How To Handle Your Puppy’s First Night At Home

Your puppy’s first night at home. It’s definitely exciting…It’s definitely fun…Here are some things to think about before your puppy arrives at your home.

It’s been just about a year since I brought Stetson home from Guide Dogs of America. It made me think of our wonderful first meeting in Sylmar, CA and also the countless nights without sleep for the following four weeks. Guide Dogs of America does not leave you empty handed. They give you a guide on what to expect and what you should do during those first few days and nights. These steps aren’t only for guide dogs and can be followed by anyone bringing home a puppy for the first time.

Everything’s New…Everything’s a First

Much of this is taken from my GDA handbook some of it paraphrased with some of my comments mashed in between.

First things first…We are informed that up to this point your puppy has been with his mother and his littermates in a sterile environment. It’s advised that your puppy’s first week at home should be a quiet one. The puppy should be allowed to explore and meet his new family. You should now start teaching the puppy his name (amazing because, now Stetson knows his name like the back of his paw). When you first arrive home give your puppy a chance to relieve itself in an area you have designated for that purpose (Stetson’s designated spot was in the dirt area on my patio).

Take your puppy out on leash (without his bib on) — GDA puppy’s in training are never allowed to “Get Busy” with their bib/jacket on — and repeat “Get Busy” (Remember this may be the first time your puppy has heard these words). Allow your puppy 10-15 minutes, if he hasn’t relieved, take him inside. Try again in 10 minutes. If the puppy does relieve itself in the proper area, give him lots of praise. Then let him explore the house (remember to supervise – don’t let him out of your sight). Afterwards your may take it inside, but remember to supervise the puppy; do not let it out of your sight. Talk to the puppy when it explores to make it feel more at home.

Stetson and Colby at GDA

Puppy’s First Night At Home

If you’ve raised a puppy before then you probably know this is where the real fun begins.

From the GDA handbook:

The first few nights at home may be difficult for both you and your pup. At night the puppy will feel lonely and will probably demonstrate this by whining (Oh, you betcha!). These are a few things that you can do that might make the puppy feel at home.

  1. Your puppy’s sleeping quarters should be in a small crate.I had a large crate with a partion and put a blanket over it to make it seem more cozy.
  2. Keep the crate in a draft free area next to your bed. For approximately the first three weeks, if your puppy cries, take him out, on leash to relieving area. After relieving put him back into his crate. Do not give him any treats or any play time. Put him right back into his crate and he should go back to sleep.
  3. Give the puppy a stuffed dog toy to snuggle with.I was told to bring a toy with me to GDA when we met the litter and get each of Stetson’s littermates scent on the toy. Then when it was time to crate Stetson for the first night he could snuggle with the toy and smell his littermate’s scent.
  4. Under no circumstances take the puppy to bed with you. This will form a very undesirable habit. - trust me…it’s difficult to avoid doing when your puppy is whining all night, but it’s very important to leave him in his crate.

Puppy’s First Feeding

This will be your puppy’s first meal by himself. Once your puppy’s food is prepared, you will start having your puppy sit and wait for his food. Hold your puppy by his collar by slipping your thumb in his collar and set his food about two feet away. As soon as he stops wiggling, say the words “O.K.” and release your puppy. This should be done at every meal throughout training.

My Experiences With My Puppy

At Stetson’s puppy kindergarten I was always reminded that every puppy is different. Even within a breed. There are several people in our group who have raised 10 or more Labrador Retrievers in the Guide Dogs of America program and each one is different.

Stetson on his bed at homeMy experience with Stetson was very difficult in the early days and weeks. I had no problem with Stetson when I first got him home. I already knew about the trials and tribulations with house training and crate training. Puppy’s tend to piddle about every 10 to 20 minutes. You have to watch them like a hawk or they will end up using your house as their personal restroom. Stetson had some accidents here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The agony came in the evening. Stetson did NOT take to the crate! He whined, and howled, and cried, and barked…probably made every noise he could possibly produce, but would not relax and go to sleep. He did sleep once in a while. During those first 4 weeks the most sleep I got was approximately 6 hours, broken up 3 or 4 times a night by whining, howling, barking…you get the picture. I was a wreck and I thought Stetson would never get used to his crate. The only way I was able to get him to sleep was to talk to him for 5-10 minutes, telling him what a “good boy” he was when he wasn’t crying (if he did cry I would just keep silent tell he stopped). To try and quiet him down I’d either say “quiet” or “Shhh”.

I have two words for you – consistent and patient. After about 4 weeks of consistently sticking to my guns, not letting him out of his crate, and praising him when he was quiet Stetson suddenly stopped making noise in his crate. He’d let me sleep through the night and I thought I’d reached bliss.

I’m constantly reminded that I need to be consistent with Stetson’s training and patient. In the long run it pays off. Stetson has not barked, howled, or whined in months. In a matter a fact I can only recall him barking one time in the past 1/2 year (he barked because he was trying to get my attention to go outside). I actually think it’s kind of unusual that he doesn’t bark at all anymore, but it gives me more peace and quiet.

What experiences do you have with your puppy’s first night at home? Was it miserable? Did you get any sleep?

Comments

  1. Kylie says

    Hi, I am 14 years old. We got a 6 week old Husky, and may I add probably the most cutest dog alive. Although, we do have a few issues. I’ve noticed when we put her in her kennel to sleep, she whines, yelps, barks, and howls; I’ve been woken up around 2:00 am each morning, and I really need my sleep for school. Another issue is her bathroom choice, it seems every time she enters the house she has a sudden urge to poop on the carpet; there has only been one time where she hadn’t, and that was when she pooped twice in a row outside. Third, I feel like I’m not very good at teaching her, her name. Her name is Lila (Lie-la), a few tips on that would be awesome! I have a few other questions regarding training, I’ve heard hitting (lightly) a dogs but with newspaper works, or if it uses the bathroom in the wrong place rubbing it’s nose in it (I’d rather not…) Do these really work, get back to me ASAP Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Kylie,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! I’m glad you’re so interested in working on his training. I’d recommend you get a book called Puppies For Dummies. It’s great and will really help you learn how to train your puppy. We also have a lot of information on this site, but it’s not in any order so the best thing to do is to use the search box in the upper right of the website.

