Puppy sleeping on the floor indoors

Kirsten Dillon - Step 2: The First Night With Your Puppy

Join us as we embark on an exciting journey alongside our Animal Behaviorist, Kirsten Dillon, who has recently welcomed a new addition to her family—a puppy!

We are absolutely delighted to offer you an exclusive sneak peek into Kirsten's journey of raising her puppy, including her brilliant guidance for your puppy's first night at home. Kirsten is an expert in animal behaviour and canine specialist, so her insights and techniques are sure to be a lifesaving resource, ensuring your puppy has the best first night possible!

A new puppy's first night can be scary and even distressing. It is often the first time they are not sleeping with their mum and siblings. Add this to the fact that they have probably had a car journey and are in a completely unknown environment; it's no wonder they cry."

The best scenario is to put a small crate beside your bed and offer a hand when they seek reassurance. Even if you don't want the puppy to sleep in your bedroom after this, we can work on moving the crate downstairs, bit by bit, as their confidence grows.
Alternatively, sleep on the sofa with the crate nearby. This allows you to whisk the puppy outside if they show signs of wanting to go to the toilet, or you can put a puppy pad in the crate and deal with the clean up in the morning – it's up to you.
If you want to foster confidence and independence, the worst thing you can do is 'let them cry it out'. They are babies! Allow a few squeaks and whines and give them a minute or two to settle, but never, ever leave them to get distressed.
This isn't forever, and by letting them know you are close by, and they are safe and not alone, you will, in fact, get a dog to self-soothe and settle much more quickly and with better long-term results than allowing them to get distressed.
A great set-up in the living area/kitchen is a puppy pen with a small crate, like the one above. This allows for a continuation of the 'sleeping in a crate' protocol but also provides a contained play area for safe containment and toilet accidents.
By Kirsten Dillon
Animal Behaviourist & Canine Specialist