So, he made the big decision and brought a dachshund puppy into his family. You have just brought your puppy home and he is playful and active, full of energy and gives kisses and hugs freely. After an active day, you think there is no way you and your puppy cannot 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 put him 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 dachshund puppy sleep through the night. The first thing to decide is where your puppy will sleep. One option is to have your dachshund sleep in bed with you. Some people think this is crazy, some think it is for the best. If you make this decision, keep in mind that you will never be able to make your dachshund sleep anywhere else without retribution. Once in bed, always in bed. I would not recommend this option if you move when you are sleeping. Your puppy may get trapped under you and become scared or unable to breathe. Puppies are small and could wake up and get out of bed and hurt themselves or make a mess.
A great option for your dachshund puppy to sleep in is in a crate. Some people think this is like putting them in a 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 burrows and can often be found in your laundry hamper or buried under a blanket. Your dog crate should never be used for 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 that is less than 3 months old cannot be expected to “hold” more than six hours at night. During the day, when you are active, this drops to about an hour. So plan to take your puppy out just before 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 playful moment. Don’t give him a toy or a snack, just tell him to go to the bathroom, talk in a low, gentle voice, and let him do his thing. When he’s 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 the door, pet him a bit, close the door and quietly tell him to go back to sleep. You can also cover the cage with a light, dark sheet or blanket to darken the cage. If he still wants to cry, you can move the box slightly or touch it 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 for the night. Make sure they don’t go to bed hungry. I recommend feeding it at the same time as dinner, or right after. That way you have something in your tummy, but there is plenty of time to process everything one last time outside before bed. Make sure he plays a lot during the day and especially in the afternoon. Let him play outside with the kids if the weather permits, the sun and exercise always help wear him down. Do not irritate him and play with him at least an hour before bedtime. It will take longer to settle.
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 so you already have it when you bring your dachshund puppy home.
Over time, your puppy will sleep through the night so that you and your family can return to your normal sleep patterns. It may take your puppy a few nights to get used to his new life and new schedule, but it will happen. We hope you find these tips helpful and that life with your new dachshund puppy is everything you ever dreamed of.