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How do you teach your puppy to sleep alone?

You have adopted a puppy and want to teach him to sleep alone? A moment that is not always easy for the dog as well as for his family! Especially when he cries all night or looks at you with a sad look on his face... Here are our tips!
Team Jagger.Lewis
Date of publication
March 23, 2023
You have adopted a puppy and want to teach him to sleep alone? A moment that is not always easy for the dog as for his family! Especially when he cries all night or looks at you with a sad look... Here are our tips!

First, you need to understand your newcomer. Have you ever thought that your puppy lives with his siblings, stuck to his mom most of the time and that he finds himself, overnight, alone in the unknown world that is your home? With the other animals she can count on and sometimes her wide open spaces? It is bound to be a traumatic moment for him - even if he seems very valiant when he chases after the cat...

This fear is therefore normal and is the result of their natural instinct to seek safety and comfort in their family. It is important to understand this fear and to respond to it in an empathetic and patient manner.

Create a safe and comfortable sleeping space

The first step in teaching your puppy to sleep alone is to create a safe and comfortable sleeping space. Choose a place that is quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of the house, and provide a cozy bed, soothing toys, and familiar items to help your dog feel safe.

Gradually introduce the new sleeping space

Gradually introduce the new sleeping space to your puppy by encouraging him to spend time there during the day. Offer treats, toys, or caresses to create a positive association with this space. When your dog seems comfortable in his new space, start teaching him to sleep there alone at night.

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Gradually increase the length of separation

Gradually increase the length of time you and your dog are separated during the night. Start by staying close to your dog's sleeping space, then gradually move away, coming back to reassure and reward your dog for being calm. Continue to increase the distance and length of separation until your dog is able to sleep alone without anxiety.

You can also put the door to your room with the door open, he will feel safe when he sees you. Be careful, the goal is not to let it take the place of your pillow overnight! Each evening, move the basket back, but always keep the door open so that he can reassure himself when he sees you. After several days, your dog will have his basket in a space alone, he will no longer see you and you can close the door without fear.

Reinforcing progress positively

Positively reinforce your dog's progress by praising, stroking, or offering treats when he stays calm and sleeps alone. By reinforcing these behaviors, you encourage your dog to repeat them and gain confidence.

Do not punish or force the separation

It is important not to punish or force the separation if your dog experiences anxiety when sleeping alone. Punishment or coercion can worsen anxiety and make learning more difficult. Locking him up in this kitchen so cold and huge in his eyes or letting him cry and bark will only accentuate the problem. Instead, work at a pace that's right for your dog and stay patient and understanding when dealing with their fears.

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Reassure your dog during transitions

Transitions, such as moves, routine changes, or the arrival of a new family member, can cause anxiety in your dog and affect his ability to sleep on his own. During these times, it's important to reassure your dog and provide extra support to help them adapt to the changes.

Teach an adult dog to sleep alone again

If you have an adult dog that has never learned to sleep alone or has developed separation anxiety problems, rehabilitation may be necessary. The same principles and steps of positive education also apply to adult dogs. Be patient and adapt your approach to the specific needs of your dog, taking into account his age, temperament, and past experiences.

Consult a professional if necessary

If your dog continues to show signs of anxiety despite your efforts to teach him to sleep on his own, it may be helpful to seek professional advice.

Teaching an adult puppy or dog to sleep alone is a process that requires time, patience, and persistence. By following the steps described in this article and adapting your approach to the specific needs of your dog, you will promote their independence and emotional well-being. A dog that can sleep alone peacefully will be more balanced and happier, which will strengthen your bond with him and allow you to fully enjoy your life together.

Learn more about dog sleep

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