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The First Night(mare)

It’s your first night with your brand new addition to the family; you are both very excited. The puppy is frightened and so are you. It’s perfectly normal that you both want to stay close to each other in tough times and the first night is one such occasion. Your puppy is separated from his mother, and you got yourself a baby and if it is a first timer, you have no clue what to do and to expect.

However, don’t let your emotions get the better of you.

A puppy’s place is not in your bed (ha ha ha – so I thought). At least not at night when you sleep in it (more laughs). There’s no problem if your puppy (and later an adult dog) sleeps in your bed during the day, but it’s important to keep him away at night ( I am lying on the floor now…). The reason behind this is quite simple—canines have a hierarchy. Wolves from the bottom of hierarchy pyramid don’t sleep together with the chief wolf. In your family you are the chief. Your puppy is not. In fact all members of your family should be at some point chiefs to your puppy. This is very important to understand for better living later when dog becomes more stubborn and self-conscious. NOTE: Please heed to these instructions; you ARE the master, the chief, the “boss”.

Now that you know what you shouldn’t do, let’s see how to survive through the first night. If your breeder gave you a rag from smelling like the puppy’s mother, it will be of tremendous help. If not, then prepare a few old unwashed shirts or any part of your clothes which has your smell. From time to time I had to give up my mohair jersey, or rather, it was “confiscated”. It will help the puppy feels safe and cosy and will give him a sense of being near you. Also it’s advisable to give him plenty of old rags so the puppy can dig and make his place more comfortable.

Be sure the puppy has performed everything outside, before retiring to bed. This is very important for the pup to understand that this has to happen. Since the pup does not have full control over the bladder, accidents do happen. Prepare then at least a corner for old newspapers that the pup build a sense of there is a place to go to do his thing. Also make sure he’s not hungry. But don’ feed the puppy once you place him in his bed. This will just awake him and you don’t want a cheerful puppy at 3 in the morning. Generally, a good practice is to play a lot with a puppy during the day, so he becomes really tired in the evening.

If there is trouble for your puppy to fall asleep and he wants to climb into your bed, place his bedding near your bed. To calm him down, just speak to him gently, but don’t touch him (more laughs). Let him know you are near, but don’t get him used to the physical contact. In the morning, get up early and go outside, so he doesn’t make a mess in your bedroom.

You may have noticed I have chuckled quite a lot. It is difficult, let me correct myself here, very very difficult to adhere to these simple rules. Bullies are just too adorable when they are pups, strolling behind you grunting all the way, perhaps just like a little piglet as this Alexander the Great does.

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