When it is time for your puppy to sleep at night, the crate is a great place to put him and know he will be safe. He might not settle very fast or sleep for a long time at first. But, most puppies can be trained to sleep in their crate until morning, long before they are 16 weeks old.

Here are three things you can do that will help your puppy to sleep through the night, and improve your night’s sleep too…

Where Your Puppy Sleeps is Important

Having your puppy in the same room as you will help to reassure him. He’ll then be more likely to sleep for longer.

However, many owners find having the crate in the same room as them impractical. If this describes you, then have your puppy sleep in the crate just outside your room, or in a room nearby.

Should your dog not settle easily when in a different room, a good tip is to leave a radio on. The noise of talking, or music can help to relax him.

Your Puppy Still Needs to Toilet

Just because it is at night and your puppy is asleep, doesn’t mean you don’t have to take him to the toilet. When his crate is in your  room, you can hear when he starts to wiggle and squirm. This is a shore sign that he needs to go to the toilet. Don’t ignore him when he wakes you up. Your dog must not be allowed to soil his crate, or bad habits might start to form.

When your dog sleeps in another room, knowing when he needs to toilet is much harder. You are not going to hear him when he needs to go. You’ll therefore need to wake up every couple of hours and take him out to toilet. Crate training your dog at night is a lot easier if you share this task with another family member.

Luckily, as your puppy grows his bladder will get larger. He will then be able to control it better. You can then gradually increase the time you leave him between toilet breaks. As a general rule, you should increase the time between toilet breaks by no more than 15 minutes at a time. But, only when your puppy can go three nights without an accident.

Preparation is Everything

A good evening routine is essential if you are to succeed in crate training your dog at night. It will also help you to get a good night sleep yourself.

Left to do what they want, puppies will spend large parts of their time snoozing. That’s fine during the day, but not in the evening. Evenings are fun times.

Get your dog exercising. Encourage him to run around the yard chasing after a tennis ball. Invite some friends to your home that will pay your dog attention. Take your puppy to visit other dogs. Do anything that will distract him and keep him from sleeping.

In addition, make sure your puppy gets his last meal of the day at least 3 hours before bedtime.  He should also get no water for at least 2 hours before bedtime. When it’s time for bed, take your puppy out for one last toilet trip, then settle him down in the crate.

When you have a new puppy, broken nights are inevitable. However, you don’t have to suffer for long. If you adopt the right training practices from the start, you will soon have your puppy sleeping right through the night.

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Adrian Key is the owner of Key Searches, publishers of the Dog Training That Works series of books written by Patricia James. For expert advice on how to crate train your dog at night, visit the official Patricia James website.

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