      It’s common for your puppy to not like staying in her crate when you first start working on crate training. Make sure you read this article: http://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies/.

      You need to work on your pups potty training. Make sure and read this article: http://puppyintraining.com/how-to-potty-train-a-puppy/

      I wrote an article on how to teach your puppy her name. Take a look at this article: http://puppyintraining.com/how-to-teach-your-puppy-his-name/

      You never want to hit your dog with anything. You could end up with some serious behavior problems. You also never want to rub your dogs nose in any accidents in the house he won’t understand what your doing and may eventually become afraid of you.

      I hope that helps.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  2. Laura says

    Hi Colby, first I want to say thank you very much for your website and blog. I have learned so much.
    We are picking up our 8 week old golden retriever puppy on Thursday and I’m so excited. I wanted to ask if you had any specific advice for me as I also have two very small children.
    I intend to crate train her and I was going to have her in my room at night but my 1 year old daughter also sleeps in my room so I’m a little nervous that the entire night will be a puppy wakes baby, baby wakes puppy fiasco.
    Just reading one of your posters comments I thought it might be a good idea for myself and CailĂ­n (puppy) to sleep in the living room for the first week or so. Having had 2 babies in quick succession I’m used to not sleeping for long stretches but I’d rather not have everyone’s sleep disturbed if possible. Do you think that is feasible and that eventually she’ll be ok in the kitchen in her crate?
    I have arranged for a dog trainer to come on Thursday afternoon for an hour to help me with settling the puppy and I suppose giving me advice about how to handle the puppy with the children. But any advice you could give me would be really appreciated. Thank you

    • Laura says

      Hi colby,
      Did you get a chance to look at my query? I’d love your opinion
      My puppy is settling well but she will pounce on my youngest any chance she gets. I do have her on leash all the time as you suggest and find that a great tip.
      Thanks so much

      • says

        Hi Laura,

        I’m sorry I did send a reply, but I see it didn’t show up on the blog. How did the first few days go with your puppy? Those are usually the most difficult. To answer your question it should be fine for you to sleep in the living room and over time she should be fine sleeping in the crate in the kitchen. We have specific rules in the guide dog program and that’s why the crate must be next to our bed. However, with your personal pet you can do things differently. It may take a little time for you puppy to adjust to sleeping alone, but all of my pups have gotten used to staying in their crate by themselves. I hope everything is going well with our puppy’s first few days home.

        Take care,
        Colby

  3. Jennifer says

    I have a 13 week old lab. At night when I place her in crate she whins and cry bark all through the night. I have to be at work 530am in the morn so just needing some advice

  4. lj says

    We will be picking up a new puppy Shih poo for our daughter in a month at which time the pup will be 8 weeks old. My daughter is planning to use puppypads so when she has to be out of the house and leave the pup it will have a place to go and not be distressed having to “hold it”. Also, our winters are very cold and can be nasty so she is worried that for a pup the size of a shih poo it might be just too cold for it to have to stand outside in a pile of snow to do it’s business.
    If she uses the puppy pads through the winter months and then in the spring tries to retrain it to get it to go outside will she have any success or will the dog just be confussed? Ideally it would be nice if she didn’t have to use the puppy pads forever.

    • says

      I have not tried this, but you should be able to re-train your puppy from going on potty pads to going outside. When you transition to having your pup potty outside I would start your pups potty training routine from the beginning and make sure your very strict with where she can (outside) and cannot (inside) go potty.

  5. Susan Height-Kaplan says

    Hi Colby, this is my first night with my new puppy, it’s now 3:30am I feel like I had another newborn!! He crus a lot, I’ve taken him out several times throughout the night and put him right back in his crate, I have something with his mommas and daddy’s scent and a few stuffed animals for him to lay on or under, he seems to calm down when I get up just to let him know someone is here but I don’t remove him from his bed. I have another dog that’s 11 years old, he crus when the puppy cry’s but doesn’t seem to want
    Much to do with the puppy, our older dog won’t even sleep in his bed that’s in our room, I think because the puppy is there. I really want him to love his Lil brother and I’m hoping that in time he will. How many times during the night should I take the puppy out and should I have food and water in his crate all night? Thank I for all your help
    Susan H-k

    • says

      Hi Susan,

      Sorry for the late response. We don’t put any food or water in the crate with our puppies. I will take my pups out to potty any time they wake up and start crying, but I immediately take them back to their crates when they finish doing their business. In general it’s around 2-3 times the first few nights. After about a week or two they usually sleep through the night. However, every puppy is different. Some sleep through the night on day 1 and others have taken over 4 weeks (I’ve had friends who said it took 2+ months for their pup) before they sleep through the night.

      Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy.

      Colby

  6. Lisa says

    We picked up our 8 week old chocolate lab yesterday and we’re a couple of hours into our second night. I’ve done exactly as you say in your article but I’m afraid she seems to be like Stetson. She has been howling non-stop for an hour now. I “shh” her and talk to her but it just makes her worse. Wish us luck!!! With a five month old baby I’m starting to think we my have jumped the gun getting a puppy so soon!

    • says

      Hi Lisa,

      A puppy is a lot of work. I wrote a bunch of tips on crate training in this article crate training puppies. That is definitely a tough assignment to have a 5 month old child and an 8 week old puppy. Good luck with your training!

      Take care,
      Colby

  7. Lisa says

    Hi Colby,

    Update: We’ve had Ruby for four nights now and she’s been great! She only cried on the second night but now it’s like she’s been here forever. She already asks to go outside to relieve herself, sits and waits for her meals to be put down before going for them and can sit on command! So proud of our puppy!

    Thanks for your support :-)

    Lisa

  8. Sofi says

    Hi! So I have a 3-month-old malteseXshih tzu named Romeo. Throughout the month we’ve had him, we noticed that when we take him out in the backyard, when he’s done doing his business, he starts going into this rage and running circles super quickly around the yard barking and growling. At first I try to chase him; but if you take one step towards him he bolts. I don’t want him to learn to away when we go near, so I have to resort to yelling until he gets scared, and walks up to us with his tail between his legs. He’s also tiny so I’m scared he could find a way to get into the road. What should I do? He’s knows come,
    Okay, and his name, but it never seems to work when he goes into that crazy mode! Help? Thank you so much

  9. Anny says

    Hello! So, I have a very small puppy who used to be afraid of all other dogs. Now, we want to socialize him more -he is 3 months old. But as we notice him breaking the fearful habit, we noticed him getting more aggressive. He snaps and bares his teeth, claws, etc. we need to curb this right away! Before he grows older, or messes with the wrong dog who WILL hurt him. Please help. What can we do??

