I’m so excited, my new baby has finally arrived! Come on in and meet the newest member of our family. He is such a sweet little guy with big brown eyes just like mine.

The “puppy crying first night” is a story about how one of my dogs, a yellow lab named Sam, had his first night at home after being adopted from the shelter.

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The first night at home with your pet. It’s certainly thrilling… It’s a lot of fun… Here are some things to consider before bringing your puppy home.

It’s been approximately a year (UPDATE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, It’s been almost 15 years!) since I took Stetson, a 7-week-old puppy from Guide Dogs of America, home (GDA).

It reminded me of our amazing first encounter in Sylmar, California, as well as the numerous nights without sleep that followed over the next four weeks.

Your Puppy's First Night HomeThe First Night at Home with Your Puppy

GDA does not abandon you once you have picked up your dog.

In fact, they provide you with a puppy guidebook on what to anticipate and what to do during your first few days and nights at home. These measures aren’t only for guiding dogs; everyone taking home a puppy for the first time should follow them.

You’ll also get a “Puppy Go Home Kit” from Guide Dogs of America, which contains some of the first items you’ll need for your new puppy, such as collars, leashes, and dog food.

Before bringing your new puppy home, go through our new puppy checklist to see what we believe you’ll need.

QUICK TIP: You’re unlikely to be able to get a guide dog puppy manual. Puppies for Dummies is an excellent option that we strongly suggest and read before bringing home our first dog, Linus.

When you first bring your puppy home, there are a few things to keep in mind.

QUICK ACCESS: If you’re having trouble training your puppy, sign up for our Puppy Training Tips email list to get our New Puppy Owner Checklist PDF right now. CLICK HERE to get started.

Everything is brand new… There’s a First for everything…

First and foremost, we have been notified that your puppy has been raised in a sterile environment with his mother and littermates.

It is recommended that your puppy’s first week at home remain peaceful. Allow the puppy to explore and get to know his new family.

Now is the time to begin teaching your puppy his name (amazing because now Stetson knows his name like the back of his paw).

Puppy's first time going potty at her new home

Allow your puppy to waste himself in a place you have chosen for that reason when you first come home (Stetson’s designated site was in the gravel area on my patio).

If you need a refresher, we published a guide on the fundamentals of toilet training your dog.

Repeat “Get Busy” with your puppy on a leash (without his bib) — (GDA puppies in training are never permitted to “Get Busy” with their bib/jacket on) — (Remember this may be the first time your puppy has heard these words).

Allow your dog 10-15 minutes to relieve himself outside before bringing him inside. In 10 minutes, try again.

Give the puppy plenty of praise if he does relieve himself in the right spot. Then let him loose in the home (but keep an eye on him and don’t allow him out of your sight).

After that, you may take him inside, but keep an eye on him and don’t allow him out of your sight. When your puppy is exploring, talk to him to help him feel more at ease.

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: We have began utilizing a potty training doorbell called the Smart Bell to teach our pups to warn us when they need to go potty. It takes some practice, but it’s a better option than your dog clawing up the backdoor.

The First Night At Home With A Puppy

Yellow Lab puppy half under couch facing his little plush doggy toy.How to deal with your puppy’s first night at home

If you’ve ever reared a puppy, you’ll know that here is when the real fun starts (sarcasm…this is truly when you find out that you don’t get to sleep your first night home with a new puppy).

QUICK TIP: If you want to know all you should anticipate from your 8-week-old dog, read this blog article.

It’s possible that your first few nights at home may be unpleasant for both you and your dog.

The puppy will be lonely at night and will most likely show it by whimpering (Oh, you betcha!).

There are a few things you may do to help the puppy feel more at ease.

  1. A tiny crate should be used for your puppy’s sleeping quarters. We use a MidWest Life Stages Double Door Crate with a partition (so we can alter the crate size) and cover it with a blanket to make it seem cozier.
  2. Keep the crate near to your bed in a draft-free place. If your puppy screams for the first three weeks, take him out on a leash to a relieving location. Replace him in his box when he has relieved himself. Do not offer him any treats or let him to play with you. Return him to his box and he should go asleep again.
  3. Take the puppy to bed with you under no circumstances. This will become a really bad habit – believe me… When your puppy is whining all night, it’s impossible to resist, but it’s critical to keep him in his crate.
  4. – Provide a plush dog toy for the puppy to cuddle with. When we met the litter at GDA, I was urged to bring a plush dog toy and collect each of Stetson’s littermates’ smell on the item. Stetson could cuddle with the toy and smell his littermates when it came time to kennel him for the first night.

QUICK TIP: For our puppy’s first night at home, we’ve tried a variety of soft toys throughout the years. The Snuggle Puppy Toy with Heart Beat and Heat Pack is our favorite and one we strongly suggest. Charlie, our previous dog, adored his Snuggle Puppy Toy, which helped him sleep better the first night in his kennel.

