe this means a lot of training!).  Also, my husband had a wonderful Aussie mix as a child, and he just lit up when he saw one on Craigslist recently. 

 

So I think we are ready, and I have "yes" votes from all members of the household.  Time and money are the next hurdles, but no hurry, I am still learning.

 

Interesting to hear that you "co-slept" with puppy.  I am completely fine with this, but I do not want a dog in my bed all night, and certainly not when grown to 50 lbs.  I also don't feel it's a good thing since I'm "pack leader" so to speak, and in terms of my personal space, I would just not be comfortable with it.  My own babies slept with me for years, but for me, this is different.

 

I would be fine with getting the puppy to sleep while I slept on a mattress on the floor with him, then getting into my own bed later in the night.  This is essentially what I do with my 4yo now, and it's A-OK with me.  Does it seem appropriate for a dog too?  We could side-saddle doggie's bed next to the mattress and get in sardine-style and then I'd remove myself when they slept, and/or when I woke up later.

 

Thinking about it, I'd probably try for the crate side-saddled to a mattress first... see how that went.  Knowing infants (and projecting that onto puppies!) it probably wouldn't work.  :)  But the mattress idea is fine with me.  As I understand it, we could also tether the dog next to our bed on his own bed to teach him "here's where you sleep".  But do puppies just wake and pee if not crated?  Or wake and roam if not crated?

post #4 of 6
My puppy and kid and I slept in a tent in the chicken coop for the first week. Never had any potty issues. Got to get dog ready for farm animals too.
post #5 of 6

I recently got a new puppy. It had been 11 years since I'd had a puppy, and I'd forgotten how much work is involved. 

 

As for sleeping arrangements, some of that will depend on how things were where you are getting him from. Some people have their puppies in crates overnight before they go home to new families, and that really helps. My newest puppy did not have that experience, so overnight crating would have been traumatic for us both that first night. 

 

I ended up using a pack-n-play next to my bed. It gives him a safe place to be while we sleep, but is less confining than a crate, but still is a small enough area that he is disinclined to soil it. I also have an exercise pen (like what show dog people use) in my kitchen, so when I am cooking or can't watch him, he has a place to be. We use a crate when he is home alone, or if he's gotten mouthy with the kids and needs a "time-out". 

 

I strongly recommend the book The Art of Raising a Puppy  by the Monks of New Skete. I read it 11 years ago with my previous dog, and again this time with this puppy. Lots of good, common sense stuff. 

 

I also recommend that the puppy have no off-leash time in the house until he has some sense. I'm not sure when that happens, but my newest puppy hasn't found his yet. On leash next to you gives him the socialization he needs without the opportunities to get himself into trouble. 

 

Good Luck with your puppy. 

post #6 of 6

Keep in mind, puppies can't hold it all night.  You are going to have to make some trips outside.  Put him on a leash, go to his go-to spot, let him pee, praise, and back to bed.  Just like with babies, night time interaction should be boring but it's necessary. 

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