Puppy sleeping on bed?
I'm getting a Shiloh Shepherd puppy in October (Ocean State Shilohs, anyone hear of them?). My experience training dogs is for service dog purposes, so all the rules were pretty businesslike and strict (no dogs on the furniture ever, etc). The training was very good, but they were never allowed on the bed, so my experience in that department is quite lacking. When we brought our puppies home, obviously they WAILED the first few nights. I do plan on crate training, but having the dog in the bed is fine later in life too. Our bed is VERY high, so I would be sleeping with him on a spare mattress on the floor.
Do you think I could have him in the bed the first few nights, then in a crate on the bed, then on the floor etc? I just want him to be less afraid. I know that it's good for them to get used to being alone, but they're only babies when you get them-- I feel like cuddle pack to nothing doesn't have to be so abrupt and harsh. I would cry too!
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.
I put a crate on a chair beside my bed for my pup, so I was close.
Crate training speeds housebreaking (I, personally, would not want an unhousebroken pup with no bladder control in my bed :D ), I also think it's a life skill that all dogs should know.
We have always slept with new puppies in our bed. It gives them a sense of security and keeps them calm. When they need to go out, they get restless and start moving around in the bed, which is a good wake-up call. Then we take them out and go back to bed. We've never had a puppy have an accident in the bed, and we all get as much sleeps as is possible with a new one in the house. It works well for us.
After they get more confident in their new home, we move them to a crate beside the bed. If they get anxious or upset during the night, we can reach in to reassure them.
Well, After always crate-training all our dogs, I gave in with Jaeger and he slept on our bed when he was little. He never had an accident and never fell off, just woke me up when he had to go potty. Because our oldest dog, Peanut, an alpha female, slept on her bed next to our bed, it was an easy transition, once Jaeger got too big, to move him to his own bed next to her's. He idolized her.
Jaeger was used to being with both parents and eight siblings every night, and being crated very young was too traumatic for him. He's a sensitive guy. We just crate trained him later on when he was used to everything and he handles having to be in there fine now. He still sleeps in our room, though, where Peanut used to sleep.
I don't think every dog is the same, so there isn't one universal way to handle all of them. Our next pup stayed in his crate at night until he was over a year old and did just fine with it.
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