Settling Down Your Rescue Dog for Bed Time

You and your new dog have survived your first day together, and it’s now time for you both to go to bed. You can expect your dog to be a little unsettled during his first night in his new home.

Where should your dog sleep? It’s a good idea to allow him to sleep in your bedroom, so you are close to him should he need you during the night. You can either make him a comfortable bed in his crate, or tether him to the one spot in your room. That way he’s not allowed to wander the house at night, which can lead to toileting accidents or destruction of shes and other belongings. Don’t allow him to sleep in your bed in these early days, until he is well aware of his position in the household pack.

As an alternative, you may wish to put his crate in another part of the house, or confine him to a separate room such as the laundry room. Whatever you do, don’t leave him to his own devices in your home.

Feed your dog a few hours before it’s time to go to sleep, so he doesn’t have an uncomfortably full stomach.

Just before bedtime, take him for a walk, or play ball with him so he is quite tired. That way he’s more likely to sleep well, and will be less concerned about being in a strange place.

Make sure he has been to the toilet so he’s comfortable at bed time.

Night Time Whimpers

It’s not uncommon for dogs to cry at night if they’re a bit afraid or uncertain. This will as he becomes more comfortable in his new environment. Also, if your dog is young, he may not have a very big bladder, and he may need to go outside for the toilet.

If your dog is crying for attention, you can reach over and calm him briefly with a quick pat. However, don’t overdo it, or he will keep on whimpering. If the noise continues, you can tell him to “Be quiet” in a firm but gentle tone. You may have to ignore any further crying, so he learns that whimpering doesn’t get him the attention he wants.

Make sure you are consistent with your reaction to his whimpering. There’s no point in patting him when he cries one night, then ignoring him the next. That will only confuse him, and he’ll take longer to learn what you expect from him at night time.

The Next Morning

When you wake up in the morning, take your dog straight outside to his toilet area, and praise him when he goes to the toilet. This will help him learn where his toilet area is, and quickly teach him not to go inside the home.

Having a new dog in your home isn’t a lot different than having a new baby. They both can be noisy at night, and they both need patience and understanding. It won’t take long before your dog is settled and you can again enjoy an unbroken night’s sleep.

Adopting a Rescue Dog – The First Seven Days
By: Dr. Susan Wright & Misty Weaver

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