How to Train Your Puppy to Sleep Through the Night
The first major obstacle when you bring your puppy home is how to set yourself up for success at night-time. It's inevitable your puppy will cry in the night at first. It's a strong survival instinct in puppies to remain with their mother and litter. Now faced with being alone and in a new environment your puppy is likely to be afraid.
In order to succeed in getting through this phase as quickly as possible you have to decide firstly what success is. In the long-term where do you want your dog to sleep?
The two most common answers are;
1) In a separate room on their own.
2) In the bedroom.
The best training method is going to depend upon how you answered the question. Let's go through each separately.
Method for Sleeping in a Separate Room:
If you intend for your dog to eventually sleep in a separate room on their own then it's best to start as you mean to continue. To alleviate your puppies initial stress of being alone you can begin by sleeping in the same room as your puppy using a camp bed. Set yourself up near your puppies sleeping area.
You can create a sleeping area for your puppy using a puppy pen or dog crate. Beware your puppy might need a separate area from their bed should they have a toileting accident. This will prevent them from learning to go to the toilet on their bed. You can use newspaper or puppy pads to make clean up easier.
Be prepared for the puppy to cry at night and for you have to take them outside to the garden to go to the toilet several times through the night. Puppies don't have the physical capability to hold their pee all night at a young age.
If you suspect your puppy is crying as they're anxious you can simply reassure them and encourage them to return to bed.
Each night gradually move your camp bed further away from the puppies sleeping area. Eventually progressing to sleeping outside of the room and then finally in your own bedroom. Once you've managed this your overnight training should be complete although for some puppies you may have to take them outside to toilet through the night for several weeks as their bladder develops.
Method for Sleeping in Your Bedroom:
This option is generally much easier as you're not having to do battle with your puppies desire to not be alone. However that doesn't mean you should allow your puppy to sleep in the bedroom if this is something you don't want to do in the long-term. Doing so is simply postponing the eventual work and might make it harder to achieve when you do decide to change sleeping arrangements.
First set up a sleeping area in your bedroom for your puppy. You can do this using a puppy pen or crate. Make sure to provide a toileting area should your puppy make a mistake. You can do this using puppy pads or newspaper. This will prevent your puppy from learning to toilet in their bed.
It's normal for your puppy to wake up several times throughout the night. If you suspect they need to go to the toilet you can take them outside and encourage them to go. Alternatively if they are simply anxious you can reassure them and encourage your puppy to return to their bed.
With practice your puppy will eventually go through the night without waking. It may take several weeks for your puppy to be able to go through the night without toileting as puppies are generally not able to hold their pee for the necessary length of time.