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MJClark

Night time nightmare of my own making

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MJClark   

First time puppy owner of the most beautiful 9 week German Shepherd boy. I'm out of my depth but I'm watching him carefully and learning from places like this. I think I've finally got his food right but last night I had to give him a feed at 2 in the morning! His night times have been unsettled - it's only our fourth day - he's been chewing and playing in the night (I just drag his chew toy into his little den until he tires and then I rub his belly!) and hard to settle. He is such a happy good boy I do not want to muck this up. I'd love to hear a few inexperienced owners tell me it will all work out.

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JRG   

The. most important thing is routine.

He will learn very quickly how to get round you, so be firm and stick with the timetable that YOU want.

If he needs to go out during the night, straight out and back - no playing or rubbing of tummy etc

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It will all work out.  I think most of us have had the 'what have I done' moment.  lol  As JRG said - routine!  Set times for feeding, toileting straight after eating, back into the pen if night time etc.  Training is also a good thing to start.  There is a heap of info online about training puppies and a tiring mentally is a good way to get them to sleep all night.

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Our last feed is about 2 hours before bed for pups - eg around 7:30 - 8pm for a 10 pm bed time and 6 am wake up. For a newly arrived pup i will set the alarm for 2 toilet breaks during the night but that usually fades to none, quickly. Pup goes out on leash - no chit chat or play - when they evacuate i say ‘do wees’ and then praise and we calmly go back inside. We crate our dogs at night their entire lives. Pups are in a crate at bed height next to my bed for the first few months so that i can hear them if they need to toilet. Then I graduate the crate to the end of the bed, or out into the open living area where my other dogs sleep in crates. At sleep time, i don’t put toys in the crate as i want to encourage sleep not play. We currently have 2 dogs and #3 is arriving in May - we’ll follow the same protocol as above as it’s been very successful in training, evacuating on command, toilet training and sleep behaviour expectations quickly. When pup is in their crate next to my bed, i don’t  interact at all - if it’s cold i’ll put in a snuggle heat pad in the crate and a bedding pad to keep them comfortable. 

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You don't want him to train you and as others have said, set a routine. 

But it's OK to ease into it.  He's a baby, and has gone through a huge change. 

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Rebanne   

are you reaching out to your pups breeder? They are there to help you with all of this. What is your pup being fed and when? All my pups got a raw chicken wing when put to put to bed and then I also would set the alarm for toileting twice overnight and then cut it back to once and then very quickly they were sleeping from 10 ish to 6 ish. Quicker then human babies! Mine are also crated next to my bed as youngsters.

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