Join Date: May 2013
Location: Great White North
I've never used a crate and just kept the pup in the bedroom with the door closed. I did lay on the floor with the pup the first few nights until she was asleep. When she would wake up throughout the night and whine a bit, I'd put my arm over the edge of the bed and let her lick my hand, which seemed to calm her as she aware of my presence again. I think the combination of laying on the bedroom floor next to her until she went to sleep and leaving my arm over the side of the bed once I was back in bed kept her calm. I don't recall how long I did this but maybe it was a week or so.
I have one of those high beds as well and my concern with letting her sleep in bed was her falling off in the middle of the night. I figured if they can't get up on the bed on their own then it is too high for them to get down from...of course she was able to get up on the bed in fairly short order, which I allowed.
I did this with pretty much with all three of the GSDs I have had and the way it ended up was fine. They usually would jump up in the bed right away at night and spend a bit of time....saying "goodnight" and all...then they would leave the bed and sleep on the floor next to the bed where I put my arm over the side when they were pups.
My first dog...an Irish Setter was brought into the bed the very first night because of the "crying" and I was a sucker for it...poor puppy...LOL. Well, this pup never left the bed and was under the impression it was his bed and he was sharing it with us....The long term ramifications for letting a puppy's "crying" the first few nights get the best of you, might be best dealt with in a better manner than caving in. A few restless nights and my sleeping on the floor next to the pup for a few hours definitely worked out much better in the long run than bringing the pup into the bed from the beginning.