Do you have a bedtime ritual? Maybe you brush your teeth last thing and then set a glass of water on the table beside the bed. You might write in your journal or plan your next day’s to-do list. Some people read a bit before shutting down and slipping off into dreamland.
Developing a bedtime ritual for your puppy will help establish a routine that will assist you in his training. Chaos does not help him develop the discipline needed to become a well-trained companion.
Minimizing the accidents
When you bring your puppy home, there will be no way for you to prevent an oops from happening every now and then. Accidents will happen. Just get ready for them. There may not be a single toddler that went through potty training without having at least one little mishap—probably more if we tell ourselves the truth.
The same thing is going to occur with your puppy. He will have at least one accident inside the house before he his properly and sufficiently potty trained. One of the first steps in establishing a nightly ritual is to avoid giving him a bowl of water right before you put him in his crate or kennel.
Who expects a toddler to not have an accident in the bed after giving him a full glass of juice prior to turning in? If you allow your puppy to have a full bowl of water before he goes to sleep, he is going to have an accident during the night. There is only one thing you can do about it: don’t water or feed him a couple hours before bedtime.
This means when he wakes up, he is going to need to get outside to do his business. When he does this, it allows you to praise and reward him for not going inside and for waiting until the proper moment. By doing it in this manner, you are building positive reinforcement.
Young puppies like to chew. It’s just what they do. When you put your puppy to bed for the night, it is best if you do not tuck him in with a blanket or a couple of old towels.
You want your companion to be comfortable in his new home but putting loose bedding in his crate or kennel with him at night is asking for trouble. And that can result in trouble of the worst and most expensive kind. If your puppy gets hold of a blanket or rags, he can tear them up, swallow them, and get obstructions in his digestive system. This can cause him severe pain—or worse—and make you responsible for a big bill from the emergency vet.
Late evening walks
One thing you could do to help get your puppy ready for bed, letting him know that the day is over and he needs to prepare for the next day, is to take him for an evening walk. Give him a little exercise and help him get out all the excess energy.
Creating a nighttime ritual for your puppy puts him on a schedule. It gets you both on a schedule. This will making training moments easier and less stressful after a good night’s sleep.