Training your dog where to sleep rather than leaving him where he is when he falls asleep will make your nights more manageable and your dog more secure. A puppy especially will thrive with routines and boundaries. Setting your expectations early on, whether you have a new puppy in your family or have adopted an older dog, will be an early opportunity to bond.
Training your dog to sleep in a specific place each night will not only give him the boundaries he needs to thrive as your family dog but will also give him the routine he needs to know where to go each night at bedtime, will give him a sense of security. He needs to know that he is safe while he sleeps. If your dog is not well trained to know where his special sleeping spot is, he could keep you awake all night pacing while finding a place that is most comfortable.
The most challenging thing in finding a special place for your dog to sleep each night may be choosing the right location. If you do not plan on having your dog sleep in your bedroom with you, even if not in your bed, you need to pick a space where he will feel safe and comfortable while away from you. Sleep training for dogs is mostly about time and repetition. He is going to want comfort and security all night long. Creating repetitive routines regarding this space that is just for him to sleep is imperative for teaching him where he needs to be once it is time to go to bed. The second most important thing in training your dog to know where he is to sleep each night is providing him with a bed that is comfortable and one that he will want to stay in it all night. This means potentially changing beds as he grows and also knowing how your dog sleeps. You may start off for the first few nights with your dog on a folded blanket on the floor. If your dog sleeps curled up in a little ball, he may want a small bed with raised sides to provide security and comfort. If your dog sleeps stretched out, he won't be comfortable in a bed with high sides but may prefer a larger bed that can accommodate his longer body.
Though you may not want the ideal bed to start if you don't know how your dog sleeps, you are going to want to start with something special, even if it is just a blanket or a throw rug, to mark the spot where you plan on having your dog sleep. You will also want some special treats to reward your dog for a job well done as he learns where his sleeping area is located. Approach bedtime with a calm nature and wake up time excited to see your dog. And over time, even if it is just a few days or weeks, get to know how your dog sleeps and in what positions, so you can provide him the proper size bed with the right support. An older dog may serve well on a memory foam mattress whereas a small dog may like a round mattress with high sides to provide security and comfort.
How do I get Pearl to stay in one place during the nighttime? I try to get her to stay in one place, however, during the night she gets up and plays around. She also has difficulty learning on how to stop biting and listening to me.
Hello Angel, At two months of age, it is normal for a puppy to try to initiate a game or get your attention by mouthing you, even at night. She will need to learn through consistency and boundaries that night is the time for sleep and where she is allowed to be for sleep. For a puppy that age, I recommend creating a small confined area for her to sleep in while she learns. If you wish for her to be in your bedroom, then set up the area in your bedroom, preferably in an area where you would like for her to sleep when she is a large dog later too. The habits she forms now will often determine what she tried to do later. For a confined area you can either use a crate, which works well for potty training also, purchase an exercise pen and adjust the size to fit her needs as she grows, or create your own barricade, that will be sturdy enough to be safe but escape proof. She will likely protest the new confinement at first. She is doing this because it is new and she wants to play and be with you instead. Essentially she is trying to get your attention. Ignore her at night unless she needs to go to the bathroom, and work on making the confined space relaxing and enjoyable during the day, using the same type of methods that you would use for crate training. If you work on making the confined space pleasant during the day and not giving into her protests at night, then she will learn with time that night is the time for sleeping. You can also place the confined space right by your bed so that you are close by, but I recommend only doing this if you are OK with her laying next to your bed as an adult too. Once she learns that night is the time for sleeping, and forms a habit of relaxing in her space, then when she is older you can give her freedom in your room when she is trustworthy enough not to have an accident or destroy something, and she will rest calmly there instead of trying to play. If you would like for her to sleep in your bed as an adult, then I would still recommend what I suggested doing, so that she has the opportunity to learn how to settle herself, but after she learns how to relax when you put her to bed, and forms a habit of being calm at night, and is safe while unsupervised, then you can encourage her onto your bed, and move her to her confined area any nights that she will not leave you alone in the bed. That way she will learn that playing gets her banished to the confined area because night is the time for sleep, and that relaxing is the only option while on the bed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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