Training a puppy to sleep can be tricky at first but there are ways to simplify the process.
With some patience, expert advice and the right resources, you can make sure your pup gets a good night’s sleep – without disrupting your own rest.
Should I let a puppy sleep anywhere?
The short answer is no. But the long answer is, it depends.
So where should a puppy sleep at night?
Puppies need care and attention and shouldn’t be left alone for too long, especially when they are very young. They also get lonely quickly, which can lead to anxiety.
This means it is fine to let a puppy sleep in your room at first before gradually moving them into a hallway or living room.
But whatever you do, don’t cave and let your puppy sleep in your bed. As cute as it is, dogs need their own personal space – and so do you!
Plus, there is the possibility of a puppy bringing dirt or zoonotic diseases into your bed, so steer clear of this approach.
Another tip is to take your puppy outside for a toilet break before going to bed. This should reduce the possibility of any accidents in the night.
However, no matter where your puppy sleeps, it’s a good idea to check on him or her throughout the night. Especially during the first few weeks of welcoming a new pup into your home or at least until the puppy is toilet trained.
Should puppies sleep in the same place every night?
If using a crate (see below for more) then your puppy will become familiar with the space and will probably sleep in the same place every night.
However, if your puppy is sleeping in a basket, then this will probably move locations as your puppy grows.
For example, puppies usually sleep in the same room as their owners when they are small and first join a new home. But as they get older and more familiar with sleeping alone at night, they can gradually move outside of the bedroom.
Leaving a puppy downstairs at night
Some people worry that leaving a dog to sleep downstairs at night, or in another room, is cruel. But it actually depends on the owner and the dog.
First, leaving a dog downstairs at night can be good for establishing rules and boundaries within the house – and within your relationship with your puppy.
Second, it will build confidence and independence in your pup, which is always a good thing.
However, not all dogs are emotionally strong enough to spend time alone – or far away from their owners – at night. If this is the case, then leaving your puppy downstairs at night might not be a good idea.
Training a puppy to sleep in a crate
For some people, crate training is a lifesaver when it comes to training puppies to sleep by themselves at night.
Why? Because puppies view a crate like a den and dogs don’t like to soil their own den, so it helps to prevent toilet accidents during the night. As well as providing your pup with a personal sanctuary.
The best advice is to keep the crate next to your bed for the first three nights to alleviate any separation anxiety. Then gradually move the crate out into the hall or the living room.
Unfortunately, some puppies will still be anxious and struggle to sleep in the crate – even after a few nights. If this is the case, try playing calming puppy music via Spotify (or any other music streaming service).
Also, once puppies are all grown up, they should be able to sleep anywhere in the house without causing havoc. So stick with the training or switch to another method until you see results.
How long can a puppy sleep at night?
Sleep is very important for a growing puppy and an essential part of healthy canine development. But it’s normal for puppies to wake up through the night, either for attention or a toilet break.
Typically, puppies need around six to 10 hours of sleep a night. When they are very young, they can even sleep up to 20 hours a day. Just not all in one go.
According to Paw Tracks, most puppies should start sleeping through the night from around 16 weeks of age.
Essential sleeping supplies for a puppy
Get kitted out with the essential sleeping supplies you need for a puppy.
- Bed or basket – one big enough to accommodate a growing dog.
- Crate – if opting for crate training.
- Portable outdoor sleeping bag to take your pup on adventures.
- A cuddly puppy toy with heartbeat in case your pup gets lonely at night.
- Download or stream relaxing puppy music.
Want to know more about puppy care? Then read 12 ways to puppy proof your home