The first few nights I brought my Samoyed puppy Albert home were very rough. I wasn't sure whether to ignore him, go in there, talk to him..there was so much conflicting info out there. It took me calling my breeder at 3 am after the 3rd night before my fiancÚ and I finally got a full night's sleep and it's been that way ever since. Here are some tips that worked for us, and our breed of dog:
- Play with her as you normally would throughout the day. Don't try
to tire her out or she may get overtired which leads them to whining and being restless. It's weird I know but even my breeder mentioned it to me so I just do normal training and playing sessions.
- Try feeding her in her crate so she knows from the very beginning that the crate is a safe place where good things happen. Make sure to leave the door open while she eats.
- Leave the crate open for her all day, every day so she gets used to it and knows it's safe. Albert started sleeping much better when I did this because he would sleep in the crate during the day as well. Don't
force her in (until it's bed time and she has no choice).
- Cover the crate on all 3 sides with some sort of blanket but keep the front of it exposed. It appears more like a den to them.
- Play some sort of music or background noise. We usually keep some white noise playing if we don't have the dishwasher or laundry going. They really only need this for when they're going to sleep, not the whole night unless they constantly wake up. Albert doesn't like utter silence when he goes to sleep. To puppies, silence can be terrifying, especially in a new home.
- If she whines, let her be. She'll tire out. If she barks for a few minutes. Let it go. If it is incessant tell her to be quiet from your room (if it's close enough). Don't go near the crate or she'll learn that you'll come when she barks.
- That being said, we never brought his crate to our room. From the very beginning we wanted Albert to learn to be independent and sleep on his own. He learned right away that we'd always come back in the morning
- The first few nights since he didn't sleep long due to anxiety he woke up every 2 hours to pee. If she's sleeping all night, leave her until morning. If she's waking up every 2 hours she might have to go. If it's every 30 minutes she's just seeking attention. Albert slept through the night after that 3rd day.
- If all this fails, on her first night she might be especially upset which is understandable. If you want to teach your dog to be independent but still want to comfort her, do what our breeder told us to do: sleep in the room where her crate is so that you are within view but be a good distance away. Let her see you're there but don't go near the crate. If she whines a little that's okay but if she starts to bark, gently tell her to "be quiet" and to "go to sleep." Albert only need to hear the command once for him to settle down to sleep again. We stayed on the couch 2 more nights just in case so that we could immediately correct the behavior but after that he's been just fine!
I just wish he'd be as calm and quiet as he is in his crate, everywhere else.
P.S. - Make sure you keep an eye on the stuffy you have for her. You never mentioned her breed but Samoyed's can be destructive and I witnessed Albert rip the eyes off his stuffy the first day so he only gets a knuckle bone to chew on in the crate without supervision.
Good luck with everything!