Train Your Miniature Schnauzer to Sleep soundly in His own Bed
If you are struggling with getting your puppy to sleep through the night, your predicament is certainly not an uncommon one.
In our excitement and anticipation of the day when a newly adopted puppy is ready to come home we can overlook the fact that this bundle of fun is very likely to give us some sleepless nights; something that we actually hadn’t given much thought to. After all, it’s been quite some time since we had a new-born in our family and one’s memory of those sleepless nights fades quickly. It is intriguing how short a memory we humans have!
So, your puppy has been home for a few days now and you and the whole family are struggling with running on a low battery due to loss of sleep. Puppy is perfect throughout the day time; eats his meals well; obliges with lots of play; takes naps without a second thought; comes night time and the whole world seems to turn upside down. It is time for you to seek some real help.
We must remember that until the day you brought puppy into your home all he had known about sleeping was cuddling up alongside his mother and siblings and being in a wonderfully comfortable and secure world where life was a breeze, and sweet dreams abundant.
Now he is on his own at night and having to deal with a huge feeling of loneliness.
In spite of all of this it is important to be strong and deal with this situation. Whatever you do, I advise you not to be like I was with my very first puppy. Believing that I understood his dilemma and feeling sorry for him I got up through the night and let him come into my bed. After all, it’ll be only a few nights and then he will sleep on his own. How wrong could I be! That little dog slept on my bed for all of his life and this caused me grief over many years as it was impossible to go away without him unless I could find someone to care for him who would let him sleep on their bed. Had I had the sense to deal with that sleepless first night when he was a new puppy, his life and mine would have been easier. In spite of that I loved him dearly, but I certainly discourage anyone to do what I did. I realised too, in hindsight, that if I were to be truly honest my feelings at the time were probably not only for the unhappiness of my puppy but also because I wanted to get some sleep.
So now, speaking from experience, I can say that unless you can dedicate the next 12 to 15 years of having your dog sleep in your bed every night, you must be strong and deal with this phase; and that’s what it is, simply a phase that will pass so long as you deal with it now in the correct manner.
Actions that should assist you to get a peacful night’s sleep:
- Decide on a designated sleeping area for your puppy.
- Ensure that the area you have chosen is warm and draught free. Be sure that this is where you want puppy’s sleeping place to be as changing the area in the first few weeks will cause him confusion. Let him ‘own’ this area.
- Provide your puppy with an appropiate bed, either a basket or fabric dog bed suitable for his size.
- Place a rug or familiar item in his bed. It is a good idea to provide puppy with a soft rug, or a garment such as an old T-shirt, to nap on through the day. This item then becomes a familiar part of his life and having it when he goes to bed at night will help your puppy feel comforted. It is wise to keep this item only for sleep time be it day or night, and hide it from him at play times; that way he will relate it to sleeping only.
- The use of a crate or cage for your puppy can be beneficial. Place his bed in the crate and this contained area will give him a sense of security that should help him to sleep. It is important to leave the door of the crate or cage open so that he doesn’t feel trapped.
Having decided on the sleeping area and the type of bed, other matters to deal with are:
- Make sure your puppy has his evening meal at a set time.
- Play with him in the evening before bed time and this will make him tired.
- Give him a snack meal before bed so that he is not hungry through the night.
Do not give him a drink with this snack.
- Immediately after the snack, take puppy to his toilet area and wait until he has urinated. Praise him immediately after this action but don’t play with him at all. Now is the time to put him to bed.
- You can expect to be woken through the night as your puppy will want to urinate. Go through the same procedure as the early evening and put him straight back in his bed without any fuss except praising him for his good behavior.
- First thing in the morning, upon wakening, take puppy to his toilet area; you are both then ready to enjoy your day.
Puppy will soon be sleeping through the night and you will have the benefit of enjoying a well behaved Miniature Schnauzer for many years to come.
Copyright © 2013 Valerie Joy Smith & training mini schnauzer All Rights Reserved