    • says

      Hi Anny,

      One thing you might try is enrolling your puppy in a puppy kindergarten. These classes will help your puppy socialize with other puppies and people. It will also give you a chance to ask a dog trainer any questions you may have about your puppy’s behaviors.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  10. Vanessa says

    My family and I will be picking up our puppy ( yellow lab/ Aussie Shepard) He will be 6 weeks old. This puppy is mainly for my visually impaired little guy who is 2 right now. If he needs guide dog assistants we wanted this puppy to be that for him. What can we do right now with the puppy until we can put him in training for it?

    • says

      Hi Vanessa,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! Do you have a guide dog school or trainer you plan on working with? I would check into that first and ask them what you need to do to prepare your puppy.

      All of the puppies we raise are bred at the guide dog school. They come home and live with puppy raisers from 7 weeks until 18 months where the raisers teach them basic obedience, good house manners, and socialization. After 18 months the puppies return to the school where they start their formal guide dog training learning how to walk in a harness, intelligent disobedience, etc. After 6 months of formal training dogs are matched with visually impaired and blind handlers where they go through another 28 days of intense training.

      I’m not sure if schools accept dogs outside of their breeding program and that’s something you should definitely look into.

      Good luck with your new puppy!
      Colby

  11. Koisky says

    just got my very first pet 8 hours ago, that’s around 6pm my time. at first he wouldn’t want me touching him even before the previous owner introduced me to Koisky, my MiniPinscher, but after few hours at home he knows only me and tries to jump off and bite others… don’t know what to do… now that I am about to sleep, since he likes to cuddle and sleep beside me, I ran across this article and read about not bringing the dog to my bed to sleep.. so what I did was to place a designated bed for him (not a crate) for him to sleep but with a leash.. will I keep doing this to train him his bed?

    • says

      Hi Koisky,

      Congratulations on your new puppy. We crate train all of our puppies. If you have a new young puppy I would recommend crate training rather than tying him down with a leash. We have an article on crate training puppies here.

      You also might want to consider bringing in a professional dog trainer for an in home evaluation of your puppy.

      Good luck with your new puppy!
      Colby

  12. Daniel says

    Hi Colby,
    First I’d like to say that this is a great website and I really am impressed that you can reply to almost everyone. So I’m just doing some early studying before I get my Golden pup in a year or two and I’m a bit confused on when to take the pup out to potty at night. Now, we shouldn’t take the dog out when it’s crying but you take him out to pee when he’s whining? Do you mean that we should just keep to a night time schedule (1-2hrs) between going to the potty at night? Thanks!

    • says

      Hey Daniel,

      I’m glad you’re doing some early studying before bringing home a puppy. I’m sure you’ll be well prepared in a year or two.

      You never want to let your puppy out of the crate when he is crying/whining even if it’s because he has to potty. You first want to get him to stop crying/whining for a few seconds and then let him out of the crate. In general if your puppy is crying/whining you don’t want to let him out of the crate while he’s crying/whining because then he will associate crying/whining with being let out of the crate.

      You don’t really need to keep to a night time schedule unless your puppy is having accidents in his crate without warning you (he’s not crying to be let out). Some pups will wake up, potty in the crate, then go right back to sleep.

      Most puppies won’t have too many problems with crate training and potty training. Some of the instances I mentioned with Stetson were pretty extreme. Overall most of my pups were used to the crate after a few nights.

      If you do run into some problems with crate training you might want to check out this article: http://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies/

      I hope that answers your question. Please let me know if you need more clarification.

      Good luck when you get your new puppy!
      Colby

  13. Marie says

    Hi Colby,

    Your information is great, thank you so much and good on you for helping everyone. I am about to view and hopefully purchase our golden retriever puppy in 8 weeks time (the litter has just been born) :D

    I was just wondering what you think about our idea/plans in terms of getting the new puppy used to our lifestyle. We always had goldens but the youngest was 2 years (they have always been rescue dogs) and my hubby has always taken them with him in his big Jeep to work where they used to relax in the back of the car with open boot. They used to have water and being taken for a walk as much as possible during breaks. Perhaps worth mentioning that my hubby always works outside on residential homes, hence the car is usually parked somewhere in the green and he always has the dogs in his eyesight (I hope this makes sense).

    Now the problem, we understand that a puppy of 8 weeks is a very different story to our old boys who happily slept most of the day in the car until daddy came and took them for a walk before going back home at the end of the day. We therefore thought about getting a crate and training the puppy according to your suggestions during the night as well as in the day but in the car boot (a big boot). We were hoping he can get used to this kind of routine and later down the line he’ll be able to simply have a big bed in the car boot and we’ll be able to leave him there without the crate (as we used to with our other dogs). The puppy will have had his first set of vaccinations and presumably we will be getting the 2nd lot in as soon as we take him home (I think 8 weeks is about the time for the 2nd set but need to check this of course).

    I will be picking him up over a weekend and then I am also planning on taking a few days off (I am flexible with work/can work from home too when I need to) to ensure the puppy has enough time to adjust before my hubby starts taking him with him during the day. Do you think all of this is possible/realistic for a puppy at this age? How long should we wait until we should take him out and about a daily basis in the car? He will be looked after throughout the day, played with, watered and ‘walked’ but for the ‘in-between-times’ he will be in a crate in the boot (with the boot being open of course to ensure he won’t be hot or anything). Also would it be ok to feed him during the day in his crate? At the end of the day he’ll also get my full attention with more quality play, exercise and training.

