Key facts on dogs at night time and being home alone
Dogs, like us are very social animals. They would naturally live in family or friendship groups and have ‘evolved’ alongside humans over thousands of years to work with us and live as our companions. Most dogs would choose to spend the majority of their time in our company. Some might actually prefer the company of their own kind, but what is certain, is that being alone just doesn’t come naturally for most.
Before you bring your new puppy home, you’ll want to have a think about where you would like your puppy to sleep at night. This is a very personal decision; some people are happy to have their dog sleep upstairs whereas for others it’s important that their dog sleep downstairs. Whatever you decide, it’s worth remembering that being alone at night can be quite scary for a puppy, especially if they’ve never been separated from their mum and littermates before.
If you decide that you want your puppy to sleep downstairs, then it will be much easier for them if you help them adjust to this slowly over a period of time. Have them upstairs with you in either a bed or crate (see crate training) and once they have settled after few nights, you can gradually move their bed or crate away from you to the desired location inch by inch. This way, your puppy won’t really notice the gradual separation as it will be occurring at a rate that they they’ll easily be able to cope with. Having them upstairs with you at first will also help with house training, as you’ll be alerted by the puppy when they want to go (see housetraining your puppy). Although it can be quite tiring getting up a few times a night, your puppy is likely to be house trained much quicker this way.