The First Feeding of a Puppy

Little yellow Lab puppy being held by his human (me, Colby)Archer is being picked up. I’m getting ready for another first night at home with a new dog.

Your puppy’s first meal on his own will be this. Once your puppy’s food is ready (we give our pups Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Puppy Food), you’ll begin training him to sit and wait for his meal.

By sliding your thumb inside your puppy’s collar, you can hold him and place his food approximately two feet away. Say “O.K.” and release your dog as soon as he stops wriggling.

Throughout your training, this should be done at every meal.

My Puppy’s Experiential Learning

I was often reminded at Stetson’s puppy kindergarten that every dog is unique. Even within a breed, there are differences.

There are numerous individuals in our community who have raised ten or more Guide Dogs of America Labrador Retrievers, and each one is unique.

In the early days and weeks of my relationship with Stetson, I had a terrible time. When I initially brought Stetson home, I had no problems with him.

After raising my first rescue dog, Linus, I was already familiar with the difficulties and tribulations of house and crate training.

Puppies pee every 10 to 20 minutes on average. You must keep a close eye on them or they will use your home as their own restroom.

Stetson had a few little mishaps, but nothing out of the norm.

In the evening, the torment began.

The container did not appeal to Stetson!

He whimpered, howled, sobbed, and growled… He probably made every noise he could think of, but he refused to relax and sleep.

He did take a nap now and again (honestly I felt like a zombie for over a month).

During the first four weeks, I only got about six hours of sleep, which was interrupted three or four times a night by wailing, screaming, barking…you get the idea.

Stetson would never get acclimated to his box, I thought, since I was a disaster.

When he wasn’t weeping, the only way I could get him to sleep was to chat to him for 5-10 minutes and tell him what a “wonderful boy” he was (if he did cry I would just keep silent until he stopped).

To attempt to calm him down, I’d say “quiet” or “Shhh.”

Black Lab puppy playing with his little purple plastic grenade toy.Aww, the first night with puppy Stetson at home was…sleepless…

Consistent and patient are two adjectives that come to me when I think of you. Stetson suddenly stopped making noise in his kennel after approximately 4 weeks of sticking to my guns, not allowing him out of his box, and rewarding him when he was quiet.

I believed I’d found happiness when he let me sleep through the night.

I’m continually reminded that I need to follow Stetson’s instructions and be patient. It pays off in the long term. In months, Stetson hasn’t barked, howled, or moaned.

In fact, I can only recollect him barking once in the last six months (he barked because he was trying to get my attention to go outside).

I believe it’s weird that he doesn’t bark any more, but I’m grateful for the extra peace and quiet.

If you’re having difficulties getting your puppy to sleep in his cage at night, check out this post for 20 recommendations on how to get your dog adjusted to his crate.

Puppy’s First Night at Home – Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Place For A Puppy To Sleep The First Night?

Yellow Golden-Lab puppy sleeping in her crate

New puppy owners often inquire about where a dog should sleep on his or her first night.

ANSWER: On the first night, all of our pups sleep in their crates. Why? We want our pups to be used to sleeping in their kennel from the beginning. We are promoting the habit of sleeping on the bed if we allow them to sleep somewhere else, such as our beds. As a result, starting them in the crate on day 2 will be more challenging.

I also want them to get used to sleeping in their cage until they are toilet trained and have learned the necessary home rules, such as not chewing my socks, shoes, bed posts, baseboards, walls, or doors. Yes, all of them and more have been chewed by my previous pups!

Should I Allow My Puppy To Cry On His First Night?

Hopefully, your puppy enjoys sleeping in the kennel and sleeps well the first night. During the night, he will most likely wake up sobbing 2-4 times.

What happens if your puppy begins to cry? Is it a good idea to let your puppy cry on the first night?

That is a more intricate question than it seems. Yes and no are the answers. I’ll tell you a few of possibilities that are most probable.

First and foremost, as previously said, we cage train our pups. If our pups start wailing in the kennel at the end of the night, they will most likely quiet down after around 5-10 minutes of whimpering. As a result, we do allow our pups to cry.

Second, if our dog wakes up whimpering in the middle of the night, we quickly take him to his pee area. We take him directly back to his box to sleep when he does pee. This occurs 2-4 times every night on average.

Those are the two conditions in which your puppy is most likely to cry. There are, however, an unlimited number of other reasons why pups scream in their crates on their first night. Please let us know if you have any problems.

Is It Safe To Leave My Puppy Home Alone For The First Night?

Your puppy is spending his first night apart from his littermates. He’s spending his first night at a new place. It’ll be his first night away from his own family. It’s possible that this is his first night apart from his mother.

