And just like that he slept in the big boy bed… I always let my foster puppies sleep in my bed when they arrive. I sleep on the sofa bed as it’s easier to be downstairs in case of nighttime toilet trips. All puppies have had a great deal of upheaval when they arrive in their new homes but rescue puppies have gone through even more. For puppies, leaving mum/siblings is a huge change and most puppies are used to sleeping in a lovely warm pile of their siblings. Sleeping on their own away from another warm body for comfort is not something they are used to and it can be incredibly traumatic. For the first few nights my pup was here he slept wrapped around my head like a limpet and if I moved in the night he would become distressed and panic until he could find me again. He really needed to be close to feel safe. So we had a few nights of him getting lots of good quality sleep (which he desperately needed) and me getting not much sleep with him lying on my head! He’s gradually moved further away from me to find a comfier spot on the bed (but with several nighttime check-ins to come and sniff my face to make sure I’m alive!). Last night he jumped off the bed before I had even turned off the light and he settled in the big dog bed on the floor and he’s still there now, he feels safe now to sleep away from me. I know new puppy owners worry about ‘starting as they mean to go on’ and may not want the dog on their bed long term, even if you don’t want them in your room forever please don’t leave them alone to panic and cry. Either have them up with you in your room and gradually transition them to wherever they will eventually sleep or camp out downstairs with your pup. If you intend to let them sleep in your room, then even better, no upheaval at all and you will probably all have great sleep from the first night. I know people worry that pups will wee in the bed, I have never had that happen in 8 puppies, they will wake you up when they stir and you can get them out in the garden in time. The most important thing is that we try to avoid unnecessary stress in puppies and ensure that everyone gets a good nights sleep.
(c) Laura McAuliffe, Dog Communication 2021