Your little Lab may just be a puppy, but they already have enough energy to keep you up all night. The kids absolutely love playing with your new furry family member. In fact, so much so that getting them to sleep in time is proving even more difficult than usual. Even your partner seems to have a rather large soft spot for the pooch. But your house is already crowded and you always intended for them to sleep outside. So you’re going to have to cut down on cuddles on the sofa in the evenings and get them used to their outdoor bedroom.
Training your puppy to sleep outside will bring several benefits. Firstly, you will have a canine watchdog outside who will probably alert you to the sound of any intruders. You will also enforce some strict boundaries, preventing them from developing separation anxiety. Unfortunately, some puppies become so dependant on their owners that they are seriously unhappy without them around.
Fortunately, training your Labrador puppy to sleep outside isn’t as challenging as you may think. Often, the difficult part comes in having the self-restraint yourself to leave them outside. But if you can overcome that hurdle, then training will consist of several parts. Firstly, you’ll need to make sure your dog has everything they need to sleep outside. You will also need to gradually get them used to their new sleeping environment. Finally, you will need to use a variety of incentives to keep them content outside at night.
Because your Labrador Puppy is young, they should be receptive and still learning the rules. This means it could take just several days for them to get into the habit of sleeping outside. However, if they are particularly clingy and don’t want to leave your side, then you may need several weeks. Get training right and you’ll have taken a big step towards having a well-trained outdoor dog.
Before you can begin work, you need to make sure you have everything you need. Firstly, you will need a spot for them to sleep outside, be it a kennel, shelter or bed. You will then need to stock up on tasty treats or their favorite food. Some toys will also be required.
The other thing your pup will need from you is time. Set aside a few minutes each evening to say goodnight and a few minutes in the morning too.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and a can-do attitude, then work can begin!
Hello our dog Pax has always slept outside (apart from the very first months with us). In the last month she has been waking any time between 3am to 5am and scratching and yelping at door to come in. We have to let her in as we have neighbours - although for a week we did try and ignore it but neighbours were a tad put out.
When she comes in she jumps on bed and goes back to sleep. She won’t sleep on one of her beds inside.
We did baby sit another dog for what was supposed to be a month but turned into ten weeks and it has pretty much started since Evie went home.
I know we have made soooo many errors here. Letting her in, letting the other dog stay so long and of course letting her on bed. I am not sure how to address this issue.
We are going away for a month next Sunday and she is staying at the breeder’s home (back with Evie). I believe she will be sleeping in her crate, I am hoping as she won’t get the attention we give her we can use this month to break all of her and our bad habits regarding this sleeping issue.
Any advice you can give me? or due to my bad decisions and being soft I’m on my own here??
Apart from this issue she is a fabulous dog.
Any thing would be appreciated
Hello Nell, The best solution might be for her to sleep in her crate inside your home. If she was not disturbing your neighbors, then you would need to let her cry it out outside until she gets used to sleeping out there again. By using a crate, you can teach her to sleep by herself but she will be inside so she should not bother your neighbors. When she goes to the breeder's house, if they work on crate training with her, then she might come back used to sleeping in the crate. If that happens then it will be extremely important for you be firm and let her cry if she pitches a fit when she comes back home. If the breeder has already gotten her used to the crate, then it should only take a couple of nights before she gives up and starts sleeping in the crate at your house. If you give in and go to her or let her out, then it will take several days before she stops crying and you will need to be even firmer. If the breeder does not train her for you, then you will need to place her into the crate with a safe chew toy and night and let her cry. Sleeping in the crate is not only safer but it can also help her learn independence, self-soothing, self-entertaining, and prevent future separation anxiety. It also makes it far easier to crate her later in life when she needs to be boarded, is sick, injured, traveling, or needs to be left alone inside. Essentially, crating a puppy during the first couple years of life prevents bad habits from forming, keeps them safe when you cannot supervise them, helps prevent separation anxiety by teaching independence, and leads to a lot more freedom later in life. Try to remember the benefits when you are trying to be firm. She is old enough to go all night. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We recently purchased our beautiful lab bracken, his move from the farm where he was kept outside in a pig sty with a heat lamp and 8 siblings to a cosy terraced house with a crate. He settled in no problem at all and we almost have his toilet trained after just 12 days with us (over the festive period too where we had lots of visits and visitors!) Unfortunatly my partner turns out to be allergic to the dog! It's nothing we arnt managing by cleaning and keeping them separate as much as we can do but we are looking to put bracken in a kennel outside. I'm worried that this is a cruel option but I know dogs are often
kept outside and lead very happy lives
Do you think it's unfair to now put bracken outside (in a proper insulated and heated kennel) once he's just settled in his new home. I can't bear the thought of selling him but when my partner can't breath on a night time something needs to give. When he's in the kennel he will be walked morning and evening but be alone from 9 to 4 until he's old enough to be taken to work with my partner where he will be outdoors all day running around! Am I being selfish keeping the dog but putting him in a kennel(he will still be allowed in the house for short periods of time) or am i being soft and he will be fine in a kennel as he's a sturdy dog who spent his first 8 weeks in a stone outhouse! Help!