    Please let me know if our little ‘plan’ is realistic or totally unacceptable. I also understand that every puppy is different and will not only take to a crate differently but might also take longer in general. I just want to make sure our idea is not completely unreasonable and we do right by the puppy. Thank you so much in advance for your advice, greatly appreciated!!! :)

    • says

      Hi Marie,

      How exciting for you! You must have read some of my posts and comments because every puppy is different :)

      Here are some concerns I’d have for your plan:

      1. I don’t let our pups out in common areas or places where other dogs frequent until they have had their final round of vaccinations. This is mainly because of the risk of diseases like Parvo. I would be concerned letting your pup out to potty in unknown areas.
      2. At 8 weeks of age I wouldn’t leave my puppy in his crate for more than 2 hours during the day. If you crate your puppy too often they could end up with behavior problems. Also, at such a young age they will have trouble holding it for long periods during the day.

      I often feed my dog meals in his crate to help him get used to it and make it a positive experience.

      Have fun visiting your puppy and at pickup. I’m not sure if you saw this post with my video picking up Dublin:

      http://puppyintraining.com/puppy-in-training-tv-ep1-picking-up-your-puppy/

      Good luck with your new puppy!

      Take care,
      Colby

      • Marie Greyer says

        Hi Colby,

        Sorry for the delay, I’ve been off sick for a while but thank you so very much for your helpful comments. I have organised to work from home for the first few weeks until puppies vaccinations are in place and to ease him into everything. Once again thank you very much for your help!! :)

        • says

          No problem. I hope everything goes well with your new puppy and training. Remember to take a lot of pictures when he’s little. Before no time he’ll be full grown!

  14. Aeriel says

    Hi there,

    I realize this thread is quite old but I’m hoping you can give me a bit of advice. Tomorrow we will be picking up our lab/pitbull mix from the Humane Society. She is approx. 3 months old. We have made an area for her in our mud-room with a few toys and a wire kennel. This is the small area we have chosen for her to occupy while we are not home. However, I am just wondering about sleep. I have read from you, and other sites, that the puppy should sleep in your bedroom. I was going to pick up a smaller kennel for her to sleep in by our bed but I was worried this “new” area would be confusing for her. Am I a bad (puppy) mom if I make her sleep in the kennel in the mud-room? (It’s such a great location since it’s close to the back door and our bedroom in on the third floor of the house)

    Thanks for any advice!

    • says

      Hi Aeriel,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! I’d recommend setting up your crate in the bedroom, but I think you’ll be fine having your puppy sleep in the mud-room. Good luck with your training.

      Colby

  15. rikai says

    Im bringing home my new puppy today and i really need to know how much food i should be feeding her for each meal shes just under 2 months and she weighs no more than 5 pounds shes a small dog

    • says

      Sorry it’s been a few days and you probably figured out by now how much to feed your puppy. The best thing to do is ask the previous owner how much and what type of food they are currently feeding your puppy. As she gets bigger you’ll have to increase the amount you feed her. You can also talk to your vet to find out approximately how much to feed your puppy. We wrote an article about how much we feed our puppies (http://puppyintraining.com/how-much-should-i-feed-my-puppy/), but the amount will be different for a smaller puppy like yours.

      Good luck with your new puppy!
      Colby

  16. ricky says

    My wife and I just brung home our 9 week old mini schnauzer and it has not used the bathroom and it hasnt eaten or drank any anything. Is this normal for a puppy`s first night in its new home?

  17. Lauren Pearce says

    hello! so tonight i am getting my first puppy ever, i am really nervous but happy at the same time, i want to know in regard to peeing, i will want to let my dog sleep with me every night and become like a child to me, i dont want her to pee in my bed while im asleep so what do you reckon i do? please help :)

    • says

      Hi Lauren,

      This is probably a little late, but we crate train all of our puppies from the beginning. All of our guide dog puppies are not allowed on the bed or furniture. However, we’ve allowed our 2 personal dogs on the bed and furniture after they were crate trained and taught to stay off the furniture unless we allowed them on.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  18. Brad says

    I guess we were blessed with our purebred maltese as he didn’t bark at all the first nights. But how do you get a small dog to go down steps on his own?

    • says

      When I bring home a new puppy I always pray that he will not bark his first few nights (or bark very little). That’s great that your maltese is doing so well.

      Regarding the steps: Maltese are very small dogs so the steps can be intimidating. You should look for some smaller steps that has either carpet or something for traction. I’ve noticed with my puppies that they have a very difficult time on steps when they can’t get traction like hardwood stairs. When walking them down the steps try luring him with a treat, but don’t force him.

      Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training.

  19. Jen Reeves says

    Hi Colby–
    Was hoping you’d have some advice for me. Have a great 2-month old German Shepherd puppy who is just a treat! Have had him for 5 days and have worked diligently to get him crate trained. I think I ‘ve done most of the right things: big crate with a divider to make it the right size for him; walk him several times a day after his meals; let him know I’m not happy when he whines (with a “tsst” or by just ignoring it (I can truly sleep through it…)), praise him with a kiss-kiss noise when he’s quiet and occupied in his crate, plus special treats he only gets in the crate…no other times. Soooo. My question is, how long can I leave him in the crate overnight without a potty break? He’s waking up pretty regularly every 3 hours and that’s the only yowling I respond to. But should I set an alarm instead and pull him out on a more specific schedule? Or will he wake up less and less? I just don’t know how long a 9-week old pup should/can last while sleeping without going out. Thanks for your great insights here on the thread and for my specific question!

    • says

      Hi Jen,

      It sounds like your doing everything right. Setting your alarm might help with your situation. However, just to give you an idea of how things usually go with my puppies first few weeks…we usually pick them up at around 7 weeks old and by the time they are 9 weeks the majority are sleeping through the night. The only exception was Stetson who took a month (he was about 12 weeks) before he stopped waking up in the middle of the night.

      Every puppy is a little different. He could be waking up because he has to go potty or he could just be used to a schedule of waking up every 3 hours. If I were to guess I would say he should be able to sleep more than 3 hours at his age.

      One more thing. We’ve had puppy’s with bladder infections that affected their ability to sleep through the night.

      Hopefully that helps.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  20. Heather says

    I rescued a shepard mix who is 3 months old I have have had him sleep in a extra room I have in back first couple weeks he was fine and would go to sleep and sleep all night. We have had him sleep in are room but now when we put him in room he barks and barks and starts whining and when you open the door he stands in front of you and barks and looks like hes going to lunge not sure whats going on?

