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I just had a conversation with a person who takes puppies at 8 weeks to be trained and socialized to eventually become service dogs. His method for managing night time potty breaks was to provide a larger crate and let the puppy pee in there but only at night. He washes the sleeping pads daily so there is a clean one every night. The puppy is taken outside for all other potty breaks and he claims this is the fastest, easiest way to house train a dog. He's done this many times over the years. This certainly would allow a better nights sleep but am wondering what the downside would be. Any thoughts?
 

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Eh. Really, the getting up for a midnight potty break only lasts a few weeks, if that, so why risk having the dog learn bad habits? Sure, some dogs might not learn bad habits, but what if you get that one dog who learns that soiling their crate is fine and don't care if they lay in it? Personally, I wouldn't. And I would feel bad making a dog pee so close to their sleeping space and have to smell it all night just because I wanted to get more sleep....
 

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Assuming the human is the kind that can fall back asleep in the night decently enough, it is usually far easier to wake up for 5-10 minutes around 1 or 2 am, stumble outside with the dog in your house coat and slippers and pop the dog back into the crate after a pee without ever turning on a light than it is to clean up puppy pee every morning for a few weeks and add all that to the laundry. Especially if the puppy ends up rolling in or lying on the pee pad during the night...

Personally, I wake up if the puppy is stirring around (a sign of needing to pee) and take puppy outside without waking up much myself; or if I wake up in the night to get some water or a bathroom break than I go ahead and take the puppy out. If the puppy does not stir and I do not wake otherwise, then I just rush them outside first thing in the morning.

I keep a flashlight handy and a collar with leash attached to it sits next to the puppy's crate. If its summer, I go outside on the sidewalk barefoot and in winter, I pull on boots without socks.
 
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