The hardest time for your new puppy, is settling down for the first night without his litter mates and Mum. Each puppy will cope differently, so advice as to what to do can vary slightly.
Most importantly, we need to provide them comfort and routine – starting as we mean to go on!
Last night, Bramley had lots of new experiences to take in. He travelled in the car, met his new family and started to explore his new and exciting home. He could hardly keep his eyes open!
To help Bramley settle as happily as possible, we tried to ensure his first evening with us was fairly calm. He had a light meal and a much needed nap early evening, after which we encouraged him to play and run about – to tire him some more before bedtime!
Once we had collected him from the breeder, an Adaptil collar was fitted. This is a pheromone releasing product, which is proven to help support puppies during their socialisation.
“What is Adaptil and how does it work?
Adaptil is the leading dog behaviour product, scientifically proven to help support dogs during stressful situations.
Adaptil is the synthetic copy of the natural ‘dog appeasing pheromone’ released by the mother dog 2-3 days after giving birth. This pheromone comforts and supports her puppies, giving them the confidence to explore the outside world. This dog appeasing pheromone has been proven to have a comforting effect on both puppies and adult dogs during stressful situations and also helps support their training and socialisation.” http://www.adaptil.com/uk
His crate was introduced throughout the evening, encouraging him inside and giving him a fuss. It was made really warm and snuggly for him, and filled with some soft toys for company. It was positioned in the lounge, where he will continue to sleep as an adult. This saves having to move it about in different rooms too much, which could be unsettling for him.
We stayed up late ourselves and once he had been to the toilet and had everything he needed; we said goodnight and ‘bedtime’ and left him to it. A puppy pad was also put in his crate for any overnight emergencies, to avoid him getting so messy!
There were a few heart-wrenching whimpers, as he realised he was alone. We listened to him for a few minutes, trying our best to ignore him and give him chance to settle. If we had rushed downstairs to reassure him, he would’ve felt better but it wouldn’t help him learn or cope once left the next time. It could potentially cause problems – as he learns that crying when he is feeling scared and lonely, gets our attention. The relief and reward gained from that can reinforce the unsettled behaviour very quickly.
After about five minutes, Bramley had settled and remained so for the rest of the night! Lucky us! Some puppies cry for much longer, or get themselves in a real state – this is when we perhaps should attend to them, with minimal fuss and play. Then by making changes to routine and providing short bursts of being alone or in bed during the day (whilst we make a cup of tea or use the bathroom!) we can help make night time more easy to deal with and ensure success!
He slept really well and was still curled up when we went down to him In fact, we didn’t sleep so well ourselves because we were so excited about seeing him in the morning!
His puppy pad was dry too… So first job this morning, after an early 5.30am start – to make his night shorter, we popped outside to encourage ‘wee wees’. There is so much for him to learn!
Today he has got a busy day meeting family and joining in on Mother’s Day celebrations.