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Sleeping arrangements for a new puppy will require some preparation. If you’re adopting early, it’s very likely that this will be your puppy’s first night away from its mother and littermates. To get you ready to accommodate your new addition and make your puppy as comfortable as possible, we’ve put together some tips that should help smooth the transition.

Before settling in for the night, I recommend tiring the puppy out and making sure that any bathroom needs are taken care of. I strongly suggest you keep the puppy’s resting place near your bed for the first few nights to help her feel less lonely. If you plan to use a kennel or crate, wait until the puppy is in a calm submissive and relaxed state before closing her in. It is important that she not feel trapped and that she not associate anything negative with her sleeping arrangements. Remember that your puppy experiences the world with her nose first, so providing a towel, toy, blanket or other object with the familiar scent of her mother and littermates may help her relax. You may also want to include an item or two with the scent of your puppy’s new family members to help her become familiar with you and adapt to her new pack.

If your puppy tries to leave her bed, begins to whine, or tries to use chewing as a way to cope with the anxiety of being alone, give her gentle but firm corrections. The puppy’s mother set very strict rules for behavior, so she should need very little correction in order to get the point.

Some puppies may miss the feeling of a beating heart next to them when they sleep. To help your puppy along some, “beating heart” plush toys can be purchased at pet stores that mimic the sound of a canine mother’s heartbeat.

If you have another balanced dog that has demonstrated a gentle energy around the puppy, you can employ that dog as a surrogate teacher to help the puppy feel safe and get a good night’s rest. Remember, the best teacher is a canine one!

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