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Puppies have a natural instinct inside that causes them to whimper and whine when they are alone. It's because dogs are social creatures, much like humans. When they're alone, they may feel nervous or frightened. Before dogs were made into "man's (or woman's) best friend," they ran the land in wild packs. They hunted, ate and slept together.
When you leave your puppy alone at night, especially during his first few weeks at his new home, he is getting used to the environment. He'll most likely whine or cry. It could last the whole nightlong. The best thing you can do is to soothe him, but not cuddle him to sleep. Remember, you're trying to establish your role as leader and caretaker. There is a different time to cuddle.
There is, however, a lot you can do to help put your new dog to sleep, to make him feel comfortable in his new environment. Don't throw in the towel too early! Instead, try throwing him one of your laundered t-shirts to sleep beside. In his puppy room or crate, he'll surely feel like you're near when he smells your shirt close. It will be as if there's someone beside him, as if his mother were with him in the wild outdoors.
If this fails, try moving his puppy crate to your bedroom for the night. If he continues to whine, try tapping the cage once forcefully. Then, in a low firm voice say, "No. Sleep," or "No. Quiet." This may sound harsh, but if you snuggle or cuddle him to sleep, you will actually be re-enforcing his whining behavior. He'll associate his whine with your loving attention. Try throwing in a chew toy for him to suckle.
If you aren't training with a crate, bring the puppy into your room with a leash. Attach it to the wall or to the bottom bedpost. Line the floor with newspapers around him. You can also give him a chew toy. Here, if the puppy whines or moves around a lot, repeat the above verbal commands. Tap the nightstand with your hand as you tell your puppy to be quiet (it's akin to tapping the cage with some force). With both situations, you can throw him a t-shirt for good measure. Or, you can even try a ticking clock or radio beside the puppy at night. This is also helpful if when you are away from your new puppy during the day. The constant noise is very soothing.
One thing will surely help: be sure your puppy eliminates and is played with vigorously before bedtime so he's not riled up.
Much of this can be applied to older dogs too. You may not have to take him out as often, but be sure to allow him to go to the bathroom and receive some attention before bedtime. In any case, you will have to teach your puppy or pooch that he will be soothed and loved, but that there are bedtime rules.
It will seem like a lot of work, and you may lose some sleep. But, take your time. And, before you know it, your puppy or dog will sleep soundly, which will allow you and your family to sleep the whole night through.
About the Author:
Tina Spriggs is an expert dog lover whose lifelong interest in canines provides the motivation for her site. To learn more about dogs or to find gifts and toys for them visit her site at Dog Gifts and Toys for Dog Lovers.
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.
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