Is it a good idea to let your dog alone the first night?

The simple answer is no, and you should not leave your puppy alone for the first night. The lengthy answer is that we put our puppy’s kennel next to our bed (where a nightstand would typically go). I sleep on my own bed, approximately a foot away from my puppy, who is in his kennel.

If I believe my puppy is having anxiety on his first night home, I may occasionally sleep on the floor for a few nights before gradually returning to my bed.

How Long Does It Take For A Puppy To Cry The First Night?

This is the question I’m afraid to ask when I bring a dog home. The answer is that it varies; each puppy is unique.

We’ve seen pups sleep for 8 hours straight the first night without crying.

Other pups have cried for the bulk of the first night, with just brief breaks (I’m looking at you, Stetson).

However, you’re undoubtedly curious as to how long I consider typical for a puppy to cry at night.

ANSWER: A typical puppy will cry in his kennel for 5-10 minutes before you go to bed. After that, he’ll most likely calm down and go asleep. Most pups will wake up 2-4 times in the following 8 hours and will need to go outdoors and pee. Most pups will scream for another 5-10 minutes after you return from a restroom break before going back to sleep. Your dog will want to get up and eat breakfast after around 8 hours of sleep.

Is My Puppy Allowed To Sleep With Me On The First Night?

Puppy sleeping with me the first night

As I previously said, all of my pups spend their first night in their kennel.

Why don’t I let my pups sleep with me in my bed?

I don’t want any pee accidents in my bed, therefore I want my pups to become acclimated to the crate. This necessitates a narrative:

Many years ago, I had a conversation with a friend who let her pet lie on her bed. She informed me that the dog had peed and pooped in the bed. She cleaned up the mess, but the odor of excrement lingered. She later noticed she had rolled over excrement, which had been attached to the rear of her PJs… Ewww…

That anecdote has stayed with me for years, and I’m now a firm believer in no puppies in the bed.

A Quick Recap of Your Puppy’s First Night

  1. Make sure you have everything you’ll need for your puppy. Check out our Puppy Checklist if you’re looking for a new puppy.
  2. Puppies for Dummies is a fantastic book to have if you want to learn how to raise and train a puppy.
  3. The first few days with your dog should be peaceful. Allow him to adjust to his new surroundings.
  4. Begin basic training with your puppy right away, including as toilet training, name recognition, and crate use.
  5. Always keep an eye on your dog.
  6. – Keep a tiny crate next to your bed. Crates from the MidWest line are recommended.
  7. Give your pet a plush dog toy to cuddle with — the Snuggle Puppy Toy with Heartbeat and Heat Pack is a great choice.
  8. The First Feeding of a Puppy – have him wait before meals. – we give our puppies and recommend Wellness Core Puppy Formula.
  9. When teaching your puppy, be consistent, persistent, and patient.

Conclusion: Take a Break Before Getting Your Puppy

Before receiving your dog, get plenty of rest. Sleepless nights are common on the first night with a puppy.

You’ll probably have to wake up multiple times to take your puppy out to go pee.

If you obtain a homesick puppy, on the other hand, you may have to put up with a night (or many nights) of barking, wailing, sobbing, and yelping dog.

Hopefully, you obtain the latter and are only awakened a few times throughout the night.

Best of luck!

That concludes our discussion. Hopefully, you’re now ready for your puppy’s first night at home.

How did you do with your The First Night At Home With A Puppy?

Please share your stories in the comments area below.

Yellow Lab puppy sleeping half underneath a couch.The best way to deal with your puppy’s first night at home.

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THE 30TH OF JANUARY, 2008. Some of the material has been updated, while some has remained unchanged. We’ve learnt a lot over the years, and the new information reflects that.

Puppies’ Favorite Items

  1. BEST PUPPY TOY We Like: Snuggle Puppy w/ Heart Beat & Heat Pack – Perfect for new puppies. We get all of our Service Dog pups a Snuggle Puppy.
  2. THE PERFECT DOG SNACK Best Bully Sticks – Our Favorite Our pups all like biting, nipping, and chewing. Bully Sticks are a great way to help deflect these unpleasant actions.
  3. DOG TREATS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY One of our favorite treats for training our service dog pups is Wellness Soft Puppy Bites.
  4. FRESH DOG FOOD AT ITS BEST We Like: The Farmer’s Dog – We began giving Raven fresh dog food a few months ago, and she loves it! Get a 50% discount on your first Farmer’s Dog order.

More of our favorites may be found on our New Puppy Checklist.

The “first 72 hours with a puppy” is the first time your new dog is introduced to their new home. It can be stressful for both you and your pet, but it’s important to remember that they are just as scared as you are.

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