Hello Amanda, There are outdoors dogs who are happy. The key is how much time will you be spending with him in any location realistically. At this age he will need a lot of mental stimulation, a moderate amount of exercise, and a LOT of socialization. If you are able to take him lots of places, spend time walking and training him multiple times of day and generally giving him what he needs in the kennel and day to day, then he could be happy, but that will require a lot of time, intentionality, and commitment from you. Right now is the most crucial age for familiarizing him with people, puppies, new places, and other things he will experience in life. If you do decide to re-home him, many reputable breeders will take puppies back or there are pure bred rescues who foster dogs in there homes before adopting them to a carefully selected family. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Can I let my puppy sleep in the roof? I’m going to sleep next to her and keep her warm
Hello Omar, I would need a bit more details about the situation to answer that question. Is the room flat or slanted? Can pup wander off the edge? What is the temperature outside at night? Is this a long term situation for nightly sleeping. Please describe the location and situation more, and I would love to help you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We are trying to transition our pup to being outside fulltime. We have a few chickens and such and need her outside for protection. During the day she is content to be outside all day long with our smaller breed dog. But at night even if I sit with her for a bit she gets a lot of anxiety and literally throws herself at the door and howls until we let her in. Our small breed dog cannot stay outside overnight. Do we just let her 'cry it out?' None of us can get any sleep so we end up letting her in. Probably a mistake, but with 4 kids we need our sleep! :(
Hello Ashley, First, at this age pup is vulnerable to other animals in the yard - even raccoons, so I would begin the sleep outside in an area where other animals can't get to her, like a kennel run with a dog house, or a porch that's screened in, or even chicken coop type area with a top and side wire fencing for protection. Make sure she can't be prey for another animal while a puppy unable to defend herself, and make sure she has a secure location to go to to sleep in, like a dog house. The secure location will also help her feel a bit more secure - although I would still expect some crying at first. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Practice that method with her for 1-2 hours at a time during the day without the small dog present - to get her used to being outside by herself. That method was written for crate training, so you will modify it. When she barks, ignore the barking. Whenever she gets quiet, toss several treats out a window or door - toss the treats in an area where she can easily locate them - but not right in front of the door - since you want her to learn to hang out further from the door, not right at it. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Also, know that pup is bored. Make sure you are giving her interesting bones and toys that she can't tear apart and won't chip to occupy her. You will have to endure some crying. Typically it takes puppies two weeks to adjust to being alone, and every time you give into the crying it will continue for that much longer. Start the process earlier in the evening so that the crying isn't happening while everyone is trying to go to bed - and especially practice for shorter periods during the daytime without your other dog present. Allow the dogs to spend time together stuff but give her opportunities to adjust to being outside on her own as well when everyone isn't so tired. A lot of this process is also dependent on how close your neighbors are and whether pup will keep them up. Also, be sure to practice a lot of mentally and physically tiring activities during the day. Have training sessions where pup practices new or slightly more difficult commands that what they already know, incorporate a lot of obedience and focus work into heeling walks, and give pup interesting mental toys to play with during the day. Mental stimulation can actually make physical exercise twice as tiring for a dog and encourage a calmer mindset. You want pup to be tired and calm come nighttime. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Is it okay to let him sleep in the balcony at night
Hello, letting Bruno sleep on the balcony at night depends on several things. Is it a safe environment? Will he disturb others? Will you be able to hear him out there if he needs you? Will Bruno be in a crate? Personally, I would keep him inside for safety and as well for him to feel secure and not afraid. I would set up an exercise pen area where he still has room to move around but feels safe - he'll sleep better that way and won't feel uncomfortable at every noise. He's pretty young to be left on his own at night. Here is a great article on setting up the pen: https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. You can also crate him inside at night - many dogs prefer this "den" area. Here is a guide on helping a dog like a crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crateAll the best!
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