    • says

      If you know the barking and whining is just to get attention just ignore it. When your puppy stops barking/whining give immediate praise. If you give your puppy attention when they are barking/whining then you are rewarding the behavior and they will continue to do this to try and get your attention. Good luck with your training!

  21. Larry says

    Just had our first night with our 8 week old Maltese puppy. She is sweet as she can be. She was in the crate last night cried all night. I think she misses her 2 litter mates. I am watching the morning news now and she is sleeping away.I am beat but she seems to be fine. :-)

    • says

      The first night always seems to be the most difficult. We just brought home an 8 week old yellow Lab puppy and she would wake up crying about every two hours on the first night. It’s been a little over 2 weeks now and she’s sleeps through the night in her crate and basically wakes up when i wake up which is more than I can say for Stetson (he likes to wake up at the crack of dawn).

  22. Erin says

    Colby, thanks so much for the wonderful website! We brought home our nine-week-old black lab on Saturday. Archie is doing great. The first night in the crate was pretty awful — an hour and a half of YELLING. Last night i moved the crate into the guest bedroom so I could sleep next to him, and it went SO much better. Now I just have to figure out which whines mean “I have to pee, ” and which mean “going outside would be fun.” We went out four times last night — two were false alarms. No messes in the crate, though!

    I am going to be consulting your site a lot in the next couple months, I am sure. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Erin,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! It sounds like you’re on the right track with your crate training. I’m sure you and Archie will have it down in no time!

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  23. Lia says

    Hi Colby, so, my old puppy had died when he ran across the street and was hit by a car about a year ago.
    Now, with my new puppy, not a day passes that I don’t get anxiety or fear that the next time the door opens, he will run out again. He responds extremely well to “come” and “stay” but as soon as there’s a distraction present, he doesn’t even hear me.
    For example, on walks I get him to sit and wait before we cross the street. But today, my sister was walking in front of us and all he ignored me and kept jerking on the leash and trying to reach her.
    I’m so worried that something will happen and because he sees something on the other side of the street, he won’t listen. How can I reinforce these commands so they’ll work no matter what?
    Thanks so much!
    Lia

    • says

      I’m so sorry to hear about your puppy. Yes, your “come”, “stay”, “here” and “name” commands need to be rock solid. One of the things we’ve always been told when raising our guide dog puppy is that we need to be more interesting then the things around us (like distractions). We use things like favorite toys, kibble, treats, etc. to keep our puppy’s interest. In your situation you might try using a high value treat that you only used when taking your dog on a walk to refocus and get his attention.

      Also, something we always do from a young age is make sure that our puppies always respond to these commands by keeping them on long lines when working on their name or using the commands “come” and “here”.

      Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training!

  24. Jennifer says

    i have a black and white pitbull its 7 weeks old. i got it last week. when i leave for a seccond it just whins. any ideas how to stop that?

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! When our puppies whine we ignore them until they stop. As soon as our pups stop (sometimes even for just a second) whining we reward them with praise, treats, or their favorite toy. Good luck with your training!

      • Jennifer says

        hi colby
        thank you for your help you help me a lot.
        my dog got a lot quiet.
        how do you know if its sad or not?
        and how long do we have to play with it because i am busy so barely no one plays with it a lot.
        i think it got fat.

        • says

          Hi Jennifer,

          That’s good that she’s quiet. I’m not too sure how to tell if your dog is sad. I try to spend as much time as possible interacting and playing with my dog. It’s good exercise for me and the dogs plus dogs are very social and it’s good for them to socialize and interact with their family, friends, and others. When we work with our puppies we try to introduce them to as many people, places, and situations as possible to prepare them for their careers as guide and service dogs.

          Good luck with your training!
          Colby

          • Jennifer says

            hi colby
            our dog tyler hates its leash and collar when i put on the leash he bites the string.
            he is starting to bark at me now because i pull him on the leash
            when i put his leash on i try to tell him to move but he just sit there like a toy.
            the leash is at least 1 thumb long but he growls .
            our daughter is getting scared of the dog
            please help

            thax

          • says

            Hi Jennifer,

            When we work with our puppies we use bitter apple spray as a deterrent when our pup’s bite the leash. We just spray the leash down with the bitter apple spray and let our pup’s put their mouth on it. Most dogs don’t like the taste and after a little bit of training will learn not to bite their leash.

            We try not to pull our pup’s when they’re on leash. Instead we try luring them forward (or whatever direction we’re going) with food treats or sometimes other rewards like their favorite toy or lots of verbal praise. Every dog is a little different, but you might try luring your dog with whatever you find motivates him the most.

            If you’re having some issues with aggression I’d definitely consider bringing a professional trainer to your house for an in-home evaluation of your dog.

            Good luck with your training!
            Colby

  25. Jitesh says

    Hy colby..my question is.:
    I got a 35 days old dalmition pupp. He was looking a bit tensed in the morning but he was ok till the evening.
    At the night he slept around 23:30 in my bed room..in a big tub sith a cozy blanket.. But he started screaming and crying at around 1:30.. I gave him some milk and made him asleep.. It was very difficult.. I hope he wont wake up again now.. I juust wanted to know that till how many days it wil go like this.,?? Coz i have my schools also..
    Need help!

    • says

      Hi Jitesh,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! I’ve raised several puppies and the crying at night has varied quite a bit. We crate train all of our puppies so they all sleep in their crate at night. Most puppies we’ve had cried anywhere from a few days to a week. However, it took Stetson about a month before he stopped crying in his crate. Hopefully your pup gets settled in a lot sooner then Stetson. Good luck with your training!

      Colby

  26. Jennifer says

    hi colby
    my dog started barking in the night.
    i don’t think i play with it too much. only 3 hours a day
    is that enough?
    thax

    • says

      Hi Jennifer,

      Every dog is different and have different energy levels. Some dogs are couch potatoes and others love to run all day. 3 hours of exercise a day for most dogs sounds sufficient. You might look into other reasons why he might be barking. If you’re still unsure why he’s barking you might look into having a professional dog trainer do an in-home training session with you and your dog.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  27. Ani says

    I’m glad that I found your blog after a sleep less last night. Phew! I was almost cursing myself to get a month old boxer at home thinking that I should had giving him some more time with her mom. He whined, barked, trying to jump out of carte and prolly cussed me as much as he could.

