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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have been reading a lot in this forum on crate training.
I have a 9 week old puppy and I am trying to crate train him at night. I am very busy during the week so rather than keeping him in the crate all day, I leave him in my room and puppy proof it with doggy pads and water and I make sure there is nothing he can get into. This is because I don't want him to be in the crate all night and all day, that isn't fair.

My problem is this.. I know that he can only "hold it" for about two hours. He goes in to his crate no problem at night and falls asleep. He then wakes me up every hour with the whining and although I am reading a lot of posts that say to ignore it, when I let him out, it is because he needs to go to the bathroom. Sometimes, however, he just wants to get out. It is hard to differentiate between which one he wants and I don't know what to ignore and what not to ignore.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Thanks in advance!!

-Kristin
 

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Definitely make a strict schedule for yourself to go by. Set a soft alarm on your phone so you know it's time.
If you crate him, take him out every hour, let him go potty and then put him back for another 45 mins-1 hour. If he cries in between those schedule times (whatever time limit you chose) just ignore him. You said he's okay for 2 hours? He just wants out so he can play and drive you crazy with his adorable puppy cuteness even at 3 am. lol! But, seriously - make a strict schedule. He's 9 weeks old, you said? Then expect to be woken up every hour throughout the night to do this. It's a tough job, just like raising a baby, but lasts WAY less. Good luck!
 

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This is a VERY young puppy. He will need a lot of patience for a while.

If he does his business when you let him out - then you must continue letting him out. Keep the crate next to your bed and when he starts fussing, tap the crate gently to let him know you are near. If he continues fussing, you will want to take him out immediately. When he does his business, praise him lavishly. if you can put yourself on a nighttime schedule to ANTICIPATE him, that would be much better. But even with such a schedule, you still have to be aware of his needs. This is called "errorless housetraining" and it works better that any other method, but it does require more work at first.


Try withholding water starting about 3-4 hours before bedtime (your bedtime). Then , just before you turn in for the night, take him outside and let him relieve himself. An empty bladder will make it much easier for him to stay quiet longer into the night.

SInce he is trying to signal you, it seems to me that he knows what you want him to do. He is just too young to be able to control himself for very long. You must continue with the nighttime excursions until he is physically capable of controlling himself through the night.

Stay positive - you are training him for a lifetime.
 

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I don't know that you have to take him out EVERY hour during the night. That might be a little overkill. Puppies can usually hold it longer at night than they can during the day, because their bodily functions slow down and less urine is produced.

But, you're right: how do you know if it's whining because he doesn't want to be in the crate, or whining because he has to pee?
That's the question.

At this point, if you feel up to it, go ahead and take him out every time he whines, just to be sure. BUT, take him out on a leash, don't talk to him, don't fuss, don't coo, don't cuddle. Take him out, say "go potty" or whatever words you use, give him a few minutes, and if he doesn't do anything, take him back in. Don't let him roam, don't let him have fun. It should be all business during the night. Take him to one spot, give him a few minutes, and then, back to bed.

Hopefully, if going out in the night is so boring, and completely about doing his business only, and then it's straight back to bed, he'll see it's not worth it if he really doesn't have to go, because it's not fun....

Also, putting away water a few hours before bed is a great idea, too.

And, the enzymatic cleaner is must!
 

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I'll let you in on a secret: he can hold it more than two hours. A couple bathroom breaks during the night, maybe three, is about right. As long as he's not having any fun during that time, it'll get better, really. If he's really, really tired when you go to bed, that'll help. I mean, if he goes to sleep earlier, get him up and play with him till he falls asleep again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much everyone for the awesome advice! This forum has helped me out so much!!

I will try a lot of these new ideas. I realize he is young and I have no problem getting up with him in the middle of the night, I just wanted to see if it was normal!

Thanks again!!
 

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I agree with Dezzoi, set a schedule and stick to it. If your puppy can go two hours on a regular basis, get up just before the two hour mark and take him out. The rule of thumb I use is, for every month old your puppy is, that's how many hours they can go between bathroom breaks. So for example, if your puppy is two months old he should be able to wait two hours between potty breaks. In between potty breaks ignore attention seeking behavior in the middle of the night.
 
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