Bringing a puppy home is a scary and exciting time, there are many decisions to be made about how you manage this new addition to the home, and one of them is sleeping arrangements. If this transition from breeder to your home is done with proper care you will be giving your puppy the best chance to develop in a positive direction.
When you bring a new puppy home you are removing it from everything that is familiar. Often puppies have spent their whole lives with their siblings, it must be quite frightening for a puppy to suddenly find themselves sleeping on their own in a new environment. Most puppies are adopted out at around eight weeks of age and we know that this age is within the critical socialisation period so any traumatic event is likely to have lasting effects. You can help make this transition as smooth as possible by having the best sleeping arrangements for your new puppy. I encourage people to have their new puppy sleep and live inside. A puppy who is relegated outside is likely to spend long periods in isolation. Long periods of isolation during this transition stage can give rise to many problematic behaviours.
I have found that puppies do best with overnight sleeping if they are close to their new owner. The best way to stay close to your new puppy is to have him sleep in a crate and you sleep on the floor next to the crate. The alternative is to have the crate right next to your bed and allow your hand to hang over the side for comfort. Sleeping your puppy in a crate is an effective in combining training with bonding.
Allowing your puppy to sleep close to you is a wonderful way to begin the bonding process with him. A strong bond will help your puppy feel more secure and this will encourage him to become more confident during socialisation. If your puppy is bonded to you, training will also be more successful, and your puppy will have a good chance of becoming a well-rounded adult.
This kind of sleeping arrangement makes the adoption transition much smoother for your puppy and lends itself well to changing your puppy’s sleeping location over time. This is because the puppy is already comfortable with sleeping solo in a crate and has perhaps forgotten about his previous life huddled with littermates. The puppy will also be more confident, while he has been sleeping close to you he has had the opportunity to become familiar with your home, and can safely predict events. A puppy who lives in a predictable world feels much more secure.
When you and your puppy are ready, start the process of moving the crate to another room. The crate should still remain close enough for you to hear your puppy if he needs to go to the toilet. As your puppy matures into a dog you can give him more freedom, perhaps allowing him to sleep in the living room without being locked in the crate.
Ensuring that the adoption transition is as smooth as possible for a new puppy includes carefully organising sleeping arrangements. Sleeping close to your new puppy is one thing you can do to reduce the amount of stress and fear your puppy feels when you bring him home.