    I also did the same mistake as you did by using a large carte which prolly was make him uncomfortable. Rather, I have combined two cartes (one is square & another rectangular) to give him all the space he would need. But what a mistake.

    Plus, I have thought over and over & changed his name thrice already in last 24 hours ever since he got him home.

    I have pet dogs before but trust me, a dog owner remains a novice when it comes to ‘how to pet’, especially, in my case it is. Nevertheless, thanks again for this blog, it did help :)

    Ani

  28. Sarah H says

    Hi Colby,

    I just brought a 7.5 week old mini dachshund home 5 days ago. I have tried absolutely everything to teach him his name, but I have made no progress and therefore, have made no progress in any other area of training except he is already good about doing his business in a designated area. Any other ideas on how I can get him to respond to his name? When I put his collar and leash on he just sits and chews and won’t focus on anything else and when I don’t have him in his collar and leash he runs rampant. I am starting to get stressed because I feel like 5 days is a long time to have no clue what his name is yet. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Thanks!

  29. chris says

    I am scheduled to pick up my puppy after Christmas. it will be about 9 weeks old. i was doing some research to make sure i’m prepared. I am a little confused about house/crate training. the does the 1 hour per month of age for holding pee in – does that apply to night time also?

    also, when the dog makes noise at night to say he wants to go potty, I should still wait until he is quiet before letting him out of the crate?

    thanks for your help.

    • says

      Hi Chris,

      Early congratulations on your new puppy! Sorry for the confusion. The 1 hour per month of age applies to day time. In the evening after the first few nights our puppies can usually sleep through the night without having to go outside and potty. Of course every puppy is different and if you read this article you already know that it took Stetson about a month to get used to this routine.

      Yes, I wait till my pup stops making noise before I take him out of the crate. Usually when they wake up I just simply tell them “Quiet”, they stop for a second, then I tell them “Good Boy!”, and let them out of the crate.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  30. Laura says

    Thank you so much for your web site. We are bringing home an 8 week old Boston Terrier puppy tomorrow. I am trying to read all I can and be prepared to make this successful for both my family and puppy. My question is location. We live on the balboa peninsula. Being local, you know that most all outside space is public. It is recommended not to take your puppy to areas other dogs have been until they have had all their shots. Should we keep our puppy inside or on patio? (almost 4 weeks) Living where we do, would you agree with this? I could potty train using pads inside the house and on patio. Thank you for your help.

    • says

      Hi Laura,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! We take our dogs to the Balboa Peninsula! We like riding the ferry and it’s good training for our older Guide Dog pups.

      Yes, that area is very public I would definitely keep your puppy inside or on the patio for potty breaks until after he/she has had all of his/her vaccinations.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  31. Maria says

    Hello Colby, we are supper excited about our two new puppies. Two 7 weeks labs, one yellow and one black . We are picking them up on Friday. Need your help!! Do I crate train them together? Where do I keep them during the day while I am at work? My son is at home so he will be able to take them to the bathroom, but not sure where to keep them during the day. Thank you for your help!! :)

    for them but

    • says

      Hi Maria,

      Congratulations on your new puppies! We haven’t tried bringing home two puppies at the same time yet. If these were my puppies I would crate train them in separate crates. We take our guide dog puppies with us to work. If you have to leave your puppies at home for a short period of time (a couple hours) then you could use your crates. If it’s going to be longer then you might try to find a puppy safe room and use potty pads or get and use an X-Pen for your pups.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  32. Melanie says

    I just got a new black Labrador retriever puppy. Its 3 months old and it huge! I see its breath really fast even when its taking naps outside. Is it because it his first day? How can I get him used to me? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Melanie,

      My dog, Stetson is also a black Lab! The more time you spend with him the more he will get used to you. You can also play games with him and work on his training which will help build the relationship between the two of you.. Some simple things to do is to teach him basic commands like sit, down, and stay using treat training. Also, most Labs love lots of pets and love.

      Good luck with your training!
      Colby

  33. Nicole Cooper says

    Hello!

    I just got a Red Miniature Poodle on the 23rd of December, 2013! :D I’ve never had a dog/puppy before and I just wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. I am currently working on staying on track for starting on training. I’ve been doing hours of reading and although it sounds like I’m doing the right thing, I would like to confirm that. So I have a few questions for you, if that’s ok! :)

    1)

    I’ve for one noticed that she has not eaten–I know she’s still nervous and it takes time. So I put the food bowl and water bowl down, however she will sniff it–but not eat it. Being that she hadn’t eaten, I tried hand feeding her–which worked but after further reading up on it–I saw that, that is a big no-no as she will get used to this and won’t eat on her own. So I stopped. I did also add a little water to the food–which on the first night, she slurped up the juices and a few pebbles but now won’t touch. The breeder provided me with a little dissolvable chewy bone that she told me to put in the crate, which I have and she does eat/chew on it but still hasn’t touched her food. Also I’ve been rewarding her and praising her as well as giving her treats for things she is doing right ex. for peeing on the pads not on the carpet. But being that she is not eating or drinking–I saw some articles saying to not give her treats…. and I don’t quite know what to do about her not eating? Do I continue to give her treats? Or not so that she will eat? :(

    2) As far as living quarters–right now I am home for the holidays and I’m at my parents house for now until the 2nd of January and I will be heading home with my puppy. (Flying on the plane…question number 3…) I’ve purchased a crate as well as a playpen, which I have placed the crate inside as well as toys, teething/chew toys, the food/water bowl and the pee pee pad as well. My bedroom here at my parents as well as in my apartment where I live are not big enough for the playpen to go inside–(I also did not intend for the puppy (Paris is her name by the way :) … ) to sleep in my room/bed with me. However when I leave her in her playpen overnight (I do leave the gate open/off of the crate because I read that closing the crate on a puppy is a also a no-no at a young age…so she is free to exit her crate, eat and use the pad as she pleases…) she cries hysterically all night long–waking the entire house. The first night I gave in and ended up bringing her into my room inside the crate. However last night I ignored her until this morning and she cried the entire night–never touched her food but did potty on the pad. Is it ok that I’m ignoring her and leaving her in the next room (which is the only place where the playpen fits) with the door closed because if not she’s too loud and can hear all of our movement which makes it worse? Plus I’m trying to get her into the routine I will have when I go back and prepare for work. I work for about 7 hours a day. 8-11 and then 2-6. So for those periods of time she will be alone. For the month of January I will only be working from 9-11 but I’m trying to get her in the habit of being ok with being alone? Am I doing the right thing? Do I continue to ignore her overnight and not check on her?

