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I'm currently in the process of raising my first puppy (a Dachshund). She's 6 weeks old and about to get her first vaccine.

I've had a few dogs before and even litters from my previous pets, but never a puppy on my own.

The problem I'm facing is that this puppy has a lot of energy at night and I'm having serious trouble getting sleep. We spend lots of time together (since I work from home) and she's generally calm or playful, but generally obedient during the day.

I've tried a few different things, like trying to tire her out a few hours before bed, not feeding her at night, etc. Even if she's exhausted she'll get restless a few hours into the night, even when not needing to pee.

I've built a "puppy safe" zone in my kitchen which has a door that leads to an outside area (not really "outside" as it still has walls and a roof and it's technically inside the apartment) where she pees. I generally feed her in the kitchen and put her crib there (crate training is not common and frowned upon here).

Sorry for all the details. My question is: can I try to get her used to spend the night in her crib here? While we get a lot of quality time during the day, I wonder if it would be bad for her health to sleep alone this young. At the same time, I'm having very rough nights and I'm concerned about my work performance / social relationships during the day (sleep deprivation gets me rather cranky and makes it hard to think at work).

  • 6 weeks old is a bit young. Puppies are usually weaned at 8 weeks. – Censored to protect the guilty Apr 16 '18 at 2:15
  • @Censoredtoprotecttheguilty yes, agreed. I wish she was given more time with her mother. I'm still trying to do my best so we can both live healthy – Alvaro Apr 16 '18 at 2:47
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At 6 weeks old a puppy should still be with their mother and siblings since developmentally they aren't quite ready to leave the nest.

6 week old puppies usually sleep a lot and will sleep all bunched together with their siblings. This is one of the reasons it is recommended to only separate a puppy at 8 weeks.

This doesn't help us in your case though!

It is likely that your pup is too anxious to sleep at night - particularly if she is relatively calm during the day and you give her a lot of attention. Here are some ideas to help her calm down:

  • Move her crib next to your bed. This doesn't need to be permanent but it does mean you can reach over to soothe her without needing to get out of bed. She will also be calmer knowing you are there.
  • Give her some dog friendly soft toys in her crib to snuggle with (without squeakers if she is in your bedroom).
  • Wrap a hot water bottle or warm bean bag in a towel and put it in her crib. (Make sure she won't be able to chew it!)
  • Get some tasty chew toys that she only gets at night which will give her a way of soothing herself if she does wake up anxious.

More info:

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I had two German Shepherds.

They ended up having the puppy safe zone (crate etc) in the bedroom. That made them a lot less anxious. It does help with the housebreaking.

You won't get full night sleep till they are 4-5 months old. My latest puppy is 5 months, sleeps in the crate but still wakes me up occasionally for a drink of water or a bathroom trip.

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