So you’ve made the big decision and brought a dachshund puppy into your family. You have just brought your puppy home and he is playful and active, full of energy and giving kisses and hugs freely. After an active day, you think it is impossible for you and your puppy to not be able to sleep through the night. At 2:00 am you hear a little whimper from your puppy and you think that he will simply go back to sleep; you will give him a little to calm him down. At 2:15 he has woken the whole family with his howls and you can’t get him to go back to sleep. To do?
While there is no single method that works perfectly for all dogs, there are things you can do to help your puppy sleep through the night. The first thing to decide is where will your puppy sleep? One option is to have your dachshund sleep in bed with you. Some people think this is crazy, others think it is for the best. If you make this choice, keep in mind that you will never be able to make your dachshund sleep anywhere else without retaliation. Once in bed, always in bed. I would not recommend this option if you move around when you sleep. Your puppy may get caught underneath you and become frightened or unable to breathe. Puppies are small and could wake up and get out of bed and get hurt or dirty.
A great option for where your dachshund puppy sleeps is in a crate. Some people think this is like putting them in dog jail, but it can actually be comforting for your dog. Don’t forget that dachshunds are hunters and have been bred to go to the ground. They love to sleep in dens and can often be found in your laundry basket or buried under a blanket. Your dog’s crate should never be used as punishment or “time out.” If used correctly, your dachshund will find his crate to be his safe place where he can go to relax and get away from household activities.
No matter where you choose your dachshund puppy to sleep, there are things you can do to get him to get more sleep at night. A puppy less than 3 months old cannot be expected to “hold” it for more than six hours at night. During the day you are active, this drops to about an hour. So plan to take your puppy out just before going to bed at night and again first thing in the morning. When you take it out for the last time at night, don’t make this a fun and fun time. Don’t give him a toy or a snack, just tell him to go to the bathroom, speak softly and gently, and let him do his thing. When you’re done, you can pick him up, pet him, and quietly tell him it’s time to go to sleep. Put him in his cage, turn off the lights and try to make as little noise as possible.
If your dachshund puppy wakes up in the middle of the night, again, don’t make for a fun playtime. Open his door, pet him a bit, close the door, and quietly tell him to go back to sleep. You can also cover the box with a light, dark sheet or blanket to darken your box. If he still wants to cry, you can move the box slightly or hit him enough to interrupt his crying, but not enough to scare him more. Eventually he will get the idea that you are not going to take him out and he will go back to sleep.
There are a few more things you can do to make sure your dachshund puppy is relaxed and ready for bed at night. Make sure you don’t go to bed hungry. I recommend feeding him at the same time as dinner or right after. That way you have something on your belly, but there is enough time to process everything for your last time outside before bed. Make sure you have plenty of time to play during the day and especially in the afternoon. Let him play outside with the children if the weather permits, the sun and exercise always help to deplete him. Don’t piss him off and play with him for at least an hour before bed. It will take longer for you to calm down.
One more thing you can try is called SnugglePuppy. It is a plush toy that has a warming pack and a heartbeat. This is especially good for puppies that have just come home and are away from their littermates for the first time in their life. We’ve heard great things about these stuffed animals, but plan ahead for this one so you already have it when you bring your dachshund puppy home.
Your puppy will eventually sleep through the night so that you and your family can return to your normal sleep patterns. It may take a few nights for your puppy to get used to his new life and new schedule, but it will happen. Hopefully, you will find these helpful tips and life with your new dachshund puppy will be everything you ever dreamed of.