    3) As I said earlier, I am flying home with her (only an hour flight)… and she will be on the plane with me–as of now she whines and cries while in the crate and I know the airline policy is that dog must remain quiet so I’m not sure how I’m going to get her to quite down or at least break her into quieting down while in the crate for an hour? Do I put her inside gradually for so many minutes and let her cry and ignore her? Should I get some kind of puppy calmer spray or collar? I put in a warm water bottle wrapped in a puppy pillow which helps but not for long.

    4) She keeps trying to bite off her collar. Do I take it off of her when she does or leave it on?

    Sorry for all the questions–I think I actually have more–but those are my main questions. Thank you so much!!! Your help would be GREATLY appreciated!!! :'(

    • says

      Congratulations on your new puppy!

      1. In the past when we first picked up our puppies we take them to the vet for a check up and to get them on the vaccination routine. That would be a good time to check and see if she has any health issues that are preventing her from eating. We usually just stick with the regular kibble, but have also fed our pups for short periods of time chicken and rice. Again, this would be something you’d probably want to consult with your vet.
      2. Take a look at this article on crate training: http://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies/
      3. Again see the article on crate training. My honest opinion is I would not recommend bringing a puppy as young as yours onto a plane. If that’s the only thing you can do then I would contact the airline you are flying because some will have very strict guidelines for flying with a puppy. You should also contact your vet to see if there’s anything you can do to help make the event less stressful for your puppy.
      4. She probably never wore a collar before she came home with you. It’s normal for her to bite at it. I just leave it on my pups until they get used to it.

  34. rohit says

    I just made a cozy bed for the pup with an old pillow put inside a beer crate.
    He slept quietly for most of the time, only that I too remembered that he will need to go out every 1-2 hours, I voluntarily woke him up, took him out for a few minutes, and after he had finished his bussiness, brought him back, gave a few snacks to eat, and he himself went back to the crate as soon as the light was turned off.

    I had kept the crate right beside my sofa(I sleep mostly on sofa only) and if it whined or made any unnecessary noise, I simply put my hands on him.

    It was not someone I had planned,
    I just found him begging outside my door and was not much afraid of humans, I think he had housebroken, I just had given him a foster home,, Next day I gave it to someone who said was interested in adopting him.

  35. Steven B says

    Colby,

    It’s been awhile! My previous puppy has been with my mother and grandpa, but since October, I’ve had a new dog, a male beagle, named Archie! I’ll develop the history before I get to the problem I’m having… haha.

    My fiance and I got him from a shelter. He was neutered basically a week before we got him and is 1-2 years old. That’s what we were told when we first got him, but I bet he was much closer to being 1 year old than 2 years old. Until she gets a full time job, my fiance has been staying home with him while I go to work around a normal 8-5 schedule. We live in a condo.

    Housebreaking was slightly an issue, but it was more just him not letting us know or him not knowing that if he waited, we’d have enough time to know he needed/wanted to go out. On this front, he sometimes wants to go out, but that’s usually when it’s nice out. I am under the impression that’s just him being a dog/beagle and wanting to go enjoy more of the outside.

    Now the problem or problems… I think he suffers from isolation/separation anxiety. Whenever we both leave him in the condo alone, in his kennel, he will whine a decent bit of that time and usually eliminate.

    While I think there is some separation anxiety in there, I think isolation anxiety is the main problem. This is why: One or two times, we were at my fiance’s mom’s house and went somewhere, leaving Archie and her mom’s dog together, alone (Archie is in his kennel). We did not come back to any mess.

    Now, my fiance has started substitute teaching (only once so far). Twice, Archie has been home alone at the condo because of my work and her either working or being at her mom’s. The first time, I didn’t think about coming home for lunch to take him out and whatnot. There was a mess. The second time, I came home for lunch and whatnot, but still came home to some mess. The second time, I also just got a DAP diffuser to try and help calm him.

    We obviously can’t bring him everywhere we go. Before the work reasons, we’ve stuck him in the kennel before we left, simply expecting a mess to clean up when we got back. Of course, we’ve never scolded him for these, but still, we shouldn’t get used to this…

    We cannot get another animal to keep him company, since the owner of this condo said only one pet aloud. Dog sitting/daycare seems like an unaffordable option as well. Getting our own house is not yet possible.

    Here are some of my ideas:
    1. The kennel was meant for a brittany-dog (My friend’s dog), so even though I’ve tried minimizing free space, it may not be enough. Therefore, maybe a smaller kennel is in order.
    2. Gating off the kitchen area. Instead of adjusting kennel size, maybe giving him the enclosed freedom of the kitchen area would be good. He could potentially still eliminate, but maybe he’d learn to do it in a specific corner where pads could be! Of course then, he’d also not have his pillows needing washing. This option is my favorite, but then getting a gate (and which size) comes into the picture.
    3. The DAP (Adaptil/pheramone) Diffuser may take more time to work. Since we don’t need to use it on a regular basis, I don’t know if it’ll work for now. However, maybe this will help once it DOES become a regular thing to be alone. There’s also a DAP spray that could be used in conjunction with the diffuser.
    4. I’ve seen something about a belly strap thing that hugs a dog semi-tightly. The goal of it is to comfort the dog, but I don’t understand how that could possibly help. I haven’t tried that yet, but again, maybe an option.

    Him being at a shelter I hear puts a toll on a dog, leading to an increased chance of anxiety issues. Him being a beagle seems to not help either… I’ve read that beagles are very much family dogs and want to be with them a good bit. They even miss their pack leaders?? I’m not sure about that last bit, but I did read that on a beagle site… I also read they like females more than males, but Archie apparently doesn’t want any attention from my fiance unless I’m home.

    If that wasn’t enough, I’m trying to also get him to not submissive pee. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, even in a situation when I’m being as calm and gentle as I can be!! I don’t know really what to do about that.

