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The excitement of bringing a new puppy into the household is sometimes dampened by the morning after when the family have suffered disturbed sleep. Puppies usually go to new homes between the age of eight and sixteen weeks, depending on their size and when they have had their first vaccinations. Until this age have had the company of brothers and sisters to snuggle up to for company and warmth.

The first day in the new home the puppy is cuddled, played with, and made the center of attention. Life is wonderful. At some point during the evening the family will put the pup to bed. The house becomes quiet. The puppy feels alone and there is no warm body of a brother or sister next to it. It is a natural reaction for the puppy to cry and whine to register a protest and the usual result is that one of the human family will stagger out of bed to console it for a few minutes and go back to bed.

The pup will continue to cry, often louder, and again someone will get out of bed to console the pup or even to chastise it. The pup has learnt its first lesson- cry and you are rewarded with company, if only momentarily. Dogs learn fastest by rewarding them for certain actions and continuing to go to the crying puppy will reinforce the lesson that crying brings company.

Hearts must be hardened for pups first night home.

The decision must be made as to where the pup is going to sleep and the area made ready for it. The area must not be too large, remember that the pup is used to having other bodies close to it. The area must be warm and cozy (in the cooler climates) and bedding must be provided.

* A radio may be left playing out of the pup's reach to provide some comforting noises during the silence of the household.

* If chewing is not a serious concern, you can fill a liter or 2 liter plastic bottle with hot water in it, wrap it in a hand towel and place it in the sleeping area for the pup to cuddle with.

*An old soft toy serves as a soft body to snuggle but remember to remove any parts such as plastic eyes and nose which the pup may chew.

Supper should be given and the pup taken outside to relieve itself and then it should be put to bed with a kind word. The crying will commence softly at first but may build up to a crescendo as the pup calls louder. With a bit of luck it may cease after a short time but some pups will continue for the first night.

Remember that if at any time you go to the pup you have rewarded the behavior and you will have to start all over again.

Naturally you must be sure that the puppy is not crying because it is stuck or hurt but you will recognize the difference in the crying. It is natural that the pup will wake early in the morning and you should be ready to be greeted with exuberance and to respond with love and cuddles. Put the pup out to relieve itself, lavish it with praise for "performing" and then serve puppy breakfast after which, outside for toilet opportunities again, and then you are ready to spend the second day with your best friend.