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Hello Everybody,

I have had a 13 week-old puppy for a week and a half. We are training him to go out as we have a common garden in the condominium. He's getting there quite quickly, I'm very proud. I'm working from home so I take him out every hour and try sometimes to push it a little bit longer to check how long he can hold it...monitoring any sign of need.

I've started the crate training, the crate is about the right size. I feed him there sometimes. He has his toys and towels. I'm leaving him there when I go for an errands, from 30mn to 2 hours (I've been told never more than 2 hours, anyway, it would break my heart to do so). So far so good.

At night, we move the crate to the bedroom with the door open, between the bed and the wall so he can't wander around and chew on my computer cables...or do any other mischief. Most of the time he's laying out of the crate next to my wife.

Now my problem: being over 3 months old, he should be able to hold himself 3 to 4 hours so we initially planned to take him out during the night (breaking it in half, around 2am or 3am). We did so for a few days and became quite exhausted. We tried to make him wait longer by feeding him earlier and by taking him out several times before bed. As he's free to come towards us and whine to ask to go out (which he had no trouble doing), we were surprised when he didn't ask for anything and made it through the night for several days in a row.

Now I've noticed his towel in the crate smells like urine and I guess he has been peeing on it during the night which half-surprised me since I've read that he shouldn't like to pee in his crate and since he could also wake us up and ask to go out as he did before BUT 6 to 7 hours maybe still too long at night even though he's inactive and generally empty. This morning, I put a fresh towel in the crate and let him play in it (I leave the door open during the day when I'm here and let him go in and out as he pleases). He immediately peed on the new towel...I'm confused!

I don't want him to associate the crate as the potty area. What should I do? Is it too late to introduce him to this plastic sheets you can get in stores for potty training? I'd rather not use the newspaper and I'm doomed with carpet at home :(
I've also read here that I should remove the towels and check if he's getting cleaner in the crate without them. Daytime is not a problem as I'm always here but nightime is tough and to go back to the pee walk at 3am is not very exciting as you can imagine...

Thanks for your suggestions!
 

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I think the 3 AM trip might be unavoidable. His bladder really just can't hold it all night, and he probably doesn't know how to wake you (or, indeed, that he's even supposed to). Water is a natural byproduct of metabolism, so cutting off his water intake before bedtime will only reduce his need to go, not eliminate it.

How well did you clean out the inside of his crate? Are you using an enzymatic cleaner? You need to make sure that every last trace of urine is removed, as his nose will pick up on even the slightest hint and induce him to pee there again.

By chance, is he a pet store puppy? They often elminate in side their crates because they have been conditioned to do so through captivity. Breaking him of the habit would be that much more difficult, but still possible at 12 weeks.
 

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Hi,

He's not a store puppy and hasn't been used to pee in his crate. I clean the crate thoroughly. Is there any other possibility than the 3am trip? What about these plastic sheets/pads meant for potty training which you can find in specialized store?

I was thinking about putting one by his crate, which I always leave open during the night, train him to do there at night and continue the normal housebreaking during the day (taking him outside and taking away the night pad to avoid confusing him during the day)...?
 

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You could try to put a wee wee pad near his crate at night, but lots of puppies just tear them up or shred them. If it were me, I'd go back to the middle of the night potty-break temporarily with a goal of gradual increasing the amount of time until he is old enough to hold it all night. For instance, I might try taking him out at 3:00 am for a week or two, then move up to 3:30 and so forth until he builds up bladder strength. Just consider this a temporary part of his housetraining, you don't have to commit to 3 am potty outings forever. I would also discontinue the towels in his crate, it seems as though he finds towels most convenient and appropriate for urination, you will have a difficult time breaking this habit while you are asleep : )
 

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I thought it was normal by then for a dog to hold it for a long time.
my 10 week old puppy goes from 11 at night to 7 in the morning without peeing or pooping.
only once has she peed in her crate and that was my fault because I forgot to set my alarm for 7 am.

you might want to try paper training him. use lots of newspaper though, he'll tear a lot of it up.
 
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