    This is a big post with a number of problems and potential solutions. However, like I said near the beginning, it’s not a problem we deal with on a regular basis yet. Life has been pretty good after the first couple of weeks with him. I feel like I’ve done the best job I could, while usually keeping a cool head (keyword: usually). Hopefully one day soon, Archie will be less anxious and whatnot!

    Any words of wisdom may help tremendously. I’ve exhausted my knowledge and experience on dogs, so unless I stumble across a majority (on the web) having success with a certain method, I probably need someone, like you, to lend me your ear!

    Regards,
    Steven

    • says

      Hey Steven,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! It really looks like you’ve done your research and it looks to me like you’re heading in the right direction. These things definitely take time. My rescue, Linus has had separation anxiety since we first brought him home. We’ve tried the Thundershirt which is a wrap type shirt and have had moderate success with it. We usually used it more for loud noises like fireworks on the fourth of july, but I’ve heard it can work for separation anxiety as well. Some people rave about the thundershirt while others say it didn’t help at all. I think it probably depends on the dog.

      By the way, out of your 4 ideas I like number 2 the best and I’ve heard that works for many dogs.

      It sounds like your doing things right with the submissive peeing and not trying to get him too excited. Most of the dogs I’ve worked with usually outgrow this. You also may want to have him checked by a vet to make sure he doesn’t have a urinary tract infection.

      Hopefully that helps and good luck with your training!
      Colby

      • Steven says

        Colby,

        The thing that worked was none of the above. To be more precise, the only option that was proven not to work was #4. The pheromone stuff (#3) and other stress/anxiety relieving non-prescription stuff did not do anything, at least not for single occasions. We never left the pheromone stuff plugged in for long periods of time though, which is what you’re supposed to do apparently.

        The solution was to give him company. My fiance’s uncle died a couple of months ago, and so we had to leave him with her mom while all three of us went and did the visitation and funeral. At her mom’s place, he was in the kennel while her mom’s dog roamed free. No mess was made both times we had to leave (each event was on a separate day). He still whined a little bit every now and then in the kennel, but again, there was no mess. How do I know this? I recorded a video!

        Obviously, we could not bring her mom’s dog back with us to our home, but we did already make plans to bring home a kitten that her uncle sort of left. We had planned to get a kitten soon, but we just didn’t know exactly when. We’ve been away from the house a few times now and have yet to come home to a mess. This week is going to be a true test though, since nobody will be home for 8 hours every day!

        I think doing #2 as well would be an improvement to his situation, but I can’t ensure he’ll stay in the kitchen at this time. I simply don’t have the gate yet, as they are kind of expensive.

        Either way, as you know, I’ve been following and contributing to this thread for awhile now. Though the # of posts have died down a lot, I wanted to give you (and readers) this update, just in case other people can get something from it!

        • says

          Hey Steven,

          Thanks for the update on your progress with your puppy. Having a companion is a great idea! In fact that’s one of the reasons why I like having two dogs. Although for me I think it’s more of a human thing then a dog thing as it makes me feel better that Stetson and Linus have each other when left home alone. However, from the dog’s perspective I’ve noticed that Linus does like having Stetson’s companionship while Stetson on the other hand can really care less. That was also apparent when we worked on Stetson’s crate training as a puppy. He had Linus right there with him, but he still cried during his first month of crate training.

          Since I started raising and training puppies one thing I’ve noticed is that every puppy is different. What might work for one puppy will not necessarily work for another. I’m glad you came back and reported your findings with your puppy. I hope everything goes well with your puppy and the new kitten.

          By the way, hundreds of readers view this post every day and I’m sure your advice will help many of them with their puppy’s first night at home.

          Thanks!
          Colby

  36. kathy says

    We brought home our new 8week miniature Australian shepherd male puppy yesterd. He ate fine last night. Today he does seem interested in food today. He has not eaten this morning or this afternoon. The breeder sent his dog food home with us. He is drinking water regularly just not eating.

    • says

      Hi Kathy,

      Congratulations on your new puppy. If you haven’t already you may want to take your puppy to the veterinarian for his first check up and it will give you an opportunity to ask about your pup’s eating behavior.

      Our rescue puppy, Linus has never really been interested in his food even as a puppy. He is a grazer and usually eats on his own schedule. However, every Lab I’ve raised loves food and cleans out his bowl after every meal. Again check with your vet and you may also want to contact your breeder to see if this eating behavior is normal.

      Good luck with your new puppy!
      Colby

  37. mandy says

    Hi Colby hope you can help, your comments and replies are really good.
    We picked up our 8 week or old boxer pup 6 days ago, he’s doing really well, we are almost there with his potty training he goes in the garden really well, he is clever enough to learn come and sit already with the reward of atreat and is joy to have….but his night time crying is getting worse.
    I
    Last night I was up most of the night of going to him putting him out without fussing or petting him but he doesn’t potty he just wants to play.
    We have made decision he cannot sleep upstairs and dont want to use a crate if possible and we close him in the kitchen at night . I’ve given him cuddly toys, toys and a mother blanket, but as soon as its bed time and we go upstairs he Cry’s barks and makes a funny howl noise. And its getting louder every night.
    What else can I try and is it a good idea to totally ignore him and not go to him at all in the night if he’s crying?

    Hope to hear back from you .

    • says

      Hi Mandy,

      I’m glad potty training is going well for you. We crate train all of our puppies, but as you can see from this article we have had similar problems with puppies crying in crate. We put together another post that lists some things we tried to help our puppies get used to being alone in their crate. Take a look at this article: http://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies/ If you don’t want to read the entire article on crate training then just scroll down to the 15 item list. Hopefully there’s a helpful nugget of information on that list for your puppy. Good luck with your training!

      Colby

  38. says

    Using training pads to help with toileting is great. my puppy was using them after a few days. You must ensure you put them in the same place and reward and make a fuss of your puppy when he usesit. Ignore if he forgets or misses. Take your puppy out as much as possible, in the garden at first until he has had all of his boosters. Check out my website for more info.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Today, I compiled a list of all the tricks and hints I’ve tried with my puppies or heard have worked with other puppies. If you’re a regular reader on my blog then you’ll know that two out of my last three puppies did not enjoy the crate and barked, howled, and cried throughout the night during their early days. If this is your first night at home with your puppy you also might want to take a look at this article: how to handle your puppies first night at home. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *