1. Provide a safe place to sleep
Before night one, have a think about where your puppy will sleep. Ideally, they need draft-free bedding in a quiet place that feels secure. Low radio or a night light can help too, even the sounds from a clock.
If inside, having your pup nearby also means you can be more responsive to potty requests to help with toilet training too! Depending on where they are you may need to provide pee pads.
2. Be calm
Be patient, remember to reward calm behaviour and try not to be frustrated with those middle-of-the-night wakings. They won’t last. Before you know it, you’ll have a happy pup that can sleep right through the night and hold their bladder until morning.
3. Gentle toilet training from day one
Some pups will get it within a few days, while others can take months. The key is to be patient and consistent. Start by following these tips:
- Prevent accidents in the house by providing plenty of time outside.
- For inside time, have a designated potty spot set up and let your puppy get familiar with it.
- Watch your puppy like a hawk: as soon as they start showing you signs they want to pee (i.e. sniffing, restlessness––you’ll get to know them), take them straight to their spot.
- Repeat this hourly, especially after eating, drinking or sleeping
- Keep potty trips at night calm: speak in low, quiet tones and stand with them for support (don’t let this be playtime).
- Reward, reward, reward. Do it straight away too, so they know what they’re being rewarded for
- Ignore accidents, even if you see them in the act. Fur kids (like human kids) can’t always prevent going to the loo. It’s all part of growing up.
4. Help being left alone
It’s really natural for a young puppy to object to being left alone early on. Especially if they’ve been with mum and all their litter mates then suddenly they’re all alone.
It’s important to realise for a new puppy, if they are crying when left alone it is a sign of genuine distress and anxiety. If left, it can be detrimental to your pup’s mental health long-term.
They need your help to learn to be happy and relaxed when they are on their own. So if they need to have one paw touching you to fall asleep, let them. It’ll only be for a little while. The safer and more comfortable you can make them feel now, the more relaxed they’ll be as they grow up.